Thank God those software developers have a sense of humor too. Though, they have their own arcane ways to express it. One such expression is through ‘Easter eggs’.
In the virtual world, it’s not chocolate and egg-whites, but little lines of code inserted into the main programs that show up through a combination of key strokes or commands. Often it is a prank or just a bit of playful ego on the part of the programmer that ‘hatches the egg’ but for us common folks the discovery is unexpected fun.
So here’s a look at the basket of some popular software Easter eggs found in some common Windows applications”¦
Solitaire made easy (only in XP)
If you are finding it difficult to win in Solitaire, just press Alt + Shift + 2. Presto! The game ends and you win.
Foul play at FreeCell (only in XP)
Start a new FreeCell game. Hold down Ctrl + Shift + F10 during play. A dialog box appears asking you to Abort, Retry or Ignore. Select Abort and then move any card anywhere to win the game.
Window speaks proper (only in XP)
Go to Control Panel, open up the Speech properties applet and in the Preview field type ‘Crotch’ (without the quote). The voice preview says “Crow’s nest” instead.
Windows Welcome Music (only in XP)
An ambient music track you might not have heard before. Navigate to C:WindowsSystem32. We are looking for a folder named ‘oobe’. This folder has a subfolder named ‘images’. In ‘images’ click on the sound file called ‘title.wma’ to hear the soothing track – Windows welcome music.
This was supposedly a rejoinder to the Internet Explorer 5’s own joke that the Mozilla browser caused system crashes. To see Firefox’s reply type “˜about:Mozilla’ (without the quotes) in the address bar and hit it.
Firefox and the kitchen sink
In the address bar type in “˜about kitchensink‘ (without the quote but with a space). Look at the interesting graphic that opens up.
Running Firefox within another Firefox
There doesn’t seem to be any apparent use for this but if you type in chrome://browser/content/browser.xul in the address bar, it will open up another Firefox instance but within the first browser.
Open the Chrome browser and type in about:internets in the address bar. The background turns black and the old pipes ‘Microsoft’ screensaver plays out on the screen.
Tetris in uTorrent
Go to the uTorrent menu and click on Help – About. Tap “˜T’ on the keyboard and play a game of Tetris using the arrow keys on the keyboard.
Overload game with FeedDemon
Enter FeedDemon Easter Egg in the web search address bar on the right hand side and hit enter. Play the funky information overload game with the arrow keys.
These are just 10 of the multitude of Easter eggs found in software and applications. There are dedicated sites which collate Easter eggs in wide ranging applications. Some of them deserve a mention.
A comprehensive site which lists Easter eggs in different categories and also has a section called Curios which mentions tricks and other program quirks.
Another widely inclusive site which has category listings such as DVD Easter Eggs, Software, Movies, Music, TV, Books and Art.
Mac Users can try out the listings available here.
Another good list site with a section on Easter eggs.
The gaming site includes information about some of the greatest Easter eggs in gaming.
In listing just ten, I have deliberately missed out a lot more. Do you have a favorite Easter Egg of your own? Let us know”¦perhaps it deserves a mention.
Photo Credit : Don Solo