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Encyclopedia > Easter egg (virtual)

A virtual Easter egg is a hidden message or feature in an object such as a movie, book, CD, DVD, computer program, or video game. The term draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunt observed in many western nations. The earliest known reference to an Easter Egg [citation needed] as a hidden item in a medium appears to be from 1975's The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in which actual Easter eggs are visible in certain shots (under Frank N. Furter's throne, for example), from an Easter Egg hunt the crew had while filming [1]. Atari's Adventure, released in 1978, contained what is thought to be the first video game Easter egg (the programmer, Warren Robinett's name). “Moving picture” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Book (disambiguation). ... A compact disc or CD is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. ... Size comparison: A 12 cm Sony DVD+RW and a 19 cm Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. ... A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer. ... “Computer and video games” redirects here. ... For the hidden and often humorous features included in computer programs, DVDs, books, CDs, etc. ... The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical comedy film that parodies horror films, based on the British musical stage production The Rocky Horror Show, with the screenplay written by Richard OBrien and Jim Sharman. ... Adventure is a 1980 video game for the Atari 2600 video game console and is considered the first action-adventure game. ... Warren Robinett is a designer of interactive computer graphics software, notable as the developer of Adventure, the first graphical adventure video game, and as the founder of The Learning Company, where he designed Rockys Boots. ...

In computer programming, the underlying motivation is often to put an individual, almost artistic touch on an intellectual product which is by its nature standardised and functional. It is analogous to signature motifs such as Diego Rivera including himself in his murals or Alfred Hitchcock's legendary cameos. Diego Rivera (December 8, 1886 – November 24, 1957), (full name Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez) was a Mexican painter and muralist born in Guanajuato City, Guanajuato. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Peter Jackson in The Fellowship of the Ring (top), The Two Towers (middle) and The Return of the King (bottom). ...


Computer-related Easter eggs


Easter eggs are messages, graphics, sound effects, or an unusual change in program behavior that mainly occur in a software program in response to some undocumented set of commands, mouse clicks, keystrokes or other stimuli intended as a joke or to display program credits. They are often located in the "About" box of a software. An early use of the term Easter egg was to describe a message hidden in the object code of a program as a joke, intended to be found by persons disassembling or browsing the code. In computer science, object file or object code is an intermediate representation of code generated by a compiler after it processes a source code file. ...

Easter eggs found in some Unix operating systems caused them to respond to the command "make love" with "not war?" and "why" with "why not" (a reference to "The Prisoner" in Berkeley Unix 1977). The TOPS-10 operating system (for the DEC PDP-10 computer) had the "make love" hack before 1971; it included a short, thoughtful pause before the response. This same behavior occurred on the RSTS/E operating system where the command "make" was used to invoke the TECO editor, and TECO would also provide this response. Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... // An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer. ... In computer programming, make is a utility for automatically building large applications. ... The Prisoner is a 1967 UK allegorical science fiction television series starring Patrick McGoohan. ... BSD redirects here; for other uses see BSD (disambiguation). ... RSTS/E (an acronym for Resource Sharing Time Sharing Extended) was a multi-user time-shared operating system developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for the PDP-11 series of 16-bit minicomputers, and used primarily during the 1970s and 1980s, although some installations were still being upgraded well into... TECO (pronounced /teekoh/; originally an acronym for [paper] Tape Editor and COrrector, but later Text Editor and COrrector) is a text editor originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the 1960s and was modified by just about everybody. With all the dialects included, TECO may have...

The largest Easter egg is purported to be in the Atari 400/800 version of Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, which contains an entire game that was more complex and challenging than the original Pitfall II. Many personal computers have much more elaborate eggs hidden in ROM, including lists of the developers' names, political exhortations, snatches of music, and (in one case) images of the entire development team. The 1997 version of Microsoft Excel contained a hidden flight simulator[1][2]; the 1997 version of Word, a pinball game[3]. The Palm operating system has elaborately hidden animations and other surprises. The Debian GNU/Linux package tool apt-get has an Easter egg involving an ASCII cow when variants on "apt-get moo" are typed into the shell. Another notable Easter egg is from The MathWorks' MATLAB: the why command provides succinct random answers to almost any question. Read-only memory (usually known by its acronym, ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... Microsoft Excel (full name Microsoft Office Excel) is a spreadsheet application written and distributed by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. It features calculation and graphing tools which, along with aggressive marketing, have made Excel one of the most popular microcomputer applications to date. ... Interior cockpit of a modern flight simulator A flight simulator is a system that tries to replicate, or simulate, the experience of flying an aircraft as closely and realistically as possible. ... Microsoft Word is Microsofts flagship word processing software. ... This article is about the arcade game. ... Palm OS is a compact operating system developed and licensed by PalmSource, Inc. ... Advanced Packaging Tool, or APT, is a package management system used by the Debian project. ... Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... The MathWorks, Inc. ... MATLAB is a numerical computing environment and programming language. ...

 % why % because the not very smart system engineer insisted on it 

In Mac OS X operating systems, a recording of the Liberty Bell march, famous for being the opening theme of the British comedy sketch series Monty Python's Flying Circus can be found under /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.3/lib/python2.3/test/. In Mac OS X version 10.4, the recording (audiotest.au) plays "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" This article is about the television series. ... Mac OS X version 10. ... This article is about the Monty Python comedy sketch. ...

Another Easter Egg is found on all Microsoft Windows Operating Systems prior to XP. Go to Control Panel, Display settings, then choose the screen saver heading. Then select the 3D Text screen saver and click on Settings. Enter the custom text of "volcano" and click on OK. Then when you preview/use the screen saver it will display the names of all the known volcanoes that exist in the world. Microsoft removed this Easter Egg in XP and Vista. A screensaver is a computer program originally designed to conserve the image quality of computer displays by blanking the screen or filling them with moving images or patterns when the computers are not in use. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ...


While computer-related Easter eggs are often found in software, occasionally they exist in hardware or firmware of certain devices. On some PCs, the BIOS ROM contains Easter eggs. Notable examples include several early Apple Macintosh models which had pictures of the development team in the ROM (accessible by pressing the programmer's switch and jumping to a specific memory address, or other equally obscure means), and some errant 1993 AMI BIOS that on 13 November proceeded to play "Happy Birthday" via the PC speaker over and over again instead of booting. Perhaps the most famous example of a hardware Easter egg is in the HP ScanJet 5P, where the device will play the Ode to Joy or Für Elise by varying the stepper motor speed if users power the device up with the scan button depressed [2]. Another Easter egg is found in the Kurzweil K2x musical keyboard series (K2500, K2600 and others): if users type "Pong" while in search mode they can play the game Pong. The EEPROM of Nagra smart cards for the Dish Network satellite television system contain the phrase "NipPEr Is a buTt liCkeR". Nipper was a hacker who broke old security routines on the cards, and this text is included as a fallback to old security routines, where the phrase was hashed against an input text to verify the card. Several Oscilloscopes have been known to contain Easter eggs. One example includes the HP 54622D known to play Asteroids. Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... For other uses, see Hardware (disambiguation). ... A microcontroller, like this PIC18F8720 is controlled by firmware stored inside on FLASH memory In computing, firmware is a computer program that is embedded in a hardware device, for example a microcontroller. ... A personal computer (PC) is a computer whose price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Read-only memory (usually known by its acronym, ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ... To Joy (An die Freude in German, in English often familiarly called the Ode to Joy rather than To Joy) is an ode written in 1785 by the German poet and historian Friedrich Schiller, known especially for its musical setting by Ludwig van Beethoven in the fourth and final movement... Für Elise (German for For Elise) is the popular name of the Bagatelle in A minor, WoO 59, a piece of music for solo piano by Ludwig van Beethoven, written approximately in 1810. ... The top electromagnet (1) is charged, attracting the topmost four teeth of a sprocket. ... Kurzweil Music Systems is a company that produces electronic musical instruments for professionals and home users. ... PONG helped bring computerized video games into everyday life. ... DISH Network is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that provides satellite television and audio programming to households and businesses in the United States, owned by parent company EchoStar Communications Corporation. ... Satellite television is television delivered by way of communications satellites, as compared to conventional terrestrial television and cable television. ...

Chip and PCB-based Easter eggs

Main article: Chip art

Many integrated circuit (chip) designers have included hidden artwork, including assorted images, phrases, developer initials, logos, and so on. This artwork, like the rest of the chip, is reproduced in each copy by lithography and etching. These are visible only when the chip package is opened and examined under magnification, so they are, in a sense, more of an "inside joke" than most of the Easter eggs included in software. Image of a buffalo, trailing buffalo chips, etched on a digital filter chip from the HP3582a audio spectrum analyzer. ... Integrated circuit of Atmel Diopsis 740 System on Chip showing memory blocks, logic and input/output pads around the periphery Microchips with a transparent window, showing the integrated circuit inside. ... Image of a buffalo, trailing buffalo chips, etched on a digital filter chip from the HP3582a audio spectrum analyzer. ... Lithography stone and mirror-image print of a map of Munich. ... Christ Preaching, known as The Hundred Guilder print; etching c1648 by Rembrandt Etching is the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal (the original process - in modern manufacturing other chemicals may be used... An in joke is a joke whose humour is clear only to those people who are in a group that has some prior knowledge (not known by the whole population) that makes the joke humorous. ...

Originally, the Easter eggs served a useful purpose as well. Not unlike cartographers who may insert trap streets or nonexistent landscape features as a copyright infringement detection aid, IC designers may also build non-functional circuits on their chips to help them catch infringers. Easter eggs, however benign, if directly copied by the defendant, could be used in mask work infringement litigation. Changes to the copyright laws (in the USA, the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984, and similar laws in other countries) now grant automatic exclusive rights to mask works, and the Easter egg no longer serves any practical use. Cartography or mapmaking (in Greek chartis = map and graphein = write) is the study and practice of making maps or globes. ... A trap street is a fictitious street included on a map, often outside the area the map covers, for the purpose of trapping potential copyright violators of the map, who will be unable to justify the inclusion of the trap street on their map. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Cathach of St. ... A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. ... A mask work is a two or three-dimensional layout of an integrated circuit (IC), i. ... A mask work is a two or three-dimensional layout of an integrated circuit (IC), i. ...

Western Digital's MyBook Pro has several words on the metal band that wraps around 3 sides in Morse Code. The code reads: Western Digital Corporation (NYSE: WDC) (often abbreviated to WD) is a manufacturer of a large proportion of the worlds hard disks, and has a long history in the electronics industry as an IC maker and a storage products company. ... MyBook is a series of external hard drives produced by Western Digital. ... 1922 Chart of the Morse Code Letters and Numerals Morse code is a method for transmitting telegraphic information, using standardized sequences of short and long elements to represent the letters, numerals, punctuation and special characters of a message. ...


The Commodore Amiga models 500, 600 and 1200 each featured Easter eggs, in the form of titles of songs by The B-52's etched on the motherboards. The 500 says "Rock Lobster", the 600 says "June Bug", and the 1200 says "Channel Z". The Amiga OS software includes a variety of hidden messages as well.[4] Commodore, the commonly used name for Commodore International, was an American electronics company based in West Chester, Pennsylvania which was a vital player in the home/personal computer field in the 1980s. ... The original Amiga 1000 (1985) with various peripherals The Amiga 500 (1987) was the most popular variant of the Amiga. ... The B-52s are a New Wave rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, an important center of alternative rock. ... A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system, such as a modern computer. ... Rock Lobster is The B-52s first single, released in 1978 and in a longer version placed on the bands self-titled debut album, The B-52s, one year later. ... Channel Z is a single by The B-52s from their 1989 album Cosmic Thing. ... AmigaOS is the default native operating system of the Amiga and AmigaOne personal computers. ...

Several models of S3 Trio 64v+ graphics cards have the Beatles lyrics printed faintly along the edge of the card. The S3 Trio range were popular graphics chipsets for personal computers. ... The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ...

Security concerns

Because of the increase in malware, many companies and government offices forbid the use of software containing Easter eggs for security reasons. With the rise of cybercrime and the prevalence of the Easter egg's "cousin", the logic bomb, there is now concern that if the programmer could slip in undocumented code, then the software cannot be trusted. This is of particular concern in offices where personal or confidential information is stored, making it sensitive to theft and ransom. For this reason, many developers have stopped the practice of adding Easter eggs to their software. Microsoft, who has in the past created some of the largest and most elaborate Easter eggs such as the ones in Microsoft Office, no longer allows Easter eggs in their software as part of their Trustworthy Computing initiative.[5] It has been suggested that Grayware be merged into this article or section. ... Cybercrime is a term used broadly to describe criminal activity in which computers or networks are a tool, a target, or a place of criminal activity. ... A logic bomb is a piece of code intentionally inserted into a software system that will set off a malicious function when specified conditions are met. ... The term ransom refers to the practice of holding a prisoner to extort money or property extorted to secure their release, or to the sum of money involved. ... Microsoft Office is an office suite from Microsoft, which is available on the Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X operating systems. ... Trusted computing (TC) refers to a family of specifications from the controversial TCPA with their stated goal of making computers more secure through the use of dedicated hardware. ...


  1. ^ Excel 97 Flight to Credits. The Easter Egg Archive.
  2. ^ Excel 97 Flight Simulator – For later versions of Microsoft Excel. The Easter Egg Archive.
  3. ^ Pinball in Word 97. The Easter Egg Archive.
  4. ^ AmigaOS Easter Eggs from the Amiga History Guide
  5. ^ Larry Osterman (October 21, 2005). Why no Easter Eggs?. Larry Osterman's WebLog. MSDN Blogs. Retrieved on 2006-07-29.

is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 210th day of the year (211th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

In the field of recorded music, a hidden track is a piece of music which has been placed on a Compact Disc, audio cassette, vinyl record or other recorded medium in such a way as to avoid detection by the casual listener. ... Undocumented features are frequently found in computer software releases. ... Some of Microsofts early products included hidden Easter eggs. ...

External links

  • Easter eggs and the Trusted Computing Base – Network World article outlining the concern over Easter eggs
  • Chip Fun: Microchip-based Easter eggs – From the National Museum of American History; photos by Integrated Circuit Engineering Corp.
  • Digital Press' classic video games Easter egg compendium
  • Lee's PeeknPoke Issue 5 – PDF retro game magazine with Atari 2600 hidden Easter egg feature
  • Software Tips and Tricks – Details on Easter eggs found in operating systems and applications.
  • Egg Heaven – Gives details on virtual Easter eggs in software, games and other popular media products.
  • DVD Easter Eggs – Lists many Easter eggs in DVDs
  • The Easter Egg Archive – large archive of all kinds of Easter eggs.
  • Easter egg: Information from Answers.com – Includes history of Easter eggs.

  Results from FactBites:
Easter egg: (1095 words)
Easter eggs are a widely popular symbol of new life in Ukraine and other Slavic countries' folk traditions.
In the U.S., such an Easter egg roll (unrelated to an eggroll) is often done on flat ground, pushed along with a spoon; the Easter Egg Roll has become a much-loved annual event on the White House lawn.
Easter Egg is also the name given to hidden exploits, media, or features available in console and PC video games, DVDs, or any other interactive media.
Easter egg (virtual) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1929 words)
An early use of the term Easter egg was to describe a message hidden in the object code of a program as a joke, intended to be found by persons disassembling or browsing the code.
Easter eggs, however benign, if directly copied by the defendant, could be used in mask work infringement litigation.
Even more prevalent are Easter eggs in DVD releases of movies; these are often in the form of hidden trailers, documentaries, or deleted scenes, and are accessed by manipulation of the disc's interactive menus.
  More results at FactBites »



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