Easter Eggs!

  • Want to look around the Tardis?
  • Fancy a quick game of snake?
  • Or maybe a spot of dragon slaying?

We're not down the wrong trouser leg of time again these are all little bits of inside joke geekery carefully hidden in everyday computer programmes and we've been on an Easter Egg hunt.

One of my favourite Easter eggs was inside an early version of excel, if you pressed the right buttons in the right order your spreadsheet disintegrated (not really) in front of your eyes and you were piloting your own ship (be it Enterprise or Millennium Falcon) through space, another sequence of buttons gave you hyperspace and Escape, of course, allowed you to escape back to the humdrum reality of complex mathematical formulae or boring simple data entry.  Microsoft had lots of them but the boring people made them get rid of them claiming that the additional code made the 'files bloat' in other words get too big and slow them down. So they replaced them with silly paper clips instead! (no, I'm not writing a letter and neither do I want your help). 

The frivolity batten has been passed to Google, quite apt with their helter skelter slides in place of stairways.
So here are a few of theirs, type into their search box Do a Barrell Roll to get the page do a complete somersault, or askew to make it slant off sideways and they've got round the abandoned blink tag to make every tag on the page wink at you.
Firefox has a friendly robot (don't bite his bottom, as if anyone would even consider it!), find him at about:robots (in firefox obviously, won't work on safari or with other metals) and also a weirdly unsettling apocalyptic tome at about:mozilla apparently Mammon is Microsoft, it changes often and past outpourings are available on wikipedia.

Feeling at a loose end?
Find a playable pacman game by searching for google pacman, it was one of their daily google doodles back in 2010 and still available, so not really an Easter egg but fun nevertheless, their April fool this year of 'real-life' pacman using GPS on maps for mobiles was a doozy too.  Snake is a real Easter egg though, only available in Internet Explorer, so maybe for not much longer, and you need a slow internet connection! It only works whilst your content is buffering, place your cursor in the video window and  press and hold the left arrow and the up arrow to begin the game.
And what about getting a look around the tardis.  This one's a real wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey sort of thing. On google street view stand outside Earl's Court Underground station and there is the Tardis in all it's police boxy glory, press the up arrow on your keyboard and you are sucked into the Tardis. (quick link to the tardis here)

I'm not entirely in favour of dragon slaying, I happen to be very fond of dragons, however in google sheets shift and F12 gives you a little message saying dragon slain. (or at least it used to when I checked before posting this blog it didn't work! so maybe dragonophiles around the web have slain the dragonslayer!!)

And sometimes these easter eggs even make headlines, remember remember the coverage spoof page 46 in apple's terms and conditions for ios7? (no, then read all about it here)

But why easter eggs? apparently it's because you have to hunt for them and like Easter eggs they contain a nice surprise.

BTW: we thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate ones over the weekend! and now it's time to leave the tardis and get on with some real work....
But if you know of any Easter eggs to while away the day do let us know, we're always up for a bit on nonsense - you knew that already didn't you!