Friday, 6 April 2012

Digital Easter Eggs

This Good Friday Friday Feature covers some of the treasures hidden within digital applications, an Easter Egg Hunt of the digital kind.

Some software, web and games developers leave hidden messages or extra features in the programs they work on that can only be accessed by those who know the unusual program commands or keyboard combinations that reveal the secrets left behind. These suprises are known as 'Easter Eggs' probably because of the tradition in many countries of hiding eggs so people have to hunt for the goodies at Easter.

These Easter eggs aren't meant to be found easily. Originally, most companies would remove Easter eggs if they were found while the product was being tested. Thankfully, not all were found and some companies now encourage developers to build in features that can be found by accident or by word of mouth. Click the right spot, edit the right file, or type in the secret sequence and, presto, you'll find anything from a list of the names of the programmers who created the product to a full-blown, multimedia tribute to the developers or sometimes even a game you can play.

See this article ( for further details.

Easter eggs in the 1997 version of Microsoft Office include a hidden flight simulator in Microsoft Excel and a pinball game in Microsoft Word. Here are some more examples....

From your main Facebook account page, click on the small, downward-pointing arrow on the blue bar on the top of the window. A small menu should pop up. From there, click "Account Settings" and then the "Language" tab at the very bottom. Scroll down and select English (Upside down) or, my personal favourite, English (Pirate). Save the new setting to see what happens to your pages :-)

A little audio treat (check your speakers are working) for users of the US site.
Go to the US Yahoo homepage ( and click on the Logo's exclamation mark!
I would like to know the story behind that!

In Febuary 2002, the owner of Amazon setup a hidden page.
Go to and look at the bottom of the 'Shop by Department' and click on the 'Full Store Directory' link. Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and in the centre of the white space at the bottom of the screen is a hidden link (Use your mouse cursor to locate and then click on the link).

Google Search
The fun loving developers at Google have created all sorts of hidden treasures. Some of them work best in Firefox or Chrome and rely on you using the "I'm Feeling Lucky" search. In the old style Google, there was a button below the search box but in Google Instant, start typing the search phrase and then hover over the suggested searches that appear - a link to "I'm Feeling Lucky" appears to the right of the suggestion.

In the Google Search examples below, the IFL means you need to use the "I'm Feeling Lucky" link as described above for the best effects. Enjoy ....
  • Into the search box, type 'do a barrel roll' without the quote marks (this also works by typing 'z or r')
    An homage to Star Fox 64, a 1997 cult Nintendo game.
  • In December, type 'let it snow' for a seasonal experience.
  • Into the search box, type 'askew' without the quote marks.
    Computers can be so literal!
  • IFL - Type 'Google Grav' and then hover over the suggested search 'Google Gravity' and click on "I'm Feeling Lucky".
    NB: Use the browser back icon to go back to the time before gravity had its effect.
  • IFL - Type 'find Chuck Norris' for some live saving advice.
  • IFL - Type 'Mentalplex' for the most advanced way to search the web.
  • IFL - Type 'pacman'.
    The Google Doodle really does work.
I hope you enjoyed these Digital Easter Eggs and if you want more here's a couple of links to explore:

 I love digital eggs but I think I love chocolate ones more.
Off now to hunt for my choccie eggs, yum yum.


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