Your favourite sites and software contain hidden treats. Which Easter Eggs do you know about?
The Heartbleed flaw shows what can happen when software has unintended consequences, but ever since the early days of computing, developers and designers have intentionally included secret treats in software and the habit has continued in websites. As an antidote to Heartbleed, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites in an Easter Egg quiz.
Secret commands are often used to generate unexpected results, often in form of games hidden within serious products. Sometimes cheat codes produce extra powers in games or reveal unknown levels and sometimes it’s just a joke, very often involving a link to a Rick Astley video (the “rickroll”). Easter Eggs also show up in hardware, too.
Konami Code opens Easter Eggs
Early Konami video games included a generic cheat code typed on the keyboard (up up down down left right left right B A) which has become widely used in other systems and even web sites. One major website provides a classic rickroll when you type in the Konami code. Which one? Our quiz will tell you.
Hidden code in software has passed its heyday, as nowadays it is seen as a way of introducing untested code and the risks that can bring. Microsoft included games and jokes in many of its products in its glory days in the 1980s and 1990s
Google is by a long way the most prolific maker of Easter Eggs these days, with hidden directions and jokes in Google Maps, and many of its other products.
Meanwhile, electronics designers built in images into chips and printed circuit boards, sometimes including their names and their pets’ pawprints. For a good look at some of those, checkout Google images, and look for sites like Molecular Expressions.
But be careful, type the wrong thing into Google Images, and you could find yourself playing a classic 1980s video game.
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