If you’ve been using Windows for a while, chances are that you’ve heard that the developers of the various Windows versions had hidden Easter Eggs inside the operating systems. As you know, an Easter Egg is a small program that is hidden deep inside of an application and is designed by the application’s developers as a way of displaying their names—very similar to the credits that you see at the end of a movie. While the practice has long since been forbidden, back in their heyday, Microsoft’s developers created some really elaborate Easter Eggs.
In this gallery, I’ll show you the Easter Eggs that they embedded into the Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.
This gallery was originally published in September 2007.
Photo credit: Greg Shultz / CBS Interactive
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.
My first computer was an 8088 with turbo boost and 640 Kilobytes of memory, (the most you could get at the time), and two 5 1/4" floppy drives. This was considered extravagant! There were not even hard drives at the time. Windows 3.1 was still a dream away and I remember Bill Gates saying 640 K of memory was the most memory a computer would ever need to run windows. Then in 1986 I got my first hard drive. It was a whopping 10 megabytes. I thought I was in computer heaven!! How things have changed since then!!!
My first was a Tandy 286, with 20Mb hardrive, a friend sold me... a year later, I bought a 486 DX 32 with 40 Mb...a lot of hard drive for those days...($2000 for the new computer). That was the beginning of my long journey of many computers...which lately cost less then half of my 486 did back then. That machine, by today's cost, would be around $4000 or more...and it only had the motherboard, hard drive, memory, and two floppys, 5" and 3.5 ".... Yes, those were the days...and now, I am hooked. Even built my last five (or is it six?).
One of my favorite Easter eggs in Windows 3.1 was in the system.inf file. When opened in Notepad, about halfway down was a remark line about a particular bit of code that explained, and I quote, "Needed to get this pig to run."
Tips and tricks to amaze your friends. Your friends are easily amazed if they are running either one of the OS's mentioned. That's 2 minutes of my life I can never get back..
Ya missed a good one. In Word97 or Word2000 (maybe both?) type 'I'd love to see you naked'. Highlight it and call the Thesarus. It returns 'I'll drink to that'
Does anyone else remember my favorite "built-in"? The gorillas tossing bananas at each other from atop the skyline of a big city? Is this entertaining, mindless diversion available anywhere?
...Easter Egg a while back too. You can check it out here: http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/look-back-at-microsoft-excel-easter-eggs/157549 Enjoy :-)
As I remember in machine code programing language in lines that explain instructions, very often found reason "To confuse the russions"
The Thesaurus Easter Egg that I got the greatest smile from was when you typed in "unable to follow directions" without the quotes, highlighted it, envoked the Thesaurus (if I remember correctly it was by pressing shift and F7 together?, or only F7?) and the Thesaurus would suggest: unable to maintain an errection I hope this is not too offensive to anyone, it really worked before Sevice Pack One (SP1) for Word 97, and was a real hoot. I also Hope TR finds it unoffensive enough to post it so others may laugh. If you think I'm making this up, research it or if you have an old copy laying around, install it and check it out. I'll bet some programmer forgot to document it's inclusion on purpose, you think! TR has my permission to edit this or not post at all based on their discretion. Mauri Presser
Where a big purple monster with a 'W' on its chest rose up, then a little door opened, and M$ figures came out, climbed up and jumped on its head, stomping it into the ground. It symbolized the M$ philosophy, stomping the competition (WordPerfect) into oblivion. Nice company, huh? P.S. We were ordered not to mention this to any of our customers, or even acknowledge its presence.
That was actually a program included with DOS 5. I am pretty sure it was just a routine written in QBasic. You can find updated freeware versions on the net.
Gorrilas, was actually a Q-Basic program, that came with DOS. And as you can probably guess, you opened up q-basic open the .BAS file and ran it. Perhaps, you still get if you get hold of Q-Basic. I remembered Nibbles too. The "Snakes"-esque game.
It was fun to see the old interface again, and it reminded me how far things have progressed. BTW, you'd be amazed how fast it will run on a system that is an antique by modern standards. Try it on a junker.
If I can remember, the minimum system requirements include a 386 processor. I guess the "not" is appropriate.
Read my subject: line. That was the whole point of this entertaining little bit of reminiscence. Of course, if you don't enjoy this sort of topic you can do the equivalent of pressing the off button, or change channel button. HTH. HAND.
Those of us who are older than about 20 have tech memories that stretch back, if you can believe it, more than ten years. Sometimes even more than that. So as an example of an IT guy in his 30s: More from the 1990s, please!
Yes Matt, it's a joke, Like why the heck would anyone be running 95 or 3.1 these days any more than they'd be running a 286, unless they had some extremely deprecated software that wouldn't run on anything else.
Well I had an old 386SX laying around...was gonna use it as a plant wattering timer. Who needs a PIC Micro? Made a good bug smoker instead. It had 3.1 on the HD...snort. I guess I won't get to see the "eggs". P.s. Anybody want some old "3.1 programinng the API books?". you pay the shipping and buy me a cheeseburger..there yours...."snort". Ever looked at old comp-books you bought and then then went (@#@$$)...why did I waste money and brain cells on this? Later
I have a Intel 486DX in my closet with 24 megs of ram, and win 3.1!! Found it in the garbage one day! Fun, fun, fun, since the oldest OS I ever actually used was 98.....
Reminds me of the old machine I had with two drives. 8" floppys, as I recall. The OS was on one floppy, and another floppy for data I/O. The hard drive was mostly on a dusty old dirt road.
I added an Evergreen Technology's deal that made my 386 a 486! Was I ever happy! Still have a computer sittin' around somewhere with two drives on it, one with win 3.1 and the other with Win 98... let's play Zork! (Text game)
I remember upgrading my PC, dropping in a Cyrix 486DX (or was it a DX2?) and more RAM, and then finally being able to play Duke Nukem 3D! That was amazing back in the day....