Little Known Software Easter EggsSoftware development can be a rather long, tedious procedure. And for some professional software developers, the best way to blow off steam is to leave little "Easter eggs" in their software. Generally speaking, an Easter egg is a hidden message, joke, or feature that is not documented, and often not even meant to be found by the casual user. These are 5 of the best, littlest known Easter eggs in computer software.

 

5. Google Search

The Google search function is absolutely full of Easter eggs. Some are better known than others, but it makes it clear that you don't become the largest internet-based company in history without having a sense of humor. From the class "do a barrel roll" to the lesser-known "anagram" result page (Google with suggest the search "Nag a Ram."), Google is absolutely filled with little goodies left by bored designers and programmers. In fact, even the Google Doodle started as an Easter egg of sorts, when Google’s co-founders posted a doodle to notify users that they were at the Burning Man Festival, and would not be present to maintain the site. Since then, it has been implemented as an artistic, interactive, and all around fun tradition that it is today!

anagram google software easter egg

4. Microsoft Word

Microsoft is no stranger to Easter eggs. As one of the older software companies out there, and the largest operating system distributor, Microsoft has been known to put some hidden eggs in their software. Being possibly their most used software other than Windows, Microsoft Word has some fun references to filler text and wordplay in its hidden features. For example, at one point the command =rand() would enter various lines of the pangram "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." The former sentence is noteworthy, as it contains every letter in the English alphabet, and was commonly used to help people learn to touch type. Additionally, the command =lorem() prints out the popular "Lorem ipsum" filler text, which has been used as a placeholder since the 1960's!

3. The First Easter Egg

Some Easter eggs are hidden, so are very well hidden, and then there's the Video Whizball Easter egg. Now considered the first software Easter egg ever, the hidden name of the game programmer was not found for 26 years after the game's initial release in 1978. While the Easter egg is rather minor, simply a printout of the programmer's family name, it is noteworthy as it is, as the earliest instance of a hidden feature in software. Of course, there could be others in earlier software, so get out there and find them!

 

2. Excel's "Doom"

Another Microsoft product, Excel is a staple of calculation and data-keeping for business-people and computer geeks alike. Back in the 90's, the video game "Doom" was really all the rage. Being a company made up of computer geeks, Microsoft couldn't help but get in on the action. Hidden deep within the 1995 release of Microsoft Excel, the "Hall of Tortured Souls" was a rather creepy departure from the bland white tiling of the spreadsheet. The user, now a game player, was placed in a first person hall, with bizarre colors, and as the player ascends a set of stair names scroll past on various screens, clearly the name of the "tortured souls" who developed the software!

 

1. Wikipedia's Easter egg-ception

Visiting Wikipedia is rather commonplace for most people connected to the internet nowadays. However, the massive encyclopedia features an Easter egg of its own for people who are aiming to research the very subject of Easter eggs. The main picture is not possible to click on, except for a small area over the image of a hedgehog. By clicking it, the user is redirected to a different picture of, that's right, Easter eggs! It might not be the most exciting Easter egg around, but it sure is topical!

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