Easter Eggs and Red Pills


As a family, we can never let Easter pass without watching our DVD of the funniest of all Peanuts specials, It’s The Easter Beagle Charlie Brown. For me, it’s worth watching just for Snoopy’s escalator antics and Woodstock’s insanely funky groove. My kids always scream and squirm and crack up at Marcy’s doomed attempts to cook Easter eggs. So, in honor of the dear confused Marcy, and with a nod to eegs.com and eggheaven.com, here’s my Top Five Software Easter Eggs.

5. Adobe Space Monkey. Photshop CS2.

plish-eeggsmonkey.jpg

Hold down cmd-option and choose About Photoshop. Who doesn’t love monkeys in space? Just one step in a tradition of tinkering with the About Photoshop screen.

It’s been replaced by Adobe Red Pill in CS3.

plish-eegredpill.jpg

4. Friendly Alien. InDesign 2-CS3.

plish-eeggsidalien.jpg

Define a Print Preset called “Friendly Alien”, choose Print, and with the Preset selected, click the preview window in the Print dialog box. The visual action is somewhat underwhelming, but the message was loud and clear: Adobe understood us Quark geeks. The “in” joke won us over and indulged our desire to tweak Quark for years of blowing us off.
3. Eyeballs/Mouse Clicks/Mordy’s Home Number. Adobe Illustrator 5-CS3.

plish-illeyeballs.jpg

Hold down cmd-option and choose the Show menu from the pop-up in the bottom of the document window. I love the fact that this one has been around unaltered, for 10 years. Those eyeballs kept me company during some lonely freelance gigs. Later on, I would “click race” co-workers to see who clicked the most in an 8-hour shift. Never tried calling Mordy, though.

2. The Alien. Quark XPress 4.

plish-eeggalien.jpg

Draw a box, press cmd-shift-option-k. Do it 5x in a row to get the big Daniel Johnston-looking bazooka creature.

plish-eeggalien2.jpg

It was the first publishing software Easter Egg I ever knew of, and showing it to unsuspecting co-workers earned me large amounts of DTP geek cred.
1. The Grandaddy of ‘em all. On it’s 30th anniversary, I give you, The Secret Room. Atari Adventure.

plish-eeggadventure.jpg

Spread by word of mouth through the legions of 2600 fanatics, this one prompted the same reaction in 10 year olds across the nation, “Awesome!” We had no idea who this mysterious Warren Robinett was, but we were sure he was incredibly cool to us. The search for hidden truth was on. Red Pill, indeed.

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3 Responses

  1. I didn’t really notice it until your screen shot, but in the reflection of the Red Pill is what looks like a Cat with googly eyes. Neat stuff!

  2. I think that’s the cat from the Easter Egg “About” screen of Photoshop 4.0. Nice callback!

  3. I did notice that “cat” right away, but it looked more like a rat too me.

    Subliminal message: don’t take the red pill!

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