Apple Easter Eggs

Recently, the hard drive on my Colour Classic failed unexpectedly. That was a sort of wake-up call, which urged me to go back to my dear vintage Macs and revive them a bit. I did a sort of rotation check, turning them on, verifying their hard drives’ health, checking cables and whatnot. I created a temporary setup with my Power Macintosh 9500/132, because it needed more attention than other vintage buddies. Sadly, the internal hard drives in this Mac keep dying like flies. Luckily, I managed to find a 525MB spare — perhaps the last SCSI drive I have in decent conditions — and reinstalled the system. When I finally installed Mac OS 9.1 (after following the Mac OS 7.6.1 > Mac OS 8.1 upgrade path), I reconnected the trusty SyQuest 5200 drive and went down memory lane checking the contents of my old archive, stored in six 200MB 5.25″ SyQuest cartridges.

Among the things I had totally forgotten was a stand-alone document, created with the wonderful DOCMaker (one of my next articles on this blog will be about this forgotten software), and called Apple Easter Eggs 1.6. I don’t know if I should call this find a ‘gem’, but I did enjoy reading its contents. Every long-time Apple user has certainly heard about ‘Easter eggs’ — they’re jokes, credit screens, little treats hidden inside the Mac (and Newton), and old versions of the Mac OS were full of them. There were so many of them that at the time it was easy to read about them in Mac-oriented magazines, and it was also rather common to find e-documents like this on the magazines’ CD-ROMs.

Perhaps you have a copy of this document (or a similar one) somewhere in your own archives, anyway I decided to share my little discovery with you:
Download Apple Easter Eggs 1.6

You will need either a vintage Mac or a modern Mac that supports the Classic environment to see the file. It is compressed in a StuffIt archive (.sit) created with DropStuff 8.0.2. If you have problems with the download or unpacking the archive, let me know.

Credit where it’s due

The Apple Easter Eggs document has a creation date of March 1, 1999. I believe I’m doing nothing wrong by making the file available. Here’s the author’s disclaimer:

Traveling Far and Wide!
My easter eggs have been put on many CDs throughout the world, mentioned in E-zines and chats, the book Maclopedia and Macintosh (a Japanese book), and all major Macintosh magazines including “MacAddict”, “MacWeek”, “MacWorld”, and “MacUser”. The file has reached places such as Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Costa Rica, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia.

Publishing This File
If anyone decides to use my easter eggs for any reason at all, I ask that you tell me where to find it. Please don’t pass it off as your own work; mention my name, e-mail address, and web site. If this file is published on a disk, CD-ROM please inform me. That also includes publishing eggs in any public publication. I usually don’t care if it is done; I just like to know where this list is going. You may not, however, use the information in this collection to develop your own easter egg list. Thanks.

So, credit where it’s due, the document was edited by Heath Hewitt. I’d also add the website URL, but the site doesn’t exist anymore. (You’ll find the link inside the document anyway).

Some interesting bits

As a teaser, here are some of the Easter Eggs contained in the document. I’ve chosen some of the ones I did not know about.

Apple Portable
Macintosh Portable Code Name: Laguna, Riveria, Malibu, Esprit, Guiness
Macintosh Portable (with backlit display) Code Name: Aruba, Love Shack, Mulligan

Remember that portable computer released a long time ago that was about twice as large as today’s LCs. No? Well, I don’t either, and was surprised when I found out about its very existence. Here is an easter egg for anyone (I can’t imagine who) that still has a Mac Portable:

Kevin Schoedel tells me the hardware etch, where the programmer’s signatures are etched in raised lettering, is also to be found on the Mac Portable, released 2 years after the SE. The names are inside the bottom (base) of the case. There are 62 signatures (if I found them all, and counted correctly), plus 7 names in ‘type’ under the heading “Product Design Team”.

Apple’s eWorld On-line Night Lights
eWorld Code Name: Aladdin

In eWorld’s Town Square window, if you clicked in the extreme upper-left hand corner, it changed to a night scene. This worked for version 1.1 and possibly other versions. Sadly though, after April 1st this easter egg was put to rest with eWorld’s end. I guess it would be too much to ask for a moment of silence. Oh well…

Does That Make Sense?
From: Albert Zeeman

Let’s hear what Albert had to say:

During March/April I had a Newton 120 to test. The first night I did the HWR part for almost a hour. I noticed that after a while the separate words which I had to type in almost seemed like sentences. One part struck my attention and I really had to laugh. The words which I had to type were:


Newton: Easter Egg Graceland
(MessagePad 100 only)

1) Go to: Extras:Preferences:Personal
2) Change the country to “Graceland” (you will have to type it because it is not in the directory).
3) Power down the Newton
4) While watching the startup screen, power up your Newton. You will see a little Newt instead of the light bulb.

Note: Doing this will bring up something different in the U.S. on an American system then it will on a German upgraded (possibly 1.3) system. Be sure to change the country back before dialing. This egg should work on a MP100 if it doesn’t have a 110 ROM. It will not work on other Newtons. I have had a report that it will not work on the 120 w/ v1.3. The effect remains until you change the country to something else.

Newton: Temperature
(MessagePad 100 only)

On the original Messagepad (now called the Messagepad 100), tap the clock in the lower left-hand corner of the display, and hold down on it. The display will show you the current temperature! The temperature display will only work with a program called Screen Contrast.

The temperature appears because the MP100 tells the temperature to determine the screen contrast. It will not work on the 110 and 120 because there is a contrast dial on the side.


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