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The Great Technology Easter Egg Hunt – how many can you find?

Dinosaurs, robots, futuristic bees - they are all out there somewhere.

By Ellie Burns

With Easter fast approaching, I could not resist an Easter themed listicle – no, not the chocolate kind, but the hidden message kind.

The term reportedly stems from a hidden message placed in the 1979 game, Adventure. Game designer Warren Robinett hid his name within the game, in an effort to gain recognition for his work. From that moment of discovery, developers have hidden jokes and pranks in numerous software and hardware.

As Easter fast approaches, CBR invites you to the great technology Easter egg hunt – how many can you find?

1. Google – Bacon Number

Google are the Easter egg masters. From barrel-rolling the screen, making your desktop snow, to navigating Pac-Man around famous streets in Google Maps – they love an placing subtle jokes throughout their platforms and technology.

Go to Google Search now and type in ’tilt’ – anything happen to the screen? Try ‘do a barrel roll’ and ‘askew’ – anything happen? You can also track down the Tardis on Google Maps – reportedly last seen near Earl’s Court, in addition to deploying Pac-Man around famous streets.

My favourite is the ‘bacon number’ – a phenomenon attributed to the concept of ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’. Type in ‘Benedict Cumberbatch bacon number’ and Google will knowledgably give you the answer. Surprisingly, Kanye West has the same bacon number as Mr Cumberbatch.

2. Konami Code – Fashionista Dinosaurs

The Konami code is a cheat code that appears in Konami video games, deployed by simply using the arrow keys on your keyboard. However, if you deploy these codes on well known websites, you may be surprised with what appears.

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Go to online British Vogue, the online fashion bible. Using the arrow keys and keyboard, input:

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a

Dinosaurs have never been so stylish, I think you’ll agree.

3. Firefox – Robots

The Mozilla browser features an ‘about’ feature, in which you type ‘about:xxxx’ into the address bar.

Open Firefox and type in ‘about:robots’ – everything you never thought you needed to know about robots. A tad more sinister is the ‘about:mozilla’, featuring scripture-like text and a forbidding red background.

4. Microsoft – Volcanoes

Microsoft have always had a penchant for hiding Easter eggs away in their software and hardware, for example, the 1997 version of Microsoft Online, there was a hidden flight simulator in Excel and a pinball game in Word.

Microsoft Excel 95 also contained a hidden action game called ‘The Hall of Tortured Souls’, which was a game similar to the popular ‘Doom’.

The most notable Easter eggs has to be the volcanoes, where the Microsoft developers had some fun with the Windows OS. The Easter egg featured on all Windows operating systems, prior to the XP OS. In the 3Dtext screensaver, input the word ‘volcano’ and see what happens.

5. Android – Futuristic Bees

These change quite regularly, with the current picture being quite colourful and interactive – though it worked on reporter Alex Sword’s device but not mine.

With a Android phone or tablet, go into settings and then select ‘About Phone’. In that menu, tap quickly on ‘Android Version’. When tested in the CBR offices, we saw the number 1 fill the screen, which you could rotate, which gave way to the hidden picture. What picture do you see?

In the past there have been jellybean games, gingerbread monsters and futuristic bees. Keep an eye on this, as it does seem to change quite regularly.

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