Long-hidden Windows 95 easter egg revealed

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/03/long-hidden-windows-95-easter.html

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They did well to keep it quiet for so long!

That having been said, the Excel 97 easter egg - a small 3D environment you could “fly” around, with a slab in it that had developer credits scrolling past - really stopped the whole thing.

It freaked out corporate and government customers, who argued “If you can put a whole mini-game in and ship it without the rest of the company knowing, then what the heck else is in there? How can we trust this code?”
And thus easter eggs were banned at Microsoft.

So by the time anyone might have wanted to say “Hey, we hid this thing, isn’t it cool?” the winds had probably shifted against such behaviour within the company.

As a user, I felt at first that the ban was an over-reaction, but I was also young and foolish at the time. Now it seems quite correct. If you want to acknowledge your team, do so officially. Or reward them some other way. If you want to surprise and delight your customers, there are better ways - free add-ons, expansions, and so forth.

Easter eggs are a cute thing, but their time is done…

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We can not recall Windows 95 without referencing…
I’ve said too much.
Go here.

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Not entirely. As long as the big wigs buy in, there will always be some Easter eggs within software. Even Tesla included an Easter egg in their cars (the “dance” program). It’s a fun way of keeping overworked programmers happy, letting them express their creative side.

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I remember it back in the day.

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If by “long hidden” you mean well known and published online and in print back in 95.

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Did any one bother to count the number of women?
I did.
I got all the way up to International Team, passing hundreds of names, having counted only 20 clearly female names.
Then I gave up in despair.
This is why we don’t have nice things.

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Meh, maybe. I have a friend who is a game designer, and worked for Sid Meier early on, and has developed some very popular FPS games from the 90s onward. He still does game design. His “easter egg” was that somewhere in the game there was a picture of his wife and kids, slightly cartoon-ized version. And in game where the baddies are wearing helmets, once of the baddies can have the helmet removed, revealing his mom’s face. Every game. It’s kind of cute.

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this is my favorite Windows 95 help and how-to website.

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First to the Key
First to the Egg

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When people reference MIDI (as a music format) now a days I can hear the contempt and disdain in their voice. MIDI on a good sound card setup was pretty decent in Windows 98. But no, no one ever has that recorded. It’s always the lowest quality integrated tinny sounding POS possible.

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I remember playing with this easter egg in the 1990s. It was a popular one on The Easter Eggs Archive. You probably should change the headline so it isn’t clickbait.

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image

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No post-credits teaser for the sequel? BOOOOOOOO.

I was expecting the last names to fade away, and then an ominous slow pan over to the Recycle Bin. We pause for a moment, and then, inexplicably, the lid begins to move. It clatters to the “floor.” And then, we see the tattered icon of Windows 3.1 (Windows for Workgroups) drag itself out. It dusts itself off, and then double-clicks itself. The last thing we see before a smash cut to black is a blocky 3.1-style window frame opening, causing fine cracks to appear in the Windows 95 background image.

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I mean, it is Windows 95…

That’s why I remember trying this out way back then.

I didn’t count them but I waited a long time to come to the first female name.

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