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Defiant Programming: The Culture of Easter Eggs and its Fandom
Unformatted Document Text:  15 However, it is equally important to remember that despite the concerns of the software companies, rarely does an Easter egg cause any damage, lessen the efficiency of, or otherwise disrupt the normal function of a program. As one aficionado on the eeggs.com discussion board so aptly puts it: Hermes: Hey, it’s not an egg if it’s malicious. In other words, there is a reason why Easter eggs are so well hidden and so complicated to activate, and that is that the programmers do not want them to be discovered by every day users, exposing them to more than they bargained for, or potentially damaging some part of the software. Easter egg writers and enthusiasts emphasize the significant differences between Easter eggs and Logic Bombs. Logic Bombs are similar to Easter eggs in that they are functions secretly hidden within the system or computer and will remain dormant until activated by a specific action. However, Logic bombs are usually intentionally malicious or unpleasant. Once activated, they will actually cause damage to the program or computer, such as erase parts of the disk, or delete files (Krusl, 1994) This type of “mean-spirited” programming is considered distasteful by Easter egg writers. Part of the programmers’ pride in their authorship of the programs is that they are highly functional and are useful to the customers. Many Easter egg writers see themselves as “code-artists” (Every, 1999), creating secret messages within masterful creations. As Goodwins says, “The artist's first duty is to make a work of art, but beyond that it's a mark of their intelligence and subtlety to show off to their pals without making it obvious” (Goodwins, 2002). Part of the charm, then, is to create a secret which will not

Authors: Temkin, Einat.
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15
However, it is equally important to remember that despite the concerns of the
software companies, rarely does an Easter egg cause any damage, lessen the efficiency
of, or otherwise disrupt the normal function of a program. As one aficionado on the
eeggs.com discussion board so aptly puts it:
Hermes:
Hey, it’s not an egg if it’s
malicious.
In other words, there is a reason why Easter eggs are so well hidden and so
complicated to activate, and that is that the programmers do not want them to be
discovered by every day users, exposing them to more than they bargained for, or
potentially damaging some part of the software. Easter egg writers and enthusiasts
emphasize the significant differences between Easter eggs and Logic Bombs. Logic
Bombs are similar to Easter eggs in that they are functions secretly hidden within the
system or computer and will remain dormant until activated by a specific action.
However, Logic bombs are usually intentionally malicious or unpleasant. Once activated,
they will actually cause damage to the program or computer, such as erase parts of the
disk, or delete files (Krusl, 1994)
This type of “mean-spirited” programming is considered distasteful by Easter egg
writers. Part of the programmers’ pride in their authorship of the programs is that they are
highly functional and are useful to the customers. Many Easter egg writers see
themselves as “code-artists” (Every, 1999), creating secret messages within masterful
creations. As Goodwins says, “The artist's first duty is to make a work of art, but beyond
that it's a mark of their intelligence and subtlety to show off to their pals without making
it obvious” (Goodwins, 2002). Part of the charm, then, is to create a secret which will not


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