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Defiant Programming: The Culture of Easter Eggs and its Fandom
Unformatted Document Text:  6 Open a new worksheet - Hit F5 - Type X97:L97 - Hit enter once - Hit Tab once. Hold down the ctrl-shift keys and click on the Chart Wizard button on the toolbar. Fly around the 3D landscape until you see the monument with the credits on it. (from eeggs.com) These guidelines are typical of those commonly used for activating Easter eggs. Once the user has found the instructions, the activation process itself is simple. However, this type of Easter egg can rarely be discovered by simple trial and error on the part of users or Easter egg enthusiasts, since the number of random commands possible in any given program are almost infinite. However, there are different kinds of Easter eggs which can be activated by typing humorous or provocative terms into search forms or other input devices in programs or websites. For example, on the askjeeves.com website (a search engine that provides answers to specific questions), typing in the question “Are you gay?” or “Is Jeeves gay?” will result in the cryptic reply “Beware so long as you live, of judging people by appearances”, or “Sometimes silence is the best answer” 1 . Other popular Internet Easter eggs are those used on the google.com portal and search engine. One such egg allows the user to configure the language of the Google homepage to “official” languages such as French or Spanish, but also to “Hacker”, “Pig Latin” or “Klingon” 2 . An additional feature of the google.com website is its mirror site, elgooG.com, which represents an identical, but reversed, version of the site. This feature is considered an Easter egg, but also has a political purpose: by reversing the entire site, web address and search terms, users in China have been able to bypass the national ban on google.com ("Mirror beats web googly," 2002). 1 http://www.ask.com/Promos/MysticEightBall/index.asp?ask=Is+Jeeves+gay 2 http://www.google.com/intl/xx-klingon/

Authors: Temkin, Einat.
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background image
6
Open a new worksheet - Hit F5 - Type X97:L97 - Hit enter once - Hit Tab
once. Hold down the ctrl-shift keys and click on the Chart Wizard button on
the toolbar. Fly around the 3D landscape until you see the monument with the
credits on it. (from eeggs.com)
These guidelines are typical of those commonly used for activating Easter eggs.
Once the user has found the instructions, the activation process itself is simple. However,
this type of Easter egg can rarely be discovered by simple trial and error on the part of
users or Easter egg enthusiasts, since the number of random commands possible in any
given program are almost infinite. However, there are different kinds of Easter eggs
which can be activated by typing humorous or provocative terms into search forms or
other input devices in programs or websites. For example, on the askjeeves.com website
(a search engine that provides answers to specific questions), typing in the question “Are
you gay?” or “Is Jeeves gay?” will result in the cryptic reply “Beware so long as you live,
of judging people by appearances”, or “Sometimes silence is the best answer”
1
. Other
popular Internet Easter eggs are those used on the google.com portal and search engine.
One such egg allows the user to configure the language of the Google homepage to
“official” languages such as French or Spanish, but also to “Hacker”, “Pig Latin” or
“Klingon”
2
. An additional feature of the google.com website is its mirror site,
elgooG.com, which represents an identical, but reversed, version of the site. This feature
is considered an Easter egg, but also has a political purpose: by reversing the entire site,
web address and search terms, users in China have been able to bypass the national ban
on google.com ("Mirror beats web googly," 2002).
1
http://www.ask.com/Promos/MysticEightBall/index.asp?ask=Is+Jeeves+gay
2
http://www.google.com/intl/xx-klingon/


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