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Apple Easter Eggs
Breakout Game

By: David K. Every
& Daniel Fanton
(C) Copyright 1999 DKE - All Rights Reserved.

Note: Works in System 7.5 Only
You must have the clippings extension installed for the drag & drop eggs to work.
Note: Taken out in System 7.5.3

If you type secret about box in Stickies, or any program that has drag and drop capabilities, and drag it to the desktop you will find yourself playing a hidden Breakout game with credits on the bricks to those that made System 7.5. The object is to knock a ball into the bricks and eliminate them without letting the ball go past your paddle. However, in this game you have unlimited lives and the game starts over again once you beat it. Each time you play, the names will move.

breakout image


The History of Breakout

There is some history that may tie into the Breakout easter egg: Steve Jobs was of the first 50 employees at Atari, a Silicon Valley game company. Atari developed an incredibly famous game by the name of Pong, a simple electronic version of ping-pong. Nolan Bushnell, the company's founder, was eager to come up with a successor. He envisioned Breakout -- where you use a paddle to wack a ball into bricks until they all disappear (a single player version of pong).

Steve Jobs was asked to create the circuitry of the game. Jobs had soon realized he had gone over his head and asked Steve Wozniak for some help. (Jobs and Woz later became the founders of Apple). Woz agreed and created the game in four days with very few chips. His design for Breakout was so brilliant that none of the Atari engineers, including Jobs, could figure out exactly how it worked, which made it impossible to test, so the entire thing had to be redesigned in-house before it shipped.

There is a bit more to this story (basically Jobs cheated Woz on the amount of payment) -- but you can read about that in The Mac Bathroom Reader.

Breakout Game Desk Accessory Trick

By William S. Peters in the November '95 issue of MacWorld. Page 146.

You can get that about box from 7.5 into 7.5.1 (or beyond). It is a bit confusing but if you follow these directions closely you should be able to play the breakout game right from a desk accessory.

Here's how:

  1. First, copy a small DA such as the Calculator and rename it "Secret About Box."
  2. Next, use ResEdit to open both the System File and the Secret About Box desk accessory.
  3. Now copy the contents of the timd resource ID 12 in the System File into the DRVR resource ID 12 of the desk accessory. To do this, double click the timd resource icon in the System Files and select resource ID 12. Then choose Open Using Hex Editor from the Resource menu. Next choose Select All from the Edit menu followed by Copy. Now double-click the driver resource ID 12, and choose Open Using Hex Editor from the Resource menu. Choose Select All, followed by Paste.
  4. Save your changes in the DA and Quit ResEdit.

You now have your own Secret About Box desk accessory that can be run on other versions of the System.

Jon Fullmer ([email protected]) notes that once this is done, and brought to a computer that came with, and has installed, System 7.5.2 (all early PCI Macs), that there are no major changes - but - instead of the dedication being there for those who made System 7.5, it is for those who made System 7.5.2. So the Desk Accessory is getting the credit names from the System Software -- a very clever little easter egg.

Two people have already done the desk accessory trick for you (so you can see the egg in other versions of the Ssytem): Check out Anthony Gaudiano's or Warren Thompson's files.

Created: 08/26/98
Updated: 11/09/02

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