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Apple Easter Eggs

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

From: Ronald Bruck ([email protected]) and James Renken

System 7.5.5 - 7.6.1:
You must have the clippings extension installed for the drag & drop eggs to work.
Note: QuickDraw 3D is not needed for this egg.

Apple Headquarters

On any PCI Power Mac, or any computer with System version 7.5.5 to 7.6.1, if you type secret about box (no capitals) in a text application that supports drag and drop, and drag the text to the desktop, you will see a picture of the Apple headquarters and a flag in the foreground (blowing in the wind), with the logo "iguana iguana powersurgius" (PowerSurge was the code name for the PCI Macs).

By moving the mouse around you control the direction the wind. In fact, you can make the flag tear free and fluttering toward the ground and off the screen.

The best way to get the flag to come off is to "whip" it back and forth (by moving the mouse up and down, at the right of the screen). The movements accellerated the flapping in the breeze, and at just the right level of violence, it breaks off. Once the flag is off, you can control the direction of drift with the mouse.

The name of the iguana on the flag is Herman, and he is a 3.5-foot-long reptile that lives in the cube of Dave Evans, one of the OS engineers in R&D. Herman was the mascot for Marconi (System 7.5.2).

If you wait long enough, the picture on the flag will change to a picture of the development team.
Text scrolls by at the bottom saying "Watch out for low-flying iguanas". Then Credits go by.

What some of the Scrolling Text Means:

There are very random phrases and credits scrolling at the bottom of the System 7.5.3 Headquarters secret about box. Here is the inside scoop on the relationship between some of the text and the new desktop patterns, from an Apple engineer:

  • "For 7.5.3 on PCI PowerMacs only, there are a bunch of new desktop patterns. Since a bunch of the previous patterns are lame, hideous, or both, we decided to make some more. They are pictures of things around the R&D campus, like the sidewalk, grass, wood chips, and rocks. The rocks picture was manipulated in Photoshop to be a continuous pattern. That's what the line 'Hey Deric and Geoff--nice rocks!' means in the 7.5.3 secret about box.
  • The pattern that looks like a tannish lattice or tile is actually a picture of a moldy shower in one of the engineer's home.
  • The black on with roses is the skirt of one of the project managers.
  • The new Scottish tartan colors are the actual ancestral colors of two of the engineers on the update team. One of them is the Dave referred to in the 'Hey Dave, what's under the kilt?' line in the secret about box.

Bet you didn't think so much could be hidden in plain sight!"

Other Options

From: Rafi Goldberg ([email protected])

If you drag the text "secret about box" onto the desktop while holding these keys (American keyboard layout), you get different results (push the key after you start dragging the text):

  • If you hold p, you will see a picture of the design team, with an iguana in their laps, on the flag. However, in System 7.5.3 holding down p will produce the MacOS picture.
  • If you hold q, you will see a pink flag and blank background with a message that QuickTime must be installed to see images.
  • If you hold down w, you get a dialog in the upper left hand corner displaying the coordinates of the mouse.
  • If you hold down t, you get a dialog showing the frames per second, which changes while the flag is waving.
  • Holding down the the s key will eliminate the credits.

Note: You can combine these keys for multiple effects. Also, the keys in other countries vary due to different keyboard layouts. For example, pressing 'Q' on an American keyboard would mean a person in France would have to press 'A' to have the same effect. Thanks to David Creech ([email protected]) for help with the keys!

The Source:

I was probing through the "System" file (version 7.5.2) on a PCI Mac recently and found where the guts of the iguana egg lie. Most of the information for the egg is located in the 'timd' resource, in ID 25. If you open it up, all you see are some typical codes, but close to the end of the garbled test is a line that says "rob's window". It is believed there is no way to trigger this message in the easter egg.  ID 31 of the 'timd' resource in "System 7.5.2 Update" file has most (if not all) of the information in the above ID 25. On top of that, ID's 26 & 27 have pictures of the Iguana and the Apple campus respectively. The fix is in there due to the new Drag Manager in System 7.5.3 which would have otherwise eliminated the egg. The pictures need to be viewed with a JPEG or JIFF viewer. CanOpener did all of it for me. While they were fixing the code for the Drag Manager, the about box was updated to credit people who worked on the system update, unfortunately taking out everyone who worked on it before the update.

I would love for someone to stuff the code into a DA, so that the Iguana could live on (and be run as an Application in current versions of the System). Contact me if you hack this, or have the source.

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

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