Sometimes the coolest part of a piece of software isn’t even advertised.
Let’s take a look at some of the hidden abilities and Easter eggs in some popular Mac applications (that you probably already own).
Apple fans will recognise the text on the TextEdit icon, beginning with, 'Here's to the crazy ones.' They're the words used in a famous Apple commercial.
Start up Terminal on your Mac. Type 'emacs' and hit enter. Quickly press esc + x. Then type 'psychoanalyze-pinhead' to see your Mac have a conversation with itself. To stop the scrolling conversation, press ctl + g.
You can choose between the 'scale' or 'genie' effect when you minimize a window on your Mac. But there's a secret third choice called 'suck.'
Start up Terminal and type 'defaults write com.apple.dock mineffect -string suck' and restart your computer. The new effect is activated.
Old Unix programmers hid a few games in the code. To play Tetris, start up Terminal. Type 'emacs' then press esc + x. Then type 'tetris' and it opens up a Tetris game!
Another classic game hidden in the Unix shell -- follow the same instructions that you did for Tetris, but type 'snake' instead of 'tetris.'
To make your Terminal display a list of 365 significant events -- one for every day of the year -- just type 'cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history'
Open the System Preferences. Go to the Speech pane. Turn on Speakable Items as well as Speak Back Text.
Say out loud to your computer, 'Tell me a joke,' and it will indulge you. There are a lot of different jokes, but if you keep asking for them, it will literally tell you to get back to work.
Sure, it says 'Q4 2008' across the top, but the actual body of the text is the lyrics to 'The Bitch of Living' from Spring Awakening.
Someone in Cupertino is a fan of musicals.
If you have a Windows server on your network, your Mac will display it as a CRT monitor with the Blue Screen of Death.
Some goofy programmer hid a recipe for Mrs. Field's Cookies on your computer.
Fire up Terminal and type 'open /usr/share/emacs/22.1/etc/COOKIES' to read it.
This isn't anything embedded in Mac software (you can do it in Windows or Linux as well), but it's a pretty cool to access over Telnet.
In Terminal, type 'telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl' to watch all of Star Wars: Episode IV in ASCII characters.
(Han fires first in this one. None of that revisionist nonsense.)
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