Since the beginning of Apple history, Steve Jobs and his team in Cupertino have been secretly adding tons of fun prompts and games into hidden parts of Mac OS X. In celebration of the Easter holiday coming up, we’ve collected our favorite Mac “Easter Eggs” for you to enjoy:
- Find Famous Dates in History: To find a list of “famous dates in history,” open your “Terminal” (under Utilities). Enter this line of code into your Terminal window: cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history. From there, a list of important events on any given day of the year throughout history will pop up for your reference.
- Play Snake, Tetris, or Pong: Also through Terminal (in Utilities) you can open up mini games hidden in your Mac computer. With your Terminal type in: emacs. From there, press “X” and the escape key at the same time. Enter in either “snake” “tetris” or “pong” depending on the game you want to play (without quotes) and you’ll have a fully functioning game open right then and there.
- Enable “Suck” Minimizing Effect: “Suck” is one of Mac’s hidden minimizing/ maximizing effects. It’s pretty simple, but if you’re looking to shake things up a bit, it’s pretty easy to put into effect. Open “Terminal” (in “Utilities”) and enter the prompt: defaults write com.apple.dock mineffect -string suck. You will need to restart your “dock” to turn on this function now. This can be done by restarting your Mac or “quitting” your dock in “Activity Monitor.” Once you quit your dock, it will immediately restart, enabling the “Suck” effect when minimizing/ maximizing windows.
- Speak to a Psychotherapist: Under the same prompt as games (Utilities> Terminal> “emacs” > press “x” and the Esc key at the same time), you can enter the word “doctor” in as a command. A prompt as a “psychotherapist” will come up. The instructions say to enter “RET RET” after anything typed to enter text. It works better on older versions of Mac OS X. It also has been described as a caveman version of Siri. Besides that, we still appreciate it.
- Watch Star Wars: Open Terminal and enter “telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl” to start a screening of Star Wars in ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) art. We know, this is our favorite one too.
- Enable “Genie” Slow Motion Effect: If you hold down the shift button while minimizing (or maximizing) a window, it will open (or close) in slow motion.
- Bake Cookies: Okay, so your computer won’t bake cookies for you, but you can find Mrs. Field’s recipe on your Mac. Open your Terminal and enter “open /usr/share/emacs/22.1/etc/COOKIES.” After that point, you have to bake them yourself, but maybe someday…
- Play a game like “Mud”: Like most of the things listed, you can also open this interaction “game” through your terminal. Enter: emacs -batch -l dunnet. There are some simple instructions you can use to help you through the prompt given. “Take the shovel” & “go North” are a few of them. The game will guide you in a yes/no kind of fashion.If you type a command that doesn’t exist in the game, it will simply respond “I don’t understand that.”Type “Inventory” at any point to take a record of anything you’ve acquired through this game. This one’s a real time killer.
- Donate to charity: Through Terminal, you can open “Charityware.” Type in: vi. The prompt will tell you ways to donate to needy children in Uganda.
- Find a Lord of the Rings timeline: Also in Terminal, type in “cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.lotr” for a list of dates, marking important events in the LOTR timelines. For other calendars, start a new Terminal prompt and enter “ls /usr/share/calendar” from there, you can replace “.lotr” in the first code with any of the listed items.
Besides providing us with countless (possible) hours of entertainment, finding and playing with these “Easter Eggs” is great because it shows that the Apple team had just as much fun creating our favorite Mac computers as we do playing with them! Have any other Mac OS X “Easter Eggs” to share? Please comment with them below!
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