January 17, 2010 12:23 PM   Subscribe

So, what are some secret passwords, hacks, easter eggs, etc. that you have heard of?

Inspired by this FPP about the backlot at Facebook, I'm curious about other stories (true or not or who knows?) about master passwords, secret hacks and/or easter eggs that are around as we head into 2010. Do you know any? Share them here, rumors or tried and true. Internet, real life or otherwise.
posted by pearlybob to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
In the Atari 2600 game Adventure, the lead programmer's name is hidden in a dungeon someplace.
posted by box at 12:49 PM on January 17, 2010 is about all you'll ever need to know. They've got everything that is an easter egg, and some things that aren't.
posted by deezil at 12:56 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

For a long time, the US nuclear launch codes were all zeros. Sendmail (used to send and receive email) used to have a wizard mode that would grant root access to anyone.
posted by procrastination at 12:57 PM on January 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

People seem to like it when I point out the Konami Code to them.

In the sequel to Maniac Mansion, Day Of The Tentacle, you can play the entire original MM game on a computer in a side room.
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 PM on January 17, 2010

In the text adventure Adventure, the words "xyzzy" and "plugh" would teleport the user between two locations.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:13 PM on January 17, 2010

"I'm with the band."
posted by Aquaman at 1:14 PM on January 17, 2010 [5 favorites]

In ĀµTorrent, going to Help --> About ĀµTorrent and pressing 't' allows you to play tetris while you wait for your latest torrent to download.
posted by ktrey at 1:29 PM on January 17, 2010 [7 favorites]

Ken Thompson's "Reflections on Trusting Trust" is my favorite hidden-code story.
posted by tellumo at 1:33 PM on January 17, 2010

Tivo has a very useful 30 second skip button hidden behind an easter egg.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:18 PM on January 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

PS: I once heard they hid the 30 second skip behind a hack as their competitor Replay TV had a patent on a comercial skipping button, and also because the TV stations would be upset about a feature that explicitly jumped past commercials.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:21 PM on January 17, 2010

I don't know if this quite fits into what you want but there's been two 'superuser' scandals in the online poker world that I've heard about.

Both connected to Tokwiro Enterprises and their online cardrooms Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet.

The wiki article isn't long, but it's basically that these 'superuser' accounts could see the other players hole cards.

I remember when one of the Ultimate Bet accounts was initially spotted by users of the 2+2 forums. At first it was just one high stake player saying "this seems very odd to me the way they played this session and these few hands in particular" then others chimed in with their experiences + additional user names who played the same way.
posted by selton at 4:06 PM on January 17, 2010

Although not quite as hip and popular as it was in the 2000s, Homestar Runner is synonymous in my mind with Easter Eggs, there are often several in each flash cartoon.

Another everyday Easter Egg in real life is one I've heard about elevators. As the rumor goes, several elevator manufacturers (not clear on which) activate "express mode" with the press of a floor number plus the close doors button simultaneously. This is supposed to take you immediately to that floor with no interrupting stops at other floors and at a reportedly faster speed. I've often tried this but only encounter a few different elevators in my everyday life.
posted by metroidhunter at 4:46 PM on January 17, 2010

PegaSys BBS software had a master password you could figure out with a hex editor.
posted by starman at 6:45 PM on January 17, 2010

People seem to like it when I point out the Konami Code to them.

The Konami code also works on a lot of websites.
posted by hypersloth at 6:56 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you dial *3001#12345#* on an iPhone you get all kinds of weird diagnostic information.
posted by so_necessary at 9:24 PM on January 17, 2010

Many Coke machines (the ones with the red digital display that says ICE...COLD...COKE) have the default menu access code set. It's 4231 - press the fourth drink button down, then the second, then the third, then the first. Press the Coin Return button to exit the menu. Don't steal drinks.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:01 AM on January 18, 2010 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: These are great guys!! I love the "off the beaten path" ones, coke machine, konami code, etc. I'm still trying to crack the facebook code, keep them coming!
posted by pearlybob at 7:06 PM on January 18, 2010

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