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The secret history of the about:jwz url (jwz.org)
175 points by cpeterso on Dec 4, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments

about:authors has been removed from Firefox, however we now have about:credits. No about:jwz anymore either, however about:mozilla (which he mentioned) still has a "passage" from the Book of Mozilla, which has a fairly interesting history [1]. And you can go to the very meta-y about:about for a list of a bunch of the more common about:* pages.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Mozilla

In which we learn about the anti-easter egg:

<ANIM KEY=zs7NzcrM1dfG29PM SALT=29PZ HASH=38jT68fN38hZ68lN01HRT2vnWdVX91NZZ1N3>

<!-- Questions about the preceding line will be gleefully ignored. -->

I remember, inserting this in pages with hope to show compass without success.

There was something about both the jwz and the chouck pages that brought back nostalgic feelings for me, to my first exposure to the internet and "big" computing at the computing center with the big AIX and O2 machines that ran Netscape with visible quantization and sweet little animated icons. (Not just the content of the pages, but the design and the animations)

Those pages /look/ antique, in a fine way, I dunno why. A throwback to a more ... civilized .. age (I had to do that).

I guess it was partly the guy's driver's license scan on his webpage. It reminded me somehow of a more innocent age, where people had great dreams of an open and "futuristic" future.

At one point, didn't about:ie or about:msie or something display a blue page in mozilla?

Other way around: about:mozilla displayed a blue screen in old versions of IE.

I downvoted you by accident. Twitch of the finger. Sorry.

I was not being sarcastic or facetious.

OK, WTF is it with HNers today? I downvoted his comment to gray entirely by accident, and knowing that he'd probably wonder who or why, I left a comment.

Seeing a -3 karma for the apology, I thought perhaps readers thought I was being sardonic in my explanation, so I left another comment explaining that it was a 100% genuine reply. Except both my previous comments have been downvoted to hell.

I don't get it. Am I being downvoted for accidentally misclicking the downvote button? Am I being downvoted for admitting I was wrong? Everyone misclicks sometimes, and half of them apologize. I guess HN really is going down the drain.

I think HN is trying to tell you not to apologize publicly for a downvote. It's not that big of a deal and the extra comment distracts from the flow of the conversation.

and Dan Mosedale is still with Mozilla today :D

It's cool that jwz now owns DNA Lounge in SF. I love learning where the old-school guys have settled. My gf's boss at Wired is Kevin Poulsen -- that's pretty exciting too.

I dunno, easter egg or not, adding special behavior to the browser for any url which contains /jwz/ seems really hackish and unprofessional. Those were very different times, I guess.

"""seems really hackish and unprofessional."""

Whatever, gray suit man.

"""Those were very different times, I guess."""

No, today still there are huge multinational companies that allow their programmers to have fun doing similar things. Besides there being nothing "unprofessional" (sic) about it, it also can bring in tons of good publicity and viral interest.

Do you have any examples of hue multinational companies that allow programmers to insert Easter eggs? I can't think of a single business software vendor that has Easter eggs anymore. Even MS has stopped doing it.

I do all my work in big companies and they have all been universally against humorous test data, humorous naming conventions, or an sort of Easter egg.


If I have any examples? Sure I do.

Just a few week back, wasn't Google rotating the whole browser page for a specific query?


Google has tons of other easter eggs. Here is a Top 17: http://www.pcworld.com/article/142620/googles_top_17_easter_...

Apple's Siri contains easter eggs referencing "2001: A space odyssey", "HHGTTG" and other stuff: http://www.theverge.com/2011/10/12/2486618/siri-weird-iphone...

In MS Outlook 2010, the default picture for new contacts is a silhouette of Bill Gates from his "arrest mugshot".

Facebook has several: http://reface.me/hacks/facebook-easter-eggs/ http://www.yesbutnobutyes.com/archives/2009/05/facebook_east...

Adobe has included easter eggs, here are some for the CS5 suite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEmO9-RsVgQ

Really, Apple is the only example you need. If even Apple permits easter eggs, you can take them for granted in the general case.

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