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Ghosts in the rom (nycresistor.com)
246 points by z2amiller on Aug 22, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

According to this link:


"The ROM used only 89 KB of the available 256 KB. So to fill the chip, Apple put the photos of the development team into the ROM. To see these photos, press the debug button then type: G 41D89A"

Yes, I remember doing this circa 1990, now. There's some neuron in my brain that recognizes that address.

Thanks for looking that up.

If you're interested in this sort of digital archaeology, check out The Cutting Room Floor: http://tcrf.net/The_Cutting_Room_Floor It's focused on unearthing this sort of thing in games.

There's also a lot of this sort of thing on http://pagetable.com

pagetable.net and www.pagetable.net don't seem to resolve.

    <<>> DiG 9.8.1-P1 <<>> pagetable.net
    ;; global options: +cmd
    ;; Got answer:
    ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NXDOMAIN, id: 32690
    ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1,     ADDITIONAL: 0

    ;pagetable.net.                 IN      A

Sorry, fixed; it's pagetable.com.

It blows my mind that those photos was taken over a quarter century ago, hidden by some playful programmers, and are only now unearthed by an entirely different generation of playful programmers. Cool stuff.

I am pretty sure this is not the first time it has been shown.

Indeed, it's been known for a long time.

Here's an archived Usenet post with a load of PC easter eggs. It's twenty years old. The Mac SE team picture is listed in here.


See also the "stolen from Apple" icon hidden in the rom for the first Mac.


Funny how Apple seems to endorse theft when they are doing it, but somehow sees it as wrong if others are taking stuff from them.

Pot calling kettle evidently goes a long way back as far as Apple is concerned.

Direct copying of a computer's firmware is a way different type of "theft" than what you are alluding to.

No, it's really not, unless you are arguing that what was copied from Apple (designs) is not something that should be subject to protection.

Doesn't your conclusion need an example of long way back Apple being a pot?

Back in the heyday of arcade video games, a lot of manufacturers would hide things like this in the code to prevent counterfeiting of the games. PC boards are easy to copy (the schematics were in the service manual), but counterfeiters would just duplicate the ROMs and change a few strings or sprites to give the appearance of a new game. The Easter eggs were triggerable by a certain sequence of moves to show the real authors of the code on-screen.

Here's one example: http://www.digitpress.com/eastereggs/arcaderobotron.htm

They were known about back in the day as well.. we all saw them because of fantastic mac shareware mags, macworld, etc.. they just haven't been seen in a while.

Previously: "The Joy of Dumping" -- http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4150668

Where's Steve?

In 1986? Buying Pixar and founding NeXT. He had been fired by Apple in 1985.

Where's Woz?

No idea if he's in any of the pics, but wouldn't be surprising if he isn't. Woz wasn't part of the Mac team, and was pretty much only an Apple employee on paper at the point those photos were taken.

Reading Steve Job's biography right now, and it was really surprising to me how little (almost insignificant) of a role Woz played at Apple after the first couple years there.

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