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Clarus the Dogcow in Easter Egg preso by James Thomson

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James Thomson Presents an Illustrated History of Easter Eggs

James Thomson, creator of PCalc and Dice by PCalc (see “Take a Chance with Dice by PCalc,” 17 July 2019), gave a fun talk at Hacking with Swift Live 2019 on the history of Easter eggs—hidden features and other secrets squirreled away inside apps. Thomson traced Easter eggs back to the Atari 2600 game Adventure, in which underappreciated developer Warren Robinett embedded a secret room containing his name before quitting Atari. (Play Adventure here!) Thomson discusses some of the Easter eggs he helped create during his time at Apple and explores other famous Easter eggs like Clarus the Dogcow and the original iPod’s Breakout game. While Easter eggs are sadly almost nonexistent in modern products from companies like Apple and Microsoft, Thomson has one takeaway for all software publishers: give credit to your developers!

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