Candy Canes and Teapot Spotting…

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You would not believe how much time the folks at Propellerhead and BootLog have wasted bringing you this tip. It concerns one, possibly two ‘Easter Eggs’ concealed inside Windows XP. Easter Eggs are small hidden programs or features within programs, usually put there by bored programmers. There were lots of them in previous versions of Windows and Microsoft applications but it was thought they’d all been expunged as part of a deal MS struck with US Government agencies, in which it agreed not to include any undocumented features in Windows. Anyway, this one concerns a Windows Screensaver called 3D Pipes, which you will find on the Screensaver tab in Display Properties (Start > Control Panel > Display). The Easter Egg that does exist lets you change the 3D pipes into striped candy canes. To make it work select 3D Pipes from the list then click the Setting button

Under Pipes select Multiple, under Pipe Style Joint Type select Mixed and under Surface Style select Textured. Click the Choose Texture button and it will open the Windows folder, just click Cancel, click OK on the 3D Setting button and fire up the screensaver by clicking Preview. Fancy eh? Now the second possible Easter Egg is a teapot, which on previous versions of 3D pipes randomly appears in place of pipe joints. It should still be there but I gave up looking after 20 minutes. The teapot is quite small so it’s easy to miss, but if anyone spots it let me know. In case you were wondering the teapot is a homage to the ‘Utah Teapot’. Back in 1974 it was the first computer graphics object to be designed and rendered as a sculptured surface (previously solid shapes were built up from lots of polygons, in case you were wondering…), and you can find out more about it here. There’s tips galore on the BootLog website at www.rickmaybury.com

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