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Allright. According to my own calculations, several forums on the the Intarwebs and a fairly credible data analyst at work, the human race doesn’t have a lot of time left. I guess I should get right to the point: eggs. But first, a little levity:

Does anyone know what an ethernet is?

It’s what you use to catch the ether bunny.

And does anyone know what a skynet is?

Skynet is a computer system developed by the defense firm Cyberdyne Systems for the United States Armed Forces. Skynet was first built as a “Global Digital Defense Network” and given command over all computerized military hardware and systems, including the B-2 stealth bomber fleet and America’s entire nuclear weapons arsenal. The strategy behind Skynet’s creation was to remove the possibility of human error & slow reaction time in order to guarantee a fast and efficient response to any enemy attack.

According to the Terminator timeline, at 8:19 PM tomorrow night, Skynet will become self aware and trigger a worldwide nuclear disaster. Legions of robot killers will be dispatched shortly thereafter with the sole purpose of dispatching you and the rest of the remaining human population. Kinda grim, depending on how welcoming you feel toward our new robotic overlords.

The point here is that most of you will not make it to Sunday. So, if you want to get in on some Easter egg hunting action before becoming the hunted, you might want to bump your plans up a bit.

Even if you *are* properly prepared for the oncoming onslaught, you’ll still be on lock-down in your fallout shelter for months, if not years. And even if you do survive until the radiation clears, things really don’t begin to turn around until 2018.

Of course, there’s a bright side to all of this. Instead of using the handful of hours you have left to buy, decorate and hide a handful of eggs, you can just hit the net and go hunting for the virtual version instead.

A virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message, in-joke or feature in a work such as a computer program, web page, video game, movie, book or crossword. The term was coined by Atari after they were alerted to a secret message left by programmer Warren Robinett in the 1979 computer game, Adventure.

To access the Easter egg, the player had to grab an invisible dot and bring it to a certain location, thus granting passage to a room containing text that read, “Created by Warren Robinett”.

I think that our conspiracy theorists are already making the connections here. Robinett. Robi – nett. Robi as in robotic and nett as in Skynet. Wow. This is Glenn Beck caliber stuff right here. I wish I had a chalk board…

Some early Unix Easter eggs involved the make program. Make is utility for managing and maintaining computer programs that contain a large number of source files. When you typed in make love, the terminal would respond with “Not war?”. See? The Unix guys knew… I’m still not completely unconvinced that the Y2K bug wasn’t simply a vehicle for these guys to pick up generators and emergency supplies on the cheap in February, 2000.

Microsoft, also allegedly in the know, included a flight simulator as an Easter egg in their 1997 version of Microsoft Exel. I suppose that could come in handy if you’re able to commandeer an aircraft running Office 97. Apparently, no one will ever need more than 640k or RAM and no one will ever need to learn actual piloting skills in the event that our national defense system becomes sentient and tries to eradicate us from the planet. Good that they were in the game, but still a little short sighted, I think.

A common Debian Easter egg involves the linux package manager, apt-get. If you type in “apt-get moo”, an ascii cow is echoed back to your terminal. This could come in handy on those long, cold, meatless nights, a few years into the robotic occupation when all you have left are a few cans of beans and a bag of cheetohs. Nice thinking, Deb team!

A much more current Easter egg is contained in the Futurama episode, “I Second that Emotion”, in which the robot Bender cheats at a game resembling pin the tail on the donkey by using his targeting screen. On it, a column of numbers spins around at random before settling on the numbers 11, 3 and 8, a reference to the George Lucas Sci-Fi movie, THX 1138.

Not wanting to miss out on eggsploiting his own endeavors, Lucas also hid this number throughout a number of subsequent films.

In The Phantom Menace, it’s on the back of a droid that has a comical run-in with Jar-Jar.

In Attack of the Clones, it appears on the back of a pilot’s helmet.

In Revenge of the Sith, CC-1138 is the numerical designation for Commander Bacara.

In A New Hope, 1138 is the cell block number that Luke Skywalker claims to be transferring Chewbaca from.

In the Empire Strikes Back, the following order is issued: Send Rogues 10 and 11 to Station 3-8.

And in Return of the Jedi, the number appears on another helmet.

So, how does Lucas tie into tonight’s conspiracy theme? I believe that he’s conspiring to destroy the Star Wars franchise. I’m not alone on this. Most of the Internet will back me up.

You can find other Easter eggs at www.eeggs.com. You might want to save the site for offline browsing, though, as it will probably be unavailable on the 22nd.

So, does anyone in the studio have any survival plans they can talk about or any Easter eggs they can disclose?

As for me, I’ve made pretty good friends with my egg-bot. I’m hoping he’ll put in a good word for me…

That’s it for your Judgement Eve Easter Egg Explanation and that’s that for BarretTime.

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