Hackers find hidden Easter egg photos in Mac SE ROM
Have you ever passed a discarded computer sitting by the curb and thought about what wonders it might hold? As it turns out, you could end up making some pretty interesting (but non-invasive!) discoveries.
Folks over at hackerspace NYC Resistor happened to pass by a Macintosh SE left at the side of the road in Brooklyn, so they took it back to their offices. The vintage Mac still boots, but held no media—on the surface. After further digital archaeology, the group discovered grainy family photos, dated 1986.
One member of the team, Adam Mayer, recovered the images by going through the dumps on the Mac SE ROM. The ROM consists of non-code or audio data, but through vigorous testing, Adam found a number of the black and white, 536-pixel-wide portraits.
As it turns out, the pictures are of a family, but not the typical unit you may be thinking. The group shot is an Easter egg of the Mac Plus crew, hidden in the ROM. You can actually do this too by following a few commands if you have an SE yourself.
Of course, true geeks don’t give up there, so NYC Resistor’s team disassembled the ROM to figure out how the images got there. Sadly, while the NYC Resistor crew did work out where the developers managed to find a gap on the ROM to hide the pictures, they'll have to further analyze the code for more goodies. They do think there might be an audio file in one of the ROM regions.
Even though these photos were apparently placed intentionally, It goes to show that you need to be pretty thorough when it comes to wiping your old computer. You can check out the free software the team worked with or preview the code within the ROM over on the NYC Resistor site. And take a look at the full Easter egg set on Flickr.