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June 3, 2011 | 10:15 pm

How I cracked the Cr-48 Easter Egg

How I cracked the Cr-48 Easter Egg

I found the easter egg developer Bill Richardson teased. There’s a blue screen of death hidden within the bios!


Photo by Aaron Renner

Here’s how I found it. First, I located Mr. Richardson’s LinkedIn profile. From there, I discovered:
I’m working on Chrome OS, specifically verified boot, BIOS, autoupdate, and other low-level things.
I, also, discovered that Bill Richardson spent a considerable amount of time with Sun Microsystems as a Senior Software Engineer. Among his projects was Integrated Lights Out Management (ILOM). I performed a google search for “ILOM easter eggs” and found this site. The command xyzzy caught my attention.

It was already hinted that this easter egg was specific to the Cr-48 and not Chrome OS in general, so I focused on the differences between the Cr-48 and commercial Chrome OS devices.

The fundamental difference is that the Cr-48 has a developer mode switch. I flipped this switch and typed xyzzy during the boot procedure and up popped the hilarious BSOD with a number of references and a hidden message. Here’s my post on the Chrome Notebook Pilot Google Group revealing my discovery. Hidden message after the jump!

Within the blue screen of death was a hexadecimal message.
4772656574696e67732066726f6d20746865204368726f6d65204f5320783836206669726d77617265207465616d2e2054686973206d6573736167652069732062726f7567687420746f20796f752062792052616e64616c6c2c2042696c6c2c20566164696d2c204761757261762c20616e64204b656c6c792e20416c736f20627920746865206c6574746572204720616e6420746865206e756d6265722034322e20496620796f7527766520656e6a6f7965642074686973206761646765742c20706c65617365206a6f696e20757320617420687474703a2f2f7777772e6368726f6d69756d2e6f726720746f2068656c70206d616b65206974206576656e206265747465722e205765206e6f772072657475726e20796f7520746f20796f757220726567756c61726c79207363686564756c65642070726f6772616d2c20616c726561647920696e2070726f67726573732e204e6f20616e696d616c732077657265206861726d656420696e207468652070726f64756374696f6e206f662074686973206d6573736167652e204170706c79206f6e6c7920746f20616666656374656420617265612e204361706520646f6573206e6f7420656e61626c652077656172657220746f20666c792e20436f6e74656e7473206d6179206861766520736574746c656420647572696e6720736869706d656e742e20557365206e6f20686f6f6b732e
Converting this to ASCII characters reveals the following message:
Greetings from the Chrome OS x86 firmware team. This message is brought to you by Randall, Bill, Vadim, Gaurav, and Kelly. Also by the letter G and the number 42. If you’ve enjoyed this gadget, please join us at http://www.chromium.org to help make it even better. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress. No animals were harmed in the production of this message. Apply only to affected area. Cape does not enable wearer to fly. Contents may have settled during shipment. Use no hooks.

For more from Brad Wells, visit

Notes

  1. 5m0k3 posted this