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20 fun things to do with your computer

01 Jun 2011

With online video games and sites like YouTube and Facebook consistently rising in popularity, it is clear that we love to use our computers for fun stuff, as well as for work. Also known as computer "easter eggs,” here is a list of hidden, mostly useless (but fun!) things to try with your computer and all those boring, work-related programs on its desktop

  1. Windows OS: While on your desktop, hold down control, alt and the down arrow to turn your screen upside down (control, alt, up arrow to turn it right-side-up again).
  2. Skype: A Few Hidden Emoticons in Skype: Enter a chat session and type words like "drunk” and "ninja” with the brackets to view amusing emoticons.
  3. Photoshop CS2: Merlin Lives: Hold down both the Alt key and the left mouse button, then move your mouse over Palate Options in the Layers window. Let go of the mouse, and Merlin appears.
  4. Microsoft Excel: Flight Simulator: In a new worksheet, press F5. Type X97:L97 and press enter, press the Tab key once. Press and hold the Ctrl + Shift keys and click the Chart Wizard toolbar button. Note you must have Direct draw installed for this Flight Sim with Credits to work. To fly, press your hold right to go forward/faster forward, or press and hold the left to go backwards or to slow down.
  5. Winamp: Spinning Fish: Bring up the Preferences box and go to Plug-ins > Input. Click the Nullsoft Vorbis Decoder, then click About. Click the fish to make it spin.
  6. Windows OS: Customize your entire Windows desktop with a theme, like World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy or Lord of the Rings http://tinyurl.com/55wam
  7. ICQ: ICQ Devils: Click the Main button and select Preferences and Security. Go to Status Mode, hit the Tab key and put the mouse cursor in the middle of the empty space. Press Ctrl+Shift while clicking the left and right mouse buttons together, hitting the left button first. You should see the ICQ Devils, the creators of the ICQ products.
  8. Windows XP OS: Synchronize your desktop clock with an atomic clock to ensure that you always have the right time: right-click the clock in the corner of the taskbar, click Adjust Date/Time, select the Internet Time tab, and check the Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server box.
  9. Windows XP OS: Bush Reference: Load up notepad. Type "bush hid the facts.” Save the document, any name works. Close it. Open it again. What you open isn’t what you typed.
  10. Mac OS X: The Lord of the Rings: In the Applications folder, open the Utilities folder. Open the terminal and paste type "grep LOTR /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history” to enjoy some laughs with The Lord of the Rings.
  11. Google: Googoth (a specialized search engine that caters to "dark, gothic, industrial and alternative topics”: type ‘Google Gothic’ into the Google search field and--instead of hitting the Search button--select ‘I’m feeling lucky.’
  12. uTorrent: Tetris in uTorrent: Select About in the Help menu and press "T” on the keyboard.
  13. Microsoft Word: Space Invaders: Open a new word document and type: "/dos:cur44=” (without the quotation marks). Highlight the words you typed, and go to format > font. Set the font to bold, and colour to red. Click ok. Hit enter 3 times. Insert the symbol (from symbol menu, under normal text): "±” now go to Help, then About Microsoft Word. Hold "shift, control, M” , while holding, click on the product licence key box. A window should appear (similar to an error window) with the heading: "Word Invaders”, with a note below the heading saying: "/dos:cur44=”, type  "play” on the keyboard.
  14. OpenOffice.org: Star Wars Game: Create a new spreadsheet in the OpenOffice.org Calc. Type "=game()” into a cell and validate it by pressing Enter. The cell will display, "Say what?” to which your typing finger will reply "=GAME("StarWars”).” A new window will open with the game.
  15. Google Earth: Soaring tool: hop into the cockpit of an F16 fighter jet or a lightweight SR22 propeller-powered airplane and travel the earth. Open the program and press Ctrl-Alt-A on your keyboard (Command-Option-A on a Mac).
  16. Firefox: Firefox’s Revenge for IE5’s Joke: Type "about:Mozilla” in the URL bar to read a reply to the Internet Explorer 5 team’s joke about Mozilla crashing computers.
  17. Microsoft Front Page: Credits: In the Microsoft Front Page Explorer, press and hold Shift and go into help and about 3 times, pressing ok 2 of those times.
  18. IRIX: Hidden Recipes in Release Notes: Open a shell and type "relnotes dmedia_eoe 29.” You’ll recieve recipes for Kung Pao chicken and tiramisu.
  19. Linux: Printer on Fire!: Print from the network and force a printer jam. Issue a print command and watch the output of the console read, "lp0 printer on fire!”
  20. Windows: Handwriting tool: Search "Journal” on your PC. Open Windows Journal. Use this application to write notes in your own handwriting.

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