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Aemulor's brief Windows affair discovered

By Chris Williams. Published: 19th Dec 2003, 23:32:33 | Permalink | Printable

One lucky user stumbles on hidden relationship

 Aemulor logoYou may recall from earlier in the year, the Aemulor team launched an easter egg competition, with a copy of Aemulor Pro as the top and only prize promised to the first person to find the hidden gag.

On Thursday this week, Mark Rowan was confirmed as the winner of the competition, having found the secret easter egg in the Aemulor software. Developer Adrian Lees remained cryptic about the nature of the easter egg, adding only that, "I've always reckoned that an Iyonix can run Windows just as well as a real PC can".

Easter eggs are usually funny or quirky jokes or surprises hidden in software by programmers, generally sneaked in during an idle lunchtime or as a 3am caffeine fueled joke. RISC OS 4 has a game of space invaders hidden inside the IRQUtils module, for example, and earlier versions had comedy messages tucked away in the OS resources files.

So what is the Aemulor easter egg and what has it got to do with Windows? Is it a hidden implementation of the Wine library? Is it a stolen version of an XScale compatible WinCE kernel? The Aemulor team are playing their cards close to their chest, but if you want to cut the crap, here's a screenshot of the easter egg in action.

Subtle, real subtle.


Aemulor website

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Perhaps VirtualAcorn would like to introduce a similar easter egg into their products? How about simulating a RISC OS box suddenly freezing, and constantly playing WaveSynth Beep? Or perhaps an unescape chain of ofla or "recursion in messagetrans" message boxes?

At least when Windows crashes, you tend to get some information that might be useful to developers out of it. :)

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 20/12/03 12:39AM
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nunfetishist: You do? Please tell Microsoft.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 20/12/03 12:48AM
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Modern versions of RISC OS log errors via syslog (to memory, disc or remote machine), if you want to catch and record faults. Also modern versions don't suffer the old messagetrans and taskwindow screw ups anymore, according to my experience and OS changelogs.

Also, gerph's addr is particularly good at tracing faults, although it's not in the OS.

I understand your point though - when something causes your OS to panic, you want to have all the facts. I've found newer versions of ROS to be more helpful than stupid ROS3.x. The NT bluescreen has always amused me - all those driver and module addresses, as if you're going to note them down before the thing auto-reboots.

Also, on the subject: [link]

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 20/12/03 12:51AM
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I'm sure they already know about it. That's how they made sure my Windows 2000 box crashes nowhere near as often as my RISC OS box, I imagine.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 20/12/03 12:56AM
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diomus: It logs errors in the kernel via syslog? Windows only bluescreens when something's gone really pair-shapped, and logs stuff to the system log also when an application crashes, with stack backtraces and such.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 20/12/03 12:58AM
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Fascinating. ROS logs all errors. From kernel aborts to application level errors.

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 20/12/03 1:09AM
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The funny thing is RISC OS on RedSquirrel seems to crash less than on my 2 RiscPC's!

A similar scenario exists for Windows under VMWare - I guess that means most crashes can be blamed on hardware, not the OS/software....

Hey, I might be onto VA's next marketing campagin there - "Avoid hardware problems, use an emulator"! ;)

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 20/12/03 1:10AM
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You can't log every error, perhaps windows is just very good at making the errors which make it impossible to work out how to report the error.

 is a RISC OS UserNoMercy on 20/12/03 1:21AM
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How times have changed... I remember when Windows used to spit out "Unfixable error #109" for when anything went wrong - you had no idea what had happened.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 20/12/03 6:02AM
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Wasn't Acorn toying with NT as some point? ;-) I wonder what happened to the sources....

 is a RISC OS UserMac9 on 20/12/03 11:08AM
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Mac9: There is no reason to assume that Acorn would've needed the source for NT, just to bundle it with an entry level server product.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 20/12/03 11:28AM
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Due to Windows PMT nature it makes error tracing with Event Viewer (All NT varients) very easy.

But to be perfectly honest, my company only sayes

"hmm our software seems to have crashed, Michael go make it crash again and note what ya did"

as the naff stuf it writes is of no use to us

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 20/12/03 11:28AM
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I'm pretty sure there are some quirky little messages hidden in either NetSurf or the Themes for it.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 20/12/03 11:38AM
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You've all seen the easteregg in Select 3 Paint I assume? :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 20/12/03 1:27PM
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Puffin or Moose?

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 20/12/03 1:39PM
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imj: No, where ?

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 20/12/03 2:03PM
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Look in templates. There is a load of stuff about puffins and mooooosies

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 20/12/03 2:52PM
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ah, found it.

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 20/12/03 3:06PM
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God no. That's not an easteregg, that's pathetic. I mean a real, coded, easteregg, that does "stuff". :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 21/12/03 9:40PM
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imj: So where is it then ?

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 21/12/03 10:55PM
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OK, you've prodded me.

[time passes... fx:clicking of keyboard]

Load Help, then paint>info>author box. It does something, but not earth shattering.

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 22/12/03 12:07AM
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hehe,maybe Drobe *should* have an easteregg page ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 22/12/03 12:51AM
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