Someone found a secret that Windows 1.0 had been hiding for 37 years

A photo of Bill Gates smiling while working on a laptop.

photo: Jeff Christensen/Link (Getty Images)

After nearly four decades, an ancient secret buried deep within Windows 1.0 has been uncovered by an intrepid digital archaeologist. It’s easy easter eggbut one that was most likely impossible to find back then.

As discovered by PC gamer, Lucas Brooks is a big fan of Microsoft’s Windows graphical operating system. Brooks is often seen tweeting about various things he’s found in older builds of Windows, including Easter Eggs. And recently he discovered a never-before-seen secret in Windows 1.0 RTM (the RTM stands for “release for production“). A credits list with the names of everyone who helped create Windows 1.0 is hidden in a bitmap file.

It should be noted that by hiding this already encrypted data in a bitmap file, the developers made it essentially impossible for anyone at the time to ever discover the secret credits. That’s because, according to Brooks, the tools needed to extract a bitmap file from an NE (reexecutable file format) did not exist when Windows 1.0 was released. And even if someone managed to rip out the bitmap, they wouldn’t have been able to see the extra, encrypted data hidden in the file.

While Brooks was able to reverse engineer the secret and discover the credits list in the process, they have yet to figure out how to actually access the Easter egg in Windows 1.0 without hacking anything. It is believed that in Windows 1.0 there is a set of keystrokes that unlock the secret credits list. This is how it works in all later versions who also have hidden credits and similar secrets. But so far no one has been able to find out.

You might recognize one of the names in the newly discovered credits. Valve Co-Founder and President Gabe Newell is listed in the easter egg and that’s because he worked there. He left Microsoft in 1996 with Mike Harrington to found Valve and begin work on their first game. half-life. I wonder how it all worked out… Someone found a secret that Windows 1.0 had been hiding for 37 years

Curtis Crabtree

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