Refining the Minimise Easter egg

I love Easter eggs – not chocolate eggs, which I have not been able to eat for many sad years, but hidden non-functional goodies in computer systems. One of my favourites remains one of my old Macs whose motherboard bears the signatures of its development team, a feature characteristic of many of Apple’s earlier models.

I had heard about the Easter egg in window Minimise, and I recall trying it out once or twice. But today I had a little while to wait while iTunes was downloading a slew of updates, and played around with it a bit more.

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This Easter egg is based on the amber button which appears at the top left of all windows, to Minimise them into the Dock. In normal use, this happens in a brisk animation, in which the window gets ‘sucked’ down into its new thumbnail in the Dock.

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Click on that Minimise button with the Shift key held down, though, and it runs in slow motion, over a period of five seconds or so. That’s the basic Easter egg, which was a favourite of Steve Jobs, apparently.

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But there’s more. There are actually four different speeds at which windows can become minimised. With a plain click, it takes less than a second. Hold the Control key when clicking, and it’s a bit slower at a couple of seconds. Hold the Shift key and it is much slower, over five seconds. And hold the Shift and Control keys and it is slowest of all, at around ten seconds.

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You can even un-minimise in slow motion, by holding the Shift key when you click on the window’s Dock icon; sadly the Control modifier is there used for other purposes, so instead of the four speeds available for minimisation, there are only two for un-minimisation.

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If you haven’t tried these yet, I am sure that you will. That’s another thing about Easter eggs: they’re irresistible.