Google Engineers Hide BSOD Easter Egg Inside CR-48

Maximum PC Staff

Google’s engineers are known for having a somewhat unique sense of humor, but this CR-48 Easter Egg is a pretty hilarious shot across Microsoft’s bow. An intrepid young developer by the name of Brad Wells discovered a series of clues spread across the web, which when analyzed carefully, allowed him to uncover a fake blue screen of death. Hidden within the error code he also discovered message from the Chrome OS development team.

According to his blog post , Brad began his search on LinkedIn after taking up the challenge left by Chrome OS developer Bill Richardson . In Richardson’s profile he noticed a project entry for “Integrated Lights Out Management” (ILOM). A simple Google search for “ILOM easter eggs” uncovered an odd-looking command titled “xyzzy”.

According to Wikipedia “Xyzzy is a magic word from the Colossal Cave Adventure computer game. In computing, the word is sometimes used as a metasyntactic variable or as a video game cheat code, the canonical "magic word". In mathematics, the word is used as a mnemonic for the cross product”.

Brad went on to discover that if he typed “Xyzzy” into his CR-48 during boot, he was greeted with a hexadecimal message that could be converted to English using ASCII characters.

“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 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.”

I never would have found this in a million years, so kudos to Brad Wells on the discovery!

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