You Easter egg hunters can't seem to get enough of the little treats tucked away inside of Netscape Navigator. Thankfully, the egg aficionados among you have filled me in on several items I omitted from my last column.
Geeks are, of course, the culprits behind most Easter eggs. It's not surprising then to find secret graffiti scrawled on Navigator's insides by the programmers who created the browser in the first place. There are at least two instances of programmer graffiti in Navigator 3.0. Type "about:jwz" in the browser's Location window, hit return, and you get the home page of Jamie Zawinski, a Netscape programmer who identifies himself simply as "hacker." Do the same for "about:marca" and, surprise, you get a page with Marc Andreessen's mug on it.
And if you really want to make an omelet, here are a couple more Easter eggs: While holding down the Control and Alt keys on your PC, type f. You'll be transported to the Amazing Fish Cam! page. Unix users also wanted me to point out that typing about:Mozilla reveals a fire breathing dragon in lieu of the Netscape logo on their machines, though not on PCs. (Readers of this column are already familiar with the other Easter egg resulting from this text string.)
Speaking of graffiti, an enterprising guerrilla artist(s) has added a personal touch to a Microsoft Network billboard. The result adds new meaning to the term digital vandalism. (If you've been shielded from the MSN advertising blitz, the service is pasting up billboards with large hand icons on them and expressions like, "This way to the Internet.") Not that I condone graffiti, but the MSN billboards are easy targets. Couldn't Microsoft have predicted that?
MSN's PR agency, Waggener Edstrom, probably didn't have anything to do with the billboards. Nevertheless, MSN recently dropped Waggener and signed on with Shandwick PR instead. Maybe my new MSN neighbors felt their move to the Net wasn't getting a positive enough spin from the media. My move to Comdex is imminent. Skinny and Vermel DuBaud will be reporting directly from the show next week. Email me your rumors in the meantime.