Easter eggs for the ZX Spectrum - in a music album and movie
How to find Easter eggs ... for the ZX-Spectrum in Radiohead's collector's edition of the music album “OK Computer” and in the interactive maze episode Black Mirror: Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
Let's start with audio tapes
Less than two years ago, in June 2017, the British alternative rock band Radiohead released the collector's edition of their album OK Computer, this group’s third studio album, which was originally released in 1997, was re-released and coincided with the 20-year-old the anniversary of the release of the album.
The collection box included three vinyl records, a large-format artbook and an audio cassette with unpublished songs of the group.
The latest track on an audio cassette (on the B side, 38: 57–39: 12) was called the “OK Computer program”.
For ordinary listeners, it consisted of strange squeaking sounds, and at the beginning of the recording you can hear sounds characteristic of the very popular ZX Spectrum computer in the early 80s, in which you can use audio tapes to load games and programs into memory.
But just so directly download the audio data from the cassette to the ZX Spectrum or its emulator turned out to be impossible, since the program will not pick up with such a load.
It is necessary to cut out the final fragment and pass it through a low-pass filter (instructions for processing the sound file and launching the program are located here ).
As a result, the ZX Spectrum will display the following text:
“Thomas York, Colin Greenwood, Jonathan Greenwood, Edward O'Brien, Philip Silway, Nigel Godrich and Stanley Downwood are on your computer”, the date is below: December 19, 1996, for half a year before the release of the album "OK Computer".
Next, run the code that displays random colored tiles and letters to random sounds.
There is no exact data on whether this program was really written in 1996 or whether it was specially developed for the collectible reprint of the album.
Although, back in 2003, Radiohead band guitarist Johnny Greenwood told in one of his interviews that he had a computer on the ZX Spectrum as a child, which he even tried to program.
But that's not all. There is Easter eggs in Easter eggs!
When you run the program, you can find the following text in the computer’s RAM: “Congratulations ... hmmmmm. We should get out more. ”
These are references to the Pink Floyd group and its founder, Syd Barrett, who died in 2006.
Thus, it can be said that the program was written or changed later than 2006.
It is interesting that there in the first lines of the program is timed.
And now about the reality of the fictional game development company Tuckersoft.
Many fans of the series "Black Mirror" have already dismantled the last very intriguing interactive episode about programmers and games called "Brandashmyg" in terms of their content.
But here, in addition to the visual video, in which there are references to the mythical company Tuckersoft, the site of which in reality exists, we can also enjoy the sounds of the program for the ZX Spectrum!
In order to hear these sounds, you need to ... view the episode to the very end, having correctly reached a certain necessary ending, and there after all the captions there is a scene where the main character (the scene repeats the episode from the beginning of the movie) sits on the bus, but instead of choosing music its already completed game, when playing which sounds only a strange squeaky noise.
And here again, you need to process the sound file a little (45 second audio file with the program will work) and run it on the emulator.
This program will be loaded with a QR code on the ZX Spectrum:
By the way, one of the viewers of the series was able to run this program on a real ZX Spectrum!
After decoding the QR code, we get the URL .
And we get into a specially created and rather archaic specially created virtual world of Tuckersoft company!
Although earlier, viewers of the series came here at tuckersoft.net , but here they were waited for by a stub and an announcement about finding a new programmer-designer of gaming applications on very cool computers!
Although you can call their administrator and chat.
And there is also a game “Nohzdyve” (which can be downloaded and launched in the emulator ZX Spectrum), in the development of which the main character took part in the episode of the series (I will not spoil further).
Although, to get to it, you need to ... just go in the Chrome browser, and in Safari \ Firefoxthis link .
For the first time in Chrome, the link to this game for some reason does not work and immediately throws it out .
Although, then it can and normally open the link with the game in the Chrome browser.
In general, if companies producing music, digital or video content treat their listeners and viewers so well that they hide such interesting Easter eggs in unexpected places, then you can definitely say that there are programmers who solve very non-standard tasks and can still there are many surprises to hide in the future, which will also be found, but how soon it depends on the complexity of the task.