C64 RNG Easter Eggs

This is actually pretty neat: the story of an alleged Easter Egg war in Commodore BASIC. In a nutshell, certain seed values for the RNG in some versions of Commodore BASIC produce some rather interesting text strings, some of them referring to Bill Gates in quite rude language.

As seen in this video by “8-Bit Show And Tell” (also featuring, a short glimpse of my PET emulation):

Leaving us with the question, were these really embedded messages or is this an actual case of monkeys hitting a keyboard for long enough? The specifity to only certain revisions (and teams of Commodore engineers) may be a hint at an Easter Egg, but the “click” call to action at the very end of the video may teach us otherwise.

P.S., Maybe neat/useful for things like this: GitHub - mist64/cbmbasic: cbmbasic, a portable version of Commodore's version of Microsoft BASIC 6502 as found on the Commodore 64


There’s a nice easter egg in the MOS ROM in Acorn’s BBC Micro - 768 bytes of the ROM can’t be read because those pages are decoded for I/O. You have to have a spare ROM to put in a spare socket to read these pages - and back in the day I did do this, with a friend’s machine and my own, out of curiosity as to what might be there. And there are many names there - credits for the BBC Micro.


Indeed, and for those who are interested, the list in Acorn MOS 1.20 is:

“© 1981 Acorn Computers Ltd.Thanks are due to the following contributors to the development of the BBC Computer (among others too numerous to mention):- David Allen,Bob Austin,Ram Banerjee,Paul Bond,Allen Boothroyd,Cambridge,Cleartone,John Coll,John Cox,Andy Cripps,Chris Curry,6502 designers,Jeremy Dion,Tim Dobson,Joe Dunn,Paul Farrell,Ferranti,Steve Furber,Jon Gibbons,Andrew Gordon,Lawrence Hardwick,Dylan Harris,Hermann Hauser,Hitachi,Andy Hopper,ICL,Martin Jackson,Brian Jones,Chris Jordan,David King,David Kitson,Paul Kriwaczek,Computer Laboratory,Peter Miller,Arthur Norman,Glyn Phillips,Mike Prees,John Radcliffe,Wilberforce Road,Peter Robinson,Richard Russell,Kim Spence-Jones,Graham Tebby,Jon Thackray,Chris Turner,Adrian Warner,Roger Wilson,Alan Wright.”


The credit to ICL is a bit of a surprise - any ideas? (Ferranti for the ULAs, Hitachi presumably for help with the video. Oh, and who or what are Cleartone? Help with the audio? )

Ah, I see now that both Cleartone and ICL were contract manufacturers for early Beebs.