Thursday, June 24, 2004

Moof! Clarus the Dogcow Lives (in Classic)

At work yesterday I was in the middle of a project involving a multiple-OS networking environment when I stumbled upon a cool Easter egg:

"Moof" is what Clarus the Dogcow says. Clarus is somewhat of an Apple developer mascot. As the Apple Turns tells the legendary tale* [mirror] of a Clarus-modded iBook that received a smile of recognition from Apple founder/CEO Steve Jobs at a WWDC.

But I digress. I'm guessing that this little "Moof" Easter egg was being used by developers as a placeholder or something and was accidentally left in the Mac OS. It sure was fun to come across it, though!

Let me assure you that this is a real Easter egg, not something I made up; nor is there anything at all on the network named "Moof". Here are the circumstances involved so you can try to reproduce it on your own systems: Screenshot taken on Mac OS X 10.2.8 running a Classic app. This is a standard Save dialog in Navigation Services-enabled Mac OS 9 apps. The network volume is a shared folder on a Windows 2000 Server with AppleTalk sharing enabled.

*This article was updated March 11, 2013. Sadly, As the Apple Turns has been gone for many years and the AtAT article I referenced was never indexed by the Wayback Machine, but I did find an archived copy of the original "Clarus iBook" page which tells the full story. This article was updated again on November 24, 2020, with a Google cache of the AtAT article (although I'm not sure how long that link will work, so I took a screenshot of the site for future reference). Here's the text from AtAT:

Clarus Lives-- And Glows (5/29/01)

Hands up, who misses Clarus? Granted, the lovable dogcow isn't completely missing from Mac OS X (as we've noted in a previous episode), but a resource buried eighty levels deep and an obscure text-only "Moof" Easter egg don't exactly constitute prime time placement. Given the many years that Clarus has faithfully served the Mac community-- as the "z" in the Cairo font, the model in the Page Setup dialog box, and the cuddly mascot to legions of Mac developers-- surely she deserves some more air time, right? Well, certainly faithful viewer Mike Margolis thought so, because he was kind enough to write in about his own personal tribute to everyone's favorite moofer. Behold the glory of... the Dogcow iBook!

That's right, sports fans; Mike grabbed a screwdriver, popped the cover off his brand new iBook, slapped a printout of Clarus right over the Apple logo, and put everything back together. The result? Well, when the 'Book is off or sleeping, that crystal Apple logo looks pretty much the same as it used to-- but when the system is in use, Clarus Appears Magically As If From Nowhere™ to bathe happily in the soothing glow of Apple's logo. (Now if only we could find some way to get her tail a-waggin'...)

Of particular interest to us is Mike's note that he was using his moofBook while seated in the front row at the WWDC "fireside chat" last week-- and Steve Jobs saw his handiwork. Now, given the fact that Steve's obsession with preserving the sanctity of the Apple logo seems to border on the psychotic (the apocryphal tale of his hissy fit over some Apple watches is still a favorite bedtime story around the AtAT compound), we're mildly surprised that the man didn't fly into a paroxysm of blind fury, leap from the stage, and start throttling Mike right then and there while foaming at the mouth and speaking in tongues. Instead, though, Steve actually smiled. While we admit it's tough for a mere mortal to resist Clarus's charms, we're pleased to hear that even The Mighty Steve apparently has a soft spot in his heart for the dogcow. (It's possible that Steve was simply smiling as he contemplated how he would exact his terrible vengeance later on in a less public setting, but given that it's a week later and Mike's still alive enough to send email, we doubt it.)

We'd be remiss not to mention that pulling a stunt like Mike's and cracking open your iBook to mess with Apple's logo will cause your warranty to vanish with an audible popping sound, leaving behind nothing but a sad little puff of smoke; still, if you're willing to live warranty-free (and to risk Steve's wrath), the world can always use a few more dogcows. If we weren't such wussies about preserving warranties, we'd pry open our Pismo and slip a little label under its glowing Apple logo-- an arrow and some block text reading "THIS SIDE UP" to help counter the upside-down effect. Maybe once we make it past the one-year mark...

1 comment:

Josh Long said...

Teklady: Waz up? Wow, someone actually found one of my blogs... and even submitted a comment! I don't know what to say... So how about, thanks! And hey, since you're LDS, you might also find my religion blog interesting. You'll find a link to it under the "THE JOSHMEISER'S WEBLOG" heading... if you look close enough.

So you're from Nebraska, eh? Isn't that like, tundra territory? Oh, wait, no, maybe I'm thinking of Alaska. Well, anyway, it's one of the "-aska" states. So that's cool. Or freezing cold. Whichever. I'm from Sunny Southern California™, and I'm accustomed to temperatures in the 80s-90s. Fahrenheit, mind you.