America Online Easter Egg - Hi Mom

If you use an old, slow computer (a Pentium I, in my case), you are aware that images from certain applications tend to hang on the monitor screen for relatively long periods of time, when they normally come and go in less than a second on current machines. I have a 1995 Dell Dimension XPS-MT P75 with a Turbochip 233 and 96 MG RAM, so it's slow but tolerable.

On October 1, 2001, I discovered an embedded message hidden in the initial screen for AOL 6.0, the first screen that appears after you double-click the AOL icon on your Desktop. This screen is the "blue eye," a stylish rectangular image announcing that this is "America Online, version 6.0," with white messages in the lower left side showing the application is initializing, etc. The blue-toned background image resembles a human eye. Normally, this image comes and goes in a second--on FAST machines. On machines like mine, it can linger for up to 8-10 seconds.

On the upper right side of the "eye" is a gray slash of color, and immediately to the right of that curved gray patch is a collection of blue dots, seemingly random bits of color. However, close examination reveals that the tiny blue dots form alphabetical letters. The leftmost stroke of certain letters are partially embedded in the gray slash of color and a small blue patch above it, further concealing the message. If you have time enough to examine the message closely, it reads like this:

HI
M
O
M

You might think for a moment that the letters are actually numbers seen on their sides, being the number 3033 (you have to read this with your head tilted to the left). However, a small break in the uppermost "3" makes it into alphabet letters you can read normally.

I cannot get a screen capture of this message, but it is easy to reproduce and looks best on a large monitor (mine is 19").

User Rating:
5.7
  5.7/10 with 99 votes
Contributed By: Roger Moore on 10-03-2001
Reviewed By: Webmaster
Special Requirements: America Online (Version 6 and Older)
Please correct this Egg if you see errors.

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Comments

Chameleon GS writes:
This is really cool! It's just above the curve in the upper right corner of the splash screen. It's not very obvious, though. The color of the HI MOM and the background are almost the same. On my computer, though, the slash that the HI MOM is hidden above is purple. Huh. They just released Version 7.0, too, I wonder if there's anything like this on that splash screen?
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Roger Moore writes:
I have lately seen a version of the "blue eye" screen (using AOL 6.0) in which the right side is smoothed off, eliminating the "HI MOM" note and other blotches. Perhaps someone at AOL caught on and cut it out--a shame if so.
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TSH writes:
As veedub74bus stated, it's probably just your resolution trying to blend colors. Try changing your colors to 16M color.
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veedub74bus writes:
This is probably a coincidence. The Dots are because your color setting is probably only at 256 colors and it's trying to blend a color it's not set to produce.
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