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Looking back at Microsoft Access Easter Eggs

Microsoft’s developers hid Easter Eggs in Access 95/97/2000
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By Greg Shultz on
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1 of 29 Greg Shultz/ZDNet
If you've been using computers for a while, you know that an Easter Egg is a small program that is hidden deep inside of an application and is designed by the application's developers as a way of displaying their names -- very similar to the credits that you see at the end of a movie. However, uncovering the Easter Egg is tricky as it almost always involves performing a series of very intricate and non-intuitive steps.
Microsoft now officially bans Eater Eggs as part of their Trustworthy Computing initiative. But before that mandate, Microsoft's developers used to go to great lengths to secretly embed Easter Eggs into their products.
While the developers for other Microsoft Office products created some really elaborate Easter Eggs, the developers for Access didn't really push the envelope. I suppose that could indicate that the Access developers were a more serious bunch. Anyway, in this gallery I'll show you the Easter Eggs that they embedded into Access 95, 97, and 2000.
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The first Easter Egg in Access 95 is a Magic Eight Ball that works just like the old Mattel fortune-telling toy.
To access it, you begin by opening any database in Microsoft Access, select the Macros tab, and click New.
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When you see the Macro window, type anything you want in the Action box and then click the Close button in the upper right corner.

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When Access prompts you to save the macro, type Magic Eight Ball in the Macros Name text box and click OK.

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When you see the Magic Eight Ball macro in the database, pull down the View menu and select and Toolbars | Customize.

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After the Customize Toolbars appears, scroll down the Categories list and select All Macros. Then scroll down the Objects list, select Magic Eight Ball and drag it to the toolbar.

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As soon as you drop the Magic Eight Ball macro on the toolbar, right click the new button and select the Eight Ball icon. Then click OK.

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With just the database window on the screen, think of a yes/no question and click the Magic Eight Ball button.

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You’ll then see a dialog box displaying an answer from the Magic Eight Ball.

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The second Easter Egg in Access 95 reveals the developer credits screen. To access it, you begin by opening any database in Microsoft Access. You then pull down the Tools menu and select Security | User and Group Accounts.

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In the User and Group Accounts dialog box, click the New button.

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When you see the New User /Group dialog box, you type Pioneer in the Name text box and 092595 in the Personal ID text box.

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As soon as you click OK, your screen will turn black and the credits will begin scrolling up from the bottom.

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At the very bottom of the Special Thanks To section, you'll find your name. Here you can see that my name appears in the credits list.

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At the tail end of the credits sequence, you’ll find some humorous phrases.

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The first Easter Egg in Access 97 is also a Magic Eight Ball that works just like its predecessor. However, the steps to access it are a bit simpler.
You begin by creating a new database, selecting the Macros tab and clicking New. When you see the Macro window, type anything you want in the Action box, and save the macro as Magic Eight Ball.
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When you see the Magic Eight Ball macro in the database, pull down the View menu and select Toolbars | Customize. When you see the Customize dialog box, select the Commands tab, scroll down the Categories list and select All Macros.

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Then, select Magic Eight Ball and drag it to the toolbar.

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Close the Customize dialog box, but leave the database window open. Then, think of a yes/no question and click the Magic Eight Ball button.
You’ll then see a dialog box displaying an answer.
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The second Easter Egg in Access 97 reveals the developer credits screen. To access it, you begin by creating a new database in Microsoft Access. You then click the New button to create a new Table.

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You then save the new table as Go Speed Racer Go

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Next, you pull down the Help menu and select the About Microsoft Access command. When you see the About Microsoft Access dialog box, you double click the Access icon with the right mouse button.

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As soon as you do, your screen will turn black and the credits will begin scrolling up from the bottom.

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At the tail end of the credits sequence, you’ll find your name along with some humorous phrases.

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Access 2000 only has one Easter Egg and it is also a Magic Eight Ball.
To access the Magic Eight Ball in Access 2000, you first create a new database. You then select the Macros button on the Objects list and click the New button on the toolbar.
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You then save the macro as Magic Eight Ball.

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When you see the Magic Eight Ball macro in the Database window, you pull down the View menu and select Toolbars | Customize.

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When you see the Customize dialog box, select the Commands tab, scroll down the Categories list and select All Macros. Then, select Magic Eight Ball and drag it to the toolbar.

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Close the Customize dialog box, but leave the database window open. Then, think of a yes/no question and click the Magic Eight Ball button.
The twist here is that if you leave Clippit on the screen, he/she will display the answer rather than a dialog box. But if you close Clippit , a dialog box will appear and display an answer.

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