Last November 2011, Google introduced the cool do a barrel roll trick for the users of its famous search engine Web site. It spins the user's screen and temporarily turns it upside down just by typing the words do a barrel roll on the search field and then clicking on Enter. It was such a hit back then, and surprisingly, it's still a hit in 2013!
The do a barrel roll is part of Google's Easter eggs, which are designed by Google engineers for the amusement of their users while showcasing the power of CSS3, a presentation feature of modern browsers, like Firefox. But, this does not mean that Google literally has colorful eggs in their website waiting to be discovered.
So, what exactly are Easter eggs, in the context of computers and Web sites?
Well, an Easter egg is simply a hidden message or an inside joke that is intentionally included in a computer program. It can also be found in books, movies and even crossword puzzles.
According to Warren Robinett, the game developer of the Atari 2600's "Adventure," video game, the Easter egg term was coined by his fellow Atari employees who noticed a secret message hidden in the "Adventure," game. It was similar to finding Easter eggs during an Easter egg hunt.
Technically speaking, Easter eggs are found in computer software and are secret responses that happen in response to an undocumented set of commands. Examples of Easter eggs are an image, a printed message, a hidden video game, cheat codes or a page of programmer credits. These are usually found in an otherwise serious piece of software as a form of breather for users.
Anyway, back to the do a barrel trick. This gimmick was so amusing that it went viral in the Internet because several users tried it out and then posted it on Twitter. They also created various memes about it on the popular image macro fad Web site I Can Has Cheezburger.
Plus, it has a Facebook fan page with around 14,796 likes and 218 "You're the Man Now, Dog," (YTMND)submissions as of November 3, 2011. And, it often appears on the image board 4chan.
In fact, it is still popular up to now, and it's already 2013!
The do a barrel trick was reportedly taken from the classic "Star Fox 64," video game from Nintendo, which was introduced in April 27, 1997.
"Star Fox 64," also known as "Lylat Wars," in Europe and Australia, is a 3D scrolling shooter video game wherein a player controls Fox McCloud's vehicle. The vehicle, which can be an Arwing aircraft, a Land Master tank or a Blue Marine submarine, can perform a barrel roll or a spinning maneuver. It is just like an actual aileron roll aerobatic maneuver wherein an aircraft spins 360 degrees in the air.
The game also includes Peppy Hare, a space pilot rabbit who says the line "do a barrel roll." The command can be executed by pressing R or Z twice.
According to a Google representative, the do a barrel roll query, which causes the search page to spin, will remain in place for a while. Unfortunately, the said trick doesn't work on Internet Explorer because it was built in HTML5, but it does work quite well on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Smartphones with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS can also do a barrel roll search on Google's mobile site.