The Perks of Being a Mac (or FreeBSD) user

Posted on
mac easter-egg
thumbnail

🚨 Note: This is not a technical reading. If you want to have some fun and practice your ls and cat skills, this article may suit you.

Table of Contents


Misc. Files of the OS

I found some interesting files under /usr/share/misc of my MacBook:

-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   3.1K Dec 14  2019 ascii
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   374B Dec 14  2019 birthtoken
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   2.9K Dec 14  2019 eqnchar
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   1.4K Dec 14  2019 flowers
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   508B Dec 14  2019 getopt
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel   941B Dec 14  2019 mail.help
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel   1.3K Dec 14  2019 mail.tildehelp
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   310B Dec 14  2019 man.template
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   948B Dec 14  2019 mdoc.template
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel   425B Dec 14  2019 operator
-r--r--r--  1 root  wheel    78K May 27 11:38 trace.codes
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel    13K Dec 14  2019 units.lib

The Meaning of Flowers

/usr/share/misc/flowers lists out the meaning of flowers1. Check this out if you are going to buy some flowers but you don’t know what you should buy.

# Flower : Meaning
#	@(#)flowers	8.1 (Berkeley) 6/8/93
#
# Upside down reverses the meaning.
African violet:Such worth is rare.
Apple blossom:Preference.
Bachelor's button:Celibacy.
Bay leaf:I change but in death.
Camelia:Reflected loveliness.
Chrysanthemum, other color:Slighted love.
Chrysanthemum, red:I love.
Chrysanthemum, white:Truth.
Clover:Be mine.
Crocus:Abuse not.
Daffodil:Innocence.
Forget-me-not:True love.
Fuchsia:Fast.
Gardenia:Secret, untold love.
Honeysuckle:Bonds of love.
Ivy:Friendship, fidelity, marriage.
Jasmine:Amiability, transports of joy, sensuality.
Leaves (dead):Melancholy.
Lilac:Youthful innocence.
Lilly of the valley:Return of happiness.
Lilly:Purity, sweetness.
Magnolia:Dignity, perseverance.
Marigold:Jealousy.
Mint:Virtue.
Orange blossom:Your purity equals your loveliness.
Orchid:Beauty, magnificence.
Pansy:Thoughts.
Peach blossom:I am your captive.
Petunia:Your presence soothes me.
Poppy:Sleep.
Rose, any color:Love.
Rose, deep red:Bashful shame.
Rose, single, pink:Simplicity.
Rose, thornless, any color:Early attachment.
Rose, white:I am worthy of you.
Rose, yellow:Decrease of love, rise of jealousy.
Rosebud, white:Girlhood, and a heart ignorant of love.
Rosemary:Remembrance.
Sunflower:Haughtiness.
Tulip, red:Declaration of love.
Tulip, yellow:Hopeless love.
Violet, blue:Faithfulness.
Violet, white:Modesty.
Zinnia:Thoughts of absent friends.

The Birthday Present Guide

Check out the /usr/share/misc/birthtoken2 and see which gem and flower (looks like someone in Berkeley knows about the flowers really well) you should buy for your friends!

“Oh why you choose this gem and that flower as the present?"

“Um… that’s my computer’s idea…"

More About Perl and Ruby

The creator of Ruby chose the name Ruby because it was the birthstone of one of his colleagues and that is the gem right after Pearl (Perl).

Lesson learnt: when you try to name a new language you invented, you should check this file out!

# Birthday : Birth Stone : Birth Flower
#	@(#)birthtoken	8.1 (Berkeley) 6/8/93
January:Garnet:Carnation
February:Amethyst:Violet
March:Aquamarine:Jonquil
April:Diamond:Sweetpea
May:Emerald:Lily Of The Valley
June:Pearl:Rose
July:Ruby:Larkspur
August:Peridot:Gladiolus
September:Sapphire:Aster
October:Opal:Calendula
November:Topaz:Chrysanthemum
December:Turquoise:Narcissus

Mac is a Secret Fan of…

The /usr/share/calendar folder contains some useful calendars but this one really catches my eye:

-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel   1.4K Dec 14  2019 calendar.lotr

This is a timeline of the important events happened in The Lord Of The Rings3:

/*
 * Lord Of The Rings
 *
 * $FreeBSD: src/usr.bin/calendar/calendars/calendar.lotr,v 1.2 2003/10/09 00:31:48 grog Exp $
 */

#ifndef _calendar_lotr_
#define _calendar_lotr_

01/05	Fellowship enters Moria
01/09	Fellowship reaches Lorien
01/17	Passing of Gandalf
02/07	Fellowship leaves Lorien
02/17	Death of Boromir
02/20	Meriadoc & Pippin meet Treebeard
02/22	Passing of King Elessar
02/24	Ents destroy Isengard
02/26	Aragorn takes the Paths of the Dead
03/05	Frodo & Samwise encounter Shelob
03/08	Deaths of Denethor & Theoden
03/18	Destruction of the Ring
03/29	Flowering of the Mallorn
04/04	Gandalf visits Bilbo
04/17	An unexpected party
04/23	Crowning of King Elessar
05/19	Arwen leaves Lorien to wed King Elessar
06/11	Sauron attacks Osgiliath
06/13	Bilbo returns to Bag End
06/23	Wedding of Elessar & Arwen
07/04	Gandalf imprisoned by Saruman
07/24	The ring comes to Bilbo
07/26	Bilbo rescued from Wargs by Eagles
08/03	Funeral of King Theoden
08/29	Saruman enters the Shire
09/10	Gandalf escapes from Orthanc
09/14	Frodo & Bilbo's birthday
09/15	Black riders enter the Shire
09/18	Frodo and company rescued by Bombadil
09/28	Frodo wounded at Weathertop
10/05	Frodo crosses bridge of Mitheithel
10/16	Boromir reaches Rivendell
10/17	Council of Elrond
10/25	End of War of the Ring
11/16	Bilbo reaches the Lonely Mountain
12/05	Death of Smaug
12/16	Fellowship begins Quest

#endif /* !_calendar_lotr_ */

Bonus: the missing recipe

In the eariler versions of the macOS, a hidden cookie recipe can be found by typing this command in the Terminal:

Open /usr/share/emacs/22.1/etc/COOKIES

Unforrunately in the latest macOS this file is gone (together with /usr/share/emacs). We can only check this out on the Apple Open Source website4.


  1. https://github.com/lattera/freebsd/blob/master/share/misc/flowers ↩︎

  2. https://github.com/lattera/freebsd/blob/master/share/misc/birthtoken ↩︎

  3. https://opensource.apple.com/source/misc_cmds/misc_cmds-31/calendar/calendars/calendar.lotr.auto.html ↩︎

  4. https://opensource.apple.com/source/emacs/emacs-96/emacs/etc/COOKIES.auto.html ↩︎