by Bob Loblaw One of the side-effects of performing seemingly endless tests of beta versions of Windows 95 is that you get to spend a lot of time staring at its startup screen. During one particularly long late-night session, my mind wandered and I began to see pictures in the clouds. After the installation was complete, I noticed that, on the Windows 95 CD, there was a directory called FunStuff that contained a version of the title screen (Win95.BMP) that was slightly different than the Win95 startup screen. By comparing these two versions, I began to see differences in the two that clearly showed that the startup logo screen had, in fact, been heavily retouched. After careful examination of these two screens, I am now convinced that the Windows 95 logo screen contains at least four subliminal images.
The one that most people can see right off the bat is the
silhouette of a dark horse rearing up on the left side of the
Windows 95 logo. If you have the Plus pack CD-ROM, you'll find
this image on that disc as a file called LOGO.SYS (which, despite
its name, is simply a bitmapped image that can be loaded and
viewed in Paint. Set the horizontal scale to 170% for a proper
aspect ratio.); otherwise, simply restart Windows 95 to view the
As further evidence of the horse's existence, a completely different image of a galloping horse appears in approximately the same position on the Win95.bmp image (its tail and rear leg are at the left edge of the screen; its head is inside the blue rectangle). Coincidence? I think not. The meaning(s) of this image are open to interpretation, but the powerful image of a stallion, the phrase "dark horse" and other studly associations are all well-known symbols.
While you're looking at the Win95.bmp image, it's worth noting that there appears to be a large, dark bird with outstretched wings above and to the right of the logo. Flying and freedom, we presume, are the messages here. Or is that a vulture?
On the right side of the logo, there is an image that, in one concise image, manages to conjure up suggestions of the passion and excitement of rock music, death and drugs -- all powerful and typical subliminal images. If you imagine that the upper-right corner of the Windows logo points to the back of a guitarist's neck, you can see that the guitarist has curly hair, a mustache, a clearly visible frilly collar, and is playing with his head back and his elbow at approximately the area where the green and the yellow rectangles meet. With a little more effort, it's not hard to imagine that this afro-haired, mustachioed guitar hero could be none other than Seattle-area rock legend, Jimi Hendrix. The fact that he's a local (dead) hero only adds to the plausibility of the rock-hero-tribute theory. Or could "rocking" and