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The Lord of the Rings Timeline Hidden in Unix Systems

In the depths of Unix lives a pretty nice easter egg that tells you all the major events that happen in the Lord of the Rings saga.

To take a look at this calendar and refresh your memories of those events, you just have to type the following command in a terminal window:

cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.lotr

Once you validate the command, your computer will display a quite detailed list resuming the major events that took place in J. R. R. Tolkien’s famous saga. In case you’re not next to a Unix system right now, here’s what the command outputs:

 * 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 Ellesar
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 Ellesar
05/19   Arwen leaves Lorian to wed King Ellesar
06/11   Sauron attacks Osgiliath
06/13   Bilbo returns to Bag End
06/23   Wedding of Ellesar & 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_ */

According to Steve Sande, a writer at TUAW, the birthdays of Frodo and Bilbo are incorrect. In the original books, the two hobbits are both born on September 22nd (and not September 14th as indicated in the calendar).

Update: I’ve been told this easter egg is also present on Ubuntu 12.10 and more generally on every Unix operating system.

Sources: TUAW

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