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How I won the Ionic 2017 Easter Egg Hunt

06/14/2017 • 2 minute read

On March 9th, Ionic announced their new beta and an easter egg hunt. I didn’t see it until the 13th and I love puzzles, so the hunt was on.

Step 1: Download and Unpack the beta

I downloaded the new beta with npm install -g ionic@beta and extracted the source:

$ mkdir source && cd $_ && tar -zxvf /root/.npm/ionic/3.0.0-rc.2/package.tgz -C .

mktemp -d probably would have been a better option, but I didn’t want to spend the time to look up the syntax to cd into the new tmp dir.

Also, I have the install location for npm packages on my system memorized because I have spent far too long troubleshooting them, but if you didn’t you could find it with npm root.

Step 2: Pull the published Github code

I took a bet here that paid off. Knowing how the Ionic team operates, I figured they wouldn’t make it too easy and publish the easter egg in their public Github repo.

At the time I just ran:

$ git clone https://github.com/ionic-team/ionic-cli.git

To replicate that now, you can download a commit from around that time. Here is random one:

$ git clone https://github.com/ionic-team/ionic-cli.git && cd ionic-cli && git reset --hard d076ac806378d874ea1075c4142350b73654d04c

Most of this time was spent finding the Github url.

Step 3: Compare the Github and NPM version source code

Here I also made a bet that the easter egg would be under the main ionic package:

$ git diff --no-index source/package/ ionic-cli/packages/ionic | less

Hitting space as fast as I could, I noticed one change that looked interesting:

diff --git a/source/package/dist/commands/ionitron.ts b/ionic-cli/packages/ionic/src/commands/ionitron.ts
 +    let str = [
 +    '41 77 77 77 2e 2e 2e 73 6e 61 70 21 20 59 6f 75 20 66 6f 75 6e 64 20 74 68 65 20 68 69 64 64 65 6e 20 66 65 61 74 75 72 65 20 61 6e 64 20 6d 69 67 68 74 20 67 65 74',		

Now, I can’t convert hexadecimal in my head on the fly, but I have participated in enough “underhanded” coding challenges on codegolf.stackexchange.com back in the day to recognize an attempt at obfuscation.

Sure enough, if I try ionic ionitron, I get the following:

Picture of the final easter egg with the Ionic Robot


Hats off to the Ionic team for putting together a fun challenge, and I did end up getting a shirt out of it so I am happy:

Picture of the T-shirt I won with the Ionic Robot on it