Somewhat of an overlapping companion piece to Spacepages, CHiRPs are prominent all over the System, used by nearly everyone who has some sort of device. The acronym stands for “Cleverly Hidden, instantly Ready Program,” and there is an old copyright claim still on file from year 6 A.T., so there is at least some tangible evidence as to its origin. The copyright filer is not known, though they are given blame for the use of a lower case “i” in the name, something that users figure was a fad on Old Earth. However, in nearly two centuries, what CHiRPs were and have since become are not necessarily the same.
CHiRPs are best summarized as being programmable interjections. These can show up on Spacepages, on local networks, on kiosks, or even appear as personal holos. They are independent programs that intuitively adapt to whatever hardware they are assigned to, eliminating compatibility issues (though such issues are rare by year 200, except when dealing with outdated hardware). The programs can be recalled or retracted as quickly as they are deployed. However, by their nature, CHiRPs are limited in the amount of data they can carry, which deters them from being used as means to crack into private systems or secure databases. Thus, they are almost always used to convey messages, one-off images, or NFEEs (non-facial emotional expressions, a term that lived and rapidly all but died in the 180s). One of the most popular metaphors for CHiRPs is that they act like temporary stowaways on ships, that are limited to clinging to the outside of said vessel’s hull.