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(Network World)   These computer pranks probably won't get you fired, but worrying about the retaliation may cost you some sleep   (networkworld.com) divider line 88
    More: Amusing, worrying  
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7752 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Mar 2014 at 11:26 AM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-28 11:12:29 AM  
No  M-80's set up with a model rocket ignition under the keyboard?

0/10
 
2014-03-28 11:39:49 AM  
My dad got hit with a pretty funny one. He'd been waiting for a specific computer part for, like, two weeks, so his co-worker grabbed some old computer guts and threw them in a box. Then he walked in to dad's office and said "Hey, your parts are here, catch" and tossed the box. Of course it hit the ground and sounded like the parts were breaking. My dad was so pissed off, but luckily he has a sense of humor and calmed down. He later got revenge by covering his co-worker's office in tin foil.
 
2014-03-28 11:39:55 AM  
In the last slide/video, the guy seriously proposes doing a full bore keyboard hardware modification just to get a sound to play when the CapsLock key is depressed.

Maybe he didn't read his own hint about AutoHotKey a few pages prior, or check any other of the software mechanisms for doing this?

WTF?
 
2014-03-28 11:44:41 AM  
This slideshow includes Rickrolling.  And every other trick I did at least 10 years ago.
 
2014-03-28 11:47:08 AM  

derpy: This slideshow includes Rickrolling.  And every other trick I did at least 10 years ago.


WTF did you expect? I knew what would be on the list without clicking.
 
2014-03-28 11:50:22 AM  
A pretty simple one I used to do at work involves a wireless mouse with the really small dongle. Plug it in to a buddy's computer and enjoy the luls. It worked great against people that either were not natural pranksters or just weren't very computer focused.
 
2014-03-28 11:58:35 AM  
CSB: I worked in the same office as my dad. I changed his mouse cursor to an hourglass once, and only once. I meant to let him stare at it for maybe ten minutes but I got distracted. Around an hour and a half later I go back to his desk and he's on the phone yelling at tech support. I nearly lost my job but it was damn funny. I've done the same thing to coworkers my own age and it took them about ten seconds to figure it out.
 
2014-03-28 12:00:52 PM  

nocturnal001: A pretty simple one I used to do at work involves a wireless mouse with the really small dongle. Plug it in to a buddy's computer and enjoy the luls. It worked great against people that either were not natural pranksters or just weren't very computer focused.


I've done that with plenty of wired mice. Loved hearing the clack clack of people picking up and slamming the mouse trying to get it under control.
 
2014-03-28 12:01:34 PM  

nocturnal001: A pretty simple one I used to do at work involves a wireless mouse with the really small dongle. Plug it in to a buddy's computer and enjoy the luls. It worked great against people that either were not natural pranksters or just weren't very computer focused.


One of my favorites from college:
A friend of mine back in high school wrote a WinAmp plugin that allowed you to stream the audio to other client computers.  While I was in the dorms in college, I emailed a copy of the client program installer to someone down the hall from me (Seriously people, don't open executables from anonymous e-mails!).  It ran in the background whenever his computer was on.  I would randomly play system sounds like AIM messages coming in.  He couldn't figure out what the hell was going on with his computer.
 
2014-03-28 12:13:52 PM  
Put a piece of sticky note or tape on the sensor of someone's mouse.
 
2014-03-28 12:14:04 PM  
 
2014-03-28 12:18:57 PM  
For users with a single monitor, move the mouse to bottom of the screen so it's hidden, print screen. open in paint and paste. adjust the picture until the full image is shown. save and set as background.  Hide icons and drag the task bar until it's hidden.
 
2014-03-28 12:19:40 PM  
Rape your boss's daughter.

That's always good for a laugh.
 
2014-03-28 12:19:42 PM  
The screenshot desktop one is always fun. My favorite variation is to leave all the icons in place, but first open up a small folder titled "Mexican Donkey Porn" with subfolders volume 1-8 before taking the screenshot. Then it's the "unclosable" window, even if the rest of the computer is working fine.
 
2014-03-28 12:22:03 PM  

phyrkrakr: The screenshot desktop one is always fun. My favorite variation is to leave all the icons in place, but first open up a small folder titled "Mexican Donkey Porn" with subfolders volume 1-8 before taking the screenshot. Then it's the "unclosable" window, even if the rest of the computer is working fine.


Yeah that's a good one too.

Flipping their screen upside down is an easy one. I think it's ctrl alt and then down arrow key maybe.
 
2014-03-28 12:25:01 PM  

nocturnal001: phyrkrakr: The screenshot desktop one is always fun. My favorite variation is to leave all the icons in place, but first open up a small folder titled "Mexican Donkey Porn" with subfolders volume 1-8 before taking the screenshot. Then it's the "unclosable" window, even if the rest of the computer is working fine.

Yeah that's a good one too.

Flipping their screen upside down is an easy one. I think it's ctrl alt and then down arrow key maybe.


it works for all directions

/works on 8 too.
//and dual monitors, depending on where the mouse is. Weird
 
2014-03-28 12:30:54 PM  

derpy: This slideshow includes Rickrolling.  And every other trick I did at least 10 years ago.


I figured it was something like that since the keyboard shortcuts from the first few were already obsolete as of windows 7 and don't do anything anymore.
 
2014-03-28 12:32:17 PM  
Insert strange auto-correct strings in MS Word. Connect another keyboard and turn caps lock and/or num lock on and off randomly.
 
2014-03-28 12:34:32 PM  
I'm really disappointed there weren't more pranks that would work on a mac...
 
2014-03-28 12:39:32 PM  
LOL, I've had to fix almost all of those for panicked people. Not the Caps Lock one though, that's an AWFUL lot of work for a gag, all based on the premise that nobody will ever pick up their keyboard, but it IS funny. I still think the best and simplest is hooking another mouse up. If it's a user sitting at an adjacent desk and they have their computer under the desk, you really don't even need wireless. Just do it enough to confuse them, and stop as soon as they call IT, you can keep this person going for weeks if you play it right, and it's easy to set up.
 
2014-03-28 12:40:29 PM  
So far, my favorite actions:

- A sales weasel had pissed me off at my previous command, so I replaced all the desktop links he had to sites related to our business so they all went to "chicks with dicks" website. Just before he gave a presentation to the CEO.

- Coworker who gave me grief and made a wisecrack about how I "never did anything" (even though he was my most frequent caller, and even though I'd actually removed malware from his personal computer). So I activated every single action related sound on his profile and made them all the Spongebob Squarepants theme song. He actually came to my office on his knees.

- Some balloonhead kept using one of the shared computers to go to a site that not only had plenty o' nudity, but a penchant for serving malicious ads, so I edited the hosts file to direct them to the Barney website (turned out it was my boss...)

I could go on and on. There's nothing more fun than tormenting my users.
 
2014-03-28 12:40:50 PM  
I've used a number of these in my 17 years in IT.

The best however was in my first job on the helpdesk.   We had a guy who was a horrible teach...couldn't figure anything out and was dumber than a rock.  He never locked his keyboard.  I set his internet cache the to maximum size of his hard drive (I think it was a 1GB max).  It took a month or two for it to play out....but it did in glorious fashion on our Windows 95 machines.  First the slowness, then instability (lots of BSODs), then it just stopped working.  Rather than troubleshooting the issue (which would have taken a couple minutes to figure out), he just had his drive ghosted.  Dumbass.

One of the guys also on the help desk (and one of my best friends now) was a developer...he wrote a program that would remove a random pixel every second from the screen...and we installed it on the same guy's machine.  It was pretty epic.  We had it configured to run on startup so every day by the end of his shift he'd be biatching about his monitor.  He never figured it out.

We also changed his startup sounds...he was able to find that.

Dude walked out for a smoke one day and never came back...I wonder why.

Good times.
 
2014-03-28 12:41:07 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: For users with a single monitor, move the mouse to bottom of the screen so it's hidden, print screen. open in paint and paste. adjust the picture until the full image is shown. save and set as background.  Hide icons and drag the task bar until it's hidden.


Yes, that was in the article.

Unfortunately computer pranks would get both the pranker and the prankee fired at my work :(
 
2014-03-28 12:42:04 PM  
I did the fake cracked screen a couple of times (it helps if you place the actual monitor face down). However, I used a full screen Powerpoint presentation instead of going through the trouble of changing the background. You get the same reaction, but you don't have to set anything back the way it was afterwards.
 
2014-03-28 12:43:29 PM  

Jim_Callahan: derpy: This slideshow includes Rickrolling.  And every other trick I did at least 10 years ago.

I figured it was something like that since the keyboard shortcuts from the first few were already obsolete as of windows 7 and don't do anything anymore.


That's disappointing, that shortcut would have been useful as I rotate my screens between 'landscape' and 'portrait' occasionally ...

FYI it doesn't work on Vista.
 
2014-03-28 12:43:30 PM  
We had a test area where I work with about 25 PCs plugged into the network, no monitors or anything. I used to RDP into one of the machines and use text to speech to talk shiat to the guy through the internal speakers whenever I knew he was in there. That went on for a few weeks before he figured out it was me.

Another co-worker is on vacation this week and got his custom box replaced with a PC with a 'Designed for Windows 98' sticker on it that I found. We managed to get Win 7 so we're just going to act like it's the PC he's had all along.
 
2014-03-28 12:58:21 PM  
I wrote a pretty nifty batch that kicks off a psexec command to perform a windows lock on a remote machine. It loops every 20 seconds. Throw an IP in there, kick it off and watch the hilarity. Kill the script after a few minutes, then start it up again at a later date.
 
2014-03-28 01:12:00 PM  

SuperSecretSquirrel: I wrote a pretty nifty batch that kicks off a psexec command to perform a windows lock on a remote machine. It loops every 20 seconds. Throw an IP in there, kick it off and watch the hilarity. Kill the script after a few minutes, then start it up again at a later date.


I don't know that actually bricking the machine temporarily so that no work can be done is a "prank", that's just industrial sabotage and at that point you pretty much deserve to be fired.  The difference is that pranks are things that are  annoying, not debilitating.
 
2014-03-28 01:15:26 PM  
img2-3.timeinc.net
 
2014-03-28 01:16:00 PM  
Much fun to be had with NET SEND back in the day.
 
2014-03-28 01:24:14 PM  

unchellmatt: - A sales weasel had pissed me off at my previous command, so I replaced all the desktop links he had to sites related to our business so they all went to "chicks with dicks" website. Just before he gave a presentation to the CEO.


A buddy of mine worked for awhile at a seminary in their IT department, I basically had the "BritneySpears.exe" which was a program that sounded a klaxon and blinked in pink and black, "I AM GAY."  He was reading mail while talking to his boss (a priest), when he clicked on that executable.  He freaked out and just hard-booted his machine.
 
2014-03-28 01:32:31 PM  
Pfft, amateurs.

This was about 10 years ago.

I spidered a copy of the FBI website and dumped it on a spare webserver I had in the server room

I then created a fbi.gov zone on our internal DNS server

I then took a picture of one of our software dev guys, photoshopped an arabic head scarf onto him, then replaced the picture of the FBI's most wanted with his picture and bio details.

Then sent an email out to the entire company about how they should check it out.

Poor bastard though I'd actually hacked the FBI website and put his photo on it, came begging to me to take it down
 
2014-03-28 01:37:01 PM  

Far Cough: In the last slide/video, the guy seriously proposes doing a full bore keyboard hardware modification just to get a sound to play when the CapsLock key is depressed.

Maybe he didn't read his own hint about AutoHotKey a few pages prior, or check any other of the software mechanisms for doing this?

WTF?


"I didn't have room inside the keyboard, so I just taped all this crap it to the bottom of it with masking tape"

lol - let's hope no one notices!

Yeah, that last one was dumb.
 
2014-03-28 01:43:46 PM  

Nexzus: Much fun to be had with NET SEND back in the day.


The NET SEND was my weapon of choice.  Although I was an extremely dumb high school kid one day and wrote a script to NET SEND *  random messages on a loop.  Brought the entire network down, and they were feeling the effect for weeks as it would cache the messages for each user and pop them up when they logged on.
 
2014-03-28 01:44:44 PM  
This thread is getting my prank juices flowing (gross yeah I know).

In college I worked at circuit city for a while. Underneath the product display cabinets there was just a bunch of empty space. I worked there for about a year and every day I'd cram as much junk (mostly those free AOL CDs) into the little holes used to route power through as I could. A buddy who worked there told me that maybe 6 months after I left a new manager came in and opened up one of the cabinets and was met with an avalanche of trash. My friend said he was rolling on the ground laughing because he figured it was me that did it.

Damn that job was boring.
 
2014-03-28 01:49:39 PM  

Jim_Callahan: SuperSecretSquirrel: I wrote a pretty nifty batch that kicks off a psexec command to perform a windows lock on a remote machine. It loops every 20 seconds. Throw an IP in there, kick it off and watch the hilarity. Kill the script after a few minutes, then start it up again at a later date.

I don't know that actually bricking the machine temporarily so that no work can be done is a "prank", that's just industrial sabotage and at that point you pretty much deserve to be fired.  The difference is that pranks are things that are  annoying, not debilitating.


I pick and choose my moments. It's not like I do it completely blind from halfway across the world, and I only do it to immediate IT coworkers. But thanks so much for your concern for my well-being.
 
2014-03-28 01:52:31 PM  

SuperSecretSquirrel: Jim_Callahan: SuperSecretSquirrel: I wrote a pretty nifty batch that kicks off a psexec command to perform a windows lock on a remote machine. It loops every 20 seconds. Throw an IP in there, kick it off and watch the hilarity. Kill the script after a few minutes, then start it up again at a later date.

I don't know that actually bricking the machine temporarily so that no work can be done is a "prank", that's just industrial sabotage and at that point you pretty much deserve to be fired.  The difference is that pranks are things that are  annoying, not debilitating.

I pick and choose my moments. It's not like I do it completely blind from halfway across the world, and I only do it to immediate IT coworkers. But thanks so much for your concern for my well-being.


Plus, it's no worse than half the other stuff on that list. People can totally work properly when their screen is upside-down, right? I do it all the time for practice.
 
2014-03-28 01:53:49 PM  
How about

"Don't touch my computer, asshole.  I make my living with it, and I don't want you dicking with my tools no matter how funny you think it is."

/ Not funny
 
2014-03-28 02:00:12 PM  
I used to share an office with two hardware techs when I ran the computer labs at a small college, summers were bad with that much nerdiness in a small area getting bored during the slow times.

Sadly a lot of them won't work with current tech, but let's see...

Creating auto-running Autodesk Animator videos with photoshopped version of co-workers starring in BBW pron.

Writing screensavers that created random white splats over stills from said pron.

Wondering why your co-workers had so much BBW porn.

Changing the Windows 3.0 "hand" cursor so that it was flipping the bird.

Writing auto-start programs that create entirely random color schemes for one's desktop.

One that backfired; I made the mistake of showing my co-workers how to edit IO.SYS to change system messages. They changed "Press any key when ready" to "Smash any key when ready" on a system I was working on... Not thinking that machine was going to be the prototype for a teaching lab. It ended up getting copied to 20+ machines, and the first day of classes the "Intro to DOS" teacher came into the office in a panic claiming there was a virus loose in the labs. My co-workers spent an all-nighter cleaning that one up.

Using a big tool-hanger magnet normally used to erase disks to gauss a monitor so that everything looked tie-died. Better yet, doing that to the office secretary and then when she called back to ask us to look at it come out chanting nonsense, and slowly making mystical passes over her monitor with the same magnet thereby degaussing it, each pass restoring the screen even more, and then once it's back to normal chanting one's way back to the shop without a single understandable word.

Even better, turn your monitor tie-dyed and use it as if it were normal then watch the double-takes every time your pointy-haired boss (and believe me, I worked for the prototype) walks by. Have your co-workers deny anything is weird when he asks. Let him wonder if that whole "flashback" thing really is true.

The whole "out of control mouse" thing is old hat for anyone who's worked with X11 systems. That's pretty much the first thing you pull on a newbie.

I could probably write a slim book on the various hacks that happen when you have too much geek with too much time on their hands... A lot of them were physical hack though, not quite on topic. Good times!
/ except when they were hosing *MY* computer.
 
2014-03-28 02:02:50 PM  
Simply turning down the mouse curser speed to it's lowest setting is a great one for the non-tech people.  Watching them try to fix the problem and hearing the "clap clap clap" as they lift and drag their mouse to get the curser to move 3" is hysterical.
 
2014-03-28 02:14:14 PM  

NateAsbestos: Unoriginal_Username: For users with a single monitor, move the mouse to bottom of the screen so it's hidden, print screen. open in paint and paste. adjust the picture until the full image is shown. save and set as background.  Hide icons and drag the task bar until it's hidden.

Yes, that was in the article.

Unfortunately computer pranks would get both the pranker and the prankee fired at my work :(


ah..didn't see it when I scanned the article.
My boss is pretty relaxed. As long as we don't do anything really bad. One department had some of their folks wrap one of the others desk and everything on it and around it in tinfoil
 
2014-03-28 02:17:52 PM  
Years and years and years ago, I got my boss with a couple of cursor-related pranks.  First I installed a program that would drop the cursor to the bottom of the screen after 5 minutes of inactivity.  Fairly subtle.  Then I installed one that would randomize the mouse's directional input for the first quarter of a second.  Made it  damn hard to select anything.  You had to hit the spot on the fly or you'd never be able to zero in on it.  That got a, "Hey!  Does this have anything to do with why my cursor's always at the bottom of the screen?"
 
2014-03-28 02:24:05 PM  
I used to work with a bunch of hard-drinking telecom engineers, and that was interesting... For whatever reason that's the most perverse bunch I've encountered prank-wise. One in particular had this whole career of making little precision paper machines out of rubber bands, thumbtacks and origami pockets full of the round waste from the office paper punch such that you didn't dare open your desk drawer after being away for a day unless you wanted a face full of confetti. I once saw him dumping out the paper punch into a bag and told him... "Don't even think about it if you ever want your computer working again."

It's not that what he did was so original, but he really did put the effort in to it.
 
2014-03-28 02:32:10 PM  
slayer199:

unchellmatt: - A sales weasel had pissed me off at my previous command, so I replaced all the desktop links he had to sites related to our business so they all went to "chicks with dicks" website. Just before he gave a presentation to the CEO.

A buddy of mine worked for awhile at a seminary in their IT department, I basically had the "BritneySpears.exe" which was a program that sounded a klaxon and blinked in pink and black, "I AM GAY." He was reading mail while talking to his boss (a priest), when he clicked on that executable. He freaked out and just hard-booted his machine.


Heh... It wasn't "BritneySpears.exe" in my recollection, but I do recall hearing "HEY EVERYBODY! LOOK AT ME!!! I'M LOOKING AT PORN-O!!!!" sounding at full blast at one client's site a few times. '93-'94 maybe.

Fortunately my nasal cavities are inured to coffee. Because.... every time...
 
2014-03-28 02:55:13 PM  

Nexzus: Much fun to be had with NET SEND back in the day.


I had a pile of batc files that would get the older hp printers to display something other than Ready. The 18 year old hot secretary was dumbfounded because it would say various things but only to her. I could reset it the second she called someone else to have a look. That went on for more than two weeks.
 
2014-03-28 03:03:24 PM  

brokendownyota: Simply turning down the mouse curser speed to it's lowest setting is a great one for the non-tech people.  Watching them try to fix the problem and hearing the "clap clap clap" as they lift and drag their mouse to get the curser to move 3" is hysterical.


I've done that. It amazes me how many people have no idea how to even navigate the start menu from the keyboard.
 
2014-03-28 03:10:12 PM  
Most techie hack:

As mentioned in previous posts, some serious geeks with too much time on their hand. Eventually one we'll call J. decided he didn't want to play anymore, so he installed a program called "PC Vault" and locked us out of his machine.

Which would have been fine, save for his still messing around with our computers. Bad idea. Would have been fine if he had just removed himself.

So we (quite reasonably) argued that he'd have to give us access to the modem on his machine, that being rare at the time and his hist was the one hooked to the telephone system. He grudgingly granted us access. And that's when the work started (Mission Impossible theme playing)

I wrote a TSR program in assembly that redirected the keyboard to the printer. The other tech in the office ran a BBS, so it was trivial for him to upload it, rename it to YMODEM.EXE, and provide it for download overwriting the legitimate one.

J. comes back from lunch, does the head ducking, looking both ways thing that you usually only see before someone says "I'm not a racist, but...." And then types in his password. And then the light goes on on the printer.


I changed his password to "knobhead" but what we didn't know was that J was taking night classes, so he spent all night trying to figure out how he had *forgotten* his password. He ended up wiping the machine entirely.

Next morning he described it, and I sort of looked sadly at my partner in crime as if to say... "Well, hell, I'm not going to tell him if you aren't!"
 
2014-03-28 03:10:56 PM  

MugzyBrown: Rape your boss's daughter.

That's always good for a laugh.


Marty Kaan is listening...
 
2014-03-28 03:12:26 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: nocturnal001: phyrkrakr: The screenshot desktop one is always fun. My favorite variation is to leave all the icons in place, but first open up a small folder titled "Mexican Donkey Porn" with subfolders volume 1-8 before taking the screenshot. Then it's the "unclosable" window, even if the rest of the computer is working fine.

Yeah that's a good one too.

Flipping their screen upside down is an easy one. I think it's ctrl alt and then down arrow key maybe.

it works for all directions

/works on 8 too.
//and dual monitors, depending on where the mouse is. Weird


Doesn't work on my system (Vista). Had to d/l a small utility to be able to do that.

/blah blah, Vista has never given me issues (until recently, but that's only because I've kind of abused it over the past 5 years)
 
2014-03-28 03:17:01 PM  

SuperSecretSquirrel: SuperSecretSquirrel: Jim_Callahan: SuperSecretSquirrel: I wrote a pretty nifty batch that kicks off a psexec command to perform a windows lock on a remote machine. It loops every 20 seconds. Throw an IP in there, kick it off and watch the hilarity. Kill the script after a few minutes, then start it up again at a later date.

I don't know that actually bricking the machine temporarily so that no work can be done is a "prank", that's just industrial sabotage and at that point you pretty much deserve to be fired.  The difference is that pranks are things that are  annoying, not debilitating.

I pick and choose my moments. It's not like I do it completely blind from halfway across the world, and I only do it to immediate IT coworkers. But thanks so much for your concern for my well-being.

Plus, it's no worse than half the other stuff on that list. People can totally work properly when their screen is upside-down, right? I do it all the time for practice.


Nothing quite gets back at the prankster like sitting down and opening a word doc up and proceeding to stare intently at it, periodically scrolling. Bonus points if you are like me and can read upside down and backwards just as well as you can normally, because the prankster will invariably question your ability.

As far as office pranks go, the quickest one is to ball up a little pill of paper and stick it in the optical camera hole on the target's mouse. Better than tape, and hard to remove. Second to that, hosts file rewrites are always fun.
 
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