PCs

Computer pranks that will make your friends curse you

63 comments
lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

I certainly don't want to sound like the proverbial wet blanket type of guy, but I have to wonder why I would do these things to my friends. I don't want to ever display this type of disrespect to what I consider a very fine group of folks that I know would never consider doing any of these things to me. As for the type of people that do these things the saying, "An idle mind is the devils workshop" comes into my thoughts. Those folks really need to get a life with meaningful purpose. Have a nice day!

rkendsley
rkendsley

IMHO, since you asked. Broken LT Monitor was decent. For the most part, this was a waste of time, as are a majority of TR articles now days. A rehash of pics from a recent previous article. TR is definitely on the downward side of the slope. The glory days are gone.

Will-V-King
Will-V-King

When my mum use that OS, she thought this something wrong with the computer, because the monitor window comes from nowhere when she login, and there's no reflection when she try to close it. And also I hide all the ICON on the desktop, so all the icon you want to click is part of the background picture~ You can even hide the tool bar, such as hide it and drag it to the top~

whitehound
whitehound

I presume the printscreen one near the ebginning is the trick whereby you take a screenshot of the person's desktop, with icons, then remove the real icons and make the screen-shot their desktop - although the description isn't clear. This and the broken screen one are clever, the rest merely tedious, although the cardboard keyboard looks good aesthetically - somebody should make peripherals in matt manilla. I don't normally like "pranks" - they're just ways for the prankster to show off and complicate the prankee's day. But one I heard about at an American high school had a touch of true genius about it. The kids got hold of three pigs, painted the legends Pig 1, Pig 2 and Pig 4 on their sides and let them loos in the school - then watched the staff trying fruitlessly to find Pig 3.

george_cabe
george_cabe

In the 'green screen' era we also had fine mesh covers that were supposed to cut down glare; they fit over the glass of the CRT. Someone cut black construction paper the exact size of the screen and placed it behind the mesh glare screen. Although the power lights were on and all connections were good, no amount of fiddling with the brightness and contrast knobs would fix the 'black screen'

gates_clone
gates_clone

I had a co-worker who always played aloud a web stream from a radio show that I really hated. One Friday I modified his iTunes list and the hosts file so it pointed towards an evangelic web stream. Unfortunately I couldn't see his face in the act, as he came to work in Saturday (when no one was around).

hotshot1
hotshot1

I once inverted a graphic of the Windows 98SE boot screen in paint then saved it and re-installed it. When the boss turned on his computer, the Windows 98 splash screen was inverted. I'm not sure if this could be done in later versions of Windows.

dave.allen@gremble.co.uk
dave.allen@gremble.co.uk

Back in the day... before any form of windows it was easy. Simply replace the autoexec.bat with a text file that said formatting c: drive please wait...... pause for a keystroke and then watch the reaction. hours of endless fun

net.minder
net.minder

The best I.T. prank I ever helped with was on a senior project manager who was ALWAYS late submitting his timesheet. But he would continually harp on his staff about updating timesheets every day, never being late. So with our CFO's blessing, the Accounting support guy and I devised a special login script that would detect if it was Monday, and his submitted hours for the previous week totalled less than 32. (which would allow for a day off.) If these conditions were met, no drive-letters would map, and it would replace certain shortcut icons (.LNK files) on his desktop, Quick Launch and Start Menu with ones that looked just like normal (e.g. titled "Microsoft Outlook" with the usual icon), but they would each launch the Timesheet program. So he couldn't open Outlook, Excel, Word, Visio, Project or Internet Explorer. Then, as soon as he got his timesheet done, he could logout and log back in again, so his icons returned to normal, and he got his network drive-letters back. The guy called our helpdesk and yelled at people until I took the phone and told him the CFO (my boss) asked us to do it. Then he went quiet. Madder than hell, though!

blissmanna
blissmanna

WOW!!! What a complete waste of my time... I can't believe I actually looked at as many as I did. I am wondering now - Are there any adults around who might supervise you kids???

nujoe
nujoe

Stupid... Not even funny at all...

wade.davis
wade.davis

We attached a wireless keyboard transmitter to a friends computer and controlled his computer without his knowing. Thinking he had a virus he contacted the I.S. Team, after which we annonimously sent hin an email telling him he had been had. hen he had to inform the IS Team of his demise. Bet they had a good laugh.

SkyWlf77
SkyWlf77

I am amazed at the number of people that are in favor of activities such as this. It is so environmentally wasteful - wasted duct tape, wasted paper, wasted plastic wrap, etc. - that it's disgusting. If anyone had attempted this at the office where I work, the cost of the supplies used would be deducted from their paycheck, they would have received a write-up for wasting resources and, depending on the extent of the "prank", could very well have been terminated. In this economy, waste is thrown away money and no business can afford that right now. Destruction of the environment is a major issue, yet no one seems to have a problem with throwing away trees left and right by creating entire cardboard cubicles or wrapping an entire cubicle in paper. The fact that TechRepublic seems to support these actions by highlighting them in a gallery and making no mention of the waste involved disturbs me. I really have to reconsider my involvement with TechRepublic after this. You have severely disappointed me, TR :( -Jason

radika23
radika23

That's the best one. With a toilet paper roll on the CPU. But, one advice. Be careful. Don't mix up the brushes :)

kraken_
kraken_

Take the guts out of a musical greeting card and connect the leads to the "caps lock" LED on someone's keyboard (don't need the battery, the LED will provide power once lit). The thing is, some people will notice "strange music" right away, while others won't activate it for months...

guy
guy

One of my favourite pranks was to use clear tape to "freeze" the ball of the old mice. These days a simple sticker on the Mouse LED pickup works great. Other options were to swap the PS/2 mouse and keyboard plugs. These days another favourite when two PCs are close, is to swap the mouse and/or keyboard connectors between the PCs so that each user is moving the other users cursor.

cheryloftexas
cheryloftexas

A sense of humor keeps you young! As long as you're not ruining any furniture or equipment there's no harm in breaking up the day with a little fun! I especially love office pranks because work can be stressful and boring. The pranks bring the office "gang" closer and more relaxed around each other. And when you love the people you work with it makes getting up every morning to go to work a lot easier! CherylofTexas

AttackComputerWhiz
AttackComputerWhiz

It would be funny except we actually had to do that in a small, remote building with no secure office space. The "john" has the only locking door!

CG IT
CG IT

one of the reasons why I'd rather be a field tech than in the office.

bbbaldie_z
bbbaldie_z

Geez, what a bunch of sad, humorless people. An occasional cubicle prank keeps things loose. There's enough pressure in IT without having self-important people looking down their noses at attempts to have an occasional bit of fun.

cdh987
cdh987

I think that, with the exception of the easily reversible screensaver ones, that these are not funny in the least and are destructive to boot. Most of these things would take a lot of time to rectify. None of these pranks holds a candle to the stapler in the Jello or throwing someone's cellphone in the T-bar ceiling above their desk and calling them all day (like in The Office); now THOSE would be funny. If I saw someone had put tape all over my sh!t, I'd be pissed and would not be a good sport about it. Woe be to that prankster's stuff...

techrepublicsucks
techrepublicsucks

Here are some better pranks...I wish I could post the pictures... 1. Use plastic wrap to close off the cubical and fill it with foam packing peanuts. 2. Use aluminum foil and, carefully, wrap EVERY item in their workspace. Foil is better at keeping out alien signals than brown paper or duct tape! 3. Cover everything in the workspace with Post-Its. Save one to put on the door of the office with the message, "Please order more Post-Its." Can you picture what happens when they pull the duct tape off that cheap laminated furniture? Can you say particle board? How about destruction of company property?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

If you don't like that one, you've never been in tech support.

barry.brown2006
barry.brown2006

I simply love that one. Wish we could do it to some of our managers that do the same thing.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

his submitted hours for the previous week totalled less than 32 after he was forced to do the timesheet?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

The only remaining suspect posted to this discussion. As a side note, properly planned and executed practical jokes can build esprit de corps in the workplace. Note I said [u]properly planned[/u], which includes choosing an appropriate joke, the proper time, and a target with a good sense of humor. I suspect you fail the final criterion.

barry.brown2006
barry.brown2006

I suspect you may be a candidate for a future Darwin's Award. I am sure TechRepublic would miss you greatly.

lupin109
lupin109

It is anally-retentive folks like you who make pranks necessary. You must be a blast at the Xmas office party. While I agree there is a time and a place for this, and that there is professionalism in the workplace to be considered, there is also the other side of the issue, where people take it way too seriously. Office pranks are an art and a form of expression, hence protected speech. As long as the prank is non-destructive and is done on the prankster's own ressources rather than the company's I cannot see any harm in it. In other words, before pointing out the straw in our eye, take that stick you got out of your butt!!

TripOne
TripOne

Lighten up, Frances!!

santeewelding
santeewelding

I can tell you the outlook is not good, Jason.

NexS
NexS

There is nothing in this world more deserving of waste than a good joke. Nothing.

jonrosen
jonrosen

A sense of humor keeps you young. However, intelligence helps too. The background of a broken screen I can grin at and enjoy. someone doing the cardboard computer is a prank a 3 year old could come up with. If I wanted sub-par IQ pranks I'd go to a frat house.

EncinoMan
EncinoMan

I know I'm wearing this out but I get on my customer service/employee relations pulpit and the adrenaline takes over. Attack and Cheryl are exactly right. Some of the best bosses I've ever seen were those who had a sense of humor and enjoyed it at work with people above AND below their assigned levels. A man or woman who can freely laugh at themselves earn more respect, are more trusted and tend to manage via a process that is more like leadership than supervision. If you are able to watch them they walk around a lot and ask questions with a sincere desire to learn. Oy! This time I'm wrapping my keyboard with duct tape and reading the responses of others. CYA!

jhinquiry
jhinquiry

Too many years ago we had a similar episode. We were temporarily housed in a motel (three departments). When we first got there, they forgot to plan for the keypunches (I told you it was a long time ago). So temporarily, one keypunch was placed half in a bathtub, and I'll leave it up to your imagination as to where you sat to use it. We often told the other two departments that we then understood why their code was so CR...Y. ;-) Later they added a lean-to shed for three keypunches.

EncinoMan
EncinoMan

Most employers, alas, have no sense of humor. A prank of any kind is usually classified as "horseplay" and treat it as grounds for dismissal. Silly stuff like this is often a release for repressed or depressed workers. This makes much more sense than "going postal" on your boss or trashing the IT center of a global manufacturer because you got laid-off. So, employers stop treating your employees like resources. In actual fact each employee at every nexus in the workplace hierarchy is both a supplier AND a customer at the internal level. By the way, you'll find employees with better self worth will be less destructive and more creative in their pranks. Sigman Froid of the Southern U.S. Froids.

mckinnej
mckinnej

All of these have been done at my office as birthday pranks. One exception, instead of Post-It notes, they used coupons (mostly for feminine products and adult diapers). My cube got the silly string and balloons treatment. An avid FSU fan's cube got decked out in Florida Gator trim. They even Photoshopped his wife's head onto a Gator cheerleader body and his onto Tebo's body and posted those all over the office. Another person got her cube filled with dozens of boxes. I have no idea where they got all those boxes. A lot of planning goes into this stuff obviously. Our tradition is everyone gets "one". No repeats and you WILL get one. Everyone gets a kick out of it because everyone plays along.

HappyHeathen
HappyHeathen

Walked into my office one day and found Post-Its over everything! (Not fully covered, but including the ceiling!) Started me cursing under my breath while ripping them down. I was really getting ticked until my brother-in-law's smiling face popped around the door jam. THEN he had me laughing with him. I'm still amazed at how much he managed to cover in the 15 minutes I was away on a support call.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

I keep seeing this and it keeps driving me crazy. A [i]cubicle[/i] is that small amount of space in which we are allowed to work. The 8' x 8' x 8' frame room is [i]cubical[/i] in its dimensions. Edit: type, post, proofread

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

Although I have not placed it at anyones desk yet. I recently pulled apart an LCD display, and colored with yellow, red, blue, and green splotches on one of the internal pieces of plastic. So although you can still dee the desktop and picture, it is pretty annoying. Cool at first, but bugs quickly. I was thinking about adding some red LED's on the top, and blue LEDs on the bottom, to really trip it out a bit more....

alaniane
alaniane

fdisk prank and if you were really sharp with Assembly then you would trap the ctrl-alt-delete interupt so that they could not reboot out of the screen.

lars
lars

And so is taking a screenshot of someones desktop with icons and then setting it as the desktop background while removing the actual icons ;-)

sboverie
sboverie

A properly planned and executed practical joke on someone with a sense of humor is what makes these pranks fun. I have seen similar treatments that let the target feel like they were missed when they were sick or on vacation. If it helps improve the morale of everyone then it is productive.

ItsmeTaralee
ItsmeTaralee

tbh these are pretty shit ;-] There goes a few minutes of my life Im not gonna get back :[

EncinoMan
EncinoMan

There is NOTHING that makes an employee (a valuable asset not a resource to be consumed)feel less valued to the org, and to him/herself than easily portable, breakdown cubicle work space. You may as well make the restroom their assigned work loation. And while your at it issue each a single used pencil stub each month and make them sign for it. Sorry for running on. I'm done! CYA!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

I ran into one of my former students this week. We chatted for a while and he told of the practical joke they pulled at work on a project consultant. About a week before the project close date, somebody snuck into the consultant's office and downloaded the contents of his desktop onto a flash drive. They copied the shortcuts onto another PC, then played mix-and-match with the links (but not the names!) . The consultant was well known for logging on, then going to get a cup of coffee (about a 15-minute trip). While he was at the coffee shop on the project's last day, they copied his desktop shortcuts into a backup directory, then loaded up the shortcuts they had altered. I'm told the look on the consultant's face when he double-clicked the Project Manager Plus icon and Solitare opened was priceless. Edit: spuling

ItsmeTaralee
ItsmeTaralee

When you take drugs....just cut back a bit :P P.S I must admit, your last reply....now that was really funny! Well worth the time ;) But...you didnt think I was gonna let you have the last word? I am a female after all :]

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

I read your post, so I know how you feel. :D

fo128
fo128

His was lucky it was actually just the friendly Solitaire screen that greeted him instead of some sleazy or dubious web site / photo / video etc., for all his/her colleagues to see. Shame, reputations can get tarnished in a second. What creatures we are, indeed.