Train your HP printer to harass your office enemies

Most Hewlett-Packard printers have a digital display with a programmable ready message, which is pretty much an open invitation for tech-savvy geeks to have some fun at the expense of their tech-addled coworkers. With a little perl hacking, here's how to get started.

insert_coin.jpgMost Hewlett-Packard printers have a digital display with a programmable ready message, which is pretty much an open invitation for tech-savvy geeks to have some fun at the expense of their tech-addled coworkers. All you need is this little perl program, developed by this guy. Get it going and you can have your local document demon start back-talking in no time, if only to demand quarters that the staff will have no visible method of inserting. And that's just for starters:

"I wrote a more elaborate version that takes advantage of the HP 4200's larger, four-line display. It sends the current weather conditions which I grab from NOAA using the perl Geo::METAR module. It updates every 10 minutes. Amazingly, while many people noticed the report on the printer display, no one questioned it!"

Ladies and gentlemen, start your hacking.