Holiday PC prank

Holiday PC prank

Summary: The holiday season seems to always bring out the prankster in me - and this year I've got a fun trick that I'm planning to play!

TOPICS: Hardware

The holiday season seems to always bring out the prankster in me - and this year I've got a fun trick that I'm planning to play!

It's simple really - fire up a few apps, take a screenshot of the desktop, set it as the desktop background and then hide the desktop icons ... then move to an observation point and try not to snigger too loud :-)

Anyone else any good pranks to share?

Topic: Hardware

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  • That's an old one

    Once I disabled the touchpad on my friend's laptop and put in a BSOD screensaver and set it for one minute. No, he's not too bright.
    Michael Kelly
  • I fell for that once...Once!

    Earlier this year, I did an internship in the IT department of a local town. During my first or second week there, I made the mistake of leaving my desk without locking my screen. One of my coworkers pulled that prank on me. Even though I didn't figure it out right away, I only struggled for a minute before deciding to reboot, which solved the problem. And like the subject line states, it only happened once. A painless lesson well learned. ;-)
  • DOS Pranks

    This used to work in the autoexec.bat file:

    @echo off
    ctty prn > nul
    @echo "Error reading drive: C:"
    @pause > nul

    Happy Holidays Folks
    D T Schmitz
  • Done that many times

    I love that prank and have done it many times.
  • It works better if

    you set up a Linux boot disk with the system set to look like Windows XP, using the screenshot of their desktop. Fun to watch them try to figure out what happened. ]:)
    Linux User 147560
    • Agreed

      Using a live Linux CD is a great way to really confuse someone.
  • Got my brother with BSOD

    Yeah, I got my brother real good with the BSOD screen saver. He was swearing up a storm at his computer.
  • Wireless mouse

    I've had great success plugging in a USB receiver for a wireless mouse/trackball.

    Just set the mouse/trackball nearby (on a bookshelf, cubicle wall, or some other object that you can "lean" on while you use the mouse/trackball).

    I prefer using a trackball for the prank, primarily because it can be used while hidden in a jacket pocket!
  • Synergy

    I've also used Synergy for a few pranks.

    Officially marketed as a tool to help control multiple computers (with monitors) from a single keyboard/mouse, it is also great at allowing you to quickly (temporarily) take over the victim's mouse or add your own keystrokes.

    The software is easy to install and can be set to run whenever the computer starts up. For best results, the prankster should be able to see the victim's screen. It's great when the victim think his computer is communicating to him via Word!
    • Synergy (plus a webcam)

      One time I set this up on a remote computer in another building. I also hid a webcam among the junk on the victim's desk. The webcam was angled so I could see his monitor and some of the victim when he would be at his computer.

      Not only was the victim alone in his office when I struck, but I (and those gathered around my computer) could see and hear the victim's reactions! The prank, which works well when the victim starts typing responses back to the computer, becomes even better when the "computer" responds to his voice.