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Pranks for April Fool's Day 2004? 169

Nighttime asks: "April the First will soon be upon us and I'm looking for some subtle pranks to play around the office. There's the usual taking a screenshot and setting as background, placing a piece of tape across the mouse ball (use opaque tape for optical mice), setting the keyboard layout to Dvorak, swapping the 'M' and 'N' keys etc. The office empties quite quickly at the end of the day which leaves plenty of time for preparation."
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Pranks for April Fool's Day 2004?

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  • by DeadSea ( 69598 ) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:59AM (#8712805) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot will:
    1. Post stories in spanish, pig latin, and swedish chef.
    2. Customize the site for optimal viewing on 35 inch monitors.
    3. Start at least one running gag.
    4. Post about thirty fake stories.
    5. Post many of those stories multiple times.
    6. Post some of those same stories as real news later in the month.

    Because the evil bit is funny. Dammit.

  • Peanuts. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr. Darl McBride ( 704524 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @08:59AM (#8712806)
    This year, I am going to get one of those cans that says "peanuts" and has the coiled spring snakes inside, I'm going to go around offering it to people, and instead of a snake it's going to have real peanuts inside.

    The guys who always try and ruin things are going to look like asses. "HA HA! You won't fool ME! Hey, everyone! Look at Darl and his can of... oh. Peanuts."

    Plus I'll go around telling the GMTBers [slashdot.org] that their blogs' CSS doesn't render right in Safari and watch the precious panic.

  • My joke? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr. Darl McBride ( 704524 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:02AM (#8712815)
    What's my April Fool's joke?

    I'll give you a hint: I've been setting you all up for it since March of last year!

    See you at Linux Refund Day.


  • by PhuckH34D ( 743521 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:06AM (#8712826) Homepage
    If the people at your work have google as startup page, change it to http://www.google.com/intl/xx-hacker/ [google.com] Or another language found here [google.com] ( Klingon [google.com] is nice to)

  • by lortho ( 700090 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:09AM (#8712836)
    Add the following line to the HOSTS file on the windows PC your favorite linux geek is forced to use at work:


    (nslookup the IP to get the joke...) ;)
  • by hookedup ( 630460 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:11AM (#8712844)

    Tools > AutoCorrect

    Replace commonly used words with whatever you wish. Sit back and enjoy..
  • It's all fun and games until the guy who doesn't like fun and games goes and complains to management that their 'coworkers' are making fun of them.
    Then it's back to business, paperwork for you to sign is the first to-do item.
  • by SwissMike ( 592866 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:17AM (#8712890)
    Your girlfriends iBook is suddenly complaining about it playing the newest Justin Timberlake CD?

    Find out how to do this on trusty old macosxhints.com [macosxhints.com]!
  • by bob_jordan ( 39836 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:27AM (#8712965)
    I don't suggest trying this unless you are very good with electronics.

    I shared an office with a guy who was heavily into electronics and used to fix TVs and monitors as a hobby. This was back in the time of Windows 3.1. He stayed back the night before April 1st and stripped a guys monitor down and rebuilt it so the picture was upside down. (please don't ask me how.) Then he installed some hack on the display driver so Windows also displayed upside down. Rebooted the machine and went home.

    The victim used to spend a lot of time telneted into a Unix box and ran his login session full screen. Since the monitor was inverted and windows was inverted, everything looked fine. He started his telnet session, hit alt-enter to make it full screen and since it was no longer using the display driver, the display was now upside down.


    He spent a while trying to figure out what had happened and someone dropped a hint that maybe the display driver had been tampered with. He tracked down a clean display driver and installed it.


    Now everything was upside down.

    • by larien ( 5608 ) *
      Check the display drivers if you're in a Compaq shop; ours have a little trick where Ctrl-Alt-Down Arrow inverts the display and Ctrl-Alt-Up Arrow reverts it to the right way round.
    • If he was really observant, he might have noticed that rebooting the machine would have shown the BIOS POST messages upside down as well, indicating a hardware problem right from the start.
  • by Mr. Darl McBride ( 704524 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:29AM (#8712977)
    If you've got one of those vending machines at the office which lets you put cash in to open a door and take the food from inside, don't forget that you can put food in as well.

    I'll probably stick a few empty beer cans in there this year.

    • He he, they have a couple of those at school, perhaps it's time to have some fun.

      Though besides that what other things would be fun to put in there. I'm thinking things which would be fun just for the people who see it. Perhaps put a Kinderegg toy in there, or one M&M. Or why not put a sandwich in there, or a miniture liquor bottle?

      Bloody brilliant idea though!
  • by orthogonal ( 588627 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:37AM (#8713029) Journal
    Hire a dozen Indians. Have them show up before your colleagues get to work, and sit them in your colleagues' chairs.

    Post a large message on the whiteboard/bulletin board: "Accelerated Personnel Replacement Instruction Lessons -- Followed-by Occupational Outsourcing Layoffs"
  • Had a nice one last year.
    We have a surveilance system for the telephone links going abroad from Norway, with
    some nice graphs showing the reacability of phone calls to foreign countries.
    So on some of the high priority routes we manipulated the statistics
    so they all showed 0% reacability.
    Caused quite some panic ;)
    • Reacability isn't in my dictionary, and I suspect it's not a misspelling of "Rockabilly". Care to define it?
      • Some term they use for how good your chances are of
        routing the call to a country..
        e.g. only 1 in 10 calls make it through, the
        reacability of the country is rather poor.
  • by atomic-penguin ( 100835 ) <wolfe21@marsh[ ].edu ['all' in gap]> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:45AM (#8713086) Homepage Journal
    It's so hilarious to watch people who can't type try to peck type on a keyboard with switched keys. I switched my keys on my keyboard to the Dvorak layout, but left the keymap the same as the qwerty layout. People would come to my dorm-room, and ask to use my computer. I would always be glad enough to help out a fellow student, and let them do some work on my computer. Most of the time the person, just looked confused and said, "I think I will find another computer to work on." Eventually people just stopped bothering me about using the computer, after all, there was a 24 hr. library a block away with at least 50 computers available.
    • Try a dvortyboard [dvortyboards.com]. Even with both sets of key labeling on the keyboard, it really fucked with our IT group whenever they wanted to do stuff on my computer. (The dvorak letters are in the center of the key and about twice the size of the qwerty letters, which are in the upper right hand corner of the key.)
      • Except for the fact that the dvortyboard is wired to send the correct scancode when used in Dvorak mode, the Model M would do the job. Your dvortyboard looks like a cheap membrane keyboard, and the Model M is a REAL keyboard. I don't think it would be too hard to get keys printed up for it...
  • I am going to tape a white piece of paper to all of the optical sensors on the office mice, and I'm going to stash all of the non-optical mice balls. People won't know what happened. I am likely to unplug the mice too just for a high one.
  • by SilentJ_PDX ( 559136 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:59AM (#8713160) Homepage
    All the developers on my project (7 in total) are "resigning", one at a time, in individual meetings with the PM. The project's been rough recently, so this won't be coming out of left-field and detected as a prank immediately.

    I'm hoping we'll have a good laugh AND teach management how much they need us at the same time...
  • Prank software (Score:2, Informative)

    by john_is_war ( 310751 )
    friend showed me a site with a large variety of these. Either way, my computer lab teacher's probably gonna be pissed at me. http://www.rjlsoftware.com
    • Re:Prank software (Score:3, Informative)

      by bhtooefr ( 649901 )
      BTW, both Norton AV Corporate and McAfee treat all of RJL's pranks as viruses (in a prank category), and some pranks that actually get classified as RAT trojans (well, they ARE remote access...)
    • and yes, it's all Windows software, in case anyone was curious.
    • Be VERY VERY careful.. most school administrators (principals, not computer system) are unbelievably ignorant of computers and you may find yourself suspended for 'hacking' the computer system..
  • by anth ( 2631 ) <ajchapman@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:08AM (#8713252)
    ... so that our customers could trick people with them. Hopefully me posting this link [iwantoneofthose.com] won't ruin that.
  • by no longer myself ( 741142 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:18AM (#8713367)
    OK, so this isn't new, but I love pulling this one any time of the year. In the one office we have two PC's that sit next to each other. Just criss-cross the mice. It's fast, it's simple, it's annoying as hell to the mark, but it's non-destructive, and no one gets in trouble.

    The other prank idea involves Christopher Walken and a crowbar, but it's kind of hard to play that one off so everybody can have a good laugh.

  • FauxDOS (Score:2, Funny)

    by k4_pacific ( 736911 )
    I wrote a little C program called FauxDOS and had it run from the autoexec.bat file on a cow-orker's MS-DOS PC. The source is below.

    #include "stdio.h"

    void main()
    char p[256];
    printf("Bad command or file name\n\n");
  • by JamesP ( 688957 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:45AM (#8713642)
    old fashioned.

    Try the french layout.

    1 - Most of the keys match... I said most. Exceptions: QA , WZ, and you have to press shift to type the numbers...

    2 - Symbols? Forget about it...

    • If you want something even more subtle...try gaelic. All the letters match, and the numbers are unshifted. It gets fun when you need to use symbols.

      For a Windows shop:

      Make sure to turn off the "enable indicator on toolbar".

      Add Gaelic as the keyboard language, so you have two input locales.

      Set "Switch between input locales" to whichever is more common for the user. Unfortunately, you can only choose between left alt+shift or ctrl+shift.

      Unfortunately, it may take a while before the user hits the magic
  • by Mudhiker ( 15850 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:16AM (#8713999)
    One year in the dorms I made up an authentic looking fake departmental memo, complete with file path line at the bottom, that said that the Dorm showers would be out of service for a week while they were replaced by coin-op ones (at $.25/5 minutes). We printed em up and spread em around. Later that day there was much rumbling in the cafeteria. The best was my roommate, Mr. Clean, three drunken showers a day, who let out a yell of "Can you believe this!?!" He was even starting to calculate how much it would cost him...
  • by m0smithslash ( 641068 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:20AM (#8714038) Homepage Journal
    From Top 100 April Fools pranks [museumofhoaxes.com] you may get some good ideas. For instance, #10 - Planetary Alignment Dcreases Gravity could well be worth recycling this year, due to the planet alignment of recent days. #15 might have possibilities for the more prurient [reference.com] among you.
  • I'm fond of taking the keyboard plug and pulling it out juuuuust enough to where it's no longer working, but it still LOOKS like it's plugged in.
  • I'm working on a homebrew web proxy that'll pass web pages through talkfilters [delorie.com]. For example:

    Nighttime [mailto] ax's, dig dis: "April de Fust will soon be upon us an' I'm lookin' fo' some subtle pranks t' play a'ound da damn office. What it is, Mama! Dere's de usual takin' some damn screenshot an' settin' as background, placin' some damn piece uh tape across de mouse ball (use opaque tape fo' optical mice), settin' de keyboa'd layout t' Dvo'ak, swappin' de 'M' an' 'N' keys etc. Word! De office empties quite quickly

  • by mike77 ( 519751 ) <mraley77@NospAM.yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:01PM (#8714543)
    This was done by a friend of mine, so I take no credit. First off there are 14 of us in a cubicle farm in a large office room. There is one set of lights (about 6-7 in a row). the night before April Fools, he came in and switched all of the lights around. Now, when you work in a room, you get to know where your light switch is. So, for a few days we all thought we were insane. After everyone got used to their "new" light location, he switched hem back. I thought it was a great prank, because it was basically harmless, but it did make you question your sanity for a few days...

    • Once in college, April 1 fell on a weekend, so the maintenance guys generally wouldn't come in. I unscrewed the "tamper-proof" screws on the elevator control panel and rewired it so that all the buttons took you to different floors. It caused glorious mass confusion; with a full elevator all the floors tended to get picked, so it seemed fine, but otherwise seemed pretty random. Monday, when somebody turned up in response to a slew of complaints, I had put everything back, causing yet more confusion.
  • by ry4an ( 1568 ) <[ry4an-slashdot] [at] [ry4an.org]> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:23PM (#8714817) Homepage
    back in 1999 I was working for a growing company and we had lots of spare cubicle materials around. I came in the night before April 1st and removed the doors from many cubicles by simply removing the smooth ends and adding a new wall segment. Most of the employees opted to climb over the walls to work just the same.
  • HP Printer (Score:5, Funny)

    by mrgrey ( 319015 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:49PM (#8715143) Homepage Journal
    Change the displays on the HP printers you have all over your network. Download the source http://www.atstake.com/research/tools/network_util ities/hp.c

    compile it, write a little script to run it on the entire network and laugh.

    -Insert Coin
    -I hate my job
    -Do not call the admin
    -You suck
    -Out of water
    -replace CEO

    • PCL has almost infinite practical joke potential.

      - add a watermark
      - make pages print 60% grey instead of black
      - rotate each page by 5 degrees

      Sometimes these settings will be overwritten by a document, so for best results you need admin access to the queue and ensure the codes are prepended to each print job.
    • Awesome. I've reduced that program to a single UNIX/Cygwin command line:
      echo -n "x%-12345X@PJL RDYMSG DISPLAY = \"INSERT COIN \"rnx%-12345Xrn" | tr rnx "\r\n\033" | telnet printer-IP 9100
      Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work on the LaserJet 4000T in my office.
  • by qengho ( 54305 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:25PM (#8716601)
    For OS X machines with a microphone, there's always Conan the Librarian [jschilling.net].
  • the Prank Institute (Score:3, Informative)

    by k3pler ( 30317 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:49PM (#8716921) Homepage
    damn, I'm forced to pimp my own site now: http://prank.org you will listen due to my low uid :)
  • Desk tricks (Score:3, Funny)

    by trentfoley ( 226635 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @03:31PM (#8717467) Homepage Journal
    Years back, in the Windows 3.0a days, I rigged up a coworker's desk for April 1.

    I placed a large thumbtack on the underside of a desk drawer and ran segments of fishing line from the tack, out the back of the desk, to various objects on the desk -- phone, stapler, calendar, etc.

    I left a note on his chair that said, "Check out the printouts I made from www.whitehouse.com. They are in your filing drawer."

    My office was across the hall and I waited for him to arrive. Listening near the door, I heard him say, "Cool!" and then came the crashes and the obscenities.

    Of course I was nice enough to actually put some porn in the filing drawer.

  • Autorebooter (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CokoBWare ( 584686 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @04:30PM (#8718166)

    Add a shortcut to a .bat file in your victim's Startup folder in a Windows 2K or XP setup (using some clever social engineering way to get the person away from their terminal), and put the following line in the .bat file:

    shutdown -r -f -t 00

    This will reboot the victim's computer every time they start up their computer! It's harmless, and very annoying.

  • Laptops (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sopuli ( 459663 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @05:11PM (#8718612)
    A very simple prank on laptops, is to turn num-lock on. This will map numeric values to the alphanumeric keys on the right side of the keyboard. People who never use this functionality (and have never turned the num-lock on by accident) tend to be stumped by this one for at least several minutes.
  • Segway (Score:2, Funny)

    by uncoveror ( 570620 )
    I plan to take an old-fashioned push reel lawnmower to the street corner, tell people it's a Segway, and see how many chuckleheads bust their asses or crack their skulls trying to ride it.
  • I think that's all I need to say.
  • My favorite: Changing the shell to "winver.exe".

    To do this, in Windows 95/98, edit the SYSTEM.INI file and change the line SHELL= from EXPLORER.EXE to WINVER.EXE. When their computer starts, they see a pleasant message displaying the version of Windows running with an OK button. Clicking OK shuts down the PC. Repeat as necessary. :)

    This also works in 2000/XP, but requires a registry hack and doesn't have the added benefit of shutting down the PC after OK is pressed. However, the user is left with a screen w

  • VNC anyone? (Score:3, Funny)

    by cbmeeks ( 708172 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @10:33AM (#8724887) Homepage
    Can't belive noone mentioned this one...well, I didn't see it anyway. I have VNC installed on all of our computers so that I don't have to drive out to our remote branches (across different states). You can setup VNC so that when you log in, the person won't know it. Sit there for a while and watch what they do...then, ever so often, move the mouse. While they are typing, press random keys. When they call you, tell them you will check into it. This is really funny when the person is thousands of miles away connected via VPN. hehe cb
  • by happyfrogcow ( 708359 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @11:37AM (#8725459)
    place bootable linux CD's into your coworkers CDROM drives, restart computer.

    of course if you've got plush linux penguins and Oreilly books all over your cubicle, they'll know who did it.

Money is truthful. If a man speaks of his honor, make him pay cash. -- Lazarus Long