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General => General Chat => Topic started by: steve_w on December 31, 2014, 06:50:32 am

Title: Wicked practical joke
Post by: steve_w on December 31, 2014, 06:50:32 am
Check out this story, the guy who did this is just plain diabolical, what an evil sense of humor. I would love to work with him.

enjoy

Steve W

http://ultrakeet.com.au/write-ups/microcontrollers-not-allowed (http://ultrakeet.com.au/write-ups/microcontrollers-not-allowed)
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Vgkid on December 31, 2014, 08:33:06 am
That is pretty ingenius.
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: rob77 on December 31, 2014, 08:47:58 am
nice joke :D but i would have soldered much thinner wires to the internal structure of the pins and potted the IC back  >:D then let the teacher to reuse the chip later on - in fact trolling not just the teacher but also future students  >:D >:D
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: German_EE on December 31, 2014, 09:52:21 am
Work like that is impressive and if I was his course instructor I would hand out extra credits.

So, the next time someone suggests that the CIA/NSA/FBI have installed a keylogger inside your keyboard just remember stuff like this before you dismiss them  8)
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: free_electron on December 31, 2014, 10:41:55 am
Any instructor worth his salt would have spotted this immediately .it's Pretty obvious this was a hacked 7447 as the font is wrong. In a real 7447 The 7 doesnt have The segment f, the 6 doesnt have segment a, and the nine doesnt have segment d.

Youd need a 74247 to get the 6 and 9 , but even then the 7 would still not have segment f.

Teachers ..  ::). Duh ..




Edit. I really need to get a real life one day. As soon as the number 6 flew by in the video my brain went -fake fake fake- : the font is wrong. And then 7 flew by and the alarm just went louder.  It's pretty bad when your subconscious memory fires up alarms looking at a seven segment display ...
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: colecaz on December 31, 2014, 08:27:28 pm
Had to join EEVblog just to comment on this.

Obviously, this student had too light of a class load.  But what a clever implementation and excellent workmanship.  He's hired!!
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: steve_w on January 01, 2015, 02:23:12 am
Maybe Dave should recruit him for the vacant position at EEVBlog.  That post is a pretty good resume for the job.

Dave, headhunt this guy.

Steve W


Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: pickle9000 on January 01, 2015, 03:16:23 am
Awesome
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: HighVoltage on January 01, 2015, 09:47:09 am
I would hire some student like this on a spot.
What a great idea and implementation
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: TerraHertz on January 01, 2015, 10:03:40 am
He fixed his http://ultrakeet.com.au/about/ (http://ultrakeet.com.au/about/)   page. Nice workshop!
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: holozip on January 10, 2015, 12:43:05 am
What an amazing practical joke, shame it was so well executed they didn't spot it :(

Gets my +1 for new lab assistant!
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: EEVblog on January 10, 2015, 12:56:19 am
Maybe Dave should recruit him for the vacant position at EEVBlog.  That post is a pretty good resume for the job.
Dave, headhunt this guy.
Steve W

As it turns out, I know him!  :o
http://ultrakeet.com.au/about/ (http://ultrakeet.com.au/about/)
I know who he used to work for.
I had no idea he was "UltraKeet"
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Zero999 on January 10, 2015, 02:08:18 pm
Any instructor worth his salt would have spotted this immediately .it's Pretty obvious this was a hacked 7447 as the font is wrong. In a real 7447 The 7 doesnt have The segment f, the 6 doesnt have segment a, and the nine doesnt have segment d.

Youd need a 74247 to get the 6 and 9 , but even then the 7 would still not have segment f.

Teachers ..  ::). Duh ..




Edit. I really need to get a real life one day. As soon as the number 6 flew by in the video my brain went -fake fake fake- : the font is wrong. And then 7 flew by and the alarm just went louder.  It's pretty bad when your subconscious memory fires up alarms looking at a seven segment display ...
The difference is you knew it was a fake before you saw the video.

If you expected to see a standard 7 segment counter circuit, then you'd be much less likely to spot it, until you saw it uttering obscenities.
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: VK3DRB on January 11, 2015, 06:46:40 am
Here are practical joke war stories I knew about over the years. Enjoy!

(1) An ex-IBM plant manager admitted that during his engineering course at university, he changed some colour codes bands on resistors housed in little clear plastic boxes with banana plugs. Hence 100K would look like 1K by just over-painting the yellow stripe with red, or a 22K would look like a 22 ohm by painting over the third red strip with black. >:D

(2) At RMIT an oscilloscope had a problem. Turn it on and there was no trace. The technician open up the CRO and checked all the signals at the neck of the tube were OK, the focus voltage seemed to work and there was EHT. So he ordered a new picture tube (expensive back in the early 80's). When he went to replace the picture tube, out fell a piece of cardboard that some clown had placed between the picture tube and the graticule screen.  :'(

(3) A technician once swapped the 'T' and 'Y' keytops on a keyboard belonging to another technician. The victim came to the conclusion the keyboard decoder inside the keyboard itself was defective and ordered a new replacement keyboard. |O

(4) Two PC's connected with a back-to-back phone line emulator (hidden away). The mouse on one PC was thus made to "interfere" with the second PC's monitor via PC Anywhere. The victim looked underneath the mouse and was adamant, "I have seen this before. This crap is made in China and there is RF interference into the other PC." His engineering colleagues were in tears. :-DD

(5) At RMIT in the 1970's, some students inflated several boxes of condoms and floated them out the upper storey window past the Queen Victoria Hospital maternity wing. :-//

(6) At Melbourne Uni in the late 1970's, the Farrago magazine advertised a stunt where a bloke was going to jump off the multi-story Howard Florey building onto some cardboard boxes. As a crowd gathered, the stuntman wearing overalls entered the building to take the lift to the top. Instead an effigy of the stuntman containing some bags of tomato sauce was thrown off the roof and made to miss the boxes and hit the concrete. One of the staff needed medical attention from shock.  :palm:

(7) At IBM, some engineer typed an email to his manager from another engineer's PC as an in-house joke saying, "I want twice the money for half the work else you can stick you job up your... ." It backfired. He typed the intended recipient's address with a typo in one character and instead it went to the secretary of a senior executive. There was an enquiry ordered into the incident, and he was lucky not to have lost his job. :scared:

(8 ) At IBM, an engineer who was leaving the company sent an image of a person's backside made out of text characters to the CEO of IBM Corporation. All hell broke loose and the next day as he was marched to the door, he actually asked for a job reference. :o

Practical jokes can be funny but can have nasty consequences. I heard on an OH & S course that many industrial accidents occur though skylarking and practical jokes.
 
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: briselec on January 11, 2015, 11:01:57 pm
Many years ago I worked for a couple of bosses who loved pulling practical jokes. I reckon the following was their best ever -
They bought a huge amount of polystyrene beanbag fill and emptied the lot in front of the stairwell pressurization fans then turned the fans on. Each time someone opened the door to the stairwell to go to another floor they would get covered in beanbag fill.
They had to hide from the cleaners for a few days after that one.
 
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: cosmos on January 12, 2015, 12:00:41 am
25 years ago we pulled this one on our boss. This was in a radio/TV repair shop... and he was doing all the VCRs.
The typical fault would be with guiding the video tape around in the mechanics, causing a swishing sound. So we mounted a small capstan driving motor under his desk with a piece of tape on it to make the same sound, remote controlled from the next desk..
Came time for final check of a repaired unit and suddenly there was this noise in it ... he would turn it over to see what it was ... no more sound ... turn it over again .. then it would be back at random times...  kept him going for nearly an hour ... very hard to keep a straight face for the guy sitting next to him.
No repercussions to us and he would do similar things to us if he had the chance so he was cool.

Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: SeanB on January 12, 2015, 04:21:30 am
We had a chair rigged up with some "extra" parts. Think of a car coil, a CDI ignition unit, wires threaded through the seat fabric connected to the coil centre and the ground, a 12V SLA battery, a relay operating as a buzzer and 2 wires across the bottom acting as a switch.

Hilarious fun, and you could sit in it without triggering it if you knew how. Fun was the day the OC came to visit and he sat in the chair.

Another one somebody ( not me)  took a needle and threaded wire strands through the drivers seat fabric of the work utility van, and snaked it unseen to the engine and to the coil centre tower. They convinced the victim that it was "static shock" for about a minute........
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: HighVoltage on January 12, 2015, 11:35:24 am
We had a chair rigged up with some "extra" parts. Think of a car coil, a CDI ignition unit, wires threaded through the seat fabric connected to the coil centre and the ground, a 12V SLA battery, a relay operating as a buzzer and 2 wires across the bottom acting as a switch.

Hilarious fun, and you could sit in it without triggering it if you knew how. Fun was the day the OC came to visit and he sat in the chair.

Another one somebody ( not me)  took a needle and threaded wire strands through the drivers seat fabric of the work utility van, and snaked it unseen to the engine and to the coil centre tower. They convinced the victim that it was "static shock" for about a minute........

That is borderline mean, but probably hilariously funny.

You could turn the output energy down a lot by keeping the input current to the coil low and one might even really think it is static discharge in the seat.


Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Circlotron on July 27, 2016, 04:18:33 am
At my workstation quite some time ago I had this HP frequency synthesizer that would go to 60 megs with a resolution of 0.001Hz. Quite cool for 1983. It was only used for generating audio test tones though. Anyway, the guy next to me always had his radio on the local AM station at 1377kHz. Seeing it was a radio factory it was just too lame to set my oscillator to make a heterodyne whistle in his radio, so one lunchtime I exactly zero-beated the oscillator to his favourite station, then did a quick calc and offset the frequency ever so slightly and wrote it down. After lunch I set the oscillator to the predetermined frequency and slowly slowly over a 5-10 minute period his radio would get softer and softer as my sinewave gradually crept out of phase with the radio station carrier. So slowly that he would always think that the batteries were going flat.  :P
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: CJay on July 27, 2016, 06:09:55 am
25 years ago we pulled this one on our boss. This was in a radio/TV repair shop... and he was doing all the VCRs.
The typical fault would be with guiding the video tape around in the mechanics, causing a swishing sound. So we mounted a small capstan driving motor under his desk with a piece of tape on it to make the same sound, remote controlled from the next desk..
Came time for final check of a repaired unit and suddenly there was this noise in it ... he would turn it over to see what it was ... no more sound ... turn it over again .. then it would be back at random times...  kept him going for nearly an hour ... very hard to keep a straight face for the guy sitting next to him.
No repercussions to us and he would do similar things to us if he had the chance so he was cool.

Similar 'intermittent' trick, we used a few meters of cable and wired a pushbutton switch and resistor across live to earth on a bench with an earth leakage breaker, at random intervals during the day the button was pushed, tripping the guy's test bench.

Took almost three months for the bench user to work it out.

We also used to use high power resistors mounted in PC power supply cases to load test other repaired SMPSUs, (used to repair AT, PC and PCXT PSUs) so wiring an electrically detonated squib or high volume siren across the terminals was always fun.
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Brumby on July 27, 2016, 06:59:34 am
My only such exercise was to put some clear sticky tape over the faces of the active pin of a mains plug, then trim it to the edges with a sharp knife.  At a glance you wouldn't notice, unless you were actually looking for it.  Saw someone try to use it and they went through the same frustrations you would expect, but when the meter came out, I thought for sure I was about to be sprung.

However, as I watched the cord get tested, he put the test lead against the uncovered edge of the pin - and it tested good!  Plugged it in and it wouldn't work ... again!  He gave up and grabbed another.

Later in the day I grabbed the 'faulty' one to remove the tape - but I was seen taking it.  He came over and told me it was faulty, but this was just after I had removed the evidence - so I plugged it into the unit I had in front of me, turned it on and - guess what - It worked!  (Mwaah-ha-haaaa)  Did some jiggling tests to show it was reliable and he left looking a little puzzled.

Never did tell him.   >:D
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: XOIIO on July 27, 2016, 07:12:03 am
25 years ago we pulled this one on our boss. This was in a radio/TV repair shop... and he was doing all the VCRs.
The typical fault would be with guiding the video tape around in the mechanics, causing a swishing sound. So we mounted a small capstan driving motor under his desk with a piece of tape on it to make the same sound, remote controlled from the next desk..
Came time for final check of a repaired unit and suddenly there was this noise in it ... he would turn it over to see what it was ... no more sound ... turn it over again .. then it would be back at random times...  kept him going for nearly an hour ... very hard to keep a straight face for the guy sitting next to him.
No repercussions to us and he would do similar things to us if he had the chance so he was cool.

Similar 'intermittent' trick, we used a few meters of cable and wired a pushbutton switch and resistor across live to earth on a bench with an earth leakage breaker, at random intervals during the day the button was pushed, tripping the guy's test bench.

Took almost three months for the bench user to work it out.

We also used to use high power resistors mounted in PC power supply cases to load test other repaired SMPSUs, (used to repair AT, PC and PCXT PSUs) so wiring an electrically detonated squib or high volume siren across the terminals was always fun.

Reminds me of this. http://catb.org/jargon/html/magic-story.html (http://catb.org/jargon/html/magic-story.html)
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: ludzinc on July 28, 2016, 12:30:15 am
Maybe Dave should recruit him for the vacant position at EEVBlog.  That post is a pretty good resume for the job.
Dave, headhunt this guy.
Steve W

As it turns out, I know him!  :o
http://ultrakeet.com.au/about/ (http://ultrakeet.com.au/about/)
I know who he used to work for.
I had no idea he was "UltraKeet"

Just checked out his page - funny as.

You should get him on the Amp Hour!
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: VK5RC on July 28, 2016, 05:51:49 am
My favourite prank(not sure how true it is)  was some Uni students heard some roadworks were about to happen close to the Uni on a known prank day.

They called the police and gave an anonymous 'tip off'  that some uni students dressed as council workers were going to dig up the road,  they also let the council workers 'know'  that some students dressed as police might come and try and stop them.

 The students then went and watched.
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: rrinker on July 28, 2016, 06:49:03 pm
 Best one I got away with was in high school, the computer science class (FORTRAN on Apple II's) teacher annoyed me - mainly because I learned disk file I/O and taught it to her one morning and that day in class I was working on something else while she lectured and she dared call me out for not paying attention. Pay attention to her regurgitate what I had just taught her that morning? Ah if only I wasn't the shy quiet nerd back then. Anyway, a couple of days later we are working on programs so I took one of my floppies and carefully opened the shell and removed the disk and put it back in the drive. Naturally this cause an error when trying to access it. So I called her over, said I was having a problem she tries the same program, same error. Opens the drive, slides the disk out, LOOKS AT IT, puts it back in, retries the operation a few times. Finally opens the drive and takes out the disk again and suddenly it dawns on her that something is not right.

 The best one I THOUGHT I got away with - a group of us in college wrote up a parody song referencing out one EE prof. We had this all figured out - we knew he hung around with another of our professors, so we wrote an anonymous not including the song and our proposal to distribute it in class, and left it in Professor 2's mailbox with the instructions to just say yes or no at the end of class to indicate if he thought Professor 1 would take it in the spirit of humor we intended or if he would be offended, and if he would be offended we wouldn't proceed. A week or so went by and we were getting worried that maybe we were found out or worse, when finally at the end of class one day, Prof 2 said "Oh, one more thing. A week or so ago I got a strange message in my mailbox, I just want to say, I think it's OK." So we went about getting a few hundred copies printed up, and recruited a freshman from our dorm to bring it in - Prof 1 was in the habit of having one of his TAs some by prior to the start time and put a pie of handouts on the front table and we were expected to pick one up on the way in if we saw them. So this freshman brings the stack in and people start taking them, there's a general buzz about the room, and the Prof 1 walks in, sees this (now smaller) stack of papers knowing he had no handout that day, picks one up, glances at it, and shoves it in his briefcase. Not one word, the expression on his face didn't even change. We thought this time we really were in serious trouble, but not one word was said. Ever. This guy happened to be imo the best professor in the EE department so I made it a point to take as many of his classes as I could. Fast forward to senior year, finals are over and I happened to be in the department looking at job notices and he's going to his office as I walk down the hall so he calls me in, mostly to talk about what I thought of the department and my 4 years there, etc. After chatting for a while, we're wrapping it up and he happens to mention this song parody - and says he knew it was us all along!

 I did hear that at least for a few years after we graduated, the song was still being distributed.  Perhaps the closest thing to a legacy I have at that school.

Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Neilm on July 29, 2016, 06:52:37 pm
When I was at university, the electronics engineering department was kicked out of their building just after going to the expense of adding several new computer network access points to the labs and offices. This was just coax spread through each room, but it had been done at the expense of the electronics department. We ended moving next door with the rest of engineering and didn't have much room or electronics facilities. Also no network.

This (supposedly) annoyed the head of the electronics so when he left his office he took the network terminator with him. I do know it took a couple of weeks before the new departments computer network finally was working.
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 29, 2016, 09:09:35 pm
That's great.  Reminds me of programming class and how we were often not allowed to use certain things, like arrays, or loops.  Kind of hard to hide code though. :P
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: karoru on August 02, 2016, 06:49:47 pm
When I was at college my acquaintance had kind of nasty roommates, so they shuffled nearly all keycaps on his keyboard. Apparently he didn't know how to write without looking at keyboard so he had troubles using his computer and asked me for help, because "keyboard doesn't work - just types gibberish" and he doesn't know why.

The practical joke was probably on me, because it took me around 20 minutes to solve the problem that keyboard works just fine when I'm using it, and fails horribly putting random characters on screen when he does. I didn't even notice that keys were changed - most of my own keyboards either had keycaps shuffled to form silly sentences or the print had just erased itself from usage so my brain just stopped noticing that keycaps have this little thingies printed on them.

I don't know what was worse - that guy that actually has to look at keyboard to write didn't even memorized that it starts with "QWERTY" or that I didn't notice that there's something funny with the printed layout;)
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 02, 2016, 09:35:50 pm
When I was at college my acquaintance had kind of nasty roommates, so they shuffled nearly all keycaps on his keyboard. Apparently he didn't know how to write without looking at keyboard so he had troubles using his computer and asked me for help, because "keyboard doesn't work - just types gibberish" and he doesn't know why.

The practical joke was probably on me, because it took me around 20 minutes to solve the problem that keyboard works just fine when I'm using it, and fails horribly putting random characters on screen when he does. I didn't even notice that keys were changed - most of my own keyboards either had keycaps shuffled to form silly sentences or the print had just erased itself from usage so my brain just stopped noticing that keycaps have this little thingies printed on them.

I don't know what was worse - that guy that actually has to look at keyboard to write didn't even memorized that it starts with "QWERTY" or that I didn't notice that there's something funny with the printed layout;)

Haha at a place I used to work we used to mess with each other's computers... we had admin access.  We got one coworker good by replacing the Z key with X, in software.   So when you hit Z it would do X.  X would still also do X.  Since Z is not used that often it took a bit for him to realize lol.  psexec and psshutdown was fun too...

psshutdown winlogon does really weird things.
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: CJay on August 03, 2016, 05:50:45 am
Well that reminds me of the good old DOS days when you could edit the strings in command.com with a hex editor.

There was a boot disk kicking around which had 'Bad command or filename' edited to 'Learn to Type Fatboy'.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending where you were in this particular prank, that disk or copies of it got used to format /s several dozen customer machines which transferred the edited command.com onto them.
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: daqq on August 03, 2016, 06:41:44 am
I created and hid this device:

http://www.daqq.eu/?p=276 (http://www.daqq.eu/?p=276)

In short - the device beeps at random intervals, the time between beeps is anywhere between 30 minutes and 9 hours. The beep is short, as such you can't localize it easily. The result: After a few days someone pretty much tore the kitchen apart in search of the source of the beeps.
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Brumby on August 03, 2016, 08:01:32 am
Computer pranks .....

OK - here's one I've done on a few people who didn't follow standard security practice....

Using the ISPF editor under TSO there are a set of function keys that have a set of default shortcuts.  One of them is set to "END" which is the command used to exit an edit, among other things.  Needless to say, this was used by everybody multiple times a day.  However, you can edit these shortcuts to whatever you want - and you can even chain commands.

My trick was this ....

If someone were to leave their terminal without locking it, I would change this particular shortcut from "END" to "TSO AF;END".  This would execute a CLIST (command list - like a macro) called "AF" which I had set up - and then execute the END.

This CLIST checked the date and time - and if it wasn't the morning of a particular date, it would exit immediately.  The delay this caused before the "END" command was actioned was short enough to be accepted as normal - so this mod could have been laying unnoticed for weeks or even months.

On the morning of that special day (which you'll soon work out, if you haven't already) ... it did a little bit more   >:D

... but to add a little randomness, it did a little extra test on the time - the seconds, to be precise - and would exit immediately if it fell outside the condition set.  This meant the "problem" would not be able to be reproduced at will.

BUT ... having passed all the tests, a series of messages were progressively displayed on the screen.  These messages were (almost) valid ones which would normally indicate a very worrying situation.  I say 'almost' because I changed the 'action character' in the message number according to a specific pattern.  When it had finished the display and all the messages were visible, the screen just sat there, waiting for a response.

The action character pattern I used was: A, P, R, I, L and F, O, O, L - with a blank line in between.

I told the boss of Tech Support what I had done. He just shook his head ... and let it ride.


The real hassle was waiting for the fun.
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Gyro on August 03, 2016, 10:12:29 am
Years ago we had an engineer in the lab working on an HF Power amp, he was getting a bit twitchy at the time as there had been a few 'meltdowns'. One morning I wired a lowish value resistor inside a piece of Hellerman sleeve across the output terminals of his soldering iron PSU (Yes, this was in the days that Weller TCPs were wired to a couple of external terminals, and a cord grip).

It was quite entertaining to watch him leap backwards off his stool when 30 seconds after he turned on his bench a thin curl of smoke started rising from the middle of the mass of equipment and proto. The smell was incredible. ;D

P.S. I had 'prototyped' beforehand to make sure it wouldn't burst into flames, I'm not that wicked. :D
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 04, 2016, 01:19:39 am
I created and hid this device:

http://www.daqq.eu/?p=276 (http://www.daqq.eu/?p=276)

In short - the device beeps at random intervals, the time between beeps is anywhere between 30 minutes and 9 hours. The beep is short, as such you can't localize it easily. The result: After a few days someone pretty much tore the kitchen apart in search of the source of the beeps.


lol nice, reminds me of a small program I wrote, it would do a random action any time from 1 hour to 8 hours randomly.  That action was also random, it would do one of these:  a computer speaker beep at a random frequency for a random duration (up to like 2 seconds), a random Windows sound, eject the cdrom drive, or start taxing the cpu for a short while.   I put it on a coworker's computer in system startup.  I called it svchost.exe, because there are several of those processes already, so it would be very hard to find if looking at task manager.  It was just always running, dormant, waiting for the timer to expire so it can perform an action then set a new timer.    That program was evil.

IT help desk formatted my coworker's laptop (routine thing, I think we were getting new machines or something, I forget) and dropped it off to me first "do your stuff, then just put it on his desk".  I grinned, very evily.   Back when I worked at help desk myself we used to do stuff if someone forgot to lock their PC.  Standard stuff like send a dirty email, or screen cap then set as desktop and minimize everything etc.

One time I decide to do something a bit more creative.  I make a batch file that just says "@echo System Failure.  You must reinstall windows. Code 0xFFEE4522" or something like that and it just had a bunch of @pause>null after so if you hit any key it does nothing.  I whipped up that batch file in like 10 seconds, executed it and put it full screen and went back to my desk.  My boss was around laughing and like "holy crap, don't mess with this guy!".   Coworker comes back to his computer, does a weird face like "wtf?" because that's not even really a real windows error.  Then kinda looks at me with an evil eye, like "wtf did you do?".
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: PositiveE on August 04, 2016, 04:14:55 am
Heh.. this is a great thread!

OK, quick one...

Back in the Windows 95 days, I set a buddy's default font color to be white, the same as the window background. The computer looked like it should work, but there wasn't any text anywhere! I said I'd fix it for a case of beer, which I wound up sharing with him.. Good times!

Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: CatalinaWOW on August 04, 2016, 05:12:04 am
Back before PCs were a thing, whole departments shared a single computer.  And all instruction in a university would pass through a single machine.  Batch operations.  The IBM 1620 was popular for this sort of thing.  And did arithmetic using lookup tables in a special section of magnetic core memory.  Just think of the confusion in a programming class if a few locations in that table are altered. 

Or think of what happens if the compiler is altered to read the syntax of a line of code and randomly generate an error message appropriate to that kind of line.  Whether there is an error there or not.

Nah, no one would do something like that. ;)
Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: rrinker on August 04, 2016, 04:57:03 pm
 Oh there were two good ones we played on a coworker back in the early Windows 95 days. The first one was we set up a HOSTS file on his computer that redirected every one of his internet favorites to a different one - ie, he had Microsoft.com bookmarked, we made a hosts file entry that directed that to novell.com and vice-versa. Took him a while to figure that out. The other one, there is a registry entries for ShowMenuDelay which controls how long it takes pop up the start menu when you hover but not click on Start (0 can actually cause issues - a couple of ms is the default). We set his to the max, which is something like 30 seconds IIRC. Note this does NOTHING if you actual click and not just hover. He never said anything, until a few months later while going out to lunch we kind of prompted him by asking about computer speed, and he said his computer has been very slow for the past few months.....

Title: Re: Wicked practical joke
Post by: mubes on August 04, 2016, 09:42:20 pm
Too many years ago, when I was a student, there was a semi-strike by the university staff, which basically meant they would not invigilate exams. The 'work around' for the department was to give each of us a copy of the specific affected exam paper (maths) which we were to complete and hand in at the School Office by 5pm on a specific date.  Obviously there was much negotiation and trading of beer between those with a good maths ability and those with a poor one, but someone had a much better wheeze....

There was a flurry of submissions just before 5pm on the deadline date. Completed papers were placed into a box that had done previous duty holding 5 reams of A4 paper.  Around 5pm someone put a post-it on the front of the front of the box with the message "Cleaners, please shred". 

We all passed.