Author Topic: Wicked practical joke  (Read 20240 times)

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Offline Neilm

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #25 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.
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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #26 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
 

Offline karoru

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #27 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;)
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #28 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.
 

Offline CJay

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #29 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.
 

Offline daqq

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2016, 06:41:44 am »
I created and hid this device:

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.
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Offline Brumby

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #31 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.
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #32 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
Chris

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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2016, 01:19:39 am »
I created and hid this device:

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?".
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 01:22:18 am by Red Squirrel »
 

Offline PositiveE

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #34 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!

 

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #35 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. ;)
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #36 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.....

 

Offline mubes

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Re: Wicked practical joke
« Reply #37 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.
 


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