Computer hardware / critical thinking / hacking / humor / keyboard shortcuts / teacher resources / Tech

The 25 Best High-Tech Pranks (16-25)

Ten more high-tech pranks to play on your fellow teachers who refuse to add technology to their class lesson plans. Show them how its done!

The 25 Best High-Tech Pranks

by JR Raphael

16. Bluetooth Blues

“The Office” popularized our next prank, and man, is it ever a winner. Grab your co-worker’s cell phone when they leave it sitting around and pair your Bluetooth headset up to it. Now you can take and make all their calls. Jim Halpert, you are one wise dude.

17. Customized Commotion

Know anyone with the kind of cell phone that displays a customizable message on the main screen? This next one’s for them. When you can, go into their phone’s settings and change the message to “NO SERVICE.” Guaranteed reaction upon their return.

18. Remote Controlsense

Back to the computer for some more advanced antics. This one may be more suited for a close friend or significant other, as you’ll have to install something, and you could probably get fired for doing it at work. Set up a VNC (virtual network computing) server on their system. You can find free ones like TightVNC for Windows or OSXvnc for Macs. Once you get through the configuration, you can click, type, and do anything on their system from your own computer. Do some subtle things like occasional keypresses or program launches and see how perplexed they become. We don’t recommend keeping this up for long, though, or you may suffer serious consequences with their anger (and you may also witness some disturbing pornographic habits as an unintended side effect).

19. The Modern-Day Poltergeist

The less invasive alternative to that idea is a program called Office Poltergeist, and it’s now available as a simple Firefox extension. Once you get this baby installed, you can play annoying sounds, load new web pages, shake windows around, and send popup messages on someone else’s computer. It even has a feature to replace every instance of a word on a web page with another word of your choosing. We suggest swapping “internet” for “intercourse.”

20. Printing Power

If you’re network-savvy, jot this next one down. Do a little investigative work and figure out where your office’s network printer folder is located. Once you have that nugget of info, you’re golden. Navigate over to that path, select any printer, and click connect. You now have the power to print and send random paper messages to other areas of your office with no explanation.

21. Screen ScreamRevenge-Of-Mouse

Our next prank comes courtesy of Microsoft, surprisingly enough. The programmers there released an office “Blue Screen of Death” simulator. Install the screensaver on an unsuspecting IT guy’s PC and see the feared symbol of system error pop up after a few minutes of inactivity.

22. Bad Vision

On the subject of screens, the Windows Control Panel provides our next opportunity for mischief. Go into the advanced settings and try shifting the brightness all the way down and the contrast all the way up if you really want to mess with a visionary’s vision.

23. Crazy Keys

Want to drive your friend crazy with his own keyboard? Visit the Regional and Language Settings under the Windows Control Panel for some fun. An arguably insane guy named August Dvorak created an alternate keyboard layout that — big surprise — never took off. But you can still access it and make normal typing impossible. Just go under the Languages tab, click Details, then Add, and you’ll find the option to completely remap the keyboard.

24. Rules of Prankingenlarge

Outlook Rules, as a general rule, can make for great pranks. Try setting up one on your co-worker’s computer so that any email from you causes a festive sound to be played, a hard copy to be printed, and a copy to be instantly forwarded back to them for extra emphasis. There are plenty more variations you can try once that combo gets old.

25. Hotkey Hell

Our final prank may be the most tortuous of all. A little program called AutoHotKey — quite the handy utility for legitimate purposes — lets you assign all sorts of macros to key combinations of your choosing. You don’t even have to install anything on anyone else’s computer, as you create the scripts on your own system and can then convert them to executable files that you simply run on another machine. With some very basic scripting, you can cause any string of text to be automatically replaced with something else, regardless of what program the person is in. You can also remap basic hotkeys like Ctrl-P to do anything you want — like open Outlook and send a message to you letting you know how awesome you are. Spend some time with this one and you’ll find enough pranks to keep your hijinks on high output.

So there you have it: the 25 best high-tech pranks. Use them well and use them wisely — and don’t come to us if anyone inflicts physical harm upon you as a result.

Click for pranks 1-15

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