April fools day is is just around the corner. It is time to start planning what tricks you will be planting, and who you will be playing them on.
In my last job, I knew when I walked into work on the 1st of April, I would be greeted by a computer that had been tampered with. It was always fun to figure out how the trick had been planted.
This article will cover some of the tricks that have been played on me, and tricks I have played on others. They are all taken from the Friday Fun articles already shown at Inspect My Gadget.
Tricks covers in this article are
- Trick Wallpaper Desktop
- The Start Virus
- My mouse is doing crazy stuff
- The infamous Blue Screen of Death(BSOD)
All the tricks are completely harmless and the computer can easily be restored to its original state once the joke is over.
Which one will you pull?
Trick Wallpaper Desktop:
This trick is one that will confuse just about anyone. The desktop appears untouched, but when your victim tries to launch programs or documents from the start menu or the desktop, nothing will happen.
This can be achieved by taking a screenshot of their desktop with all the icons intact and then setting it as the desktops background. There are lots of small additional steps that you can use to make the effect even more convincing.
To make it happen:
- Choose your victim and ensure they have left their computer logged in.
- Minimize all running programs.
- Press PrtScn (Print Screen) to take a screenshot.
- Open up “Paint” and press “ctrl-v” to paste the desktop.
- Save the image as “trick.jpg” somewhere that is easy to get to.
- Right click on the taskbar and ensure “Lock Taskbar” is unticked.
- Drag the Taskbar to the top or side of the screen.
- Go into the Taskbar Properties and tick “Auto-Hide taskbar”
- Right click on the desktop, enter into “Arrange icons by” and ensure you have auto arrange unticked.
- Right click on the desktop and go into properties.
- In the appearance tab, click on “Customize Desktop…”
- Untick the options such as “My computer”, “My Documents” etc.
- Click “OK” and then browse for your trick.jpg file you created earlier.
- Ensure you set the wallpaper to “Stretched”
Restoration is easy. Work your way backwards through the steps above.
For more information and more thorough instructions, please check out the original article.
The Start Virus:
The Start Virus is a very annoying trick. This one plays a sound just about every time you click on something. It is a good idea to find the most annoying sound you can for this task, i.e, Crazy Frog.
To make it happen:
Ensure your victim has left their computer logged in.
We need to take a few quick steps to ensure we can return the machine back to it’s previous state and possibly preserve your friendship.
- Go into your victims control panel.
- Open “Sounds and Audio devices”.
- Select the “Sounds” tab.
- Save their current sound scheme.
Step 4 is important as it allows you to return your victims computer back to its original state quickly.
The rest of the procedure is very straightforward. Click on each sound and select browse to change it, each time replacing it for the same sound you have chosen. The more you change the better the trick will be. It can be quite time consuming to make all these changes so start off with the essentials such as maximize and minimize. The shutdown sound may be good for clicking on start.
Restoration is fairly straight forward. All you need to do is restore the saved sound scheme.
For more information on this, please check out the original article.
My mouse is doing crazy stuff:
Where would we be without USB? One nice feature of USB which isn’t often utilised is the ability to plug in numerous mice or keyboards into the one computer.
In this trick, you can control the victims mouse from the comfort of our own chair, or whilst we are talking to them, asking them to email a file or to show you something.
This one is very hard to solve. It can be played out over hours if you are subtle enough.
To make it happen:
Get your hands on a cordless mouse and attach the receiver to your victims computer. Make sure it installs and works fine and then ensure the receiver is tucked away out of sight.
Head back to your desk with the new mouse and let your victim use their computer as normal. You are going to need a little patience for this to work really well.
You have a few options as to how you will most annoy your victim. You will need to be within around 3 metres range of your victims computer for the cordless mouse to work, so if your desk is nearby, you can give the mouse a little nudge every now and again to get them thinking. Even if it is very subtle, it will be noticeable.
I like to put the mouse in my pocket and get them to show me something on their computer. As you are talking to them, you can move the mouse a little in your pocket and even occasionally press the right mouse button.
To restore the computer, unplug the mouse.
The infamous Blue Screen Of Death(BSOD):
This trick is a little bit more complex to set up. This trick brings up the BSOD at a predetermined time. This will send shivers down the spine of anyone who is attacked with this trick.
To make it happen:
Very briefly, we need to find a full screen image viewer like pictview. The next step is to create a shortcut that will load up the BSOD image with Pictview. Finally, we need to setup a scheduled task to launch it.
It is completely harmless but takes a bit of work to set it up. It is extremely effective as it is impossible to tell that it is a joke until after the event.
For detailed instructions for how to set this up, please visit the original post. There are a few tricks in this article, but the final method is by far the most effective.
I hope you have some fun on April Fools day, and that these tricks will come in useful for you. I look forward to hearing how you went in the comments. Stay tuned to Inspect My Gadget for more practical jokes on coming Fridays.