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Tell me a good computer prank
September 18, 2006 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a good computer prank I can install on my housemate's computer that will let me do funny stuff to him remotely across our network? Nothing horrible or malicious here - just a bit of fun.
posted by mooreeasyvibe to Computers & Internet (36 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Install TightVNC, then hide the icon. It'll let you remotely connect to his computer and control the mouse and keyboard. Lots of fun can be had.

It's pretty simple and there are a ton of turorials out there. This one might get you started.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:59 AM on September 18, 2006


Previously. Some good ideas can be found here, although some are Mac-specific.
posted by visual mechanic at 12:00 PM on September 18, 2006


NET SEND computername message

Works amazingly effectively with the less computer savvy. A co-worker used to get a number of other co-workers to reboot and then run off to desktop support asking why their PC was always overheating.
posted by GuyZero at 12:06 PM on September 18, 2006


I like chrisamiller's suggestion. Taking that further, take control of the mouse, open a browser, and start cruising to websites like Hilary Duff fansites, Pokemon forums, blogs about knitting. Nothing NSFW, as that's just too obvious.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


A more subtle and probably more amusing joke than remote desktop (it's a little too obvious really, unless the mark is a total dolt) is setting up a remote sound prank. Trigger noises at will from afar. Fart noises, rattlesnakes, etc.. Keep it really subtle at first. The best pranks are those that last all day :)
posted by wackybrit at 12:11 PM on September 18, 2006


To expound:

I'd wait until he was quietly reading (or asleep) and then cue up some loud music on his computer. Repeat sporadically - like every few days. The longer you can drive him nuts with this, the better.

Sign in while he's working on a paper. Hit a random character every five or six words - just enough to make him question his keyboard and sanity. Do the same with the mouse. A quick flick every few minutes oughta drive him nuts.

Don't bother doing things while he's gone - he'll just yell at you guys for messing with his computer and being in his room. Make sure that he's there and that you couldn't have possibly been in his room doing it.
posted by chrisamiller at 12:23 PM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ctrl-alt-up arrow and ctrl-alt-down arrow will turn his screen upside down.

Another favorite for me is screenshotting his desktop, making it the wallpaper and then moving all the icons offscreen. If he's not too technically literate, it will take a few minutes to realize what has happened.

Agree with TightVNC. Easy to do.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 12:36 PM on September 18, 2006


How about something as simple as plugging in your own keyboard and mouse into his computer. He will be trying to access something but you can open a Word document and start typing in stuff while he is trying to figure out what is going on.
posted by JJ86 at 12:42 PM on September 18, 2006


Installed TightVNC and hid the icons. Got the service running.

I can see him across the windows network but it won't let me see his desktop using tightvnc.

The error is: Failed to get server address. Did you type the host name correctly?

I did. It is Quentin.

In windows explorer I type \\Quentin to see his shared folers.

Any ideas?

Thanks
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 12:42 PM on September 18, 2006


Popup MS-DOS command window, with it saying something like:

REMAP multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\%windows% remote
COPY C$ > WWW.CASINO4U.COM:80
Uploading.... 1% completed...

I'm sure that would get some adrenalin going.
posted by chef_boyardee at 12:44 PM on September 18, 2006


Try using his IP address.

From a command prompt type "ping Quentin". You'll get an address. use that in the tightvnc address box. See if that works.
posted by bDiddy at 12:45 PM on September 18, 2006


Or, since you have access to his computer, open up a command prompt there and type "ipconfig" That will give you his IP address
posted by chrisamiller at 12:51 PM on September 18, 2006


I pinged his name and the ip address is 192.168.2.102.

If I put in the ip on its own 192.168.2.102 i get the error:

failed to connect to server

If I put \\192.168.2.102 I get:

Failed to get server address. Did you type the host name correctly?

Any ideas - thanks for this - he is back in 20 mins aarrgghh
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 12:53 PM on September 18, 2006


could there be a firewall issue on his machine?
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 12:55 PM on September 18, 2006


REMAP multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\%windows% remote
COPY C$ > WWW.CASINO4U.COM:80
Uploading.... 1% completed...


What the hell are you talking about, chef_boyardee?

mooreeasyvibe: Are you typing the slashes as part of the IP address in the TightVNC Viewer application? Don't.
posted by odinsdream at 12:56 PM on September 18, 2006


i was typing in the viewer thing- ok i won't - thanks.

hmm so that just leaves the failed to connect to server error.

do i need to do any ports or anything?

15 mins...
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 12:58 PM on September 18, 2006


i should say i was typing slashes - i've now stopped doing that
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 12:59 PM on September 18, 2006


A really simple but fun option is Office Poltergeist
posted by topher74 at 1:00 PM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Is the service definitely running on his PC?

right clikc My Computer, click on manage. Click the + next to "Services and Applications". Click on Services. Find VNC in the list on the right. If it doesn't say "Started" under status, highlight it and click the play button on the top. Or right click and select Start. See if that works.

Good luck!
posted by bDiddy at 1:05 PM on September 18, 2006


For some quick fun, what about secretly installing the Bluescreen screensaver.

This will probably only fool him for 5.132456 seconds, but it might just be enough :)
posted by utsutsu at 1:31 PM on September 18, 2006


its working - thanks for your help

i'm a bit simple and was typing the wrong ip address - 192.68.2.102 was actually 192.168.1.102.

imagine how silly i feel - just you try and imagine.

anyways - its all working and he's still not back...

i got some gary oldman wav files i am gonna start playing when he's retired to his bed for the evening.

the clip about it not being whiteboy day from true romance.

ace!

i love this computer thing - its amazing. and thanks again
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 1:35 PM on September 18, 2006


I like chef_boyardee's suggestion.

Another idea is to take a screenshot of his desktop and set the screenshot as his background image. Then delete half the icons on the desktop. He'll wonder why half the icons on his desktop are nonresponsive.
posted by malp at 1:43 PM on September 18, 2006


No no, don't delete the icons, move them somewhere else. This is a prank, not malicious, recreating all the icons is time confusing and won't be mistaken for funny.
posted by tomble at 3:12 PM on September 18, 2006


Have fun...and maybe try not to post IP addresses here, just from an anal-retentive security point of view....
posted by pdb at 3:35 PM on September 18, 2006


Dude. An IP address that looks like 192.168.x.y is an IP on their internal network. I think he's safe.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:50 PM on September 18, 2006


[192.168.* IPs are reserved for internal (i.e. NAT) use, and thus can't really violate anyone's privacy.]
posted by jacobian at 3:50 PM on September 18, 2006


Not a remote solution, but you could add Auto-Correct entries in MS Word that replace common words like "the" and "is" with really random stuff.
posted by roomwithaview at 3:54 PM on September 18, 2006


Low tech personal favorite: print a funny/disturbing picture and put it back in their printer, half way down in the tray. Later on they'll find it under the text on page 3 of their report.
posted by shanevsevil at 5:15 PM on September 18, 2006


Add common mispellings to his Word dictionary. Its hilarious in the long run. Although he might kill you when he finds out everyone is rejecting his resume because it has "opprortunity" in it.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:43 PM on September 18, 2006


Not to be a kill joy, mooreeasyvibe, but for the sake of posterity that might find this thread later:

If you were my roomie, and installed stuff on my box, or did anything at all to it, and then expected me to think it was funny, I'd beat you like a rented mule, until you got the message, even if it took weeks and all the hide on you. If you're roomie gets freaked enough, you could be looking at more than the end of a friendship.

I hope for your sake, he's cool with boy-stupid, because this is so 12 years old.
posted by paulsc at 6:16 PM on September 18, 2006


Office Poltergeist will let you remotely access the other computer, make it laugh sinisterly, open and close the CD tray, and make the screen jiggle, blink, and shake.

It's hilarious. I used it on a flatmate to great effect.
posted by kaseijin at 7:55 PM on September 18, 2006


paulsc: if you were my roomie, and I installed a prank on your box and you beat the crap out of me, I wouldn't ever help you password-protect anything ever again :-)
posted by flabdablet at 10:37 PM on September 18, 2006


paulsc - its all good - we both are sooooo 12 years old as you like to put it. Once he wrote the c word in permanent marker on my forehead when we were 17. i didn't notice til i went home to my parent's house and my mother suggested i look in the mirror.
posted by mooreeasyvibe at 9:40 AM on September 19, 2006


Another favorite for me is screenshotting his desktop, making it the wallpaper and then moving all the icons offscreen. If he's not too technically literate, it will take a few minutes to realize what has happened.


I like to go a bit further. I flip the screenshot so it is upside down. Hide the taskbar and set the pointer scheme to old fashioned. I've had IT pros come undone when they saw the old pointers combined with the 'flipped screen'.
posted by srboisvert at 5:08 PM on May 18, 2007


"Another favorite for me is screenshotting his desktop"

Ha! I did this to a coworker once. I PhotoShopped it with hundreds of folders covering the desktop, some with rude names, then pasted a screenshot of his email program window with urgent emails from the company CEO. Best part is it does take a while to figure the problem out. I think we also replaced his system sounds with flatulence noises.
posted by Mcable at 7:15 PM on May 18, 2007


I found an animated .gif file that shows a progress bar the HDD fomatting, you could replace the shortcut to a program he uses regularly to open up that file with a viewer that supports animated gifs...


love the ctrl+alt+up/down thing, I didn't know about that.
posted by spacefire at 7:41 AM on May 21, 2007


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