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Geeky April Fools' Day Prank Roundup 282

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the joy-from-other's-anguish dept.
An anonymous reader writes "April 1st is the ultimate holiday for a geek — a little hands-on DIY, a little hacking and a lot of sub-par humor. Popular Mechanics and Instructables have teamed up for five pranks you can build in the office (including a stripped-down version of Gizmodo's CES TV blackout), while Wired has its top 10 practical jokes for nerds, Lifehacker is toning it down with 10 harmless geek pranks, and Slate gets you ready for the receiving end with an April Fools' defense kit. What's your best prank?" Be safe, head for the bunker on 4/1 and just assume everything you hear is a lie. Everything.
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Geeky April Fools' Day Prank Roundup

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  • Everything? (Score:5, Funny)

    by wanderingknight (1103573) on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:55PM (#22923710)

    Be safe, head for the bunker on 4/1 and just assume everything you hear is a lie. Everything.
    Even the cake?
    • by RobertB-DC (622190) on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:58PM (#22923736) Homepage Journal
      I can't believe we both hit the "submit" button at nearly the same time, on the same meme.

      And that you beat me, you bastard.
    • by Dmala (752610) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:03PM (#22923794)
      Even the cake?

      Especially the cake.
    • by StarvingSE (875139) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:17PM (#22923932)
      Speaking of cake, a favorite joke of mine is to put a delicious looking cake in the office break room with "Happy April Fools Day" written in large letters in the frosting. Of course, the cake is perfectly fine and 100% edible, but no one will trust it. Its amusing seing people staring it down, debating, and daring each other to take a bite all day long.
      • by BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:43PM (#22924178)
        Hahaha, thats great. Perfect for a practical joke, none gets hurt, nothing gets damaged, no one feels bad. But I bet at the end of the day you get a lot of chuckles when you start to eat it.

        My "best" prank (Read: Only prank I've really done) was taking a roll of shrink wrap from work and wrapping a coworkers car. Someone told him I was doing it, he comes out and says we should do another and leave the plastic on his so hes not blamed, lol.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @04:46PM (#22924750)

          My "best" prank (Read: Only prank I've really done) was taking a roll of shrink wrap from work and wrapping a coworkers car. Someone told him I was doing it, he comes out and says we should do another and leave the plastic on his so hes not blamed, lol.
          That was YOU??!!
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Perfect for a practical joke, none gets hurt, nothing gets damaged, no one feels bad.

          That is not a practical joke....thats quiet time in the library with Grandma. I'm planning on setting my sisters alarm clock to go off at 4 AM, as it is on the other side of the room, and she doesn't wake up till 12 :) I also plan on going to work 2 hours late....its funny to me :)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by popmaker (570147)
            Haha, just sleep in... then tell everyone that someone played a practical joke on you tweaking your alarm clock.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ArcherB (796902)

        Speaking of cake, a favorite joke of mine is to put a delicious looking cake in the office break room with "Happy April Fools Day" written in large letters in the frosting. Of course, the cake is perfectly fine and 100% edible, but no one will trust it. Its amusing seing people staring it down, debating, and daring each other to take a bite all day long.

        Next time, promise to bring pie and bring a cake with either the symbol or 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944... written on it.

    • are a "major" publication's weblackies worse than most amateur bloggers?

      "in vein"?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ksd1337 (1029386)

      Be safe, head for the bunker on 4/1 and just assume everything you hear is a lie. Everything.
      I can rest assure you that Duke Nukem Forever will be coming out tomorrow, though.
  • No cake? (Score:4, Funny)

    by RobertB-DC (622190) on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:55PM (#22923712) Homepage Journal
    Be safe, head for the bunker on 4/1 and just assume everything you hear is a lie. Everything.

    Does that mean there *won't* be cake?

    Dammit.
  • by night_flyer (453866) on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:57PM (#22923720) Homepage
    Slashdot wont be worth coming to tomorrow... see you all on the 2nd...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:57PM (#22923722)
    *Significant other rolls over and looks deeply into your eyes*

    "I love you."

    *Thinks for a moment* "just assume everything you hear is a lie. Everything."

    "I KNEW IT! LIAR!".
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:59PM (#22923742) Homepage Journal
    I got Rick Rolled. You can too [smouch.net].

    (speakers on, detach mouse for best effect).

  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:59PM (#22923746)
    Feh.

    I'm looking for "10 spectacularly fatal geek pranks".
  • by Bazman (4849) on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:59PM (#22923748) Journal
    I once announced to our department that because black toner was so expensive, we were switching our printers to black paper and white toner. I put a sign next to the printer saying to only put black paper in the printer. Someone actually bit, and asked me in all seriousness where in the store cupboard the black paper was.

    On another occasion I sent an email to a stats software mailing list saying I'd written a package to implement not the Normal distribution, but the Paranormal distribution. Its mean value was the number you were just thinking of.

    • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:05PM (#22923812)
      I once sent round a (VAX) e-mail, as a "mail test" with a closing line "Please let me know if you don't get this". Sure enough, a few people asked me: "Wouldn't it make more sense for you to ask us to let you know if we got it...". So I could proudly reply: "See, you DIDN'T get it".
      • the three stooges (Score:3, Informative)

        you must give credit, at least as far back as we can remember. for me, that's the 3 stooges.

        writing a paper letter: "PS: if you didn't get this, let me know and I'll send it again".. or to that effect.

        its not clear if the howards+1 invented this joke or not. but I'll give it to them, on the liklihood that its theirs.

        (still a good one; just pointing out how old it is).
    • by Technician (215283) on Monday March 31, 2008 @06:14PM (#22925516)
      Way back when printers use ribbons and lots of metal parts instead of plastic, we used to take them apart and degrease them with Tri-Ethelene. We ran out of in our shop. We handed the new guy a Styrofoam cup and sent him out to the drum to get some. We didn't bother to tell him not to use the cup. This solvent eats foam slightly faster than gasoline.
  • by Urgo (28400) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:00PM (#22923760) Homepage
    For the most complete list of jokes head over to this site: April Fools' Day On The Web : 2008 [aprilfools...theweb.com]
  • Best prank (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sciros (986030) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:01PM (#22923770) Journal
    This was way back in high school, but I'm fairly certain it will work well in any large, densely-populated building.

    1) choose the victim building
    2) get 3 pigs
    3) paint very prominent digits -- '1', '2', and '4' -- on the pigs
    4) release pigs in building selected in step 1

    Watching folks round up the 3 pigs is fun enough. But it's hilarious to watch the long, futile search for pig #3.
    • by nwf (25607) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:19PM (#22923946)
      And here I thought it was some really clever use of pigs to generate random binary numbers. Alas.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      This was way back in high school, but I'm fairly certain it will work well in any large, densely-populated building.

      Was cow-tipping popular at your school? I'm sure most of us couldn't lay hands on several pigs. Gotta be a rural thing.

      Watching folks round up the 3 pigs is fun enough. But it's hilarious to watch the long, futile search for pig #3.

      But, surely the math geeks figured out they were base-2 pigs, right? :-P

      Cheers

      • by wattrlz (1162603)

        But, surely the math geeks figured out they were base-2 pigs, right? :-P

        Wouldn't they be labeled 1,10,100 then?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But, surely the math geeks figured out they were base-2 pigs, right?
        Obviously not a math geek are you? Otherwise, you'd realize that in order to have a 4, you'd have to be at least Base-5.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gstoddart (321705)

          Obviously not a math geek are you? Otherwise, you'd realize that in order to have a 4, you'd have to be at least Base-5.

          Hmmm ... 2^0 == 1, 2^1 == 2, 2^2 == 4.

          It's the value, not the symbol. In this case, the sequence of integers which correspond to the power of two.

          And, no, I'm not a math geek, I'm a software developer. :-P

          Cheers
    • by Thelasko (1196535)
      In my day it was cows instead of pigs. You turned them loose on the second floor because, as rumor has it, cows can walk up stairs but not down.

      I seriously doubt this ever happened. I think it's just a rural legend.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Monday March 31, 2008 @04:14PM (#22924432) Journal
      How do you paint numbers on the pigs without getting maced or tazered?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Sciros (986030)
        It's tough, and here you also have to watch out for their guns. Your best bet is to use "special" powdered doughnuts as a lure.
  • All of us here are waiting for Google to do it's thing. Last year, it was very unimpressive, TiSP. I hope they come up with something better this year, probably something more real, related to the search engine or GMail.
    • IIRC correctly their April Fools pranks always include an actual new product. That's what I'm waiting for.
  • Hilary will give up her presidential bid
    Bush will say Iraq was a big mistake
    RMS will announce a new project The Torvolds Barnyard
    Comcast will give 50 downloads from iTunes to each of it's customers
    It will be declared bittorrent day in Iceland
    Jenna Jameson will buy Maxim and rename it Angry Inch
    Countrywide's Executive team will return their golden handshake money
    Jesus will be spotted in the snow on the side of Mount McKinley
    - He'll be wearing Nike branded ski gear
  • Ponies (Score:5, Funny)

    by TimeForGuinness (701731) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:02PM (#22923786) Journal
    I sneak in at night and paint my neighbor's cubicle pink, decorate with construction paper hearts, and tie a real pony to his desk. He always comes in the next morning and say "OMG PONIES!"

    Never gets old.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:08PM (#22923848)

    What's your best prank?

    Tricking the editors into posting really crappy april-fools stories each year on the 1st. I've been doing it for almost 10 years straight and they still haven't caught on.

  • Back when I was in high school my friend did the old screenshot as desktop to our us history teacher and put a foam mouse in place of the real one. She eventually did figure out that the mouse wasn't real, but got so frustrated that one of us "broke her computer" that she called down the vice principal to lecture us. No matter how long that guy lectured it was still hilarious and I remember it 6 years later. I may just have to try that reversing the fridge handle thing in my office and see what happens.
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:11PM (#22923870)
    Showed up for work on time, clean-shaven and in nice clothes.
  • I work in a Class Society [wikipedia.org]. Tommorow I will be handing out various work packets filled with drawings of the Bismarck [wikipedia.org]. They're bring it back into class.
  • ssh (Score:5, Funny)

    by trb (8509) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:14PM (#22923910)
    I heard that April Fools Day was cancelled this year.
  • Be safe, head for the bunker on 4/1 and just assume everything you hear is a lie. Everything.

    Frankly, that's not a bad way to approach the other 364/5 days of the year here also...

  • by EvanED (569694) <evaned@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:19PM (#22923944)
    For people who have more electronics knowledge than I have:

    Make a circuit that beeps every 30 seconds or so. Add a photoresistor that turns on and off the beeping, so it beeps when it's dark. Put in victim's bedroom.

    Laugh at the though that when they go to bed, it will start beeping, frequently and quietly enough to be annoying, but infrequently enough that it's hard to find. But when they turn the lights back on... the beeping stops!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by megaditto (982598)
      This needs to beep at random intervals (say between 30 and 300 seconds) or else it will be very easy to time the signal and use it to locate the circuit.

      It would also help to increase the frequency to 6000 Hz or so, which will also make it harder for humans to locate the direction of sound.

      Finally, tape a 100 dollar bill to the bug for when the person finally finds it... they are probably going to be mad as hell and this will give you an easy way out.
      • It would also help to increase the frequency to 6000 Hz or so, which will also make it harder for humans to locate the direction of sound.
        Ummm...surely you mean decrease the frequency. As a general rule, higher frequencies are more directional.
        • Re:For you EE people (Score:4, Interesting)

          by CommunistHamster (949406) <communisthamster@gmail.com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @05:05PM (#22924928)
          No, most organisms have difficulty locating the source of high frequency noise. That's why the "emergency, hide" call of blackbirds (and lots of other songbirds) is a single high pitched note; their chicks and other blackbirds can hear it, but the attacker doesn't know where the blackbirds are.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by i_b_don (1049110)
          i don't think that's true at all. The higher the frequency the more the sound waves bounce off of things and the harder it is to locate the direction of the sound. A high pitch sounds is very hard to locate directionally especially if it's in an enclosed room with lots of surfaces to bounce off of.

          don
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ShiNoKaze (1097629)
      If you have the knowledge you might as well wire it into the light switch so that it's not visible...
    • by Chode2235 (866375)
      Why not just write a .cmd script that repeats the character for system beep, loop it. Or use Net send and do the same, but loop it on your end, so you don't have to trick them into running the script.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by calebt3 (1098475)
      Not light-sensetive, but still useful:
      http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/8c52/ [thinkgeek.com]
      • Re:For you EE people (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mr_spatula (126119) on Monday March 31, 2008 @05:01PM (#22924888)
        I love those things - I bought three of them, some of the bets money I've ever spent. The first two were simple pranks - One in my fathers car right before a 12 hour journey (he nearly killed me when he found it) and another an a co-workers backpack before we went to evening classes.

        The third, though, was a masterpiece of evil, lasting several months. I snuck it in a VP's office, but I'd only leave it on for a day at most - and then turn it off. A week passes, I turned it back on for another day or so, then off again - but making sure there wasn't really a consistent pattern. After a few months of this, I found him in his office, with a pen and a notepad, and almost everything turned off... He was writing down the time of each beep, and turning off a device in his office each time until he was finally sitting there in the dark, with nothing left to make noise, and a notepad full of timestamps.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Laugh at the though that when they go to bed, it will start beeping, frequently and quietly enough to be annoying, but infrequently enough that it's hard to find. But when they turn the lights back on... the beeping stops!
      As a victim of a prank similar to this, I feel compelled to warn you that you're risking your life.
    • by maxume (22995) on Monday March 31, 2008 @04:30PM (#22924606)
      The organic implementation of this is known as a "cricket".

      If it's the last thing I do, I'll get the bastard who designed them.
  • MSOXML (Score:4, Informative)

    by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:22PM (#22923978)
    Presumably, ISO will announce that MS-OOXML has passed as an interna[tiona]l standard tomorrow.
  • by ah.clem (147626) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:25PM (#22924000)
    Replacing a co-worker's desktop wallpaper with a screenshot of the red and white "Windows has shut down your Active Desktop... did you recently add a new program?" error message is always good for some juvenile yucks - especially if it's the computer of a real "power user".

    No matter how old we get, guys are always suckers for sophomoric humor - I think it's genetic.
  • I had a professor handing out assignments today regarding a openGL 3-D program. It's implementing how openGL does everything we've done manually...

    anyways, the due date was tomorrow till he realized he had the dates wrong.
  • by josteos (455905) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:34PM (#22924082)
    These guys have a good summary of stuff to do to protect you & your network from 4/1 shenanigans.

    http://www.itprotips.com/defence/NoPrankZone/ [itprotips.com]
  • by Lendrick (314723) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:38PM (#22924132) Homepage Journal
    This one is especially good if you have a roommate:

    Pop the M and N keys off of their keyboard and switch them around. Then, download a keyboard remapper and remap the M and N keys so that they correspond with the new arrangement (ie, the M key gives you an M, and the N key gives you an N, but their positions are switched). Pop the M and N keys off of your keyboard and switch them as well, but don't remap them.

    After repeatedly mistyping (nistypimg?) things, they'll take a good long look at their own keyboard and then have a look at yours, just to compare (and of course, you've anticipated this and switched your own keys around too). With any luck, they'll be convinced they're going crazy.
  • "Someone put a fish in the percolator!"

    I actually did this several years ago - three people took coffee before one came back and dumped the pot.

  • I told everyone we'd have a day of zero dupes on /.
  • by ookabooka (731013) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:57PM (#22924298)

    What's your best prank?
    I've done a lot but I think my favorite one was when I was in 6th grade or so. My father usually got up at around 7:00 to take me to school at 8. I went into his room (very sneakily) and set his clock an hour forward wearing my backpack, spring jacket, etc. I then turned on the lights, woke him up and said, "Dad, you have to take me to school, I have a presentation!" and then quickly went downstairs as if I too was in a hurry. He looked at the clock (displaying 7:55) and promptly jumped out of bed frantically trying to get ready. I could have easily let it continue till we were actually at school by switching his car clock too and everything (it was a cloudy day so the sun wouldn't have been able to clue him), but I decided to let him know after he got dressed and was about to jump in the car:)

    Moral of the story:
    1) Get it in as early as possible: chances are by the end of the day they probably are more suspicious.
    2) Know your victim: my father knew how much I hate getting up early in the morning, he would find it really hard to believe I would wake up before I had to.
    3) Make it plausable: We all have at some point screwed up in setting our alarms, the scenario I created could have very well actually happened. Be mindful of details.
    4) Don't be cruel: Let them in on it after it is apparent they fell for it before they start really acting on what you fooled them with. Don't make them afraid for their life or anything crazy like that.

    My father is a smart man that isn't easily deceived, I have spent many years refining my technique.
    • by ookabooka (731013)
      April fools is also the perfect time to practice those social engineering techniques, this year, I am going to try to make a lot of authoritative posts on slashdot that start off like "I am a biology PhD candidate at UCLA and you are wrong because. . ." that are quite believable at first, but slowly become more and more absurd, finally ending with a sig that is a disclaimer in case anyone REALLY missed it. Bookmark my profile if you like :-p
  • by loafula (1080631) on Monday March 31, 2008 @04:03PM (#22924338)

    April, 2003. I was living in a large tent, on the Persian Gulf coast, in northern Kuwait. I returned to my cot after a hard days work, where I was greeted by a fake plastic snake. I was not surprised, due to the fact I noticed Spc Harris fighting laughter while keeping a watchful eye on me as I entered the tent.

    I am one for vengence, so my mind immediately began cooking up a scheme. The roof of the tent was made of a double layer of thick canvas material. It was sloped, at about a 45 degree angle. Harris slept with his head pointed towards the side wall, and feet pointing towards the center of the tent.

    I took my trusty knife one afternoon, and cut a slit in the bottom layer of canvas, above Harris' head, on the roof of the tent. I left the slit there, in plain sight, for two weeks thinking he would be suspicious of it at first. After the two weeks were up, I constructed a fairly large fake spider out of electrical tape, pipe cleaners and black paint. I used fishing line for it's silk. I put the spider in the roof of the tent, slightly past the slit I had cut. I then ran the fishing line over the slit, out and down the side of the tent, and finally back into the tent near my cot.>/p>

    That night after lights out, as Harris layed on his cot, watching a movie on his portable DVD player, I put my plan into action. I pulled slightly on the fishing line, causing the spider to move over and fall through the slit. I then slowly let out slack, causing my home-made monster to descend on it's web. The alignment couldn't have been more perfect, because the spider descended into the space between the portable movie screen, and Harris' face. Harris' reaction was priceless, too. Too scared to scream, he jumped from his cot, flung the DVD player across the room, knocked over a bunch of his crap, and wound up sprawled across the floor babbling "holy shit holy shit". The lights in the tent then went back on, and there was much laughter.

  • My office has more than a dozen conference rooms, which can be reserved for meetings through our Microsoft Exchange/Outlook system. We're very heavily reliant on this system. We also have way too many meetings.

    A month ago, I went into the system and booked *all* the conference rooms for the entire workday of April 1 (8am to 6pm). My set of fictitious meetings was called "Productivity in the 21st Century: An Interactive Meta-Analysis of Resource Allocation." A handful of other people were in on the joke

  • Here's a good one to pull on your least favorite C or C++ programmer (or which can be applied suitably to other languages) -- find a critical, though little run for loop and locate the cursor just after the closing parenthesis ')'. next, hit tab about 20 times. Finally, enter the following "; // loves teh cock!!!1! bonus points for depraved creativity of the comments following the semi-colon. This works best if you can do it from their station while they're away or if you have "raw" access to the file,
  • by steveha (103154) on Monday March 31, 2008 @04:31PM (#22924622) Homepage
    I once worked at a manufacturing company, and one of the products they made was called the 5100. They needed to replace it, and there was a big debate over whether to make a software package that could run on a standard laptop, or to make another standalone device (the 5200). In the end they decided to make the standalone 5200. One of my coworkers, we'll just call him B, was strongly in favor of doing the standalone 5200; he was guy who would do the software development for the 5200, it was his baby.

    Well, I brought my laptop to work (it was a TRS-80 Model 102 [wikipedia.org] if you care). In the text editor, I made a banner that spelled out "5200" in asterisks or something. I went into the lab, and pushed B's 5200 prototype to the back of his work area, and set up my laptop in its spot, turned on and showing the "5200" banner. Then I went and found B and innocently asked if he would show me the 5200 prototype. Actually, I think he was amused by the gag as well.

    Right after I was hired there, another of my co-workers tried to convince me that they had this really cool super-ELIZA [wikipedia.org] program that was actually intelligent. He sat me down in front of a dumb terminal to try it out. I figured right away, correctly, that they had just set up two terminals and that somewhere else in the building, some human was impersonating ELIZA, so I tried to ask questions that would be easy for a computer to answer but hard for a human ("What's the square root of 12345?"). If only he'd had the foresight to keep a scientific calculator close at hand.

    Neither of these were on April 1. Why limit this sort of fun to one day per year?

    steveha
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @04:33PM (#22924642)
    I once deleted my roommate's MBR on his hard drive. It was pretty funny, until he started punching me. In hindsight, it's funny from a geek standpoint and not a College Jock standpoint.
  • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Monday March 31, 2008 @04:37PM (#22924682) Homepage
    One year I sent an email to everyone telling them that because of continuing complaints about the line quality of the phones, a company was coming in to clean the phone lines. I advised everyone that they should place a tissue over the mouthpiece and earpiece of the phones, as they would be blowing compressed air through the phones lines, and dust could be ejected through the handsets. It was fun walking around at the end of the day to count up the number of people with the handsets covered with tissues.
  • Tomorrow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bertie (87778) on Monday March 31, 2008 @06:09PM (#22925480)
    My boss has just today returned from five weeks of holiday, so we've figured he's not really back into "work mode" yet. So we've decided that all 15 or so of us are going to hand in our resignations tomorrow, and see how many he has to read before he realises he's been had.

    If this plan backfires, I promise I'll log on from the unemployment office and let you all know...
  • April Fools RFCs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Monday March 31, 2008 @06:16PM (#22925548)

    I always get a chuckle out of the April Fools RFCs, though there haven't been many the last few years.

    Our standing joke around the office for a long time was RFC 3514 RFC 3514 [ietf.org], The Security Flag in the IPv4 Header. RFC 2324 [ietf.org] is probably my personal favourite. RFC 3252 [ietf.org] may have been too clever for its own good, and some people may not have gotten the joke.

    ...laura

  • by Phat_Tony (661117) on Monday March 31, 2008 @06:21PM (#22925590)
    We rewired the computer lab so that all the computers were wired through one of two clappers, which were on extension cords, hidden up inside the lowered ceiling beside a vent. We left one clapper turned on and one turned off and both of them on the most sensitive setting. So any time there was much of a noise, half the computers in the lab would suddenly shut off, and the other half would simultaneously turn on, but there was no way to have more than half of them on at a time, and which half was on kept changing based on random noises in the lab. Teachers who taught computer classes gave up early, but half the lab was for kids on study hall, etc, and no one really warned them, so a hellacious amount of work was lost that day when people's computers suddenly turned off. They'd swear for a while, try to turn it back on, give up, and move to one of the other computers that was now on... repeat process. Of course, that wouldn't work these days, because most computers don't start themselves up when the power comes back on, but these had hard power switches, so simultaneously half the computers would go dark and the others would emit a chorus of Mac startup sounds.

    We also put some annoyance programs on them, like a program called "boing" that made your mouse pointer behave, in relationship to how it should behave, as if it were attached to the actual mouse location by a spring. We also installed a background program that would make computers randomly, at various times, start singing "99 bottles of beer on the wall." Except that we used "99,999 bottles of beer on the wall." In a really painful early 1990's Macintosh voice.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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