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Monday, 31 March 2014

5 Easy Computer Pranks For April Fools

  Here am I, flowing tens of balloons to fill a friend of mine's room tomorrow and celebrate April Fools with some funzies. As I grew tired of blowing (pun intended), I decided why not share some last minute pranks I've been collecting over the years.
Naturally, If you're reading this you have no more time for some big scale jokes, but there are numerous things you can do tomorrow that will annoy the heck out of your victim.
The easiest target is always the computer. There is not a possible scenario they wont check their mail or Facebook at least once, so it will most certainly work. Also, the computer requires no more than 20 minutes of slicing and dicing to become absolutely unusable in the funniest possible way.

The Icon Prank

Yes, I'm aware most of you know this one already, but it's always a good option if you want to troll your victim's desktop. However, I'm pretty sure you haven't yet thought of how to push it to the maximum limit.
First off, steal their laptop or wait for the to go AFK. Screenshot they desktop, so you know how it originally looked like.
Decide which icons you want to stay or not, but definitely delete the most important ones like: the browser, their most played game, messenger of choice or software they use regularly.
Now go ahead and swap all of the short cuts with one another, do it in a random order, so that it's not oto obvious where everything is after the first few trial and errors.
Take out your screenshot and start renaming the short cuts and changing the icons, so that they match the original layout and order, but open entirely different applications.
This is easily fixable, but it will take them at least fifteen minutes and will annoy them to death – there is nothing more irritating than ordering your desktop.

The Keys To The Kingdom

Being an Internet inhabitant you probably know both popular keyboard jokes – seeding somebody's keyboard with quick-growth weed and rearranging their keyboard to spell out a message. They're both pretty cool, but also pretty easily reversible.
However, one evil trick I've had done to me was the riddle keyboard. Essentially take out a few of the most important and usable keys – vowels, space, enter, backspace, delete, tab, alt, ctrl, shift and hide them out in different (hard to guess) locations. Then rig each location with a riddle, which when solved will point out where the next key is.
Depending on your riddle creation skills, it might take them anything from an hour to a new keyboard until they can use their computer effectively.

Reverse The World

This is a particularly favourite of mine, because even when your target knows the trick and how to reverse it, it's so hard to use the computer that it will take them forever and frustrate them to thermonuclear levels.
The idea is the reverse everything you can in their computer. First off lets start by rotating the monitor (the GUI, not the whole monitor itself) upside down. Because the methods depend on the type of system you're running, you can follow one of the methods listed here.
Now it's time to hack the mouse. There are two steps to actually reverse with the mouse – the buttons and the navigation. Both can be found under the mouse options in your control panel (on every system).
While you're doing this prank and reversing things one by one, you will feel how excruciatingly difficult it becomes to control the computer. Navigation is something memorised in our muscles – it's a reflex. Therefore it's very hard to go against your reflexes and you will constantly mess up until you're able to turn things back to normal.
It affects people differently, some might not be able to get a hold of this unless you go and fix things up again, others might be able to handle it almost easily. To crank up the difficulty, set the mouse speed at the absolute maximum from the same mouse options menu, or if they have a more expensive mouse, from the it's software costume control panel on the buttons on the mouse itself (if you're mouse supports different speed modes, it will have a button for it – most of the time flashing in some vibrant colour)
In any case it's always fun and both sides (for one slightly more than the other) and that's exactly the spirit of April Fools.

The Living Mouse

This one is quite hilarious as it destroys people's patience and makes them freak out – which by itself is pretty funny.
Now you need to have the situation set up, because it involves you being in small proximity of their computer while their working. Also requires you to have two wireless mice and a laptop for yourself.
It goes like this. You take one of the wireless mice and plug it into one of their spare USB slots. It's preferable if they have a desktop PC, because with all the extra cables it will be less obvious there is something new plugged in, but a laptop can work as well.
Then you plug the second mouse into your laptop, but hide the actual mouse. This way it's not recognisable from first glance that something is wrong – you have a laptop and a wireless mouse installed.
Sit in the same room with them and turn on a movie, or something that doesn't require an extensive mouse use, since you're stuck with the touch pad only.
When they use the mouse, just nudge yours a little every few second and that will cause they cursor to twitch. Because two controllers are active at the same time, it will completely mess up the cursor, which, by itself will completely mess your victim.
There is nothing more evil than a wild cursor, when you're playing shooting games – NOTHING!

Random Sounds

This is a cool on – not really that annoying to get rid of, but for the non tech-savvy people might take some time. The idea is to trigger custom set sounds when various event occur when using the computer.
To do so, get some silly or embarrassing audio file either from the web, or record one yourself. Then search for an on-line audio converter. This one will do the trick. You need it to convert whatever format of audio you have into .wav file.
Then go into the control panel and open the audio section. Then go under the sound tab and you will see all the system audio sound configurations (e.g. Error sounds). In this tab you can easily reconfigure every set system sound into the one you already have.
Also, there are many events that by default don't have a sound. Things like opening a new window (something you do very frequently) are the perfect candidate for your prank. Just hit the browse button and navigate to your file.
Then, set back and prepare for epic laughter when the non-expecting victim gets a blast from whatever you have prepared. For maximum effect crank up the sound volumes to the top from every single control panel.

There we go, these five are just my favourites, so don't think they are any sort of limitation to what you can do. The operating system is a very complex piece of software and for Windows in particular there are many possible customizations you and your victim are probably not aware of. If you want to get more ideas, simply Google it.
Hope you guys enjoy and put these pranks to good use. If you do and have a video or photo of the results, please send them our way, so me and Geoff can crack a few laughs as well.
I wish you a very fun April Fools, and don't get too worked up about anything in stored for you. Take it up in the spirit of the day and have a nice time.

Audrey out.