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April Fools’ Day 2012: Top Tech Pranks to Freak Your Friends

You might never pull off an April Fools prank like the one I found on YouTube below. Via Break.

Here are some great tech prank ideas for April 1, 2012, the big day — April Fools Day 2012.

First up, you might install the Windows Blue Screen of Death on someone’s computer as a screensaver.

Oldie but bestie. And beastly. What Windows user doesn’t fear the spectre of that ultimate failure screen — in common parlance known as the Blue Screen of Death? Microsoft, ironically, has a free screen saver available for download called Blue Screen that allows you to do exactly that.

Microsoft notes from its site worth checking out excerpted below:

… before you can run Bluescreen on Windows 9x, you must copy \winnt\system32\ntoskrnl.exe from a Windows 2000 system to your \Windows directory. Simply copy Sysinternals BLUESCRN.SCR to your \system32 directory if on Windows NT/2K, or \Windows\System directory if on Windows 9x. Right click on the desktop to bring up the Display settings dialog and then select the “Screen Saver” tab. Use the pull down list to find “Sysinternals Bluescreen” and apply it as your new screen saver. Select the “Settings” button to enable fake disk activity, which adds an extra touch of realism!

A classic. You’ll find multiple versions around on Google for versions of this on every imaginable OS.

Check out the Phantom Keystroker V2

This gadget originally from Thinkgeek, is a cheap USB flash drive that is a great April 1 prank you won’t tire of for awhile, I promise.

Plug it into an unsuspecting friend or relative’s USB drive and chaos results. Before you set up this easy trick, select whether you want your victim to see garbage characters, a stuck-no-matter CAPS LOCK feature, random and absolutely unprededctable mice movements or hit your Fool up all three.

Why hold back? It’s April 1. Best part: A feature lets you set the duration between attacks, too. I found it as cheap as $5 on Amazon.

Says one reviewer:

“I have a friend that enjoys playing practical jokes on people. I installed this on his computer knowing he is paranoid about viruses. Long story short, (the victim) spent a day and a half looking for viruses, until he finally discovered the keystroker. He laughed and threw it to me the next day saying “Nice Try” later he told somebody else he spent about 9 hours hunting feverishly through his computer trying to fix the problem. Well worth the money.

Next up: Why not change the native language of your friends’ or in laws’ computers? Great one.

It’s easy to switch computer messages on screen from an English or other default to Cyrillic or Chinese characters. First, hit System Preferences >> Language & Text. Select Input Sources and choose the language you want the system to display for all OS messages, menus and any other text on screen. Remove evidence that you’re the one who did this by, as you see in pic above, de-select the option to Show Input Menu in Menu Bar. Then no one will know you installed it. Until you tell them. But why would you?

Then there’s TV Poltergeist

This one’s my favorite because Steve Wozniak, many years ago when he was college at the University of Colorado once told me he designed (but differently engineered device) a device to drive boys in his college dorm crazy decades ago. The technology has changed but the gag still works.

It’s a little device. Put it between your sofa cushions and watch your couch potato go nuts as their TV programming goes up and down. Check for compatibility with your device first. Some reports online indicate that TV Poltergeist doesn’t work on all TVs. But it will randomly power all all compatible TV in range. LOL. Try this during a big game someday. Snakeoil included.


Razer Talon Makes You a Super Gamer for April Fools Day
It’s got what it calls a precise “high precision biomechatrioc exoskeleton,” the Talon, reps say. According to Razer — we are not vouching for it but if it works it is amazing — this’ll pop up your game actions-per-minute (APM) from a 100 (typical) to a pro-level 3000. The vendor claims it will learn from your actions, learning your primary mouse and keyboard actions as you go. Why cheat when you have this. And Razer ships the Talon with its own pranks — this is bottle snake oil. Don’t get tricked : )

Don’t let anyone but do this to you. It’s a utility that appears to lock up the password screen. LOL. Someone did this to me once — at least there’s a pay off!

Check RJL Software for this year’s Password Prank.

And this video of a great April 1 prank — on YouTube — using one of the products above.

Our contributor Christopher Poirier suggests: another USB gizmo that uses keyboard remappers as well: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/remap-keyboard-free-tools-windows/

  • http://anewdomain.net/members/chris/ Christopher Poirier

    I am a fan of the USB chaos..can be more stealthy today and use keyboard remappers as well: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/remap-keyboard-free-tools-windows/ hehe..

  • http://anewdomain.net/members/gsmith/ Gina Smith

    Thanks +Christopher Poirier — I added yours to the end. If you want to take over this byline, feel free on collecting fun April Fool’s Day apps
    gs

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