Tech Pranks For Your Nerdy Friends
I am extremely gullible. I once believed that my husband had scaled the Disneyland Matterhorn on a drunken dare. Never mind the fact that he doesn’t drink and I’m pretty sure that it’s impossible. If you can say it with a straight face, I will likely believe it. I tell myself that it’s my eternal optimism that makes me believe, but whatever it is makes April Fools’ Day fraught with opportunity for those around me.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned that we are a family of Nerds. This means that I’ve been duped by plenty of tech pranks over the years. In the spirit of saving you some torture, here are some of the classics I’ve fallen for over the years. I will allow my optimistic nature to reassure me that you won’t use them for evil.
One year I returned to my desk to discover that my computer screen was upside down. The task bar that should be on the bottom was on the top, all my icons were upside down and on the wrong side of the screen. Short of standing on my head it was going to be impossible to get any work done. Apparently, Windows 7 has this function built right into Graphics Options. Simply right click on a blank spot on the desktop, select Graphics Options, then Rotation. Why do they even have that function?
Flip Your Desktop:
After spending far too long extricating myself from that one, I thought I was safe from the flip screen bandits. Turns out there’s another easy trick where you take a screen shot of someone’s desktop and then set the image as the desktop background. Close any open programs (be a decent soul and at least save their progress). While looking at the desktop with all the icons press Ctrl+Prnt Scrn. Open Paint (it’s usually sorted under Accessories) and press Ctrl+V or right click on the blank paint doc and select paste. Save the image on the desktop or somewhere you’ll know where to find it. Now navigate to the image, right click it and choose “Set as desktop background.” Finally, hover your mouse cursor over a blank spot on the desktop, click View, and uncheck the box next to “Show desktop icons.” The result is a desktop that looks just like their original, but where none of the icons work. This one was especially fiendish because the rest of my system worked, just not my icons, so I wasted a good part of the afternoon trying to puzzle out that head scratcher.
Auto Correct A Subliminal Message:
One of my personal favorites because it at least resulted in more laughing than cursing was when my husband modified my Microsoft Word auto correct so that every time I typed “the” (which is a lot, by the way) it automatically changed to “I love my husband.” The fastest way to do it is to open a blank word document. Misspell a word, like “feind,” resulting in the wavy red line showing up under the word. Right click over the word and select AutoCorrect, then AutoCorrect Options. There’s an option on the AutoCorrect tab of the menu that pops up called “Replace text as you type” with two blank text fields below it. Under “Replace” enter the common word you want to get auto corrected and under “With” type the phrase you want to haunt them with until they figure out how to undo your prank. Don’t forget to click Add before you close the menu.
There’s also the ever-popular piece of masking tape or post-it-note over the light on the bottom of an optical mouse. For the iPhone 4S lover in your life, you can make his Siri torture him for you. Launch Siri by pressing and holding the home button. Once prompted, tell Siri to “Call me ___.” Maybe this is the year my husband can spend the day as Gertrude.
Did you get tricked and now don’t know how to get it unstuck? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help getting your life back in order on April 2nd.