April Fool’s Day Pranks for Geeks

by Ramesh Natarajan on March 31, 2010

Here is a list of few April Fool’s Day prank ideas to fool your friends. Some of them are very old and yet effective.

What is your favorite April Fool’s Day prank?

  1. Take a screen-shot of the desktop and set it as their desktop background image. Disable the top/bottom panels on their desktop to make this static desktop image looks like a real desktop.
  2. Install blue screen of death screen-saver on their Windows machine.
  3. Change the language on their cellphone to some other language they don’t know. It is hard to figure out how to switch back if you don’t understand what it says on the display.
  4. Create a new alias for a most frequently used command. For e.g, a simple alias ls=’pwd’ would go a long way to create some confusion.
  5. Change one of their frequently used short-cut to point to a different program.
  6. Pick one of the fake products from thinkgeek and ask your friend to check it out.
  7. Tell your friend about the BMW instant messaging technology.
  8. Ask your friend to check out this awesome Google job. More Google’s hoaxes.
  9. Tell them about cellphone implant surgery.
  10. Attach the wireless mouse base station to their computer when they are not around. Later, confuse them by using the wireless mouse without their knowledge.
  11. Attach a scotch tape to the back of their wireless mouse to cover the optical light area. Use a black marker to color the non-sticky side of the scotch tape for maximum effectiveness.
  12. Install VNC software on their system and control it remotely to watch them go crazy.
  13. Change the mouse button behaviour. i.e right to left and left to right.
  14. Modify the autocorrect functionality in MS-Word or Openoffice for few common words to something funny.
  15. Add “127.0.0.1 gmail.com” to the hosts file. Replace gmail.com with any of their favorite website.
  16. April Fool’s Day page on wikipedia has listed several additional pranks.

What is your favorite April Fool’s Day prank?


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 uber March 31, 2010 at 3:27 am

My son uses a laptop of mine on which AutoKey http://autokey.sourceforge.net/ is installed. He frequents forums about fishing. I sneeked and placed a bunch of keyboard abbreviations into the program. On April Fools, when he types words like “bass”, the system will autoreplace it with “jiggly puff”; “fishing” to “ballet dancing”, “lake” to “bathtub”, etc. ROFL….

2 Brie March 31, 2010 at 9:30 am

I can still silently SSH to my boyfriend’s laptop and I plan on doing as many of these as possible!!

3 anon March 31, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I once (15+ years ago) emailed a former co-worker (who had left for a job at our #1 competitor) that our company was going to be bought by one of the larger computer firms in the country. I had a really good, logical explanation, one that had actually been discussed within the company.

He bought it, hook, line and sinker. He forwarded the email to all the marketing and finance people at his company before reading my follow-up email that said, “April Fools”. Three days later there was a small sidebar note in the San Jose Mercury News stating that there were rumors that XYZ company was going to by ABC company.

The next day, we had an all-employee meeting where the CEO and the VP vigorously denied the rumor. They denied that we were in any kind of talks about mergers or acquisitions. Two months later, we bought a smaller competitor. (So, I know they were in talks, and the rumor made them nervous.)

4 Gary Young March 31, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Put clear scotch tape over the earpiece of the phone handset and watch you collegues spend all day saying “Can you speak up – I can’t hear you”

5 Michael Wagner April 1, 2010 at 9:22 am

My favorite April Fool’s Day prank is to modify the color of the fonts in MS-Office or OpenOffice. The most users have a white background and if you change the color of the fonts also to white, it takes a very long time to find the mistake.

Happy 1. April
Michael

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