Fun office pranks

08 Feb

One of our co-workers recently managed to leave his computer unlocked when he left work for the day. Time for hilarious pranks!

The standard “punishment” for leaving ones computer unlocked is to modify their system settings, often times setting their background to something humorous or embarrassing.

Katy wrote up a long blog post explaining in detail how to hijack the background of an unlocked mac, inspired by a prank we pulled on a co-worker who made just such a mistake. In summary we set his background wallpaper to get set every couple of minutes, also causing his dock to restart, very closely mimicking the symptoms of a virus…but on a mac. I don’t have any Mac-fu, but I was able to use my linux-fu to make the prank even more devious.

touch -f sourcefile destinationfile
copies the timestamp from one file to another. If you put your prank image in a directory with a bunch of other files, you can help your file blend in by giving it a timestamp that’s the same as another file.

The other trick is to move the file into a folder whose name starts with a . so it is harder to find. While you’re at it, might as well name the file with a starting with a . also.

We stashed the trouble files in his .keepass folder and named them things like .specialkey.

finally, history -c clears out your terminal history so that nobody can see what you have been up to.

Sadly, Katy felt guilty about being so mischievous and left instructions on how to ‘fix’ it, so he never got to appreciate the extra detail we went through to make it tricky to find and fix.

But you can bet he locks his computer now, and he learned how to make his Mac show hidden files.

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