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Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

Re: you touched it last

Ouch - I was once told of a new QA inspector who insisted on 100% functional testing of the explosive bolts used to release the spent stage from the rest of the rocket. I hope it was apocryphal...

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Re: you touched it last

"Or they can't be arsed to do it. The wife is like that, I'll be seated with my laptop, she'll be up and wandering about (closer to the kitchen than I am), and she'll head towards the bedroom and ask if I could get her a glass of icewater..."

Err... You can give my number to your wife. I'll gladly bring her a glass of ice water.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you touched it last

On a good day, we are problem solvers.

On a bad day, we do people's thinking for them.....

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Now it can be told...

I once left my laptop unlocked.... To teach me a lesson a colleague flipped the screen on my external monitor.

It took me weeks to find the keypress which rotated it back (yes, Ctrl Alt arrow keys)

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Re: Now it can be told...

I was going to mention that - its a little booby trap that Intel saw fit to include in their drivers for the last few years. I have had many phone calls saying , just like in the article , "The screens upside down!"

Trying to explain to a user how to press Ctrl Alt arrow keys over the phone can be taxing , so you end up having to remote the machine to do it for them .

All because these hotkeys are live by default , and easy to hit by accident apparently - must happen when they are tying to ctrl-alt-del.

Thanks Intel.

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Re: Now it can be told...

I remember a good-natured feud between a couple of developers here many years ago. It culminated on one of them hijacking the others machine and...

...hiding all the desktop icons

...switching the wallpaper to an image with the desktop icons on it

...swapping the left and right mouse buttons over

...changing mouse orientation so that moving it upwards on the desk moved the pointer roughly south-west on the desktop

...removing the ball from the mouse (yes, this was many years ago)

...and, IIRC, removing Control Panel

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Re: Now it can be told...

"...switching the wallpaper to an image with the desktop icons on it"

Thank you, Hans, for the funniest thing I have read this week.

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Re: Now it can be told...

Swapping the left and right mouse buttons on unattended PCs is also worth a laugh

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Re: Now it can be told...

Ah yes the classics. Once I once redirected a colleague's firefox shortcuts to a batch file that shut down the computer after 5 minutes. Was hilarious watching him run virus scanners etc, until I finally owned up :)

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Re: Now it can be told...

I seem to be having some difficulty deciding whether there is a genuine crowd of notable size that somehow honestly never encountered several of what must be the literal top ten of most common computer-related hijinks / "you won't believe the stupidity" anecdotes, or else the sarcasm levels this weekend are just too damn high...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now it can be told...

Once I once redirected a colleague's firefox shortcuts to a batch file that shut down the computer after 5 minutes.

Inspired - well done, sir

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Re: Now it can be told...

For desktops, a bluetooth dongle on the back connected to a wireless mouse (or keyboard) can be hours of fun, too. Days even, if you're careful enough not to get caught.

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Re: Now it can be told...

"For desktops, a bluetooth dongle "
In the days before bluetooth, we had Back Orifice :-)

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Re: Now it can be told...

I did a similar thing to one guy back in the days of running Windows 3.1, all the setting where saved to thw WIN.INI file, and then making the file read only.

He'd come in, moan like hell about his desktop being all wrong etc, he'd spend about 20 minutes making things right but all the changes never stayed for the next day.

Took him over a week to finial twig what was wrong.

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Re: Now it can be told...

I do hope the batch file launched firefox first with

c:\progra~1\mozzil~1\firefox.exe "thedailymash.co.uk"

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Re: Now it can be told...

I have witnessed the "switching the wallpaper" trick in action...evil, positively evil. 3:-)

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Now it can be told...

Reminds me of a popular bat script I left on a network share in Uni that opened popup dialog boxes labelled:

"10,000 green bottles, sitting on a wall..."

"9,999 green bottles, sitting on a wall..."

"9,998 green bottles, sitting on a wall..."

etcetera

They only clicked on the "Exam Papers - Faculty Access Only!" once...

(Mines the one with the notepad in the pocket)

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Re: Now it can be told...

Changing a user's login script on the Prime to provide amusing prompts and error messages, not to mention remapping keys so their console would type gibberish or sound beep tones was my contribution.

Their fault for not changing the default password that was easily guessable...

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Re: Now it can be told...

@DropBear re "you won't believe the stupidity" anecdotes

I like to think I've seen it all but that "mouse upside down" really is new on me. You'd think even a chimp in the zoo would sort that out themselves.

But apart fom that, I've seen it all:

I've seen things you people wouldnt believe....

machines left on for 90 days with 2 dozen users logged in

users switching the monitor off and on when told to reboot.

users reporting "boot sector not found" as "I cant get my email"

users reporting "PC wont boot" during power cut

users thinking printing stuff out , then OCR ing it back in , is acceptable data storage solution

users using floppy discs because they refuse to learn to navigate folders on network drives.

users incapable of typing the same word twice in order to set a password.

users complaining that a dead pixel on their screen is a H&S hazard

users lying about having "turned it off and on again"

the comedy never ends...

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re pranking people

re , the colleague winding up hijinks.

I have a script that uses psexec to open iexplore.exe on someones pc and direct it to site of your choosing . ( its all about the -i option)

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Windows

Re: Now it can be told...

"...switching the wallpaper to an image with the desktop icons on it"

I knew someone who did that, deliberately, on their own desktop. He was a security guy, and a colleague had chided him for not locking his machine when away from his desk . (Cos it's always a good idea to score points off the security guys, isn't it?) She said she'd "do something to it" if he did it again.

So he set it up, then left his machine and simply walked across to the other side of the large open-plan office. From where he had an excellent view of her trying to "do something to it", and becoming more and more flustered as nothing happened....

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Re: Now it can be told...

Another few:

• replace the mouse cursor bitmap with one that is nothing but transparency

• set the Windows "click" sound (plays pretty much whenever you click on anything) to the Windows 3.1 tada sound, then remove write access to the section of the registry where the sound bindings are stored. I haven't done this in a while, but it used to be that changing the sound back would seem to work, but would do nothing

• there used to be a registry option that would force the user to agree to terms and conditions upon login, so you could pretty much force the user to agree to anything

• there used to be a registry setting that allowed the window manager (or whatever it is called) to be changed to an arbitrary program. Also, up until at least XP, the old one from 3.1 was available

• modern Macs have an obscure key combination that will invert the colours. This persists across reboots.

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Re: Now it can be told...

Once the USB attached peripherals took over from PS2 connections, it became trivially easy to connect more than one keyboard and mouse to a PC.

In an office of back to back cubicles, if done with some subtlety, this could provide hours of enjoyment, as the victim's keyboard and mouse apparently did random things.

Like the mouse ever so slowly drifting diagonally across the screen, or the keyboard sometimes adding random letters, but not necessarily the same ones.

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Re: Now it can be told...

"...switching the wallpaper to an image with the desktop icons on it"

Yes as gskr mentions below, that is a classic. I remember doing it on Windows 3.1. Even better if you mirror-reverse the image beforehand.

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Re: Now it can be told...

swapping the left and right mouse buttons over

When my dad was diagnosed with Parkinsons, it was mostly affecting his right-hand side. So much so that he didn't have sufficient control to do the fine mouse movements so he just swapped to using his left hand[1]. But he didn't bother to remap the mouse buttons - which caused some mild hilarity when I first tried to fix his computer..

[1] He also trained himself to write with his left hand. THe biggest pain was re-registering his signature with the various banks and credit cards since his new signature didn't resemble his old one in any way, shape or form.

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Anonymous Coward

I once left my laptop unlocked.... To teach me a lesson

My coworkers would send out inappropriate, embarrassing emails.

I once passed one of the culprits in the hall headed in the direction of my office.

Continued on for a few seconds until the light bulb came on, turned around and ran back to my office - but too late.

Some people are always awaiting that opportunity..

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Re: Now it can be told...

A colleague once changed my screensaver to a BSOD screenshot.

Tip: Win+L

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Re: Now it can be told...

One of my cats had a great skill in doing this if keyboard left unprotected

Aforementioned cat loved walking on keyboards, she often performed web searches etc too

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Re: Now it can be told...

Ah yes the classics. Once I once redirected a colleague's firefox shortcuts to a batch file that shut down the computer after 5 minutes. Was hilarious watching him run virus scanners etc, until I finally owned up :)

Did something similar to a Mr Hotshot at our office some years back. He'd usually come in later than everyone else, so I put the "BSOD screensaver" on the WinNT server he was setting up. Everyone else knew what I had done with it, and we all got a laugh as he tried all morning to figure out why it kept crashing. Didn't occur to him that the system shouldn't have come back to a working desktop once you touched the KB/mouse. Finally just as he was about to wipe the system and reinstall, I offered to help troubleshoot it, went into the screensaver settings (while he was sitting there) and changed the screensaver.

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Re: Now it can be told...

For desktops, a bluetooth dongle on the back connected to a wireless mouse (or keyboard) can be hours of fun, too. Days even, if you're careful enough not to get caught.

Heck, didn't even need a computer for that. My half-sister was visiting, watching TV, and didn't realize we had two remotes for the cable box. So I stood on the other side of the room and kept changing the channel.

These days it's playing tricks with YouTube on the PS3 or WiiU. When my daughter is obsessively watching Minecraft or Roblox videos (or other stupid gameplay videos) I'll start casting Hatsune Miku videos to it from my tablet.

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Re: Now it can be told...

In the good old days of winnt 4 and win95 I teardropped somebody's PC, it did the right thing and BSOD'd itself - and then the HDD died.

Did the thing with the desktop screenshot as well, head tech took a while to twig on just what's so weird :)

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Re: Now it can be told...

My cat has found the keystroke combination to turn off wi-fi on my laptop.

Fortunately, the setting does not persist across sessions; because I have yet to discover the keystroke combination to turn it back on.

Have you ever tried repeating an error message back to a user, verbatim? It's amazing, if not a bit worrying, just how often they understand the same words when they are coming from a human as opposed to a machine. "It didn't recognise the username or the password. It's asking you to try again."

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Re: Now it can be told...

Last two weeks I've had

done to my PC while I left it unattend, a screengrab of my desktop in picture viewer fullscreen. You can move the mouse pointer but can't click on anything. The screengrab has to be in a folder on it's own.

I've done the ctrl-alt arrow to two IT trainees.

And afterwards had a user do the ctrl-alt arrow to themselves.

First had the ctrl-alt arrow done to me by my boy when he was a toddler

Screengrab with an application open in a window set as a wallpaper so it looks like you have a application open you can't close.

Years ago I wrote a little program with the X close disabled and a close button which would randomly move on mouse over event to prank my flat mate. Can't remember what message it displayed.

Also one which screengrabbed the screen then displayed it full screen while moving it to create a shake effect.

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Re: Now it can be told...

In the days of DOS, a colleague was away for a day or two. I took his monitor (CRT of course) apart and swapped the scan coil connections, vertical and horizontal, and scattered his disk with files called MIRROR.BAT & RORRIM.COM and such. In the end he gave up and had to ask...

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Facepalm

Re: Now it can be told...

"I seem to be having some difficulty deciding whether there is a genuine crowd of notable size that somehow honestly never encountered several of what must be the literal top ten of most common computer-related hijinks / "you won't believe the stupidity" anecdotes, or else the sarcasm levels this weekend are just too damn high..."

It's only just after September. The new intake of kids has arrived!

(No one has mentioned the original prank though. Turn the brightness and contrast all the way down. Of course, most of the young'uns today won't understand that since LCD/OLEDs etc don't go blank when you do that. You need a CRT screen which they've only seen in "old" TV shows :-)

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Re: Now it can be told...

"In the days before bluetooth, we had Back Orifice :-)"

In the days before BackOriface, we had Apricot computer with infra-red keyboards with no pairing, any k/b worked any PC.

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Re: Now it can be told...

"I like to think I've seen it all but that "mouse upside down" really is new on me. You'd think even a chimp in the zoo would sort that out themselves."

Agreed they really ought to be able to figure it out, but those of us who remember the mice first appearing on peoples desks at least have a little sympathy. For a user who's never seen one before, they have a 50:50 chance of guessing right first time. Those that think about it have a slightly slower chance of getting it right first time. It's a "mouse" right? So obviously the "head" goes to the front and the tail goes to the back, right?

Then there's getting the brain to understand the weird paradigm shift required to move the point around the screen by moving the hand around the desk. The vast majority of those users had probably never even played video games before. Remember, before Windows and Macs, many office jobs were not on the computer, not all office staff had a PC on their desk.

Despite that slight level of sympathy back in the "old" days, I'm still flabbergasted by the stupidity of some users though. I've seen most of your list and many other incredibly stupid things :-)

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Re: Now it can be told...

"Aforementioned cat loved walking on keyboards, she often performed web searches etc too"

And I bet your wife still believes that to be true to this day, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, eh? eh? eh?

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Re: Now it can be told...

I must remember that when I,I mean my cat, visits sites that the missus won't approve of

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Re: Now it can be told...

> I put the "BSOD screensaver" on the WinNT server he was setting up.

I know someone who did put this on several of the servers.

Cue $BOSS coming in and seeing BSOD (on a linux box), with the prompt reaction of power cycling the box.

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Simon palmed one such user off, first to his PFY, then to his Boss....

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Mushroom

Oh noes

I'd suggest that any user unable to tell which end of the mouse to hold is unqualified to use a computer in the first place

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Re: Oh noes

Absolutely true, but try telling that to an MD. What might work is simply giving them a trackball screwed to the desk, so they cannot turn it around. On the other hand, for every step forward in idiot-proofing things, a better breed of idiots will subsequently evolve.

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Re: Oh noes

Yeah, you'd probably want to bolt the desk to the floor too. Just to be safe.

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Re: Oh noes

I'd suggest that any user unable to tell which end of the mouse to hold is unqualified to use a computer in the first place

As I said, we have someone here who only uses the mouse in an upside-down fashion. Doesn't complain that the cursor is moving the wrong way though, that's just how they've been told and always have used it.

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Re: Oh noes

"I'd suggest that any user unable to tell which end of the mouse to hold is unqualified to use a computer in the first place"
So you knew exactly and perfectly how to use a computer before any instruction whatsoever? You're a complete fucking genius... I'll bet you invented the Internet as well.

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Re: Oh noes

I can see why you're called Pompous Git...

Left and right click must be odd if you use the mouse backwards no?

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Coat

Re: Oh noes

not really , just rename it to right and left click

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Re: Oh noes

I use a right-handed mouse with my left hand quite often and have no trouble left-clicking with my ring and little finger. Quite restful. What is fun is to use two mice, and blow people's minds. Scroll with one, click with the other. Wheeeeeeeee!

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