Welcome to CNET Top 5, home for wayward lists. I'm Tom Merritt.
April Fool's Day is something of a national holiday for geeks. It's
fool or be fooled, my friends.
One of my old favorites is editing the autoexec.bat file to cause a
But there are better and more modern ways. We've collected some of the
most popular ways to trick your friends.
Let's count 'em down.
At No. 5, the annoy-a-tron. This handy little device from ThinkGeek is
just a bit bigger than a quarter and emits a random beep every 2-5
minutes. It's guaranteed to drive co-workers, friends, and family to
distraction. I had a Nokia phone that did this once when the battery
Coming in at No. 4, novelty USB drives. These drives don't look odd,
they install odd things on the target's computer. My favorite? The one
that randomly presses keys and moves the cursor.
Up to No. 3, rearrange the keyboard keys. Harder to do on some
keyboards these days. If skillfully done, the "fool" won't notice
right away and can be immensely effective.
Sliding in at No. 2, the old mouse madness trick. Put some tape or even
a post-it note over the LED light on the bottom of the target's mouse.
You'd be surprised how long it takes some people to figure this one
Before we get to No. 1, time for another lame prize. You'll have to
work a bit more for this one.
Be one of the first 10 people to go to blog.cnettv.com and describe how
the autoexec.bat trick I mentioned earlier works, and you could be
selected to get this entirely fake music player that is not in any way
an iPod Nano.
All right. Let's get to our No. 1. By far the most commonly mentioned
tech practical joke
At No. 1, it's...the desktop screenshot. Use PRT SCRN to capture the
target's desktop then set that image as the desktop wallpaper. Then
hide all of icons and the taskbar. The screen will look like it always
does, but clicking the will not make anything happen, because, of
course, it's just a picture. Computers freeze often enough that it can
take hours before they figure it out. Just don't let them call I.T.
Well That's it for this edition of CNET Top 5.
Don't forget to describe the autoexec.bat trick for a chance to win the
non-Apple totally unauthorized replica music player.
I'm Tom Merritt. See you next time.