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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Heated mouse jokes will get somebody steamed!


Mouse Jokes
from FleNov.net

Let's start off with a classic and one of my favorite practical jokes. Without disconnecting the mouse, hide it somewhere. If the system block is set up on a desk, the mouse and its wire can be hidden behind it.

Now, put another, dummy, mouse, on the desk and throw its wire behind the desk to create the impression that it is connected to the computer. The most important thing is that the substitute mouse should look like the one that you have hidden. When your victim starts working, he or she will grab the sham mouse and quickly decide that it isn't working. It will be difficult for them to determine the root, as the computer won't issue any error messages (the computer knows that a mouse is connected - it's not its fault that no one is trying to use it) and a cursory inspection of the back panel confirms that the mouse is plugged in properly.

The same trick can be played with the keyboard, but a keyboard is more difficult to hide. If you hide it behind the computer, a cursory search will reveal it and putting two and two together will be relatively simple.

Another mouse-related trick is to simply remove the ball inside. This will render the mouse inoperative. It takes a while for novice users to figure out that the ball is no longer present. Those with more experience will notice right away that the mouse is significantly lighter (some balls account for as much as half of the mouse's weight) and will not be taken in. You should also try to play this one in the near future, as mice are rapidly going optical.

But this does not necessarily mean that the future will be bland, as optics form the basis of new vulnerabilities. Turn an optical mouse upside down and you will discover a lens in the hollow in its middle. It is simple enough is to cover this lens with something thin and opaque. Non-transparent scotch tape will do well for this purpose. The mouse stops working and, from what I've seen, the lens is about the last thing that the perplexed user checks.

The mouse can also be taped to the mouse pad or the desk with two-sided tape. The problem here is, of course, figured out pretty quickly, but this does not make it any less effective. Colleagues and friends with a good sense of humor should appreciate the joke for what it's worth.

ATX cases with a PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors are very common nowadays. These connectors are identical, so it is a snap to swap the plug places. In this case, while seemingly connected, neither the keyboard nor the mouse will work.

There's no danger to the system itself if you swap the places for the plugs while the computer is turned off, so nothing will burn out. Moreover, on computers with good motherboards, the mouse and keyboard plugs can be switched with the computer on. I experimented with hot swapping on motherboards from Asus, Abit, and Gigabyte without any adverse results. The only problem in this respect is that, when the plugs are returned to their correct connections, the mouse may refuse to work without rebooting. The keyboard is more compliant and works without rebooting. But this depends not only on the motherboard, but also on the type and version of the operating system.

Another trick is to switch the left and right buttons. This is done by selecting the Start/Control Panel menu sequence and then opening the Mouse item. This will open the mouse configuration dialog window. Put a check in the Switch primary and secondary buttons box. This will assign the left button function to the right button and vice versa. This is a rather simple joke that will generally only have at least a medium-term effect on novice users.

In the same mouse properties window, the mouse double click speed can be set to the maximum possible (Fast). Now, in order to double-click, the user has to develop a Speedy Gonzalez index finger. When I set the Double-click speed to Fast on my computer, I couldn't pull off a double-click operation, no matter how hard I tried.




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