4/1/11
12:01 am

MacMost Now 535: Practical Jokes and April Fools

Learn about a few simple April Fools jokes you can play on your friends with Macs.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now
On today's episode, ten reasons that Windows is better than Mac
Well if I havent made it too obvious today is April first, April Fools day
So let's take a look at some practical jokes that you can play on friends with macs
So one of the simplest things you can do is the good old desktop background trick
So here you can see there is the desktop
I'm actually gonna create a new folder on the desktop
Move it here so you can see it and label it something
Leave it right there on the desktop
Now, what I'm gonna do is take a screenshot Command shift and 3
And I'll see that the screenshot now appears right here
Then I'm gonna control click on that screenshot and select 'set desktop picture'
Now what'll happen is if I wait a second I can see the desktop picture is set
And I can see that folder is there but that's just on the background
Now I can delete this folder here, move away that image there and it looks like there's a folder there that you just can't click on
So you're gonna have lots of fun ther actually putting lots of things, common items and aliases and things that the person needs to use and suddenly they can't seem to click on them, they just don't seem to work
Now you can also use a simple bluetooth wireless mouse to play a good trick
Somebody has one attached to their mac or they've got a wired mouse
You can set the mac up by adding a second mouse using bluetooth
Then you can sit in the next room or cubicle and control their cursor using the second mouse while they use the first mouse
So you can kind of move it at just the right moment or make it seem like it's got a life of its own
Probably the trick you'll hear about the most for April Fools and macs is holding the command, option and control keys and pressing 8
This inverses the entire screen you can get it back by using the command, control, option, 8 again
This is actually just a shortcut for under universal access, display, display, switch to white on black or black on white there
Now here's a trick you can play on somebody using Mail
You go into Mail, preferences
You can click on the last preference item here which is Rules
You can add a rule and you can simply have just about any email that comes in from anybody perform an action where it plays a sound
And then you can set it to any sound that you want
So you can record sound of some music or just yourself saying something and every time they get a message, that sound plays
And you can also make it so that it only plays if the mail is from a certain person so it could be some from you or it could be from the person's boss, the person's spouse, anything
Along those same lines, in Safari you can go into Preferences and change their homepage to something maybe a little embarrassing
And then make sure new windows open with that home page
Now then they go to use their browser it automatically jumps to something like this
*Another one you can play to somebody with an iphone or just about any smartphone
Aou can go into the contacts list here and add a contact or alter one to have any name you want
So for instance you can change it so that your phone number actually shows up with the name of somebody else like maybe Steve Jobs or the President of the United States or the person's spouse
Then when the phone rings 'cos you're calling them it shows up with that picture and that name in that you've set it
So it looks like they're getting a call from somebody and they're not
So here's a pretty simple one that you can play on some one
Yu go to System Preferences and under that you have language and text
Go to Input Sources
And you have various keyboards here that can be selected
So select a keyboard like say the DVORAK keyboard which is an alternate English language keyboard
The keys are in completely different places
And if you have an English letter keyboard with the letters and the regular QWERTY spots then you won't really know what letters you're typing
Now once I've turned that on I can then go under the Languages here and switch to DVORAK
Now when I start typing, the letters are all wrong
So what would an episode like this be without a disclaimer?
Of course you should proceed with caution with any of these and make sure you're close by
So as soon as the person is fooled you can jump out, shout April Fools and stop it before any real trouble happens
Until nexttime, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 6 Responses to “MacMost Now 535: Practical Jokes and April Fools”

    Zane
    4/7/11 @ 8:56 am

    I love the folder on the desktop trick. My office is going to hate me!

    Dean
    4/9/11 @ 9:12 am

    Gary, you are truly an evil genius! ;-) Okay, so I’m FINALLY getting to this awesome MacMost Now email (as they all are–awesome) on 9 Apr, but your practical jokes & April fools are still ingenious stuff for year round! :-) Funniest thing for me is that your very 1st one–the screencap’ing the desktop & then making the image the very nonfunctional “desktop”–is something we did at work a few months ago to a friend (coworker) who had, AGAIN, left his access card in his card reader when he took a smoke break…AND he didn’t log off, lock his computer, etc! SWEET!! Granted, we use PCs at work (yes, my most humble apologies!), but the moment was just as sweet & VERY quickly seized by the 2 of us–the devious ones w/ the tech knowledge (not that this took THAT much out of us!). He already had plenty of icons on the desktop that he uses for everything, so it was all the more easy. Captured the desktop, made the image his wallpaper, & then just sat in wait…anxiously! :-P It was all we could do to NOT laugh or give up the secret as he clicked all over, checked his mouse (why?? It was working fine!), checked his keyboard (again, WHY?), rebooted…rebooted…and rebooted a 3rd time before finally–FINALLY turning around & saying, “Alright–you guys DID something, didn’t you.” It was GREAT! Thanks for letting me know there are others like us out there just waiting to strike! Ha. Take care, Gary, & thanks for all your fantastic MacMost info, insights, & fun. Keep on rockin’ in the free world! :-)

    Dan
    4/19/11 @ 2:47 pm

    Gary, I love the display change. I was viewing some photos and I really liked the effect on some landscapes. I tried to save them that way to email, print etc but couldn’t figure a way. Is there? Thanks, your the BEST.

      4/19/11 @ 3:30 pm

      Not sure what you are asking. You were viewing some photos and wanted to email them? What were you viewing the photos in?

        Dan
        4/21/11 @ 2:26 pm

        Gary, Using command+option+control+8. The inverted screen effect makes some photos really odd. I viewed in iphoto, aperture. I wanted to save a photo with the inverted screen effect to print, email etc. I saved to docs, tried to email, screen capture, open in preview. I guess sense it isn’t really altering the photo just my screen view I can’t save? Could I duplicate the effect in aperture? I’m still digging into aperture. Any ideas? Its just fooling around stuff but it’s driving me nuts. Now I’m on a mission. Please help me get on with my life. Thanks

          4/21/11 @ 10:36 pm

          Right. Command+Option+Control+8 just inverts the screen. It doesn’t really change your documents.
          You can do that in most image editing programs, like Photoshop, by choosing “Invert.” But I’m not sure if that is available in Aperture.

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