By Cory Doctorow at 8:44 am Wed, Oct 17, 2007
I once wrote a simple program that scrolled the BBC RSS feed across the printer by constantly changing the message; the headline across the top line, and the story summary across the bottom. The only problem was that it brought the network to a crushing standstill, so I could never really use it other than a proof of concept.
@Peter in Japan, I <3 that episode.
If I had an office job I would be all over this:
NOT A STEP
PRAY FOR MOJO
UNPLUG BEFORE USE
FATAL PAPER JAM
I SEE WHAT U DID THERE
One part of the massive senior prank that my class did was hacking all of the printers on the school network to read out:
SENIORS 007 WE OWN YOU
unfortunately the hack propagated (I’m not sure how) into the District network, so the display could be read on every printer in every school in the entire area.
So, by 10 am we were getting calls from the district offices. Oh well.
I’ve been doing this for years :)
People in cube farm get a kick out of it.
I wrote a shellscript that executed the command, and piped a random line from a txt file into it, and it would cycle sayings every 5 minutes.. matrix quotes, random stuff, internet pop culture stuff.. etc
If all you want to do is change the static message for another static message, can’t you just put the appropriate escape sequences into a text file and copy it to the printer?
God, I’m old… I did this 15 years ago. In PCL. It’s always a joy to see a salesdroid spend a couple of minutes looking for the slot though.
Yes, very un-ingenious considering this has been around for years and the ‘INSERT COIN’ message isn’t really original either. Was Cory not on the internet before 2001?
I think “Go Call Mom” might be seasonally appreciated in May.
Careful with this. I got fired for doing this last year.
The IT department was in such a freak-out mode and staff was so bewildered by “OUT OF VOWELS” and “TONER HIGH” that I was escorted out of the building the next day.
Back in 2004, I published a windows console app that did this same thing… See here: PC LOAD LETTER was my favorite.
@Captain Oveur: Sorry to hear that. Maybe you can talk to the “out of cheese” commenter on the original post about a job; sounds like his workplace has a better sense of humor.
Jeez Cap’n, sounds like you were well out of there.
I totally reprogrammed my laser printer to say KILL THEM NOW
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