Category Archives: Humor

Quick Linux Nerd Prank

If you want to prank a co-workers’s Linux laptop, wait until they walk away without locking it, and add this quickie to their ~/.bashrc config file. Bonus: works on Mac’s too.

export PROMPT_COMMAND=”tput sc;tput cup 0 5;tput bold;tput blink;tput rev;printf %s ‘**** CODE 9 EMERGENCY EMERGENCY EMERGENCY CODE 9 ****’;tput rc”

It will activate the next time they open a command line terminal window.

If you want to know what it does, tput is a command to output terminal management codes. “tput sc” saves the current cursor position. It’s companion “tput rc” restores the cursor to the original saved location, and it also restores the original video mode (in other words, turns off bold font, blinking and reverse text). “tput cup row# column#” moves the cursor to row row# column column#. “printf %s ‘string'” is a fancy way to output a formatted string at the current cursor location. “tput bold”, “tput blink” and “tput rev” cause the video to use a bold font, blink on and off, and use reverse background/foreground colors.

The Bash command shell assumes the environment variable PROMPT_COMMAND contains a list of shell commands to run before displaying the shell prompt. Every time they press enter, it runs again, so they can’t easily clear or reset the terminal to get rid of the message.

Alternate messages to put up there include some form of “WARNING! SYSTEM COMPROMISED! Shut off your computer’s power ASAP, and contact your divisions Corporate Security Officer for further instructions before powering back on.”

A little Holiday Spirit from the Help Desk


Twas the night before Christmas, I sit at my desk
Not a user was stirring - I finally can rest!
In comes a ticket, I leap to my feet
To find out what's wrong for this ID-ten-T

I take control, fix the issue at hand
Making a dollar while he makes a grand
PEBKAC returns to his holiday cheer
I settle back in and I long for a beer

Waiting all day to see people I love
'Cause of capital numbers and cables unplugged
Reddit is open, the cat memes abound
"I deleted my shit, now my screen says 'not found!'

Fix it you fuck, my computer's not right
Since IT completed an update last night!"
Push of a button, the issue set straight
The source of the problem was at Layer 8

End of the day, time to walk out the door
Ring goes the phone, guess I'm doing one more
Finishing up, want some tidings from me?
Restart your machine before calling IT