Sunday, August 26, 2007

remote control

MSN Messenger's got lots of features, and the best ones let you shutdown someone else's computer!

Like this one time, I was just kinda bored and was screwing around with Messenger's features. So after trying all other things I invited Shekhar to start NetMeeting. And without a word he accepted.
So I started the Share a Desktop Service. Now he could see my Desktop and everything. He browsed through My Computer, went into a drive, renamed a folder from 'Shivo proj' to 'Lamer proj'. (hehehe..)
Then after he had his fill, I asked him to share his desktop to me. Now I could see his desktop, his My Computer etc. etc.. So now I went through his folders, files.. etc. etc..

After getting majorly bored, I went in his Start Menu. And due to my then dial-up connection it took a long time to display. All I could see was the 'Shut Down...' menu item.
So I clicked it! :D
And he jumped up from his seat, "Hey!", and quicky pressed Esc to relinquish control!
Damn, I was so close! I should have shut down his PC!
Never again has he accepted my NetMeeting invites! :D

"Hmm.., let me run it again.. maybe it's command line based."
I wrote a really silly program once.
Not the real Machine Debug Manager, a fake, which looked just like Microsoft's Machine Debug Manager. Complete with all the details like, Company name, Description, Version etc etc.
Except the Version was slightly higher than the mdm version available at that time. Oh and also that this mdm.exe would quickly eat up free disk space by making junk files. It was just for fun, and actually had started as a way to test my drive's speed by filling it up with 25-50 mb worthless files. It worked great on my PC.
Then I modified it, renamed it to mdm.exe, changed everything to make it look like Microsoft's MDM (even the default icon) and sent it to Prashant, telling him its a new version of mdm and works better.
He promptly run it.
And it didn't show him any interface, or any dialog, but it started its work. Quickly filling up his C: drive.
But what was funnier is that, he thought it was command prompt based (and hence he didn't get any dialog) so he started it one more time via command prompt!
Unfortunately, my dial-up connection disconnected. So after various attempts, when I finally got through, the first message to greet me from Prashant was something like:

He's never again gonna accept exe files from me! :D
(I then told him which files to delete and which process to stop.)

'This is computer speaking...'
But the best remote control incident was in college.
We used to use GoverLAN to govern all the different PC's in the Lab. And one of its best features was a much better version of NetMeeting's Desktop Sharing. Here you could pre-configure it to not even ask the remote computer's confirmation, as admin rights allowed us to take control of PCs anytime.
So this one time, we had lectures in the Lab, and Web maam was trying hard to erase 'Freinds' from her Powerpoint presentation (on the projector), with a duster/eraser on the board.
So after our fill of laughs, I spotted Shailesh and Mobin fiddling around with a PC. They had just logged in and were bumbling around. Now since Maam had asked to shut down all PC's, Shiv started GoverLAN on the server to shut it down from the server.
But I had an even better idea: I took control of the PC, started command prompt and typed thus:

Microsoft Windows 2000 [Version 5.00.2195](C) Copyright
1985-2000 Microsoft Corp.

C:\>This is computer speaking...
'This' is not recognized as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file.

C:\>what are you doing on this PC? pay attention to maam!
'what' is not recognized as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file.

C:\>Now shut down this PC!
'Now' is not recognized as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file.


And the best part is, it actually showed it type slowly. One letter at a time. And the first reaction by Shailesh was to look down at the keyboard.
I bet he expected to see the keys on they keyboard slowly getting pressed on their own!
Then Mobin started laughing. Shailesh was still confused, but he too started laughing. He didn't actually shut down the PC, so I did it for him.
Once the monitor went blank, they both looked at each other!
Then maam started teaching again, so they let it go.
But the three of us (admins) burst out laughing...
Ofcourse.. since class was still on, we couldn't really laugh...
so it was a very very difficult wait till the end of the lecture!