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/ May 1, 2013
Wreak Havoc In The Classroom By Remote Controlling Everything

It’s May, month of flowers and days spent gazing out the dirty windows of Silver, waiting for summer and/or falling debris. Don’t let yourself get distracted when there’s a gold mine of fun right in the classroom. Introduce a little anarchy and you can make the last few weeks of class a little more interesting, just like what we did in the computer lab.

These are our favorite ways to disrupt the peaceful learning environment. You shouldn’t do them, but you should.

Remote-control your lecture

When the author of this post was a freshman, he brought his Apple Remote to a 300-person lecture and hit the ‘menu’ button, launching the now-discontinued Front Row media center on half of the MacBooks in the room, including the professor’s. Those IR signals bounce.

This isn’t as fun anymore, though, since Front Row is history, so the remote is only good for advancing slides, adjusting iTunes playback and volume. Worse, the MacBook Air and retina MacBook Pro don’t have an IR receiver, so they won’t respond to your mischief. But if your professor is punkable to begin with, chances are low that they have one of these new laptops (They might even have Front Row). Press ‘play’ and hope for a symphony of Dixie Chicks, Skrillex and Happy Potter. It’s bound to work on somebody’s Mac. (Note: it is possible to disable IR or pair your laptop with one particular remote if you’d like to avoid a similar fate.)

Remote-control anything else

What about the classroom electronics? After the 30th educational viewing of Date Movie, it might be time to stand up for your education and power down the projector. Or the TV. Or whatever. For most uses, the TV-B-Gone is the tool for the job. This keychain-sized universal remote blasts thousands of power signals for every electronic brand imagineable, so one of them should end your nightmare. If your want to sabotage the macro-powered actions like “Project PC” and “Watch DVD” on that fancy touch-screen that breaks anyway, try out a signal jammer like the one in Ninja Remote.

If you’re still having trouble and you have no life, buy an accessory IR blaster for your smartphone (like this one) and configure the app to control exactly what you want. A less sneaky route would involve a full-sized universal remote. Grab the projector (or whatever) remote and use the learning capability to “copy” the IR signal.


Pick up this mini USB keyboard and insert the USB receiver into a free port on the classroom computer before class. (Obligatory warning: Don’t actually do that! Or drugs!) Most classroom computers tend to accept “lite” devices like flash drives and keyboards, so it should work. Now you’re free to mess up URLs, add smiley faces as your teacher types, close and switch windows with keyboard shortcuts and the same depraved shenanigans we pulled) at the computer lab.

Safe pranking, everyone. And Happy May Day.

Image via Ben Zweig