Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Tool

There is a fun story that I sometimes like to think back and giggle about when I was in computer class at high school. Our computer teacher had game day on Fridays. He setup an account on the old Novell network named "Pancho" that had a bunch of games we could play. Every Friday roughly 25 students would log into that account to play and get assigned a number next to the "Pancho", my guess was depending on the order you logged into it.

One particular Friday I started playing my favorite game called "The Incredible Machine". A game where you could play through challenges or create your own Rube Goldberg-esque machines. The game had all sorts of cool challenges and kept me busy and entertained. This Friday was a boring day for. I don't really remember if it was the teen-angst or just plain boredom that made me seek fun elsewhere...

There was a fun feature in the Novell system that allowed a savvy user to blast message to any computer you chose. The message would pop up on top of anything the user on that system was doing and give the option to close. Harmless right? Well...I decided to have fun by drafting up a crafty message and did a CTRL-A in the system select menu and hit send. I normally would not have done this because I didn't want to get in trouble. This day was different, the regular computer teacher was out sick.

Imagine my glee when I look over to all the monitors in class with my message plastered right in the middle of screens...

"Are you having fun yet?"

**Stifled giggling**

"Did you have your Wheaties today?"

**stifled "WTFs"**

I stopped for a bit to marvel at my genius.

A buddy of mine saw me giggling and asked if I was the one doing it. I think he noticed me looking over before I actually send the messages. The only reason I decided to tell him it was me was because a few months prior he had given me The Donkey Kong Country Trilogy for the Super Nintendo. He threw them at me one morning and stated he no longer played them and that he remembered how much I loved playing them. Good guy.

Back to my hijinks. I told him it was me and that he needed to keep a tight lid on this because bad-stuff. He understood...and proceeded to blast some messages of his own. PAUSE...

Before I continue I need to explain something.

There was a technology aid that was hired in the year that all this was going on. He was a cocky motherfucker that would regularly talk down to the students regarding any computer related questions or discussions. At some point it bled over to being talked down to about just about anything anyone went to him for. He was so arrogant that me and a friend were able to get him to disclose the password for a section of the network was pretty vital to the school. I don't remember how we social-engineered his ass but it was great being able to browse the Internets from any computer on campus. Needless to say....he was an utter TOOL.

Back to the fun...

"You should play The Incredible Machine. You can make sick machines, lolz"

"Stop touching your face, Jennifer"


I turned around and it was the tool. The cocky motherfucker that had a pissed off look in his eye.


Oh shit. I think the CTRL+A hit up the neighboring computer class. Panic mode. Think Ish, think. I got nothing. Keep cool.

Hushed voiced friend, "WTF ARE WE GOING TO DO!?"

"Keep calm! He doesn't know!"

I quickly glanced at my neighbors' screens and noticed that the log in on their computers were out of order. My neighbor was PANCHO2 and the buddy was PANCHO47. PANIC, does Novell have any sort of logs on those messages?

The Tool, "You better speak up or else I'm going straight to the principal's office!" *type type type*... *awkward face*

"I can easily find out from THIS computer!"

By this point my friend was sweating and fidgeting in his seat. I told him he wasn't going to find out. Tool kept mumbling and cursing under his breath and I just watched him suffer. It was so delicious and satisfying that I promised I would never tell anyone about this.

The bell had rung and everyone was logging out of their respective computers. I did as well. Calmly collected my belongings and walked out with the most sheepish grin on my face I had ever mustered. It was hilarious seeing his attitude change over the next few weeks. It was great knowing that one defeat could completely deflate a man.

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This work by Ishmael Plata is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.