Lightroom Tips

TIP: A Fun, Mean, and Totally Useless Lightroom Hack

(Photo courtesy of

The other week Scott turned me on to a post by Mark Stagi over at It was called Hacking the Lightroom 5 Splash Screen. It’s actually very cool and I never knew you could do that before. However, before you go visit the site, just understand that it has no educational value whatsoever. But as photographers, I think it’s kinda cool. We love to display our photos, and this is a cool way to do it when Lightroom starts up.

Basically, the article goes over how to take the default Lightroom startup screen (seen below) and replace it with your own graphic. It could be your logo, some text, or even a photo.


Welcome to the Dark Side! (insert sinister laugh here)
Well, as I was reading the article I thought of a funny hack/prank you could play on people. Let’s say you had access to your friend’s computer (or even better, an enemy) for a few of minutes. Well, you could always make a graphic in Photoshop that read something like this and use it as their splash screen:


You gotta’ love the fact that the only options will erase their hard drive ๐Ÿ™‚ And if you wanted, you could even take it a step further and add a progress bar below it. A quick Google search will find you all of the graphics and fonts needed to pull it off so it looks pretty darn close to the real thing.


I’m sure all of you can come up with some other funny ideas, so if you do, please post ’em here. We could all use a good laugh ๐Ÿ™‚

Disclaimer: Please DO NOT use this prank on anyone at work, at the risk of being terminated, or worse, asked to sit in another meeting. Also, know that I will deny ever writing this blog post, and recommending it to you. You’ll never prove it was me!
Thanks – Matt Kloskowski (blogger of mean Lightroom tricks) ๐Ÿ˜‰



  1. Fotomonkey 20 September, 2014 at 22:04 Reply

    I was actually punked by my client when I was a young computer tech. I was at their office to do some work and they asked me to remove what some icon was on the desktop. I had no idea and clicked it. I watched in horror as it said I’d infected the computer and it started “deleting” files. It took a moment to realize what they’d done. They had a good laugh at my expense. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Mike Nelson Pedde 10 September, 2014 at 14:36 Reply

    Of course, in the DOS days you could do silly things like changing the DOS prompt from C:/> to something else, like Hi There: or whatever you waned, but that got boring really fast. What was more fun was using the Copy Con command to take over the screen and then enter a series of blank returns so that the screen was completely blank. Hitting Enter simply added another blank line. Typing something would display it on the screen, but nothing else. So if you typed WHY THE !@#$%^& AREN’T YOU WORKING? or something appropriate like that, it would simply display your text on the screen. The only way to get past it was to Ctrl-Z to end the script and get the DOS prompt back.

    But if you really want a look at history, check out the history of UNIX and why all of the system files are in the Etc. directory.


  3. Mike Nelson Pedde 10 September, 2014 at 14:31 Reply

    I, umm… heard about a guy once who used to work as a tech in a GIS lab back in the mainframe days (mid-80s). One day he wrote a simple program based on the ‘Life’ game, where a grid of squares is each randomly assigned a 1 or 0 value, and then depending on the relationships it has with the squares around it, it either keeps its value or changes it. He set up the grid to equal the number of pixels on the lab monitors, and he set it so that if the square had a 1 value it would light up and beep. Then he set it to run the program when the first students tried to log into their accounts.

    This same person (or so I heard), a decade later was out in the field armed with a Psion data recorder (and an early copy of MS Excel on a laptop back at the hotel). At the end of every day the data collected on the Psion was uploaded to the Excel spreadsheet. The way I heard the story, this guy’s partner brought the truck and all of the field equipment back to the office and gave the computer to the boss, who was anxious to see the results. What the boss didn’t know was that a small batch file had been added to the bootup so that when he powered on the computer a message came up that said something like:

    The computer has detected an error at address: (some hexadecimal number) and the system has been halted. The computer will need to be rebooted.


    Press any key continue…

    Of course, after he cleaned his pants and got up the courage to press the Enter key it said:

    Hah! Fooled you!!
    Have a nice day!!

    And then the batch file deleted itself and reset things so as to be more or less untraceable and able to deny that it had ever existed.

    Or so I was told.


  4. Dave Rizzico 9 September, 2014 at 20:44 Reply

    Well back in the really old days of DOS when screen savers were in their infancy, you could not lock your PC. Well someone came up with a DOS batch routine that would remap your keyboard to unprintable characters with a special keystroke set like Control, Alt, Tab that acted as a toggle. Then when you needed the keyboard again you hit that keystroke sequence again and it remapped it back. Fun part was slipping it on your buddies computer and activating it when they weren’t looking… Or back in the XP days when one of the guys I worked with took a four week vacation to go home to India and left us with his password… One of his best friends (not me though) change every object color on his desktop to black. Took him a day to figure out that he needed to change the colors blindly using another computer as a guide…

    But I guess one of the best modern error ones was the screen saver that mimic the Window’s Blue screen of death and even used the settings from your computer to build the screen…

    Take care

    • Arnfinn 19 September, 2014 at 05:54 Reply

      Chipping out a couple of the letters on the keyboard and replacing them at random can be very fun with those that has to look on the letters while they type… ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Nancy Cuppy 9 September, 2014 at 22:35 Reply

      I use to work in a rental office back in the late 70’s early 80’s. My boss wrote a program for a rental program and you had to plug in the figures and it would figure out the subsidized rent. Well he programmed it to come up with a an error and message. It was an old Apple with the green print and command prompts. When I touched the screen it said Warning… do not touch any keys or you will have a Baked Apple. I looked at that screen in horror and then at the keyboard. All the while my bosswere watched me through the office window thinking he was so funny. Funny until I put the fake mouse in the Apartment Complex business checkbook and closed it while he was at lunch.

  5. Susana 9 September, 2014 at 15:23 Reply

    That reminds me of a prank someone (no, it wasn’t me) pulled on a student of mine. They made an image of the desktop, hid all the icons in it, hid the task bar and put it in the top of the screen. Then they changed the wallpaper using the image of the desktop… Poor student was struggling for about 15 minutes until he finally called me.

  6. Andrew Beasley 9 September, 2014 at 14:14 Reply

    Why not replace the LR one with the Photoshop CC one?

    Just watch the baffled face as the correct program starts up…

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