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On the right project, some bad rust looks better than some good paint.
This is an older site that's no longer maintained (as of ~2010). For my professional site and contact information, visit AE Innovations. You can also visit my new site at It Came From The Workshop.
The Haunted USB Cable!
This prank device is a clever way to make someone go from pulling out their hair, to scratching their head...
What Is This?
looks like just a cable with a chopped-off end, but there is much
more to this cable than meets the eye... it's Haunted!
A ghost inside this little cable messes with any machine it's
plugged into! While plugged into a machine, it will randomly
toggle tHE CAPSLOCK, randomly insert a Spa ce, a
Delet, a Tab, and other mischief!
Just to be clear - the purpose of this device is to bewilder and amuse. It's not intended to be one of those devices whose sole purpose is to anger or annoy others.
Like any good prank, it's not too obvious. It's just enough to drive someone mad at what appears to be a malfunctioning keyboard.
Eventually your victim will decide something is wrong. Sooner or later they will start trying to find the problem, and when they do they'll find the mystery of a decapitated USB plug with an empty cable! Even techies will be scratching their heads in confusion over it. How could an empty cable cause such problems?
You can make your own with the instructions given below.
They make great gags and excellent gifts!
very simple. You start on a Full Moon.
you take an ordinary USB keyboard and plug it into a computer with
the date and time set to 6:66pm on October 31st. Now comes the
loading up a text by H.P.
the USB keyboard while invoking the name of HID
many-tentacled elder god of corrupted device drivers) exactly
at the stroke of midnight.
precisely at the
moment the connection is broken but before
the keyboard loses all power, you
must decapitate the
keyboard by cutting
through the cable - preferably with a rusted multitool, but a
mail-order ceremonial dagger is acceptable. Don't worry about
making a clean cut. In fact, the messier the better.
ghost of the keyboard becomes trapped inside the cable at the
moment of "death", causing it to forevermore haunt any
machine it is connected to with phantom keyboard signals...
And that is how a Haunted USB Cable is made.
Those Directions Didn't Work For Me!
Are you sure it was done precisely at midnight during a full moon? That's a common mistake.
Er, Have You Got Any Other Directions?
Hmph. Well -- and I warn you that it's not nearly as interesting -- but I suppose you could use this schematic and this .hex file to make your own. The fuses for the ATTINY45 should be set to BODLevel=2.7v, CDIV8 disabled, and SUT_CKSEL to PLL Clock.
You're on your own for cramming it into a USB plug housing, though! You're going to need a steady hand and a fine eye.
(This isn't a beginner's project, but if you are a beginner and you're interested in the AVR you might want to check out this Quickstart Tutorial.)
This project's design and source code are open sourced, licensed under the GPL (in accordance with the licensing requirements of the Objective Development library).
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