Fake Kernel Panic is the Ultimate Mac Prank

Mar 1, 2011 - 18 Comments

fake-kernel-panic

The kernel panic. You know the feeling when you get one, it’s that awful combination of dread and mortification knowing that you probably just lost whatever it is that you’re working on, and that your Mac might be in bad shape. You instantly start racking your brain with potential troubleshooting efforts to try and resolve what could be a worst case situation. It sucks.

If you’re feeling sadistic and want to pass that dreaded feeling onto someone else, why not prank your Mac using friends or coworkers with a fake kernel panic?

iPanic is a free app that perfectly imitates a kernel panic, complete with a slow screen draw and inability to use the mouse or keyboard.

Launching the app by default leads to an instantaneous fake kernel panic, so you could throw this in someones startup items and the first thing they’ll be greeted to is this screen:

mac-kernel-panic

The app can be turned into a time-bomb of sorts by adjusting the time it takes for the fake kernel panic to show up, this is done by editing the apps Info.plist file.

iPanic is open source and a free download from the developer.

(For the record, Command+Q exits iPanic)

On a related theme, if you’re running 10.5 or earlier you can also use a fake kernel panic screensaver, but it doesn’t work in 10.6.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Fun, Mac OS X

18 Comments

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  1. David says:

    this is just cruel

  2. Panic says:

    Wow! I got real kernel panic after launching this thing.

  3. gulliver says:

    Dumb – and no kudos to either the developer or you for ‘promoting’ it.

    There’s enough good stuff to write about without covering crap like this… unless you’re mentioning it in a ‘be aware that someone may be pranking you’ manner – which, with ‘why not prank your Mac using friends or coworkers’, you’re clearly not. So go stand in the corner with the other f***wits.

  4. James says:

    Though I don’t feel as passionate as ‘gulliver’, I agree that this is dumb. Isn’t this, essentially, a virus that you are manually putting on someone’s computer? If you put it in the startup folder, it’s going to “crash” their computer every time.

    I guess there could be some select situations that it could be funny but, in general, not cool.

    • Edwin says:

      a virus???? not even close, this does no harm and doesn’t replicate itself or damage files or the system, it’s just a stupid app that shows a transparent png file!

      come on people!! look at the source code if you’re that freaked out by it!

  5. James says:

    First of all, not every virus is designed to do cause damage… some are just pranks as well. That being said… this app CAN cause problems!

    It essentially DOES cause a kernal panic if you don’t know the app is on your computer. It supposedly locks your mouse/keyboard and says to restart with the power button. We all know needlessly restarting your computer with the power button can lead to undesirable results. And if you WERE working on some important stuff, you’d lose it just like a real crash because you didn’t know it was a fake message.

    No one is “freaked out” by it… but it’s just stupid.

    • anon says:

      for god sake it’s just a stupid transparent png files !!! it DOES NOT cause a kernel panic !! it just shows an IMAGE of kernel panic !! Goddd how can some people be this stupid

  6. Mr.Mike says:

    I’m with Gulliver on this. As a reformed Windoze user, I saw lots of allegedly funny replications of various Windoze error messages. None of them were funny and all required tampering with someone else’s computer. Same here. This is a royal waste of a programmer’s skills and your publication’s electrons.

  7. [...] I just tested this out with a metal pen and a small screwdriver and the magnets held them too. Useful? Not really, but it’s fun. This also makes a decent prank to play on someone if you let your imagination run wild, although it’s not as hear-stopping as a fake kernel panic. [...]

  8. [...] Fake Kernel Panic – this looks and behaves like a real kernel panic, except it’s not one. This will ruin someones day, so be sure to tell them it’s a joke before they start reinstalling the Mac OS X or calling AppleCare [...]

  9. Rafael says:

    Gulliver has a really nasty attitude. He could have expressed his opinion without the angry tone. He is clearly the “f***wit” here. I enjoyed reading the ideas! Many thanks to the author for sharing… And the programmer who wrote it! :)

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