Thursday, October 18, 2007

Undoing INSERT COIN and Related Ideas


Wow. This post has seen more than 50,000 hits in less than two days (UPDATE: it has now exceeded 110,000 in three days). To say that it was unexpected is completely insufficient to describe my reaction. In any case, thanks for sharing my fun. And that's exactly what this is meant to be, fun. Not malicious, not mean-spirited, not damaging in any way. Almost all the comments I have received reflect that spirit. There are a few, however than don't make me smile (and didn't make the comments page).

Un-"hacked", and READY

First, if you came here because you were "hacked" there is an easy solution. Power-cycle your printer. That is, turn it off, wait a few seconds, turn it on. The program uses a documented, supported feature of HP's product to do something very ephemeral and undoing it is as easy as a restart.

Second, please have fun but think before you act. If it is against the culture of your office enviroment to have this sort of fun, consider not trying. You will be the only one having fun. More serious may be a violation of your company's Acceptable Use Policy which could get you in real trouble.

So, please, practice "safe hacking" and use your entire brain when choosing how to use this information.

Have fun.

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Blogger Kenton said...

Great hack overall, and nice work keeping people in check. Just wanted to say that I noticed another way to clear it is to run the script with nothing between the quotes. Thanks again!

Thu Oct 18, 02:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger BitShepherd said...

But before you power-cycle the printer, please:

* take a photo
* upload it to flickr
* tag it as "HP Insert Coin" (one hpinsertcoin tag please)
* watch the collection grow!

Share your fun ;)

Thu Oct 18, 03:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger deKay said...

I did this today:

(oh, and I added it to Flickr!)

Fri Oct 19, 11:00:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Justin said...

To undo this couldn't you just run the program again and set the message back to "Ready" rather than power cycling the printer?

Fri Oct 19, 11:47:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Yaakov said...


Yes, you can but some people didn't run the script in the first place and some panicked after running it.

I wanted a direct solution.

However, you are correct.

Fri Oct 19, 11:50:00 AM EDT  
Blogger bzaks said...

Is it possible that they have it locked down so one cannot access it?

Mon Oct 22, 02:16:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also you can clear the message using an empty message :)
But in this case you have to edit the default perl script.

Fri Oct 26, 12:52:00 PM EDT  

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