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A lesser-known feature of the HP Printer Job Language (HPPJL) command set is that you can change the ready message” from “READY” to whatever you like. Yaakov wrote a Perl script that will change the message for you, and he also came up with the clever “INSERT COIN” replacement. Very nice.

You can think up your own funny, confusing or scary messages. My personal favorite is “INSERT COIN” which fits perfectly on the small LCDs. You can even sit in sight of the printer and change the message while watching the reaction of your victim. Don’t be surprised, though, if a large fraction don’t even notice. I was quite surprised myself but, it appears, some people don’t look at what is in front of them.

I haven’t been able to test yet (no HP printer here), but if I’m reading the code right, you can actually do this right from the command line using telnet. Just telnet to port 9100 and type in the following:

e%-12345X@PJL JOB
@PJL RDYMSG DISPLAY="MESSAGE HERE"
@PJL EOJ
e%-12345X

INSERT COIN: changing the “Ready Message” on HP printers – [via] Link
HP LaserJet Commands (PDF) – Link


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Comments

  1. ScrappyLaptop says:

    And for those of you on a Windows network that aren’t comfortable with telnet (or are blocked), save this as something like ‘PrinterMSG.CMD’. Change the PrintServerName and PrintShareName to match your respective Windows network names and “Feed Me” to your own message.

    NET USE LPT1: /DELETE
    NET USE LPT1: \\PrintserverName\PrintShareName
    echo %-12345X@PJL JOB > lpt1:
    echo @PJL RDYMSG DISPLAY=”Feed Me” > lpt1:
    echo @PJL EOJ > lpt1:
    echo %-12345X > lpt1:

    Really the best way to do it is have a folder with one .CMD file to return the default message back to “Ready”, and then an handful of others. Wait for your unsuspecting victim to read the first innocent message which says something like, “Open then close tray 1″. Once they follow the directions they are hooked and you can make the orders more rediculous until you end with something like “Bark like a dog”. Then when they go to get IT / facilities, change it back to “Ready”. Just be aware that these are print jobs and they will show in the queue. Better to set a local TCP/IP port to the IP of the intended printer and capture that to LPT1.

  2. jason_striegel says:

    Thanks ScrappyLaptop!

    I wish I had an HP printer at the office to monkey around with. Can you clarify what the escape sequence is that needs to precede each line? I assumed it was an ASCII backslash, but you post and the PDf documentation lead me to believe otherwise.

    Also, looking at the documentation, it looks like you might be able to issue one-off, non job commands, like:

    \e%-12345X\@PJL RDYMSG DISPLAY=”Feed Me”
    \e%-12345X

    If that format works, I wonder if it still shows up in the job list…

  3. qexter says:

    I’ve built an exe for Windows users with a networked HP:

    http://allenjoiner.googlepages.com/hpreadymessagehack

  4. forkface says:

    Canon Copiers have a similar feature. Using your web browser, type in your copiers ip address into there address bar. There you’ll find a wealth of settings and crap you can change.

  5. will says:

    hay umm I’m an 8th grader wanting to prank the classes 15 printers…yes there all hp but I’m not sure how to do it ..Could you give me some more in-depth instructions…I don’t understand some of your lingo…

    email

    roylfekwkes@gmail.com

  6. Eric C says:

    >hay umm I’m an 8th grader wanting to prank the
    >classes 15 printers…yes there all hp but I’m
    >not sure how to do it ..Could you give me some
    >more in-depth instructions…I don’t understand
    >some of your lingo…

    Quite screwing with the printers and study English ya’ illiterate puke!

    Hint: should be “class’s” and “they’re”

  7. you sir are wrong says:

    >Quite screwing with the printers and study English ya’ >illiterate puke!
    >
    >Hint: should be “class’s” and “they’re”

    No, it’s actually classes, you illiterate puke!

  8. Well, Actually... says:

    If the eighth grader above is trying to mess with 15 printers belonging to one class, it should actually be “class’” or “class’s” (depending on personal preference). I personally think that this is the context given.

    If, in fact, he is referring to several classes with a total of 15 printers, then “classes” is correct.

    Although, Eric, such condescendingly spelling-and-grammar minded posts ought to be spell checked. You misspelled “quit”… and chose (I assume) to misspell “you” to fit informal speech.

    …But hey, this is neat! I just wish I had an HP printer and an unsuspecting passerby to try it on.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If he is referring to several classes with a total of 15 printers, then you would want the following plural, possessive form:
    classes’
    OK?
    Need more classes?
    This class’s over.

  10. soubriquet says:

    Class’
    singular, possessive.

    But I agree, forget about pranking the printers, studying will save you from being the butt of the joke, rather than the joker.

  11. Goatse says:

    i’ll put “Will print for food”

    http://s1.gladiatus.us/game/c.php?uid=93991

  12. regripper says:

    Used to do this 10yrs ago with all the Uni printers on April fools day, I batch changed all the printers to “Out of Lasers” early in the morning, it really stumped a lot of Staff, they had, out of paper, or out of toner, but had no idea where to buy more lasers.

    HA!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is nice service provide by HP. We can change message displayed on HP printer. We can write any word by replacing that message shown on HP printer. You can write your name also.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    This is nice service provide by HP. We can change message displayed on HP printer. We can write any word by replacing that message shown on HP printer. You can write your name also.

    4inkjets coupon code