Silly Geek Tricks: Use these tools to convince your friends that you are a Hollywood-style hacker

Hacking into movies is insanely exciting: fingers fly over the keyboard and the screen is a constantly blinking collection of cryptic characters. It’s all so … interesting. Real hacking isn’t that intense, unfortunately. As illegal as what you do may be, you are still someone at a computer. Most of the time, you’re just trying to trick people into using a fake google sign-in page.

You’ll never be a Hollywood hacker, sadly, but you can convince your friends – especially if they’re not tech-savvy. Here are four hilarious tools that do just that, and add all of the on-screen gibberish and excitement that movies and TV have come to expect.

No more secrets: sneakers’ decryption effect (macOS, Linux)

Let’s start with Sneakers in 1992, a Robert Redford film that featured all kinds of visual gibberish. A highlight: on-screen “decryption”, where random characters flashed to reveal an actual message.

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You can bring this ridiculous effect to your macOS or Linux terminal No more secrets. Simply specify the output of any program nms and watch the show. To the example, here I use ls | nms to view the contents of a folder.

It’s stupid. Unfortunately awesome, that is. You can do this with any command that prints text: just follow your usual command with | nms and the show begins.

How do I install this wonder? It’s easy on macOS provided you’ve set up homebrew. Just type brew install no-more-secrets in the terminal and hit enter; You will “decrypt” in no time.

Linux users need to do a little more work: Ubuntu doesn’t offer No More Secrets. You can follow the official instructions compile the program. Alternatively it is offered in the GetDeb repository, so check that out if you’d rather stick with your package manager … or just skip to the next option which is exclusive to Ubuntu.

Hollywood Technical Melodrama (Linux)

Flashy decryption is fun, but it isn’t everything. Hollywood Technical Melodrama is a lot more visual clutter, with multiple boxes doing all sorts of technical-looking things. I mean look at this:

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The music wasn’t added to the video by the way: this command really plays the Mission Impossible theme when you start the program. It is wonderful. Put your terminal on full screen and enjoy.

Installation is simple on Ubuntu: just enter sudo apt install hollywood and you should be fine. Users of other distributions should search their package manager.

Hacker Typer: Smash your keyboard, see Persuasive Hacker Text (Web)

Terminal apps are great and all, but some of us want to pretend to be hackers without having to learn the command line and stuff. And that’s a good thing: just go and start crushing the keyboard. A compelling stream of hacking gibberish will pop up with each press of the button.

It doesn’t matter what you type: the appropriate text is displayed. Set your browser to full screen and tap furiously while a friend watches and the occasional grunt about firewalls. You will definitely be impressed.

If green text is not enough, scp is an interesting option. There’s a CIA-like wallpaper that proves you’re clearly up to no good.

And you can use the scroll wheel to adjust the typing speed, which may make you look even cooler than you thought possible before.

For even more choices, go to There’s a lot more, so start crushing your keyboard.

Fake Update: Convince Your Boss The Computer Is Updated (Web)

This one doesn’t quite fit, except in spirit. Fake update makes every computer look like it is being updated. Just go to the website and choose your operating system. Set the browser to full screen and you have a very convincing looking update screen which gives you the perfect excuse to take a long break.

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Use this power responsibly. Or not. I can’t tell you what to do.

Credit: Pixabay

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