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How to Hack the In-Class Projector During Off Hours

posted Sep 15, 2009, 11:01 PM by Danny Eusebio

So about 3 years ago, I believe UCI made it mandatory for organizations to sign up and pay to use projectors in classrooms. What this meant was that organizations that had smartrooms (the rooms with a computer in the podium controlling the electronics in the class) now needed to pay an hourly rate to use projectors. Now if you're  a new and upcoming organization you'll know that money is awfully tight, especially that yearly registration fee. I mean, you're trying to really spice up your club but these cost just make it harder to do things. So here at University Ninja we offer a special trick you can try (not guaranteed to always work).

So you've registered for a class at Scheduling and Conferences. You'll be asked to let them know if you want to use a projector or not. Obviously you tell them no.

Now, here's the trick(s).

  1. Usually the big UCI Computer Group in the sky controls when Smartrooms can use Projectors. If you schedule a room at 7PM, then they'll either turn on the projector or turn it off [if you told Scheduling  & Conference that you weren't going to use the projector, they will turn it off at 7PM]. So what you can do is make sure to come into the classroom about half an hour before the meeting starts. So if you book the room from 7PM-9PM, then you need to be in the classroom before 7PM. Quickly log onto the computer and turn on the projector. Make sure to be using it. Sometimes its difficult for their system to shutdown the projector remotely when you are using it. However, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to get away with this all the time.
  2. Normally all smartroom classes have projectors which are set to run during normal classroom schedules. If a class after 6PM or so is not booked by an organization, then sometimes the smartroom in that class if not scheduled, will continue to run. So what does this mean. Lets say you plan your meetings in Room 1 at Bren Hall for 7PM with no projectors, however in Room 2, no one has booked that room at all. If you enter Room 2, there is a high probability that the projectors in that room will be working. This could work as a temporary situation for a meeting, but don't count on it. During your next meeting, someone could actually be using Room 2.
  3. Do you have a ladder or a really tall person? If you have long VGA cables and someone very tall, you can directly connect your laptop to the projector in the ceiling. I have not seen this done, but logically it would work. You would just need to disconnect any networking abilities that room might have. For instance, you might have to unplug the power cable from the projector in the ceiling and use an extension cord and plug it into a separate socket. I think the Computer Head is controlling that specific power socket preventing the projector from running. If you find that this works, please let me know.


Remember, there are certain services we are offered at school and if those services are abused then you could definitely lose it. In the case of these hacks, be mindful that you are registered to the room you are using. If something goes wrong in that room in the time slot you are assigned to it, your club is held responsible. Specifically the people who are signers for the club are financially responsible. So be weary. And please don't vandalize the school. We encourage hacks such as these, but not something like stealing the projector. Obviously if your organization has the means to pay for the projector use then use should pay for it.