April Fool Pranks in Sun Microsystems Over the Years

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sun Microsystems in her glory days was reputed for playing elaborate and very enjoyable pranks on executives of the company, mostly during April Fools day. Here is an extensive list compiled by Matt M Pérez.

This will also give you an insight on how fun was Sun during those days. The earlier ones appears to be better, so you may want to check the bottom of the list first.

Year Highlight Target Prank
1995 Sun Quentin Ed Zander and Scott McNealy Scott’s office was turned into a day care center and a picture of a guy with Ed’s mask stealing equipment from the back of a truck is published.
1994 Pond in Car in Office Andy Bechtolsheim A water tank full of catfish in Andy’s 911, inside his office.
1993 Trip around the World Bill Raduchel Raduchel is made to look like he committed “fraud” and McNealy outs him at the annual VP/Directors Meeting.
1992 Sharks Hockey Scott McNealy and Curt Wozniak Sun execs were fooled into a playing hockey with hockey luminaries like Bobby Hall. Sharks players attended and signed autographs (but at the last minute could not participate for legal reasons). As the game starts Bobby Hall hooks McNealy who manages not to fall.
1992 SMLI/SunSoft water fight - Not an April Fool’s prank, but worth mentioning anyway. A (kinda) working catapult was build atop Building 10.
1991 Office in Pond Wayne Rosing Wayne’s office in Steinhart Aquarium. Wayne, in his scooba hear, sits in his office, underwater while a shark swims right behind him. Thanks for all the fish.
1991 Sun Execs at Apple John Scully et al Sun execs walk into Apple’s staff meeting wearing masks of Apple execs. Scully was not amused.
1990 All the Wood Behind one Arrow Scott McNealy Huge arrow through McNealy’s office in PAL-1, out through the front of the building.
1989 Debugging Building 12 OpenWindow team et al Building 12 was wrapped in plastic and “fumigated.” A huge “NO BUGS” sign hanging from a crane pointed to the building and could be seen from Hwy 101.
1988 Office in Elevator/Birds in Office Bernard Peuto Bernard’s office in Building 5 was moved out to the elevator and his office was turned into a bird sanctuary, including a pair of peacocks.
1988 Golf course in Office Scott McNealy and Bernie Lacroute Their offices in Building 6 were combined into a raised golf course, including a sand trap and a water fountain with a peeing angel.
1987 Car in Pond Bill Joy Bill’s car appears in the middle of the pond behind Building 6, resting placidly on the surface of the water. Bill is given a dingie to go rescue his car.
1986 Car in Office Eric Schmidt A fully functional VW appears in his office in Building 5 and he signs the title for it.
1985 Office in Pond Eric Schmidt Eric’s office is moved to the platform over the pond between Building 5 and 1.
Filed under: Headline News, Humor, Technology

March 29, 2007: 9:08 pm

I was at Sun headquarters for several of these, but the most participative was in 1992, the water fight between Sun Labs and SunSoft. The goal was to get the President of the respective business unit soaked, and elaborate measures were taken to prevent it, even enclosing Ed Zander in a plexiglass container. Sun t-shirts were distributed to either side and employees showed up in shorts and eye protection. There were super-soakers and waterballoons aplenty. When it was over, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

February 20, 2006: 2:19 am

[...] Angsuman posted a list of the elaborate April Fool’s Day pranks staged in Sun Microsystems from 1985 to 1995. [...]

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