back to article Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

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  1. MrMerrymaker

    Ringtones are cringworthy

    In this age of notification lights and custom vibration, I don't get why ringtones are STILL popular

    In a professional context, I did understand why the deskside support guy in the NHS needed an audible ringtone. This would be about six years ago.

    However, I found it utterly cringeworthy that he had the theme from The IT Crowd as his ringtone.

    No, he wasn't being ironic.... Although choosing that ironically might actually have been worse!

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

      In this age of notification lights and custom vibration, I don't get why ringtones are STILL popular

      Some of us need them to locate our phones - in the salad drawer of the fridge, or the garden shed, or the pocket of the coat we put on because yesterday was a bit chilly and then hung up in the spare room - more than we need them to be notified of incoming calls...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

        I edit things to make my own ringtones and alert tones. I've been doing that since I noticed that the opening seconds of Flowers of Carnage from Kill Bill vol 1 were absolutely perfect as an SMS alert. The only trouble comes when watching that film now... I keep reaching for the mobile.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Edit things? Pah!

          I've been using short bits I composed myself for over a decade. Never have the problem others seem to have of wondering whether any random ringtone, whether in the room or on telly, is my phone going off.

      2. MrMerrymaker

        Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

        Actually, the android / Google Find my Phone feature will ignore any silent settings. So you can happily keep it on ignore and find your phone aurally :)

    2. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

      "In this age of notification lights and custom vibration, I don't get why ringtones are STILL popular"

      Because sound is actually quite a useful phenomenon for providing all kinds of useful information. Vibration only helps if you have a device in close contact with a sensitive body part; even with my phone in a pocket I often miss it vibrating if I'm doing anything other than sitting still. And that's just for noticing it vibrating at all, the idea that custom vibrations covering a wide range of different notifications could be easily and reliably distinguished anywhere outside laboratory conditions is simply ludicrous. Of course, notification lights are completely worthless if you're not actually looking at the thing, for example if it's still in said pocket. Or if it's in a protective case. Or if your phone doesn't actually have them (mine, for example). Notification sounds are still used because they remain by far the most effective method of actually letting you know that something has happened.

      They can, of course, be annoying if they're too loud or going off all the time. Which is why it's now so easy to set up various different modes, switch between them easily, and even have things happen automatically at different times. I'll have my phone nice and quiet while I'm in a meeting, but noisy when I'm at home and might not even be in the same room as it. Sound might not be the best solution to all problems all the time, but the idea that it's been rendered utterly obsolete by a crappy vibrator with an LED taped to it is just plain silly.

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

        I have become insensitive to my mobile's vibration alert, in fact my thigh muscles occasionally twitch in a fashion that mimics the mobiles vibration, in some weird muscle memory fashion.

        I stumbled upon a novel approach to mobile alerts, with my damaged battery - whenever I get a call or message fluid oozes out and I sense the wetness on my leg.

        1. wayne 8

          Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

          I had that same issue with the internal sensors in my right thigh detecting vibrations from a non-existent phone.

          I no longer carry the phone all day long in the same pocket, I no longer have that experience.

          Retirement has its perks.

      2. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

        I have since become insensitive to detecting battery fluid on my leg as my bladder seems to mimic the mobile's battery fluid discharge.

        I do eventually get the message as the caustic nature of battery acid informs me I had a missed call some minutes later.

      3. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

        Due to my overindulgence of strong white cider it has become impossible to distinguish the caustic effect of battery acid on my leg and the caustic effect of my urine.

        It seems I will have to go back to audible alerts on my mobile.

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

          Rol> Due to my overindulgence of strong white cider

          Are 14 year olds allowed to post on here?

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
            Coat

            ring tone vs vibration

            solution:

            Set ringtone to "Good Vibrations" . Everyone's happy

          2. Martin Summers Silver badge

            Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

            "Are 14 year olds allowed to post on here?"

            Apparently yes

          3. Rol Silver badge

            Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

            My usual tipple of coffee and Bushmills isn't toxic enough to tick the caustic urine box that the comment required, so I did a referendum style fabrication of the truth. Without, I must say, the aid of Russia.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

            "Rol> Due to my overindulgence of strong white cider

            Are 14 year olds allowed to post on here?"

            Nah... review the comments (especially on a Friday) and you'll conclude 14 is somewhat higher than the maximum allowed age to post.

            ETA: also, boobies. (need to avoid tripping the age filter).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

              This isn't the lad culture 90s any more, grandad! Apparently, getting smashed out of your face isn't as popular with today's wishy-washy adolescents due to the risk of being photographed looking like a total bell-end by someone with one of those new-fangled camera phones.

              I'm going to assume this extends to 14 year olds getting off their underaged faces on Frosty Jacks et al, and must have had some sort of adverse effect on the makers of chemical-filled but cheap "cider" (#), unless they're now selling more of it to alcoholics.

              What a sad decline... no, wait. No, it isn't.

              (#) I think they're allowed to call it this if DNA traces of the apples used to make it are still detectable using lab equipment.

              1. wayne 8

                Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

                Boone's Farm and Ripple in the American Colonies. "Alcoholized fruity drinks." was my term for the like..

              2. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

                Cider, funnily enough, hasn't got a precise definition. Hence those ghastly alcoholic Ribenas*

                *Other fruit coloured beverages are available.

          5. wayne 8

            Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

            If the 14 year old on the internet is actually a dog, then it would be a human 98 years old.

          6. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

            "Are 14 year olds allowed to post on here?"

            Once you get to my age, you will realise that the 14 year-olds don't grow up, they just grow older.

        2. MonkeyControl

          It seems I will have to go back to audible alerts on my mobile.

          Lots of Lol at Rol

      4. MrMerrymaker

        Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

        "but the idea that it's been rendered utterly obsolete by a crappy vibrator with an LED taped to it is just plain silly."

        Indeed, but you invented that a strawman. I simply questioned why its so popular - not why it happens at all. I work on a desk and my phone screen lights up when a call comes in. Sorted.

        Yet you seem to want to tear down the distorted absolute that I said 'Nobody should use Ringtones'.

        Nope. Plenty do. Maybe even a majority. But not all.

    3. Steve Button

      LLAMA is your friend.

      Location aware settings for your phone. So, between 8 am and 4pm while I'm at work set the phone to silent. If I go out to the shops, or for a walk put it back onto normal volume.

      But wait, is that an iPhone I see you holding? Sorry my friend, no cigar for you.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: LLAMA is your friend.

        The old Blackberries vibrated so loudly I didn't need a ringtone even if the phone was in a different room.

        Maybe one day we'll have custom vibrations?

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: LLAMA is your friend.

          Maybe one day we'll have custom vibrations?

          Most of the LineageOS-derived ROMs allow this..

        2. Steve Button

          Re: LLAMA is your friend.

          We already have it. It vibrates differently if you are getting a call, or if it's in Google Maps and you've nearly reached your next turn (for example).

          Or did you mean custom vibrator? When the first iMac came out with the clear plastic, I remember mock adverts for the iBrator which was a see through vibrator. I'm sure Apple brand police hated that anyone would think such unpure thoughts, but it made me chuckle.

      2. Steve Button

        Re: LLAMA is your friend. (Why the thumbs down!?)

        https://forums.imore.com/iphone-apps-games/315368-app-iphone-like-llama-android.html

        This was 3 years ago, but I'm pretty sure iPhone users don't have anything like this.

        ... or do you just blindly downvote anything which criticises your precious beautiful expensive toy? :-P

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: LLAMA is your friend. (Why the thumbs down!?)

          iOS provides "tap-a-vibe" custom vibration alerts.

        2. MonkeyControl

          your precious beautiful expensive toy? :-P

          lol etc

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

      However, I found it utterly cringeworthy that he had the theme from The IT Crowd as his ringtone.

      Indeed. However, *my* ringtones[1] are masterpieces of contempory[2] art..

      [1] Personal SIM - "Black Diamond" by Stratovarius. Work SIM: "Bitch Dub" by Linton Kwezi Johnston

      [2] Assuming that "contemporary" is floating between the mid-80's and the late 90's..

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

        Before they became cringworthy [sic], I had the opening bars of The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised from Messiah. The message seemed appropriate.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

          I have my ringtones set inappropriately (Dr Who theme, Smoke on the Water intro, or Tom Lehrer's Poisoning Pigeons in the Park for general use, Imperial March or Highway to Hell for the SWIMBO, etc), but never really use them as I have it on silent mode the whole time. I still like tweaking the ringtones (only free ones, I am too cheap to pay for such frivolity), let's say it keeps me quietly amused. The only time I really use the sound is for the alarm cock. My wife wasn't too amused I had set the alarm to Chop Suey from System of a Down (hey, it starts with "WAKE UP!!"). Good Morning from Blackfoot also raised hackles, so now I use the intro from AC/DC's Hell's Bells.

          1. Rol Silver badge

            Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

            An alarm cock?

            I hope your good wife doesn't hit the snooze buttons too hard.

            1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

              An alarm cock?

              I hope your good wife doesn't hit the snooze buttons too hard.

              Whoops, that was probably a Freudian slip of the keyboard!

              We used to have several alarm cocks in the neighbourhood, but people got sick of the crowing in the morning (and you couldn't change the ring tone), so turned them into variations of coq-au-vin

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

                The (now-ex) SWMBO gets "Sounds of Madness" by Shinedown.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

                  The ringtone from Crank.

              2. Mr Humbug

                Isn't an alarm cock a male chicken that crows at dawn?

                1. TRT Silver badge

                  al-ARM, the Arabic chip maker.

          2. wayne 8

            Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

            A coworker attended a wedding where the music for bride's entrance was "Highway to Hell".

            "Chop Suey" good choice. I don't see many references to SOAD. That and "Aerials" along with "Toxicity" are my favorite tracks.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

              A coworker attended a wedding where the music for bride's entrance was "Highway to Hell".

              A friend of ours had "Entry of the Queen of Sheba".

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Montreal Sean

        Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

        I need ringtones during the work day because my phone is my connection to all things work, and the way I receive service calls in the field. My phone is not always in my pocket so vibrations don't work.

        The only custom ringtone I have is for my manager, AC/DC's Hell's Bells.

        1. VikiAi Silver badge

          Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

          My own ring tone is carefully selected to be a tune i like that starts off fairly quiet and increases in volume after the 5 second mark.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

      the only ringtone _I_ use sounds like "vibrate".

      And if someone's phone goes off in a meeting, I nearly always retort with "ball and chain call again?" or similar. [ball and chain needs to stop calling 'just to talk' during work hours; inevitably, it will be during an important meeting, where one call pauses 30 people for long enough to say 'Hello? Hi! What's up? ok. ok. I see. Yes. ok. I'm in a meeting right now. ok. yes. Is that why you called? Sure. uh, huh. I have to go, ok? yes. right. I see. Uh huh. Sure. I've really got to go, ok? Yes. I love you. Bye.']. So yeah, meeting policy should be "all phones off". It's not like everyone doesn't have voice mail.

      Admittedly I used to assign 'special' sounds to all of the mousie actions in windows. Most of them were cartoon sounds. My favorite was an edited version of the Warner Brothers "That's all folks" on exit. Admittedly, the startup sound for a laptop (running window 7, for things I actually need windows for) is a short clip from a Monty Python sketch - "My Brain Hurts!". [the rest of the noises, aside from startup/shutdown, are all off, now. I eventually grew tired of dog barks, train whistles, narf, poit, zort, slide guitar up/down, etc.]

      X11 desktop managers can have event noises, too. But I usually disable them.

    6. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

      The one thing that I hate about switching phones is I have to redo all of my ringtones. They tell me either whose calling or what type of caller it is. A lower volume plain ring means it's nobody I know or somebody so far down the food chain that I'm not worried about picking up unless I'm really bored. Loud and interesting ringtones are the ones from people that I want to talk to all of the time. If my mother is calling, I want to know it's her since she's getting older and the call might be very important. The sisters, not so much. I never had any use for them. Customers for my photo business get their own ring since they are likely calling to book my services ($$).

      It's very easy to tell whom is calling with ringtones and that helps with deciding whether it's worth the bother to fish the phone out of the eponymous pocket, hit the mute ring button or just let it go to voice mail unimpeded. I also find it much more polite to not answer my phone if I am interacting with somebody else and even pulling it out to look at who's calling can be pretty rude. That said, If my buddy that play drums for some rather famous bands rings up, it usually means he's in town and I'm going to take that call unless somebody is counting high denomination bank notes into my hand right at the moment.

      1. Tomato Krill

        Re: Ringtones are cringworthy

        Who, not whom

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sage 50!

    Someone needs to inform Sage about the need to mute sound. Sage 50 annoyingly makes sounds with almost every questioning dialogue box by using the windows error sound. I have to run it with the speakers turned down, which is annoying when you actually want to listen to something between entering orders.

    Sage please let us turn off sounds.

    1. Aqua Marina Silver badge

      Re: Sage 50!

      Sage 200 was worse. It's dialogues produced a beep using the PC speaker. The only problem was that for the duration of the beep, there was no computer activity possible including keyboard buffering. We used to have touch typists that would be screwed up by the beep. If the beep didn't occur, they could enter an order without looking at the screen, they had all the sequences and key presses memorised, but at each beep they had to look at the screen to see how far through they had got, and how far back they had to rewind to carry on. The answer to the dialogue was always the same. We solved the problem by replacing it with Navision.

      1. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Re: Sage 50!

        Sage 200 was worse than Sage 50 is? Are Sage numbering backwards or was that a typo?

        Still, it worked for XBox...

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Coat

          If they are, they don't have many versions left to go.

          Which, apparently, is a good thing.

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