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

Hold down the Shift key as you drag the vertical divider horizontally, and you find that you can adjust the column width in your table without changing the… BOOM-A-CHUKKA BOOM-A-CHUKKA BOOM-A <snip> "Sorry! Carry on." OK… er, try this: select a row and hover your mouse cursor over it. See how the cursor changes? Now if you …

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Coat

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

Which, apparently, is a good thing.

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Re: Sage 50!

It's correct. Sage 50 was for the small business, 200 was for the enterprise. However, I'm now thinking I meant Sage 100. It's been about a decade now and all I can remember is it was black and green and beeped like crazy.

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Re: Sage 50!

If it's using the windows beep, is it not possible to change the sound associated with that beep to silent?

Failing that, find the .wav file it's playing, rename it and replace it with a zero-byte file with the same name?

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Boffin

Re: Sage 50!

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

IIRC Sage has a suite of products named Line 50, Line 100 and Line 200, incorporating different types of ledger in each.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sage 50!

"is it not possible to change the sound associated with that beep to silent?".

It is, but that's like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The windows exclamation beep is useful, the sage one, is not. An example, I want to examine a completed customers order in the quickest way possible, by double clicking on the order so I can see the prices they paid last time. I then get a "ding" to tell me the order is completed. Another example is I have put a customer on hold. I want to take him off hold, so I double click his name, and get "ding" "The customer is on hold".

And don't get me started on the stupid decisions, like offering a search tool for sales orders, but not a search tool for quotes, which would be a million times more useful because I want to find the quotes to convert them into sales orders. Oh and the inconsistency, some search tools are case sensitive, some are not. It's almost like different teams coded different modules. Some modules have a useful search function, some don't and instead you have to scroll down many pages to find say the bank account, or nominal code you want.

It is the most frustrating software I've ever used.

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Re: Sage 50!

Despite turning off every sound option, and leaving the external speakers switched off, it still insisted on also sending the keyboard beep via a piezo sounder on the motherboard.

Isn't the problem that you turned every sound option off and disconnected the external speakers, so Windows decided that meant you wanted to hear the PC speaker?

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Re: Sage 50!

The number in the sage lines refers to the number of employees that a company in its target market would typically have. So Sage One is for self employed individuals and personal service companies; Sage 50 is for small companies up to about 50 employees, and so on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sage 50!

Isn't the problem that you turned every sound option off and disconnected the external speakers, so Windows decided that meant you wanted to hear the PC speaker?

Nope, that speaker still beeped for the keyboard "bell" no matter what else was turned on or off.

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This assumes people have the presence of mind to go through the settings and disable everything...

... which is not always the case. And Android phones still can't do Nokia-style sound profiles unless you install something which means nobody does.

Perhaps computers and phones could have a dialog box on first run asking them if they prefer fewer/no sounds or if they're an inconsiderate bastard.

Addendum: I need to add the Original Brian Eno Speed Windows 95 Startup sound (before MS sped it up 4000%) to my Spotify playlist somehow.

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Re: This assumes people

The Oneplus line has a lovely three-position switch on the side: do not disturb (nothing happens), vibrate, and then ring ring!

I wish more phone companies would rip that off. But no, they had to rip off the notch...

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What you need...

"Workplaces are quieter now. No longer do you suffer the scream of dot matrix printers or tweedling of fax modems, let alone digital squeaks. I miss these sounds a little, possibly because they seemed, I dunno, organic."

...is a Bastl Bitranger doing its thing in the office.

That will relax you.

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mIRC is the worst offender I have used recently for gratuitous sounds, sticking with The IT Crowd as mentioned above it's the equivalent of Denholm getting in your face and asking "ARE YOU SURE?" repeatedly.

Other readers of a certain age will remember when everyone had Casio digital watches, which by default emitted a double beep quite similar to the Nokia text message alert tone every hour on the hour, but of course no one had exactly accurate times in those days so in a classroom of 30 or so children this could go on for about 5 minutes.

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At my school, it was common for the kids to synchronise their Casio watches to try to match the exact timing of the school bell. Result was a quiet assembly in the morning, then as 9 o'clock rolls by, about 100 watches all give off the "beep-beep" within about 5 seconds of each other. Was fun seeing the head developing a nervous twitch in his eye as the years rolled by and all the kids ignored his pleas to silence their watches...

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At my school, it was common for the kids to synchronise their remote control Casio watches with the TV-on-wheels. The Geography teacher would be baffled as to why the volume keeps cutting out, only to reach full volume when his ear was right by the speaker.

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Anonymous Coward

In my classrooms we actually synchronised those things, to be as confusing and as annoying as possible.

Even more fun, have a sequence that we run for a few weeks, 5 or 6 watches go off over 10 seconds, then a 15 second break, then more. After a few weeks it was changed to have the first 5 or 6 still but change the timing or the next lot to 30 seconds. Watching the teacher pause for the next pile of beeps, and start to get confused as it seems to take longer.....

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At my last high school, I was the student given the job of ringing the school bell. I set an alarm to go off that gave me enough time to get to the office with all the buttons in it for said bell. So I had an excuse to leave every single class a few minutes early. The bell actually had a button for each room, and one for "all rooms". One day I sat their individually toggling each room button, so that the bell sounded like it was moving slowly down the hallways. Alas there was only the one frequency, or music student that I was would have written a song to play on it.

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Anonymous Coward

That would've been cool to hear either way.

It was only in my first school that students got to ring the bell. Later schools from year 6 on all had timers. Probably because they knew that you should never trust teenagers with such things!

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Worst one for me at the moment is Windows 10. Most of Windows 7's notification noises are pretty short, quiet and sweet, but for Windows 10 they decided to create about 20 incredibly similar yet bland "bingy-bong" sounds and attach them to every single possible event imaginable.

Result is a workplace chock-full of "bingy-bong" "bong-bingy-bong" "bingy-bingy-bing-bing" etc. sounds firing out all over the place. Gah!

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"Result is a workplace chock-full of "bingy-bong" "bong-bingy-bong" "bingy-bingy-bing-bing" etc. sounds firing out all over the place. Gah!"

Oooh, I feel a Terry Pratchett Discworld quote coming on!

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone who doesn't use Windows' "silent" sound profile should be dragged from the office and beaten to death with their laptop.

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quite a few 'bings' there Dave K - aim for a workplace chock full of 'bongs'..

less "Gah".. more "Mmmeh""

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Megaphone

PC noises

Headphones permanently plugged in, sound muted otherwise.

I'm in an open office. It's bad enough already: every woman in high heels, every coffee cup being placed on a desk, concrete floors with no carpeting (because it's "edgy" - and cheaper), you get the idea. I don't feel the need to add to the din.

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TRT
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Re: PC noises

People here tend to lock their mobiles in the metal lockers whilst working in the lab. They inevitably get a call which somehow gets through the metal of the locker (still not sure how that happens) and causes their phones to vibrate violently against the thin sheetmetal panel work, amplifying the buzz to a level akin to that of a swarm of angry spitfire-flying hornets invading a megaphone testing factory

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Re: PC noises

@Antron Argaiv

"every woman in high heels"

So are men in highheels silent?

Highheel Ninja?!

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Re: PC noises

@Dr_N - There are a couple of guys who wear shoes that make noise, but most of the noise is from women's shoes. Take it up with the shoe manufacturers.

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Anyone who doesn't use Windows' "silent" sound profile should be dragged from the office and beaten to death with their laptop.

Or set their machine to load the 10-HOUR version of "Carameldansen".

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Coat

Re: PC noises

"most of the noise is from women's shoes"

'pock pock pock pock pock'

it's deliberately loud, so you notice them. Except in the P.C. office, you can't actually look at women walking, even though "the women's movement" is usually worth a look. Or two. So I guess it's not very P.C. to discuss this kind of "not so P.C." noises generated by women's shoes...

coat, please.

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other people's raucous ringtones foul the air continuously and relentlessly while you're travelling

And not just when you are travelling.

I was in a small cafe a few weeks ago and a couple came and sat at the next table. There was a sudden blare of a ringtone and the man announced he had just received a text from (I assume) his daughter. He then proceeded to read out the text in a very loud voice. The text gave details of where the sender was on holiday, what they had been doing and where they were going next.

"Quick!" said his companion, "call them up for a chat!". But it wasn't just a chat, it was a noisy video chat, on speaker, very loud with all the background noises booming out in the cafe. It took about 10 minutes to effectively just repeat, many times, everything that had already been said in the text.

Thank you so much for spoiling my lunch with your insane drivel.

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Re: other people's raucous ringtones foul the air continuously

Thank you so much for spoiling my lunch with your insane drivel.

There are times when I think that the use of a focussed-EMP device should not only be legal, but also mandated.

The aforementioned scenario is one as is yoofs turning their cars into semi-mobile boomboxes.

Oh - and also those people who insist on noise-polluting the local park with their competing audio drivel.

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Re: The title is too long.

Just be grateful we've left behind us the era when they'd have set light to their money and poisoned the air you were breathing.

We need the same treatment for electronic and recorded noises of all kinds in public places as we have for smokers. And then a bit more: deal with wide-area nuisances like amplified buskers and pubs with noise but no soundproofing.

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Re: The title is too long.

Stop building flats next to pre-existing music venues then

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Little Big is so cool...

... and on stage are total craziness. I would suggest anyone over 18 to have a look to their videos (NSFW)

A nice feature on my cheap chinese phone: the possibility to program the moments when it goes to "mute" automatically. It doesn't ring at work anymore, and that's pretty cool because not everyone likes to listen to "Linoleum" (nobody's perfect). I would be pleased if any phone maker adds this functionality, at least the one who made the phone of this poor colleague harassed multi-times a day by his wife....

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Re: Little Big is so cool...

A former (thank god!) colleague of mine had his message ringtone set to an audio clip of his toddler daughter saying "daddy, daddy, a message!" complete with Violet-Elizabeth Bott lisp, at high volume.

I hate open plan offices. And HR rules that prevent me bringing a sledgehammer into the office.

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Re: Little Big is so cool...

And HR rules that prevent me bringing a sledgehammer into the office

How about a bucket? Semi-filled with water and judicously placed so that an 'accidental' swipe will drop said mobile into the bucket..

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Re: Little Big is so cool...

"I hate open plan offices. And HR rules that prevent me bringing a sledgehammer into the office."

That isn't HR but H&S. First, they don't want you accidentally straining a muscle while swinging the sledgehammer, as office workers are not insured for manual jobs. And second, have you got the necessary equipment to decontaminate the office if blood is spilt? Someone capable of allowing annoying ringtones might be rabid, or carrying plague.

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Re: Little Big is so cool...

A former (thank god!) colleague of mine had his message ringtone set to an audio clip of his toddler daughter saying "daddy, daddy, a message!" complete with Violet-Elizabeth Bott lisp, at high volume.

Sadly a not-former colleague still enjoys his "trick" custom ringtones, which he changes every 10 weeks or so. For much of January we were subjected to Crazy Frog non-ironically. Pussy Cat Dolls and the Scissor Sisters have also featured. Everyone else in the office has their phone set to vibrate. Most of us have the good grace to leave them in our pockets (ooh err missus) or on top of a notepad or something, so you only get the quiet "bzzzt" without the harsher vibration on the desk surface.

What's worse is that not only does he receive a significant number of calls (his wife calls 2-3times a day about this or that), but he doesn't answer immediately, taking a moment to enjoy the bangin' tune emanating loudly from his device.

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FAIL

Dabbsy hasn't heard of Little Big?

A truly epic fail; they've been around for longer than Gangnam Style and they're totally crazy instead of just a stupid meme. Go listen to With Russia From Love and Every Day I'm Drinking at once.

Getting back to the article: I wish I didn't hear ringtones all the time at work, but I do. And the universal rule applies - the louder and more obnoxious your ringtone, the more often you will be called. Why yes, I did want to hear "RUBY RUBY RUBY RUBY" blaring out 20 times in an hour while I'm trying to concentrate, why do you ask? You are quite difficult to understand when I am throttling you, you know.

(Before you ask, my own ringtone is the intro to Ministry's "New World Order". It is a most excellent track, as evidenced by the fact that nobody ever calls me.)

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Re: Dabbsy hasn't heard of Little Big?

intro to Ministry's "New World Order". It is a most excellent track

Mine used to be "Rumble fish twist" by The Flower Kings - partly on the basis that I could be sure that no-one else in my hearing would *ever* be using it.

It's also has a pretty abrupt non-musical start.

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Very funny, but the funniest bit is "a recent wedding reception to which I'd been invited". As opposed to the many he attends where he just randomly turns up I suppose.

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TRT
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I still get wound up...

by the sign that appeared outside my block of flats that announced...

"Private. No trespassing permitted."

Because of course there are places in the world where trespassers do have permission... *AAARRRGGGHHH!*

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Re: I still get wound up...

Technically, in England, trespass is not a crime - it's a civil matter.

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Re: I still get wound up...

Whilst you are correct in saying that, you still cannot trespass with permission, civil matter or not. It's logically not possible.

"Do you have permission to trespass on this land?" See? It's one of those questions where the English "Yes/No" response is severely lacking. The Japanese have a response though, Mu!

Mind you, answering a question like that in a manner that sounds like you are pretending to be a cow is likely to get you shot.

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Re: I still get wound up...

Because of course there are places in the world where trespassers do have permission... *AAARRRGGGHHH!*

In the UK, they're called public rights of way (usually footpaths or bridleways), and may cross private land, much to the annoyance of some in the farming community.

Also, as noted by the poster above, trespass isn't a crime in the UK. If you leave your front door open, and someone comes into your house, they're not committing a crime unless they cause damage, steal something, or become aggressive. I'm not sure you could even have them arrested if they refused to leave.

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Re: I still get wound up...

"Do you have permission to trespass on this land?" See? It's one of those questions where the English "Yes/No" response is severely lacking. The Japanese have a response though, Mu!

Not having permission to do so doesn't stop you from doing it. It's like saying I can't be drinking my mug of tea because nobody gave me permission to do so.

Unlike the French system of law, where technically nothing that is not explicitly legislated as being legal is allowed, English law starts from the position that anything that is not specifically disallowed by law is allowed, such as trespassing on another's land without permission.

On the other hand, it's perfectly possible for a landowner to say to someone, "go ahead and trespass on that bit of land any time you want". The permission may be moot, as they would not have been forbidden from doing so in the first place, but seeking permission to go onto someone's land is generally considered good manners. Also worth noting that there are places where trespass is definitely NOT allowed, such as land owned by the MOD, which could be much more hazardous to your health than pretending to be a cow in a farmer's field.

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Re: I still get wound up...

"Unlike the French system of law, where technically nothing that is not explicitly legislated as being legal is allowed"

Do you have a source for that statement? As far as I'm aware most other European countries also have the principle that "anything that is not specifically disallowed by law is allowed". (But I'm no lawyer.)

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Re: I still get wound up...

Am I the only one here who understands the definition of TRESPASS in this context to be "entering another person's land or property without permission"?

If you have permission, then you cannot be trespassing by definition. There is no condition which exists as the opposite, you can't wave to someone from the window and say "It's all right, you can trespass in the garden."

And this is why the sign annoys me. And why I'm getting wound up by this thread now! I wish I'd never shared that.

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Re: Unlike the French system of law...

It's not strictly correct. The French legal system, like the German, Dutch and other former colonies of these lands, operates a Civil Law system rather than the UK which operates under Common Law. I think the "misunderstanding" comes from a joke about the difference which goes, IIRC, "In England, practices which are not forbidden are permitted. In Germany, practices which are not permitted are forbidden, and in France, that which is forbidden is often practised."

Something like that anyway. But the idea is that under Civil Law there's a lot of prescriptive obligation in contractual law which forms an unwritten part of any contract. Under Common Law, if it's not in the contract, then it's not an obligation. The two systems have more or less converged now, but the practices associated with implementation of these two principles continue today, with Common Law countries generally operating an adversarial system where representatives of both sides argue their side before a knowledge judge who applies an existing body of law to find an outcome, whilst Civil Law countries operate an inquisitorial system, where the knowledgable judge asks the participants questions designed to elucidate their compliance with the existing body of law.

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Re: I still get wound up...

@TRT

Am I the only one here who understands the definition of TRESPASS in this context to be "entering another person's land or property without permission"?

No you aren't. I understand perfectly, unlike the dimwits above.

You cannot trespass with permission, because if you have permission it is no longer trespass. It's quite clear.

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Around 98 at work someone had ripped the sounds off Dungeonkeeper ( maybe 2 ) and shared them around.

So incoming emails were 'whipcrack! arrggh' or ' heheheheh' or one of the 50 other noises. Quite good actually , short enough and distinctive.

I once changed my shutdown noise to the theme to roobarb.

There was a fad for Father Ted quotes as well.

I think I still have the .wavs floating about on a floppy.

As for phones :

I can't hear my phone ring or vibrate unless its strapped to my ear (Galaxy S5) . Especially if I'm outside, its not noisy or buzzy enough.

The number of missed calls outweighs the number I hear by a factor of 3.

As a phone its terrible at making at notifying you that there is a call.

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