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

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  1. Outski
    Megaphone

    "I can't hear my phone ring or vibrate unless its strapped to my ear (Galaxy S5)"

    My S5's pretty loud, especially with the opening bars of YYZ on loop as my ring tone

  2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    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.

    Me too, I've not seen a handy notification LED on any my phones since the samsung A500 (holds 10 texts , to give you a timescale)

    My last was a windows phone that was impossible to have it repeat beep every minute , in case you missed first beep , even if u prepared to write your own app. No led either.

    Now have Iphone 5 that seems to do what the fuck it wants ring tone / sms vibrate / volume wise. its different every time!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    My last phone was like that. I'd hear the "missed call" notification, but not the actual ringing. I tried calling it from a landline a couple of times while holding it in my hand - turns out that, sometimes, the outgoing landline would ring 4 times and go to voicemail, while the mobile - turned on, good signal, and in my hand - wouldn't even notice the call until afterwards (no ring, no changes on screen), when it would let me know I missed a call.

  4. UriGagarin

    Hawkwind Sadness Runs Deep for me, but still its like mmmmmmumbledumbledumdmdooodooo <missed cal>l. Stuffed in a coat pocket, or in the Kitchen, can't be heard.

    Not DRRRM CRASHH DDOO DUMM DEEE DUPP it used to be with my last non mumblephone (not even sure what it was , Nokia maybe? ). bloody thing would wake the deaf dead.

  5. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Any constant, frequent notification message ceases to be novelty very quickly and becomes an annoyance. Like a 3 year old repeating the same joke over and over.

    That being said, some years ago (Windows 9x) when I was working with a particularly annoying kid I changed his class's computer's start sound to be him saying "Hello Miss". Didn't half wind up his teacher.

  6. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

    RE: around 98...

    I had the wav files from the Dark Reign game for most of the events on my work computer, with the extremely grating maniacal laugh of the suicide bombers occurring quite often. The manager came in one weekend and wiped all the sound files...

    In the modern era, I have downloaded a bunch of amusing (briefly) or quirky ringtones, but actually mostly use clipped songs from my own library.

    All of which maintain their freshness as I keep my phone on silent for 2 weeks out of 3

  7. Glen 1 Bronze badge

    Re: RE: around 98...

    For the cause!

  8. onefang

    "I can't hear my phone ring or vibrate unless its strapped to my ear (Galaxy S5)"

    When I had my S3 I was walking down the street and I heard a phone ringing loudly. I know it wasn't my phone in my shirt pocket, it was a different ring tone. The ringing was also louder than my phone would have done. There wasn't anyone around me. It was a phone ringing in an upstairs room, across a busy street. Glad that wasn't strapped to my ear.

  9. Dr_N Silver badge

    Japanese phone etiquette FTW.

    Love Japan's phone etiquette in public spaces.

    However Android One's Do Not Disturb feature, in conjunction with Outlook and Skype-for-Business' penchant for turning it on can be annoying in of itself.

    "I tried calling you but you didn't answer...."

    Gah!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Japanese phone etiquette FTW.

    So, please tell us, what are the rules of Japanese phone etiquette?

    Ritual disembowelment by your fellow travellers/passers-by/office-colleagues if your ring tone is deemed to be too offensive and/or loud?

  11. Dr. G. Freeman

    Ah, yes- the days when you could turn every computer sound to Meg Ryan's "Performance" in When Harry met Sally and thought

    a) it was funny

    b) you'd be able to have all your teeth

    Still get a good feeling when hearing "Rockafeller Street" by Getter Jaani, as it was the ringtone for an old girlfriend of mine at the time.

    Yes, the two are connected.

  12. Emjay111

    On the subject of ringtones, Thomas Dolby was the creator of the (in)famous Nokia ringtone, and actually made a decent profit producing other polyphonic tones back in the day.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9622000/9622785.stm

  13. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Um, the Nokia ringtone pre-dates Dolby by a couple of centuries. Even the more famous Dolby who gave his name Dolby labs and to big chunks of audio history.

  14. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Happy

    Ahhh, ringtones....

    I recall at one point that there was a trend (in my area at least) to have a tune from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". I can't remember the name of it - it wasn't the main theme - but it was someone whistling.

    I had a second job in a pub at the time. Every now and then, it was entertaining to start whistling the aforementioned tune myself, and watch half the punters diving for their phones...

  15. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

    Re: Ahhh, ringtones....

    Bloke I shared an office with had the opening of a particular pop tune as his ringtone... I clipped my own version of it and would trigger it occasionally to send him searching for his phone

  16. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    FAIL

    Wot, no Trio?

    "Da Da Da" is surely the grandaddy of all no-effort, piss-taking synth music:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNYcviXK4rg

    BTW, my SMS alert is Majel Barrett saying "Incoming Message", my ringtone is the phone ring sound from the Matrix and my alarm is the theme from the Twilight Zone.

  17. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

    Re: Wot, no Trio?

    Mine was the sound of the arrow hitting the serf with the coconuts ("whiiiiish-THUNK") in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, continuing up through the part where the serf (Patsy, I think his name was) gasps out "message for you, sir", before expiring.

  18. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Re: Wot, no Trio?

    gasps out "message for you, sir", before expiring.

    Not a ringtone, but that had been my incoming mail notification for Blotus Notes. Originally used it when we had a group of us in a test lab, and you wouldn't otherwise know *who* had just gotten incoming mail.

  19. David Paul Morgan

    Re: Wot, no Trio?

    Nice.

    years ago, on my Panasonic GD93 , I'd recorded Majel Barret's "You have an incoming transmission" for e-mail & txt (2001-ish) and I also typed in "danse macabre" on the midi setting.

    (That was a nice handset. slim, light and 7 colours you could assign to different callers.)

    https://www.gsmchoice.com/en/catalogue/panasonic/gd93/Panasonic-GD93.html

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trigger Happy

    Pretty sure that Dom Joly raised the ridiculousness of loud ringtones and that is when the balance to silent started to shift.

    I don’t mind ringtones so much, even on vibrate the guy in the anecdote would still have been a prick. The ones who should be fired into the sun are those who have the keyboard click sound enabled and spend all day texting at their desks.

  21. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Re: Trigger Happy

    I once had an employer who insisted on keyboard click and disciplined me for turning the vile thing off. Something about standardisation of the office environment, and if I disable the click it must be a symptom of abusing or subverting the whole place.

    And that was back in the era of VT100(ish) terminals, and big solid keyboards with *loud* synthetic beep for a click. YOUR WIFE IS A BIG HIPPO!!!

  22. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: Trigger Happy

    Maybe he was a former Speccy user.

    POKE 23609, 255

  23. Mr Han

    Re: Trigger Happy

    Dom Joly wouldn't look out of place today, what with everyone yelling into their humungous handsets. Jackass wouldn't work either now that you have people on youtube thinking a telephone directory with a man's chest behind it would stop a bullet.

  24. Huw D

    Oh Gawd...

    I am reminded of a painful day in an office where some wag had decided to set the Windows startup sound on every PC to be Robin Williams screaming "GOOD MORNING VIETNAAAAAAAAMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  25. TRT Silver badge

    Re: Oh Gawd...

    Rather like that MacOS app which used the network to progress a hopping bunny across the bottom of all the screens in a classroom, whilst accompanied by Boing! Boing! sounds and other annoying noises.

  26. Franco Silver badge

    Re: Oh Gawd...

    That's just reminded me of the first Macs with accelerometers that I encountered, I think it was about 2006, and the Mac guy in the office had hacked his so that every time he moved it you got the sound of light sabers swishing. Then of course some twat created similar apps for the first iPhones...

  27. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Re: Oh Gawd...

    I remember the bunny! Ran it round a college classroom in first I.T. job -about '96

  28. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: Oh Gawd...

    I digitised the entire intro from The Prisoner for use as the startup sound on my Mac IIsi at work in about 1992. It took up most of the hard drive, as I recall...

    For the SE/30 I used occasionally at the time, I had HAL 9000 saying "I am completely operational and all my circuits are functioning perfectly".

  29. cat_mara

    Re: Oh Gawd...

    I wonder if that was related at all to the macOS Classic extension that made Oscar the Grouch pop out of the bin and sing a song when you selected the "Empty Trash" menu item...

  30. PerlyKing
    Megaphone

    Blobby blobby blobby!

    Man (many) moons ago someone at work had a .au file of Mr Blobby, and we had a headless server in the area which could be triggered to play it as people walked past. How we laughed!

  31. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Re: Blobby blobby blobby!

    Ah, brings back memories of the cron job that played "cuckoo!" the appropriate number of times on the hour. You could see people's stress levels rising through the morning, waiting...

  32. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Blobby blobby blobby!

    "Ah, brings back memories of the cron job that played "cuckoo!" the appropriate number of times on the hour. You could see people's stress levels rising through the morning, waiting..."

    Maybe it's just the bottle of red I got through reading these comments here, but that made me LOL

  33. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Nature imitates art

    the cron job that played "cuckoo!" the appropriate number of times on the hour.

    The converse of that: back about 1970 when said gadget was the status desk accessory a starling that habitually perched in University Sq Mews in Belfast had the Trimphone ring tone down to a T. I wonder how often the owner of the phone came dashing back to answer non-existent calls. Maybe this is the way to deal with annoying ring tones - have various PCs around the office emit the tone at random times until the owner gives up on using it.

  34. Rostron

    For some unfathomable reason everyone in my office has the sound cranked up on their computers so every time an all-staffer email is sent out you get to hear 30 Microsoft Outlooks announcing it's arrival, all out of sync with each other. It's like being at the world's crappest harp concert.

  35. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    It's like being at the world's crappest harp concert.

    I always thought that the various beeps and boops of the checkouts at my local supermarket would make a good intro for a Prog song..

    "Checkout in 11/15 time"..

  36. Norman Nescio Bronze badge

    One reason for removable batteries...

    When the craze for personalised (loud, obnoxious) ringtones was at its height, it was an unfortunately common occurrence for people at my then workplace to wander off to interminable meetings leaving their phone behind on their desk. If someone then tried to get in contact with the wanderer, you got subjected to several bouts of uninterrupted ring-tone. If you were polite enough to answer the phone for them, all you got for your trouble was a request to take down a Dostoyevsky-length message.

    The nice beyond the call of duty would take a message.

    The next nicest would pick up the phone and go and look for the wanderer.

    The next nicest people would set the phone to silent, so the wanderer could see the missed calls.

    The next nicest would turn the phone off.

    The next nicest would turn the phone off, and place it in a coat pocket or other obscure hiding place belonging to the wanderer.

    The next nicest would remove the phone's battery. For some phones, this removed the power to the real time clock, requiring navigating the time and date setup menu to reset it when the battery was put back in. Hiding the battery was optional.

    And on one occasion, a colleague who had suffered enough very deliberately fetched a large glass of water, took the noisy phone and placed it in the glass on the wanderer's desk.

  37. DropBear Silver badge

    Re: One reason for removable batteries...

    "When the craze for personalised (loud, obnoxious) ringtones was at its height, it was an unfortunately common occurrence for people at my then workplace to wander off to interminable meetings leaving their phone behind on their desk. "

    What do you mean "was", and why are you stalking my life?!?

  38. Alien8n Silver badge

    Re: One reason for removable batteries...

    This has always been a bugbear of mine. It's called a mobile, not a desked.

  39. tfewster Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: One reason for removable batteries...

    > took the noisy phone and placed it in the glass on the wanderer's desk.

    As an intermediate step, place it in an empty glass, with a note: "Next time, the glass will have water in it".

    It cured one 'wanderer' ;-)

  40. Mage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Wonderful Nostalgia

    I used to make my own ringtones and then lost interest.

    In the decade when I was having to install windows, we did four things on NT4.0 Workstation (and later) and Win9x, above all else:

    Double checked Regional Settings / Keyboard.

    Disabled AutoRun in Registry.

    Set Desktop to "No Sounds".

    Disabled File & Printer sharing.

    ~

    We made sure new accounts had these settings and only the designated Admin had an Admin account on NT.

  41. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Re: Wonderful Nostalgia

    You forgot to turn file extensions on and explorer.exe view to 'List' or 'details' in the default user.

    as did microsoft.

  42. Mage Silver badge

    Re: file extensions

    No, we did that and and a lot more. There was a checklist. Two sigs.

    Those were the things the team leader liked to shout out on big rollouts.

  43. Kubla Cant
    Mushroom

    Re: Wonderful Nostalgia

    And before Windows sounds, Novell had a command called FIRE PHASERS that made the standard PC speaker make a sort of 'Pew pew' noise.

    I think the PHASERS part was (appropriately) phatic - FIRE CARRONADES would still result in a weedy 'Pew pew'.

  44. DropBear Silver badge

    "you're no longer subjected to them in a professional environment any more"

    ...which is the point I realise that apparently I have never ever been in a professional environment. I'm definitely still hearing everyone's ringtone in any and all environments I've seen.

  45. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Our MP

    He made a fortune out of ringtones. I could make a comment about how making money out of a vacuous, annoying and unnecessary product is quite a good qualification for a modern MP, but that would be childish. Like his product...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Various office sounds

    "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 sit next to our multifunction printer, and occasionally hear it (very quietly) receive a fax. And our office actually has a dot matrix printer, for filling out one particular form in carbonless triplicate. A nostalgia-inducing noise - when heard from 50 feet away.

    At my first office job, everybody's computer had Outlook (I think, it's been almost 20 years) set to its default 1-bing "incoming email" tone. I couldn't tell when it was mine or anybody else's, but a few moments in Sound Recorder and mine binged 5 times instead. Now, years later, I did something similar with our instant-messaging app.

    One time, when a co-worker left his computer unlocked, I quietly switched his incoming email sound to a sheep bleating. LOUDLY. He laughed so hard he decided to keep it. Six months later, he was giving a presentation to about 40 people. Some of the ones in the back were nodding off a bit. Then he received an email (*not from me!*). As he was hooked up to the projector at the time, his computer helpfully routed the sound to the ceiling loudspeakers. 100dB of bleating sheep will wake almost anybody...

  47. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Re: Various office sounds

    "Workplaces are quieter now. No longer do you suffer the scream of dot matrix printers or tweedling of fax modems, let alone digital squeaks."

    So...we invented "open plan offices" and bare concrete floors.

    No need to thank us.

    Now, get back to work. You're not being paid to believe in the power of your dreams.*

    * shamelessly stolen from despair.com

  48. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Re: Various office sounds

    And our office actually has a dot matrix printer, for filling out one particular form in carbonless triplicate.

    but why? someone has to break the cycle!

    .

    .

    Did you know theres an NHS office in wales that digital pictures through the post on a floppy disk?

    ...to my nhs trust, where I had to find a machine that would run W7, And have a floppy drive! That machine will now be running w10, hopefull w10 knows what a floppy is.

  49. Lt.Kije

    They're coming to take me away

    Cell phones may becoming more civil but the infuriating gimmickry is migrating, showing up on toasters, washing machines and, worst of all, cars.

    I long for the days when you turned these things ON and OFF without these elaborately choreographed Startup and Shutdown.

  50. onefang

    Re: They're coming to take me away

    "I long for the days when you turned these things ON and OFF without these elaborately choreographed Startup and Shutdown."

    When my smartphone battery is low (the one I use for everything except phone functions), and I need to squeeze the most life out of it coz there will be a long time before I can charge it, I debate with myself whether it will be better to turn it off, and risk the lengthy startup song and dance sucking more life out of the battery than simply leaving it turned on.

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