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 …

  1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

    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 Bronze badge

        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. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

          Lots of Lol at Rol

      4. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

        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. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          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

      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.

        2. Aqua Marina

          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.

        3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
          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.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sage 50!

      I have a Lenovo PC under my desk. 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. Wirecutters were the only solution, and to hell wth the guarantee.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        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?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    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.

    1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      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...

  4. m0rt Silver badge

    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.

  5. Franco Silver badge

    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.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      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...

      1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

        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.

      2. onefang Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.....

  6. Dave K Silver badge

    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!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

      "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!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        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".

    4. MaltaMaggot

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

      less "Gah".. more "Mmmeh""

    5. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      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.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        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

      2. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: PC noises

        @Antron Argaiv

        "every woman in high heels"

        So are men in highheels silent?

        Highheel Ninja?!

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

          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.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            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.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      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.

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      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.

      1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

        Re: The title is too long.

        Stop building flats next to pre-existing music venues then

  8. Potemkine! Silver badge

    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....

    1. DuchessofDukeStreet

      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.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        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..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        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.

      3. rg287 Silver badge

        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.

  9. Jedit
    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.)

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      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.

  10. Dr Who

    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.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      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!*

      1. Herring`

        Re: I still get wound up...

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

        1. TRT Silver badge

          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.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            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.

            1. H in The Hague

              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.)

              1. TRT Silver badge

                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.

                1. Alister Silver badge

                  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.

              2. TRT Silver badge

                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.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        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.

  11. UriGagarin

    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.

    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

      1. 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.

      2. onefang Silver badge

        "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.

    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. 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.

    5. the Jim bloke Silver 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

      1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

        Re: RE: around 98...

        For the cause!

  12. 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!

    1. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    1. 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.

  15. 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...

    1. the Jim bloke Silver 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

    2. 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

  17. 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.

    1. 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!!!

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Trigger Happy

        Maybe he was a former Speccy user.

        POKE 23609, 255

    2. 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.

  18. Huw D Silver badge

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    1. 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.

      1. 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...

        1. 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

      2. 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...

    2. 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".

  19. PerlyKing Bronze badge
    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!

    1. 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...

      1. 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

      2. 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.

  20. 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.

    1. 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"..

  21. Norman Nescio Silver 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.

    1. 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?!?

    2. 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.

    3. 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' ;-)

  22. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        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'.

  23. 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.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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...

  25. 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...

    1. 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

    2. 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.

  26. 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.

    1. onefang Silver badge

      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.

  27. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    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.

    Quieter? I really wish that was the case. According to the crude decibel-o-meter app on my phone, I'm currently in the sonic equivalent of heavy traffic. Dot matrix printers and fax machines may have gone, but they've been replaced by a multitude of other noises in this open plan office.

    I literally have to put in earplugs when I need some peace and quiet in order to concentrate on anything

  28. Crisp Silver badge
    Coat

    HELLO? I'M IN AN OPEN PLAN OFFICE! NAH! IT'S SHIT!

    Mine's the jacket with the novelty sized nokia in the pocket.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember on the Nokia phones (5110 era) there were a series of profiles (normal, silent, loud and quiet). You could customise these to the extent that you could rename the loud profile as "Silent", or modify the silent profile to actually make noises.

    A colleague was scheduled to go to a press conference, so some wag edited his phone setup so that the profile named "Silent" would actually blast out the Nokia tune ringtone at max volume.

    The press conference was televised live - we watched it and took turns calling his phone and watching him scramble around trying to silence his phone while everyone else in the room looked at him and tutted.

  30. sandman

    Sorry, I'm a sadist

    I used to have the opening bars from 21st Century Schizoid man (King Crimson) as my ringtone. It would make the whole office jump. Sadly it had to come off as it had the same effect on me. :-(

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Sorry, I'm a sadist

      The opening bars would be quiet hooting and free-form noises of a muted calliope-like texture. Can't see how that would be offensive. Rather relaxing in fact.

  31. imanidiot Silver badge

    A the memories

    My very first phone was a good old Nokia 3310. The archetype brick-phone. The ringtone I started out using was "Hurdy-Gurdy", but this wasn't always easily audible so I switched to Sunny Walks. Somehow that little monotone tune is guaranteed to penetrate 3 feet of concrete in a way that makes it still distinctive enough to let you know you're getting a call. To this day even on my new smartphones I have the ringtone set to a MP3 version of the original 3310 Sunny Walks. I've developed an almost Pavlovian response to it now where hearing it will lead to a compulsive reaction to check my phone. It helps I never give my number to anyone that would call me "just because", thus if I get called it's probably something I should answer.

    1. toejam13

      Re: A the memories

      I do something similar, but with the sounds from my old Nokia 2705. Meanwhile, I've been carrying forward the sounds from my wife's old Blackberry Curve to her new phones. Creatures of habit, I guess.

  32. Prosthetic Conscience
    Mushroom

    On the contrary

    I even get people playing music in the office.. And when I ask to have it turned it off because I need to contentrate for extended periods of time with no interruption they tell me to put my headphones on.. I need SILENCE

  33. Daedalus Silver badge

    The Distaff Sound

    I'm willing to bet that the majority of commenters are (a) male, and (b) inclined to carry their phone either in their pocket or on a belt holster.

    On the other hand, there is a large segment of the population who, when not using the phone for endless tapping on virtual keyboards or sharing their life story with everybody in earshot (seriously, when I was in the emergency room awaiting test results was it really necessary for me to hear the lady in the next cube dissing her daughter in one call after another?), place it in the bottom of a large bag containing the rest of life's necessities.

    How are such unfortunates supposed to receive calls if not with an audible signal? Assuming, of course, that they ever remove the phone from their ear in the first place....

    1. The Original Steve
      Coat

      Re: The Distaff Sound

      Um... Perhaps they should consider using "pockets" for things like your phone. See nearest man for reference.

      At least that way not only can this segment of the population be alerted without noise to an incoming call, but they might be able to actually answer it before the caller hangs up!

      And think of the time saved in not having to pull out what can only be described as a physics defying amount of "life's necessities" (or shit, depending on your POV) from said bag.

      Just a thought. :p

      1. DuchessofDukeStreet

        Re: The Distaff Sound

        What you may not realise is that for half the population, having "pockets" in clothes isn't an option. There is a whole tranche of feminist writings on the topic....https://mic.com/articles/133948/the-weird-complicated-sexist-history-of-pockets#.IMpjS0q4C

        And while I'm reasonably sure nobody else is going to appreciate my enthusiasm, I LOVE my handbag (with or without a phone in it). But it is most definitely a physics-defying space inside, I will never need a Tardis...

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: The Distaff Sound

          And what about that segment whose clothes are too tight for pockets to be practical storage?

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: The Distaff Sound

            I think the problem here is that those specific people that use their phones all the time are putting it at the *bottom* of their TARDIS like handbags. Putting the phone on top might be a better move.

        2. Mr Han

          Re: The Distaff Sound

          According to one report, air-conditioning is sexist too. The ramblings of a few derranged women (and some men) should be taken with a pinch of salt.

  34. Daedalus Silver badge

    The Sound of Silence

    You do realize, don't you, that if you are in an office full of computers that chime in unison for e-mail, that you could probably stealthily mute all of them in one way or another, and nobody would know how to restore the sound!

    This also explains the habit of leaving the phone on the desk when attending meetings: the average drone has no idea how to mute the phone for a meeting, so leaves it behind instead.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The Sound of Silence

      I guess the majority of commentards here would be skilled enough to hatch a BOFH like plan to remotely silence the machines, or failing that - the user.

      I recently remotely shutted up a guy playing a youtube music list in the office, not by pskill.exe ing his browser as he'd lose work, i think it was by shutting an audio related service off

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: The Sound of Silence

        I used to have a colleague who lived to annoy me with his constant barrage of noise. His painfully squeaky swivel chair, his loud and annoying Fran Drescher nasal drone telling the same joke over the phone at volume 11 to everyone on his contact list, the noise was endless. I would stay late and get more done in the two hours after he'd left than in the seven he was there.

        Then he started leaving his workstation beeping when he left work and locking the desktop. I thought about hacking the bios. I thought about cutting the MB speaker wires. Then I realized I was *over* thinking and just unplugged his computer, gave it a five-count and plugged it back in.

        He did a lot of data entry and would leave a bunch of stuff on his screen to be done the next day. All gone now of course.

        Took him three days to learn.

        As for his squeaky swivel chair, I went and found the only unused new chair in the place and swapped his for that. He yelled and screamed and took his original back. So I bought a small can of WD40 and carefully oiled the wheels and the center column when he was gone, cleaning the oil off so it wouldn't foul his clothes.

        The first day after I did this he sat down and 720-ed, leaping up and glaring at the super-silent chair, then me (straight-faced c/w halo). He tried to grind the bearing and it just moved silently. He pushed back in it and went sailing across the room into a row of disused servers - because the castors worked like wheels now instead of like round carpet-skis. He was completely dumbfounded. He was conviced it wasn't his chair, but then, it obviously was.

        He would try and get it squeaking at every opportunity, grinding the seat back and forth, and it would start making noises about every two weeks, whereupon it got a nice new dose of WD40.

        One day he came in, glared at me, sat down and gave the chair a particularly savage grinding with his arse. The center post snapped and he crashed to the floor like a felled oak. I admit I had to turn away and bite my hand to avoid being found out.

        All this from a man who berated another colleague saying that the sound of a boiling (non-whistle) kettle ten feet away was "distracting him from his work". He said the colleague would have to stand by the kettle while it boiled to minimize the annoyance.

        If you want to know what Yodel Shriekenhowl looked like, see if you can get a look at the 30 year anniversary DVD movie of Jean-Michel Jarre re-recording Oxygene. The bloke playing the keyboards on the extreme left as you watch is his identical twin brother, except he's quieter. I showed some people at work the movie and they couldn't tell it wasn't Foghorn Leghorn.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: The Sound of Silence

        "hatch a BOFH like plan to remotely silence the machines"

        after hours, send the PFY around to poke a needle through the audio cable and snip off both ends with wire cutters. It'd take about 10 to 15 seconds per workstation, including the average time to traverse from one to the next.

        Then you get a pile of calls and e-mails to "fix the audio on my computer" to which you can respond [robotically] "we have been receiving a lot of calls like this. With so many, it might be a virus. we are currently researching the cause, and will get back to you as soon as we have a fix." Follow this with a budget request to increase staffing to handle the work load. Throw a party instead of hiring someone new.

  35. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Back when i used to work for a local council IT dept we had a tower server that was sat in the corner of the main office that was only ever used by a few users. When we finally managed to move those users off onto a new system located in the server room, we switched off the servers for the first time in years. Until that point no one had realised how noisy the server actually was and it seemed eerily quiet in the office for weeks afterwards.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Until that point no one had realised how noisy the server actually was and it seemed eerily quiet in the office for weeks afterwards."

      It's only a few years ago that most PCs had constant full speed fan coolers. Nowadays, the slightest hint of fan noise from a PC and the user is complaining about the noise! How quickly people forget and adapt.

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      I recently replaced an old server with powerful fans that produced a rushing-air noise. The guy in the next room alerted me that there was now an annoying noise. The whining of the fans of an adjacent server had been complete masked by the smooth white noise.

  36. WallMeerkat Bronze badge
    Happy

    If windows 95 starts and nobody hears it?....

    If you were lucky enough to have Windows 95 plus, it had 'themes' which included nice high colour icons (better looking than the modern flat efforts), and sound schemes. Every time you clicked a button / maximise / minimise etc it would make a little sound.

    I usually use vibrate now, and have actually seen on a colleague's twitter him complaining about the noise of phones vibrating on desks. Though I also get the phantom vibrates, and miss calls with the phone in my pocket having not felt the vibrate.

    A few weeks ago I had to run my wife to A&E with sleeping infant in tow. While waiting, some annoying chav girl kept typing on her mobile which had noises for the oncscreen keyboard. It was just "tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap...." constantly. Of course she seen woke baby up, to which she got a glare and a tut and a hint to put it to silent.

    But I'll admit that in the past I've been the phone user with my shiny new Nokia 3310, annoying other people in the pubs by showing off to my pals the polyphonic ringtones. The girl in the table beside us got - quite rightly - annoyed and threatened that the Nokia would visit a very dark place. I'd bet it would've survived that trip anyway.

    Those of us who were too stingy to buy the polyphonic ringtones from those listings in the back of the newspapers (together with 'no fear' or cannabis leaf 40x20 pixel wallpapers) could always find a site with the notes to type them in. This was the modern day equivalent of writing BASIC listings, except you didn't have a clue what each symbol meant. And inevitably there were errors, meaning it never quite sounded like the sound you wanted.

    When I finally got a phone what could use .mp3 / .wav sounds for notificiations I took a Sonic phase and used the 1up sound for messages, and green hill zone as ringtone.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: If windows 95 starts and nobody hears it?....

      Yep. I used the howl and drumming startup noise and had custom-made icons I drew using a freebie gif editor from one of the MS packs.

      Then someone gave me the Peter Gabriel CD-ROM and I replaced the startup noise with the startup drumming from Kiss That Frog.

      The first time I encountered the themes was while working for a bleeding-edge company in 96, when I was issued with a Win95 Thinkpad (the one with the unfolding keyboard).

      While working in New Hampshire on a three-day customer relations/training thingy I set up the 60s theme and reprogrammed all my VB stuff to strobe different primary colors as I moved the mouse. It was like working inside a Jimi Hendrix poster.

      That lasted half an hour before I decided to train the users on "how to reprogram the UI color scheme", though the migraines induced went on longer I think.

    2. flokie

      Re: If windows 95 starts and nobody hears it?....

      I never understood why people paid for ringtones when indeed you could type them in.

      I didn't copy mine from websites though, as they didn't really cater for my indie tastes, and instead used a cheap keyboard to work out some melody's notes and then put them into the ringtone composer with that weird syntax.

      I'm no musician so similar result in that it was never quite exactly what I wanted (well I had the notes right, but timings probably not). I definitely wasn't the only one doing that, as I swapped a few ringtones created that way with friends.

      You can look up the Nokia 3210 manual online for details of how the Composer worked if you're feeling nostalgic.

  37. Woza
    Megaphone

    Many years ago

    I used to have the Windows error sound mapped to Hilly from Red Dwarf: "It's a mistake any deranged, half-witted computer could have made."

  38. tiggity Silver badge

    mixture

    My default ringtone is silent, just vibrate.

    However for contacts who''s calls I do not want to miss (ill, elderly relatives who would only call mobile (instead of landline) if an urgent problem), those contacts have a (distinct per relative) ringtone set up.

    That way minimum irritation of others (vibrate) and colleagues realise if phone "rings" then it is a do not ignore type of call.

    Best of both worlds solution.

  39. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Much as I like the Yoko Kanno reference, I actually keep a better-known piece of his as a potential ringtone: "Tank!", a jazz piece he made with a group called The Seatbelts. I actually use different ring and notification tones to tell me the nature of the incoming transmission. My generic ringtone is the theme from Beavis and Butt-head (which is actually a nice-sounding smooth-paced piece of instrumental rock), and my notification tone the doorbell from Star Trek: The Next Generation (quick and easy to catch). If I hear something else, I can determine its nature quickly (work, acquaintance, app, etc.).

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Umm.....

      @Charles 9

      Much as I like the Yoko Kanno reference, I actually keep a better-known piece of his as a potential ringtone: "Tank!", a jazz piece he made with a group called The Seatbelts. I actually use different ring and notification tones to tell me the nature of the incoming transmission.

      See

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Umm.....

        Never saw a photo and always heard Kanno addressed in the masculine. *shrugs*

  40. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    True story.

    I am sitting with friends in a cinema watching The Lord of the Rings:The Fellowship of the Ring newly released into the wild. Six seats away a phone starts playing an 8-bit rendition of Mozart's 40th. The twat with the phone likes that piece so he lets it play for several bars, whereupon I stand up, look right at him and shout at the top of my voice "WILL YOU TURN THAT FUCKING PHONE OFF!".

    Loud, enthusiastic applause from the audience.

    Mr Twat answers his phone and say in a stage whisper "I have to go. Some idiot wants me to shut up".

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Wonder what would've happened if the reply was instead, "F@#K NO! I have my rights, too! You don't like me, shoot me!" And you find out he's an ex-convict as well. I don't know if anyone's ready to face a murder charge over a ringtone.

      1. dbtx Bronze badge

        have my rights, too!

        Do you keep them on a shelf right next to those of J. Assange? You know, that shelf in the echo chamber.

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        Well, Nine of Charles, I can tell you what would have happened in the unlikely event that someone tried to assert a non-existent right - I would have gone to the management and demanded his removal from the theater. Chances are they would have refunded me and offered me tickets for another showing.

        But we both know that whole course of events wasn't going to happen outside the confines of your rather troubled brain.

        This isn't the first time in these pages that you've concocted elaborate, violent, imaginary threats evolving out of someone else's anecdote. Ignoring the rather obvious passive-aggressive unannounced "I disbelieve you" subtext to these childish scenarios, the behaviour pattern seems to suggest a more deep-seated problem.

        Maybe you should rejoin the Borg collective and gain some collective stability. Perhaps you should just take your meds.

        "Face a murder charge over a ringtone". Azathoth on a galaxy-sized bike.

  41. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Koi no Mikuru Densetsu

    Considering "Lucky Star" made a reference to ringtones some 11 years ago...

    https://youtu.be/PU8Cb4_TPME?t=1m29s

    or you could use this one....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZgihTHAkQ8

  42. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    During the Golden Shower Age of Ringtones I selected "classic bell" for mine, and got a desk-phone like ringing. Worked for about six months, always could tell my phone from the other commuters', then others started switching to it.

    Top of my most hated phone noises list:

    Push-to-talk beep. Super fucking annoying. Double that when coupled with push-to-talk idiot yelling into phone.

    The wolf-whistle "you've got texts" tone. Had to put up with that in the office for two months until Fuckwit McFucktard got tired of it.

    Game event beeps. Idiots on the train drive me nuts with these. "Aren't I clever? I'm playing a game ... *on my phone*! Yeah! On my phone! I know! Great, eh?"

    Keyboard clicks. Another on-the-train favorite of the IQ challenged.

    Video clips. There's always some idiot on the train who's IQ is lower than the phone's, who wants to play crappy tinny music through their phone at maximum volume. I've been threatened by people when I've asked them to turn the sound down.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Bah!

      The anti social twit who sits in the quiet car on the train and proceeds to make phone calls. Even after the announcement that the quiet car is the first car in the train. They usually use earphones and think they're ok because you can only hear one side of the conversation...

      // icon is for the fate they deserve

    2. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      "During the Golden Shower Age of Ringtones I selected "classic bell" for mine, and got a desk-phone like ringing. Worked for about six months, always could tell my phone from the other commuters', then others started switching to it."

      Four pages of comments before anyone mentioned ring tones that sound like ancient phones ringing. As you said, it became popular, so I'm surprised no one else mentioned it. Though maybe I'm just more attuned to hearing it, coz my ring tone is a recording of a room full of different random ancient phones ringing, though it starts with just one and slowly adds more.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: it starts with just one and slowly adds more.

        *nods*.

        My mate Mike was the first person I know to download and use the "Flint" ringtone (from the hot-line in the 60s movie Our Man Flint). It was amusing and clever and about two months later it was happening everywhere. Which sucked.

  43. JohnFen Silver badge

    Even vibrate-only is too loud

    The primary, and huge, benefit of having a smartwatch is that I can set my phone to be completely silent, so it doesn't even emit that horrible vibration noise.

  44. Colonel Mad

    The Long Firm

    Have you spoken to Mrs Dabbs about this?

  45. johnfisher

    Custom Viberation is the best option

    Custom Notification and vibration are the new trends in mobility personalization, just that ringtones are helpful when mobile phones are to be located at home.

  46. Ian Emery Silver badge

    MESSEEEEEEEGE!!!

    I remember the panicked looks on the faces of the security staff at Frankfurt airport when my phone went off as it was passing through the scanner.

    Everyone started walking backwards, away from the machine; and you could see the knuckles whitening as they tightly gripped their machine pistols!!

    Happy Days!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MESSEEEEEEEGE!!!

      They do ask you to turn phones off, you know

  47. cNova

    I'm glad I live in the era of silent laser printers that sound nothing like a combination of the Tardis and the squeeky gate on aunt Polly's fence.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I'm glad I live in the era of silent laser printers that sound nothing like a combination of the Tardis and the squeeky gate on aunt Polly's fence."

      You're welcome!

      (Part of my job is to fix them when they start squeaking or making horrible grinding noises)

  48. MachDiamond Silver badge

    CAD and sound

    One of the things I liked about an old CAD package I worked with was it used sounds to let you know when you hit vertices, centerpoints, tangents, etc. The combination of visual and audio prompts worked very well.

    I was one of those that used ResEdit on my early Macs to change sounds. I also changed my trash can to a toilet and had a flushing sound when it emptied. I wasn't working in an open plan/hotel office environment, so my computer making noises wasn't a problem. If you can't have a little fun........

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find that I don't always detect vibrations on my phone in my pocket.

    Although, really, I don't have it on vibrate because I forget to set it. Maybe it's because my only friends are phone spammers, so I don't expect it to ring.

    My ringtone is a song that sounds more like a built-in ringtone at the start anyway and the phone will go to voicemail before it identifiably becomes a song. I get to have a ringtone I clearly recognize without feeling that people will think I'm trying to advertise my musical taste.

  50. Luiz Abdala

    People stopped using ringtones because modern music is a steaming pile of ....

    Watch this video...

    "Why is music so bad?"

    https://youtu.be/oVME_l4IwII

    I, personally, use AC/DC "Thunderstruck" as a ringtone.

    The whole song.

    The opening riff sounds as a ringtone anyway, and if I don't answer, people will be subjected to an appealing cacophony, at least, written in the seventies.

    Of course, Mr. Pavlov got me, because now I instinctively reach for my phone whenever I hear that song anywhere else.

  51. Milton Silver badge

    Chirpy chirp

    I find that vibe makes it a little too easy to miss calls amd messages: the device might be in a loose pocket, a bag or on a soft surface, and the buzz is missed. The compromise is a ringtone—of sorts. I nicked the first couple of chirps from the Star Trek (TOS) annunciator sound effect. It's easily distinguished from other sounds, penetrating and recognisable but too brief to be annoying to anyone. By the time most people are wondering if they actually heard anything, it's done: but I know my phone farted.

    I suspect there may be a small piece of modest but worthwhile undergrad work figuring out what kinds of annunciator effects meet the criteria for 1. brevity, 2. low volume, 3. penetrativity without aggravation.

    Once the essential characteristics are understood, there's conceivably a patent (certainly in the US, where you could get a new patent for the wheel) but certainly a niche business opportunity: an app which crafts 'chirpies' to individual taste so that in the office, everyone will know and recognise their own almost-subliminal chirp while ignoring others'. I'd guess that combinations of pitch, rise and fall, mutli-tone, spacing and intensity should allow at least a hundred recognisable combos. The human ear and brain are pretty trainable.

    Send my 10% of sales to GOSH children's hospital.

  52. flokie
    Flame

    Lagaf

    This Frenchie here certainly didn't need reminded of Lagaf. Yes it was a joke, but one that stopped being funny after the first listen. 18 weeks at #1 you said? So it must have stayed about 6 months in the charts. 6 months of being constantly subjected to that atrocity on the radio.

    Then he had another stupid hit single the year after, and one year later, it was Jordi's "Dur dur d'etre un bébé" that went on to be even more successful...

    We probably got cable TV around that time, and seeing the UK and Euro single charts on MTV was such a relief compared to the French Top 50.

  53. Spanners Silver badge
    Go

    Russiam music?

    For years I have felt that Russia produces excellent music, Red Army Choir, their folk music and so on

    It is nice to see that this tradition us still being upheld!

    Rather than ringtones though, I think this is, IT dept, hold music fodder!

  54. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    I usually install a ringtone that sounds like an old-style telephone bell.

    This phone came with some soothing quiet Zen stuff, I've just been using that.

    Usually I only watch a few seconds of videos like that Skibido one, just enough to get a feel for it but not enough to melt my brain, but I found this one strangely captivating. My favorite part was the attractive woman with the rictus smile that creeped me the hell out.

    The dancing walk reminded me of some old Dr. Pepper commercials. Which Bill Murray parodied with the SNL troupe many decades ago. Thus bringing us full circle, in a sense. Yow!

    (I apologise if that seemed contrived, but I swear it wasn't.)

  55. david 12 Bronze badge

    70's digital watch chimes...

    In 1981 I started a new year in a lecture theatre with 200 first-year engineeing students. Many of whom had received a new digital watch for Christmas, and had it set to chime the hour. At or around 10:00 AM, 4/5ths of the way therough the 50-minute period, watch chimes started going off randomly across and through the vast quite crowd.... by the next day all watches had been reset to silent.

  56. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Until I lost it, on my previous phone I used Barwick Green. Then, one evening I was in the audience for Any Questions....

  57. Trilkhai

    I wasn't happy with any of the ringtones or notification sounds that I could find online, and couldn't find many classic-rock instrumental riffs that could be edited to loop seamlessly — but then I discovered that I could find a lot of fun loopable stuff in old Amiga Demoscene videos. I have a few in a public folder in case anyone wants copies; they're clipped from YouTube videos of the same names.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back in the nightmare that was Windows 95, There was desktop themes exe. This introduced me to the darkside of custom sounds. Windows having the most hideous noises it wasnt long before Sonic the hedgehog was providing the sounds for my machine... with a lone Homer Simpson "Doh" for error.wav

    This has persisted with phones, my late father was denoted with a clever edit of the "one foot in the grave" theme, my sister who lives in a strange little world of her own got the Addams family theme and so on through the *inner circle" whose calls I would probably want to identify without having to fish out my phone, all of the sounds had a logic that for me connected them to the person. I have a custom message tone for friends and a trick edit of Nyton (Eric Prydz) for callers in my phonebook who dont have a custom personal tone... unknowns outside of my phone book get a standard to me that tells me its probably ok to ignore for now.

    Works for me... Others of a different opinion are welcome to thier view..

  59. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Not just phones :(

    Twice this year I've been enjoying a meal in a restaurant when a woman has arrived who has seemingly applied an entire bottle of perfume onto herself. Within seconds the whole room is saturated and I'm unable to smell my tasty food. If I had not paid for it I would just bin the food.

    Grrrr!

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not just phones :(

      Could be worse: you could be sitting next to her in an open plan office.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not just phones :(

        You could always pretend to have (or might actually have) an allergy/sensitivity to strong perfume, and, with everyone much more aware of allergies these days, it would be perfectly reasonable in a workplace environment to ask the insensitive clodette/clod (you get idiot men who use spray deodorant as an area denial weapon as well) to ease up on the noxious gas, with management support if need be, if they don't respond appropriately to being asked politely.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Not just phones :(

          And if the clod IS the management? Or otherwise has SUPER protection?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not just phones :(

        The worst are the ones who think the term "deodorant" means "hide the fact I haven't showered in a week, plus I wank every night".

        Not only do you have the massive amounts of poorly-named 'deodorant' but also all their other smells as well.

        Thankfully, as the other AC mentioned, due to more knowledge on allergies its easier to deal with these days.

  60. OldSoCalCoder

    The good old days

    Ah, I remember, but not too well. The sound of a 250 lb 40M CDC 9760 drive on a metal pedestal running sorts at month end (boom da da boom boom, da da boom), the sound of a chain printer warming up to go through a box or two of greenbar. I included the weight of the drive because I've moved a few of them up / down a few flights of stairs.

  61. viscount

    I am always impressed with how loud and distracting a "silent" vibrate mode can be when a phone is on a table or desk.

  62. steviebuk Silver badge

    That last video

    Does anyone know if that was a House track back then without the lyrics? I'd only ever heard it without the lyrics. Wondered if he'd stolen that and put his lyrics over the top but looking on Wiki it looks like the whole thing was his. I just remember the tune, not the lyrics being in a few house mixes back then.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Videos

    I didn't waste much time on your Little Big video, but Google's cunning algorithms directed me from there to the YouTube catalogue of a band called Ленинград, and that was the start of a wasted evening. If anyone else wants to waste an evening they could start with Очки Собчак or Не Париж, for example.

  64. Alan W. Rateliff, II

    Strange stares and region restrictions

    Like in the old days when having a big rack of servers was a status symbol among geeks, now running a server farm from your back pocket is oh-so chic. I still rather enjoy my ring-tones as they help prevent, long term, those phantom ring vibrations we learned about during the Blackberry hey-day when people would still feel their phone ringing even when the network was down. Plus since my phone often sits docked (yes, a charging stand, wanna fight about it?) in another room after 5pm, being able to hear it is handy.

    When the phone is attached to my hip during my regular working day, I have noticed the ringtone draws strange looks. I mean, so totally 2000s, right? Now if your phone is not sitting on a desk using the leg-room cut-out as a reverberation chamber, or you cannot feel its vibrations through the floor and walls, well, why bother? This type of ringing is the only invasion allowed within our now sound-sterile environments in which everyone wears headphones and no one talks to each other using vocal cords, but instead using messaging apps (because SMS is soooooo 90s, old-timer.)

    I must admit to spending an extra amount of time giving certain contacts special notification sounds so I can quickly determine whether this call or message can wait, and for how long, without diverting too much of my attention from what is at hand.

    Well, in the business world, anyway. The personal world is much different. Back in the whenevers it was mostly business people, or people with more money than self-awareness, who had the phones in public and if their obnoxiously loud conversations were not grabbing attention it was the obnoxiously loud obnoxious sounds for every kind of notification. Now it seems business people, and those without the need to be noticed by others, try to keep a low profile.

    Even with my mass customizations I try to fly low with simple sound effects, like a click for a message, etc.

    Sometimes I feel like I might understand how some felt when disco died.

    Lastly, someone tell SME and YouTube that region restrictions are soooooo aughties.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strange stares and region restrictions

      Lastly, someone tell SME and YouTube that region restrictions are soooooo aughties

      Late but oblig xkcd

  65. Havin_it
    Windows

    Soundscapezz

    To my mind, however, Microsoft hit a high point for event audio with Windows 95. Subsequent releases of Windows have never reached such glorious levels of gratuitous audio; indeed, the startup and shutdown sounds these days are little more than clicks or bips.

    How dare you overlook that Vista's "soundscapes" were imagineered by bleedin' Robert Fripp?

    People gonna forget how rock'n'roll MICROS~1 used to be ;)

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