Whatever happened to …

… computer startup sounds?

It was a common request that I used to get.  It was particularly important to those people who would start up an entire lab of computers using a remote access tool and the computers would all chime in at roughly the same time.

“How do I get the computers to stop playing that annoying startup sound?”

Personally, I always felt that it was a helpful thing.  On my home computer, it was a signal that the computer was close to stopping thrashing my hard drive and would be ready for actual use.  Like all computer-y things, the sound changed from version to version of the operating system.

And, thanks to the internet and people who like to curate these sort of things, turn up your speakers and I present…

Ubuntu Startup Sound

Macintosh Startup Sound

Windows Startup Sound (wait for it)

Of course, there were also shutdown sounds but they weren’t nearly as memorable.

On this Sunday morning, how about sharing your thoughts?

  • Do/did you have a favourite startup sound?
  • Have you ever tweaked your computer to have your own startup sound or disable it completely?  (I’ll confess to a “Hello Dave” on a computer long time recycled.  It got me noticed at meetings…)
  • Do you even hear it anymore or do you just put your computer to sleep and wake it instead of rebooting?
  • These are the ones that I’ve used; if you’ve used a different operating system, how about searching for its sounds and sharing them in the comments?

Do you have an idea or thought that would be appropriate for my “Whatever happened to … ” series of blog posts?

Please visit this Padlet and add your idea.  I’d love for it to be an inspiration for a post!

4 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. I was actually thinking about this very thing recently. I had a computer a long time ago that I set up to play James Brown singing “I feel good” on system start up. Setting these sounds was a big deal at one time. It was a bit of “hacker cred.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew Forgrave says:

    What a great topic! Because yes, I used to fiddle with my start up and shutdown sounds. That was one of the great things that you could tweak in order to personalize your computer.

    The Ubuntu start up chime sounds like a themed version of the Mac OS start up chime. And all of the Mac start up chimes are familiar

    I should say, however, that I stopped listening to the Microsoft start up sound video after about two minutes, at some point before the sounds must have started to differentiate themselves. After hearing the same pair of start-up and shut-down sounds about 10 times, I tuned out.

    Back in the day, when I had my first Macintosh, I enjoyed using utilities like ResEdit to make adjustments to the system files. As I’ve mentioned before, Sunday afternoons would be spent in the local book shop, where it was possible to purchase books that came with floppy discs (and later, CD-ROMs) of wonderful little files that you could put on your computer. This was pre-Internet.

    I know that it if I were to take my Mac Classic out of its carrying bag, plug it in, and turn it on, I would be greeted with the first eight bars of the ST:TNG theme. The actual desktop is a greyscale LCARS “wallpaper” that I created, and the hard drive icon is a hand-created pixel-by-pixel representation of the enterprise. Double-clicking on a folder to open the associated window would trigger the turbo lift sound. And clicking the close window icon would trigger the classic door-swish sound.

    At various times, I have used the following as shutdown sounds:

    McCoy: He’s dead Jim.
    Macoy: It won’t die!
    Data: Are you able to cease thinking upon command?
    and the long standing favourite:
    Worf : I will be standing by to assist you if needed.

    Historically, my computers have been named after starships from the Star Trek universe:
    The Mac Classic was Enterprise.
    The Mac LC-475 was Stargazer.
    The sleek (Wallstreet) PowerBook was Voyager.
    I think the PowerBook G4 Titanium was named TimeForce, in honour of the time travelling starship that I thought was going to follow Voyager in a follow on series, but never did.
    There may have been a Defiant at some point for a short period of time.
    External hard drives were named SOL, DS9, etc.

    Windows PCs often bore the brunt of being named after the bad guys:
    I think the Windows 2000 file server was called Wormhole.
    There would’ve been a PC laptop at one point called Zindi Station.
    They never got as much love as the Macs because they were less fun to play with.

    When Mac OS X came out, and Steve Jobs ceremoniously buried OS 9 in a coffin at WWDC, Macs became a bit more serious. Screensavers like Bad Dog and Mowin Man we’re no longer a thing, and fun little system add-ons like Jared, and 99 bottles we’re no longer as easy to add to your computer as before. It was quite a thing back in the day to make five or six copies of 99 Bottles and set them each to start counting down from a different number and then run them all simultaneously. What a cacophony!

    It was like a walk down memory lane, shortly after the iPhone started getting apps, when Jared re-appeared, with his original soundtrack. I think I’m going to go listen to him now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrew Forgrave says:

    So, not only do I have Jared on my iPhone, but I also have 99 Bottles!

    So now I’m getting nostalgic and I’m going to put 99 Bottles on all of my iDevices one so that I can play them all simultaneously, but out of sync with one another.

    Sadly, this version automatically starts at 99, with no option to modify.

    It out was always much more fun to start each one at 999, 999 … and then play them out of sync. Most enjoyable!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I typically left the default sounds, but I remember one changing a family member’s startup sound on Windows 3.1 to be the sound of breaking glass. It sounded magnificent on that Creative Labs Sound Blaster Pro. They thought the computer broke.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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