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Vista Startup Sound to be Mandatory? 865

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the any-sound-you-want-as-long-as-it's-this-one dept.
Toreo asesino writes "There has been lots of debate in the past few days over Microsoft's plan to make the startup sound in Windows Vista something that can't be specifically silenced by changing the sound settings in the control panel. Users would be able to avoid hearing it by manually turning down the speaker volume, but then they would have to turn that volume back up to hear anything else."
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Vista Startup Sound to be Mandatory?

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  • by jleq (766550) <jleq96.gmail@com> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @08:30PM (#16020904)
    They will have to come up with some kind of way to turn it off. The majority of broadcast automation applications still run on Windows. When I worked at KDKD, we had all the on-air PCs set to "No Sounds"... It's always funny to hear a Windows sound on the radio.
  • by jevvim (826181) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @08:36PM (#16020949) Journal
    The Mac startup sound has always been mandatory.

    Only if you haven't muted audio. If you mute the audio output and then reboot (or shutdown and then power on), you won't hear the power-on chime.

  • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin@nOsPaM.amiran.us> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @08:52PM (#16021051) Homepage Journal
    It is NOT mandatory.

    Turn down your sound (in the OS X volume control), or mute your speakers.

    Restart.

    Tada! No startup sound.

    There are also applications and Applescripts that will do it automatically for you:
    http://alphaomega.software.free.fr/startupchimesto pper/Startup%20Chime%20Stopper.html [software.free.fr]
    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20031 005165919533 [macosxhints.com]
    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/16780 [macupdate.com]

    By the way, the Apple startup sound is more akin to the PC Bios Boot-Beep. It's a hardware test, and it will play a different sound if there is a video card failure or ram failure, something which prevents the system from reaching the GUI.
  • Re:Uh, Macs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2006 @08:58PM (#16021089)
    You can always just hold down the mute button during boot and it won't make the noise (at least I think, it's been awhile since I last restarted). You then let go of the mute button and it will return you to your pre-determined volume level while it's finishing booting.
  • by WoLpH (699064) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:05PM (#16021132)
    Not just the startup sound, but all of the sounds, like I want to hear if I click my mouse, my mouse can make that sound on its own, and I don't need a sound every time one of those alert buttons pop up, they are on top anyway so I'll see them, right?

    But then again, with OSX it isn't possible to disable the startup sound either (or so I've heard) so if people would make a fuss about this, then why not continue at apple?
  • "Did you know (Score:2, Informative)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:16PM (#16021194) Journal
    that Sony has a built in sound?" he said. "Did you know that Toshiba has one?"

    Ill bet nobody knew the Mac has one. Just in case that hasn't been beaten to death already.
  • by megaditto (982598) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:18PM (#16021212)
    In Terminal.app do
    #man nvram

    Of course to actually change something (e.g. a bootup OF password) you technically need to become root.
  • You've heard wrong. Just set the volume to 0. Shutdown. Press the power buttun and the machine starts silently (well, at least the laptops do -- I don't know about desktops).
  • by Skippy_kangaroo (850507) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:28PM (#16021258)
    But OS X users don't restart their computers, so the point is moot.

    I rarely shut down my MacBook Pro or the Powerbook I used before that - I just put it to sleep by closing the lid and open the lid the next time I want to use it.

    I only have to restart because of the occasional system software update that requires a restart. Otherwise I'm golden.
  • Re:Bottom line (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:31PM (#16021275) Homepage
    Mozilla Firefox is a counter-example to this argument. There are about a bazillion things you can change by entering "about:config" in the url bar. The vast majority can't be changed via the menus and thus don't clutter the UI. Yet they're readily available for anyone who does want to change them.
  • by GizmoToy (450886) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:38PM (#16021313) Homepage
    You don't even have to mute it before you shut down. You can shut the laptop down with the sound on. When you press the power on button, start holding down the Audio Off/Mute button on the keyboard. Hold it until you see the Apple. Bingo. No startup chime, and sound is still enabled (or disabled, whatever it was before) once you get to the desktop.
  • by MCSEBear (907831) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:42PM (#16021336)
    That sound lets you know your hardware has done the Mac equivilent of a POST. (Power On Self Test) PC Hardware beeps to let you know it has done it's POST too. Although you can set a start up sound in MacOS to let you know the OS has booted, one is definitely not forced upon you.
  • by Above (100351) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:42PM (#16021337)
    It's not manditory, and I believe it works the way most "non-geeks" would expect.

    It follows the software volume setting from when you turned off your Mac.

    You can also mute it by holding F3 while booting your Mac, which on any Apple keyboard has the "mute speaker" icon, which is also how you mute the speaker in software.

    There are also many free utilities that can disable it for you.

    I suppose using Google to search for "mac startup sound mute" and hitting I'm feeling lucky was too hard. The result is pretty clear....

    http://homepage.mac.com/geerlingguy/mac_support/ma c_help/pages/0025-startup_sound.html [mac.com]

  • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:47PM (#16021365) Homepage Journal
    Obviously what he meant was that most modern laptops do not have potentiometers, but software volume controls. But then again, why am I feeding an AC troll?
  • Re:Obvious Answer (Score:3, Informative)

    by hoggoth (414195) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @09:50PM (#16021379) Journal
    Then the RIAA gets you for using this piece [wikipedia.org] without a license!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2006 @11:25PM (#16021797)
    Broadcast automation software -the thing radio stations use to play commercials, news clips, pre-recorded programs, etc- uses the audio line-out to feed the sound to the transmitter.

    The sound can't be disabled because that's the whole point of having the automation software in the first place.

    Any bleeps or bloops or Windows logo noises will get picked up and passed along with the program material and broadcast to the five people still listening to broadcast radio. Who the hell wants to hear Windows sound effects on their radio? All that stuff has to be turned off or killed or deleted or something, leaving a pure program audio feed on the line-out.

    The same goes for offline audio workstations, such as one I have in my home. The boot noise is not so much an issue for me, but I can't have sound effect-equipped dialog boxes ruining my work. Right now, this is easy to deal with in XP.

    If Vista makes this impossible, then they've just closed the upgrade door on themselves. What I do now in XP, I can also do in linux and I will make that move if I have to do that to get the recordings I need. Honestly, XP Pro works so well for me right now, I can't see any reason to move to Vista.
  • by mr_zorg (259994) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @11:25PM (#16021800)
    There is this StartupSound Preferences Panel [biglobe.ne.jp] that allows for more control over the startup sound...
  • by xerxesdaphat (767728) <xerxesdaphat.gmail@com> on Thursday August 31, 2006 @11:42PM (#16021864)
    No I think you'll find on most laptops that that Fn+F11/F12 or whatever it might be actually does generate a key event; they work exactly the same as multimedia keys on desktop keyboards, the only reason they do it with Fn key is to save keyboard area. This is certainly the case on my laptop (which is by no means cheap or offbrand), and on nearly all laptops that I've seen which lack the wee little potentiometre setups.
                    My laptop is permanently muted anyway; who the hell listens to sounds coming out of your laptop speakers? Sounds like arse. And even when the headphones are plugged in, you still get major interference from the integrated sound chip.
  • by jafac (1449) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @11:43PM (#16021869) Homepage
    Yeah, there's this nasty BITCH of a mechanism called Windows File Protection - where many of the common system files have backup copies in a hidden subdirectory called dllcache. If you delete the system copy, the os "detects" it (via a filter-driver), and copies the backup from dllcache.

    In some cases, the fix is to simply delete the dllcache version - if what you're trying to do is delete the file. But there's also an added level of hackery for a subset of these protected files, because they're also redundantly backed up in a .CAB file in dllcache - and that .CAB file has a manifest that has checksums and digital signatures socked away in a jet database or registry hive somewhere - theoretically, one could ONLY update one of these files via the Microsoft Installer Service API.

    So for files that are protected with this extra level, no, it's not really possible to change them via hex editor. I know that there used to be hacks in 2000 to disable WFP. I also know that in 2002, Microsoft did not have the expertise, in house, to answer a developer support question on WFP behavior (for a developer of BACKUP software - ie. "what happens if I restore the system to a previous version via backup software? - answer: nasty stuff. Which is why imaging software became a very popular way of backup and restore windows desktops).

    No - I know that guys like Marc Russinovich probably have a much better understanding of how WFP works. But this is my understanding after having to deal with it. Frankly, in the past few years, when I've had to remove spyware and malware from systems, there's an eerie resemblance in self-protection techniques between WFP and malware.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:00AM (#16021931)
    Actually, my Tecra has a hardware dial that's software controlled. Same thing for their Qosmio line.
  • by gameforge (965493) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:03AM (#16021942) Journal
    I own an IBM ThinkPad T42 (One of the last ThinkPad's before Lenovo bought them).

    The volume control is three separate buttons, and they work immediately even while it's booting (shutdown unmuted, push mute on the IBM logo screen during POST, and it boots muted). Same with the Fn keys which adjust the LCD contrast and etc.

    Also, the speakers on it actually sound pretty good (no bass, but very clear). They're in front of the keyboard, but they're actually under the very front edge of the case pointed at an angle at the table; the effect is, when it's on a table, you hear it even better. It still sounds nice and clear on other surfaces too, including your lap. They're good enough for playing games, as well as most music IMHO.

  • by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:06AM (#16021959) Homepage Journal
    I think bickering like that between the AC and it's parent is pointless, but this is dumb.

    Create a new text file called test.txt, or whatever. Put it somewhere. Put some unique text in the file. Use the search feature to search inside of files for that bit of text. It finds it. Now, rename that file to test.java, or anything with a .java extension. Search again. Broken.

    Not broken.

    File searches in XP are done with file-type handlers. This is actually a pretty neat idea because it allows users to search for content in specially-formatted, or even binary files, because a DLL is handling the search. Programs register their handlers when the user installs them.

    Windows ships with a generic plain-text handler, but it only knows about a limited number of file types (file extensions). By adding additional file extensions to a specific registry key you can tell this handler to work with any other kind of file (java, cs, css, whatever). The only negative is that there is no simple GUI to get it done, though there are some WSH scrips available [petri.co.il] to do it for you. Alternatively you can configure the indexing service to index all file types, not just ones it knows about and this does have a GUI.

    If you qualify a bug like this as meaning the software is broken, then it's unlikely you'll find any software that isn't.
  • Re:Uh, Macs? (Score:4, Informative)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:11AM (#16021990)
    Actually the startup chime obeys the system volume. If you need to have a "quiet" start and your volume wasn't shut off on shutdown, you can hold down the "mute" button as you boot and that will squelch the chime. If you are into esoteric settings or you have a special need to kill just the startup chime, install this third party utility [biglobe.ne.jp], which allows you to set the startup chime volume directly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, 2006 @12:17AM (#16022011)
    twitter, please read this carefully. Following this advice will make Slashdot a better place for everyone, including yourself.

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    • Avoid hyperbole and unsubstantiated claims at all costs. It's unprofessional and will result in unproductive discussions.
    • A thoughtful, well-reasoned response to a posting will not only provide insight for your readers, but will also increase their respect for your knowledge and abilities.
    • Don't bite if offered flame-bait. Too many threads degenerate into a "My O/S is better than your O/S" argument. Let's accurately describe the capabilities of Linux and leave it at that.
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    • Respect the use of other operating systems. While Linux is a wonderful platform, it does not meet everyone's needs.
    • Refer to another product by its proper name. There's nothing to be gained by attempting to ridicule a company or its products by using "creative spelling". If we expect respect for Linux, we must respect other products.
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    • Don't insist that Linux is the only answer for a particular application. Just as the Linux community cherishes the freedom that Linux provides them, Linux only solutions would deprive others of their freedom.
    • There will be cases where Linux is not the answer. Be the first to recognize this and offer another solution.

    From http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/docs/HOWTO/Advoca cy [ibiblio.org]

  • by tomatoguy (545272) on Friday September 01, 2006 @01:27AM (#16022244)
    Might be easier for King Crimson and Robert Fripp fans I suppose, as Fripp is responsible for "Windows sounds" according to http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=1518 53 [msdn.com] and http://www.krimson-news.com/2006/08/25/the-fripp-s ound-in-windows-vista/ [krimson-news.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, 2006 @02:26AM (#16022405)
    On my Mac it's all controllable by the user.. indeed any mac running os x afaik (haven't checked out os 9 and before to this depth). And there's even a beaufitul simple preference pane you can install at http://www5e.biglobe.ne.jp/~arcana/index.en.html [biglobe.ne.jp]

    It's not that Apple can do no wrong, but that they don't try to imo. :D
  • by Pfhorrest (545131) on Friday September 01, 2006 @02:37AM (#16022437) Homepage Journal
    Maybe he just used up the last of his mod points elsewhere in this thread and is posting as AC so as not to undo said moderation...
  • Re:Another Thought (Score:3, Informative)

    by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Friday September 01, 2006 @03:26AM (#16022553)
    Why not simply go in and delete all those stupid .wav files? Mandatory or not, Winbloze can't play it if it's not there.

    The sound could be directly embedded in the DLL.

  • by Saint Fnordius (456567) on Friday September 01, 2006 @04:29AM (#16022756) Homepage Journal
    Well, in the Mac side of life, it was a sign that the ROM had loaded properly, that the RAM test was successful, all that wonderful stuff that appears as text on BIOS-based computers. If one of the tests failed, then a different noise was heard.

    Historically, the startup sound is due to the legacy of a bell or beeper being more reliable than a monitor. The beep was available as soon as power was turned on, but monitors had a few seconds until the tube warmed up, et cetera. The bell and later the speaker were more robust, so you knew the computer was running even if you didn't get a picture on the CRT screen.

    I think if the startup sound in Vista is non-deactivatable, then the most likely cause is due to programmers capitulating at getting the sound controls activated before the sound starts, or because somebody insisted that since Microsoft payed some bigname composer to make this one sound, they want to make sure everybody hears it (maybe Jim Composer insisted upon it in his contract).
  • by John Betonschaar (178617) on Friday September 01, 2006 @04:52AM (#16022818)
    Just hold the mute button on the keyboard while booting. Voila, problem solved...

    Replacing 'the sound file' like some people suggest is impossible I think. AFAIK the sound comes from ROM.
  • by geggo98 (835161) on Friday September 01, 2006 @06:00AM (#16022952) Homepage
    The Mac chime is a part of the BIOS.

    To be more precise, it is part of the Open Firmware. The word "Open" in Open Firmware [wikipedia.org] doesn't mean the firmware is open source, but that it has an open API. Thus one can manipulate the firmware using this API without having to deal with a proprietary BIOS screen. E.g. the

    nvram
    command line tool on Mac OS X uses this API to manipulate settings of the firmware while the operating system is running.

    To disable the startup chime just execute

    nvram boot-volume=0
    on the command line, e.g. in the Mac OS X Terminal application. StartupSound.prefPane [biglobe.ne.jp] and TinkerTool System [bresink.com] use similar techniques to disable the startup chime.

    So the startup chime of the Open Firmware isn't mandatory, but it is not very well documented, how to disable it. From a sophisticated platform like the Mac, I would expect an easily accessible control in the system preferences, not some thirdpary add-ons or obscure acrobatic on the command line; but perhaps I'm just spoiled over the years with OS X.

  • by TomC2 (755722) on Friday September 01, 2006 @06:55AM (#16023123)

    Just today I walked into the "Maximum Quiet Study Area" for our univerisity's library, and popped open my laptop and turned it on. My gkrellm instance sounded my "alert" sound (which is actually very rare, the load was too high from the boot apparently), and I rushed to hit the mute button.

    The startup sound on Vista would be before any multimedia keys are registered if it's at all like XP is, and that wouldn't have worked. Laptop speakers don't have volume control!

    Get yourself a bare 3.5mm jack plug connector to insert into the headphones socket. Then if you want to mute, just insert it into the socket and it will mute the main speakers and send the sound the headphones it thinks are connected to the connector.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, 2006 @06:59AM (#16023139)
    The GP was correct. He was referring to the fact that Mac's startup sound is in the firmware and cannot be changed by default, whereas the windows 'startup sound' is controlled by software that comes with the operating system.

    Yes, yes, of course you can simply press and hold down the mute key while starting up each and every time. But if you have your Mac set to come on automatically at 5:30am each morning, and you have $300 speakers attached to it, you can wake the entire house. Why close down at night and start up fresh each day? Because there are a myriad of things that only start working right again once you restart the Mac. And given Tiger's extremely fast start time now, it's one of the easiest and fastest ways to repair all sorts of glitches.

    Anyway, the first thing I install on my G5. It's a cool little freeware called StartupSound.prefPane (http://www.versiontracker.com/php/search.php?mode =basic&action=search&str=StartupSound.prefPane&plt %5B%5D=macosx&x=0&y=0).

    You can set your startup sound to any level you want, including muted, which is what I do - but you must use 3rd party software to do it.
  • by gerddie (173963) on Friday September 01, 2006 @07:28AM (#16023252)
    There [macupdate.com] you go - never heard a startup sound since.
  • by Like2Byte (542992) <Like2Byte@@@yahoo...com> on Friday September 01, 2006 @07:57AM (#16023355) Homepage
    I own an HP Pavilion. It has 3 distinct MPBs for volume (down, mute, up - in that order). However, they're software controlled. If I'm starting up and the windows sound plays I've got to wait until the load is done in order to change the volume. Very annoying.
  • by scdeimos (632778) on Friday September 01, 2006 @07:59AM (#16023362)
    It's not hard...
    Step 1: cacls {TheFile} /g Administrator:F
    Winlogon doesn't run as Administrator and so won't be able to load the file. WFP doesn't run as Administrator and so won't be able to replace the file.
  • Re: Defenestration (Score:2, Informative)

    by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Friday September 01, 2006 @08:00AM (#16023365) Journal
    (Wikipedia) An alternative modern usage of the word:

    Defenestration has become popular as a term for switching from MS Windows to Linux or another operating system [5]. It is claimed that this usage originated in the University of Helsinki in the mid-1990s.

    Steve Ball, Group Program manager: "...Windows Vista should present a common, and beautiful, face to the world."

    Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer: (Paraphrased) "...Defenestrate, Defenestrate, Defenestrate, Defenestrate, Defenestrate, Defenestrate, Defenestrate, Defenestrate."

  • by HRH King Lerxst (79427) on Friday September 01, 2006 @08:31AM (#16023507)
    The simplest way is to just mute the computer, now you would have had to do this before you shut down...it's not really an issue since Mac OSX users rarely need to re-boot.
  • by Palshife (60519) on Friday September 01, 2006 @09:00AM (#16023658) Homepage
    Your Mac will start up silently if you had it's volume muted before shutting it down or restarting it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, 2006 @11:57AM (#16024959)
    No, the normal Mac startup noise is a very short clip that plays right when you hit the power button, denoting that the hardware has passed its self-diagnostics. Unlike on PCs, where you get that very gay piano clip for Windows XP, and another piano clip when you turn it off. Then again, XP looks like Fisher Price vomited on the screen, so that's the kind of cheese we should expect from Redmond.
  • by bheer (633842) <rbheer@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday September 02, 2006 @01:26AM (#16028766)
    I have no idea why no other brands do this, but having an actual volume control is extremely useful. I hardly ever touch windows' horrible software volume control and just leave it at maximum.

    Which is why Vista's volume control is actually useful - it can control volume per app [msdn.com] (thanks to its new audio stack) ... no more getting an earsplitting jingle when your mail arrives because you set the volume to max on that movie you were playing.

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