Be quiet!

This Friday I entered into battle with my new work laptop, and came out victorious.

It just wouldn’t shut up.

The Windows startup sound is allegedly composed/designed by Brian Eno — I can appreciate the coolness of that, but I can’t accept that every time I boot my machine it should scare me senseless playing a chaotic tune.

I’ve taken to choosing the No sounds theme in Control Panel to get rid of surprises like that, but on Friday the laptop started its counter-attack. Whenever I received an e-mail in my newly configured Outlook, the PC speaker went ”Plunk” at an embarrassing volume.

Browsing around the Outlook settings I finally found the ”Play a sound” checkbox, and unticked it. Then, all of a sudden I got an IM, and there goes the ”Plunk” again. I had no idea, but apparently Windows Messenger is configured to play a sound whenever a message is received. It turned out to be a group conversation, so plunking was plentiful.

Then someone gave me a tip I never want to forget: the PC beep can be disabled. Apparently, it’s powered by its own dedicated driver, called beep.sys, that can be disabled from Device Manager, provided you select ”Show hidden devices” on the View menu. Reboot, and your PC will not utter another beep.

So far, it looks like I’ve won the battle, but I’m sure the Dell is planning some sonic revenge.


Dear diary

I admit the last month has been quiet. But that’s OK, I’m fairly sure nobody is reading.

I try to pretend the reason I don’t have any time for writing is I’ve taken on too much to do.

This weekend we arranged the Swedish national championship of Wushu in Malmö. It was a hell of a lot of work, but I think it worked out. I was especially impressed by the guys from Renyi Wushu, they showed a broad range of techniques from traditional weapons to modern Changquan.

Now that that trouble is off my mind, I need to start thinking about my Øredev talk with Jonas. I think we have some good ideas for a presentation, but we definitely need to get going with producing the actual material.

Finally, I’m preoccupied with learning to drive. I think I’m just about getting it, but I need to practice some more before I try for a license.

Reading tip for this period: Ian McEwan’s Saturday. Excellent.

I think I have decided not to take on any more non-profit work for a while. I have private software problems to think about.