orchestrated controversy

Further adventures in sound
(or, an example in considering fringe use cases)

Some years ago in a previous life when the skies were bluer, the “Spice Girls” were but a Dune tribute band (though, sadly not long enough ago that Snickers was still called Marathon) I had a Sun Sparc5 on my desk.

For reasons that escape me right now the Open Windows desktop clock had the ability to use a .wav file as an alarm, or in the case of this tale, hourly chime. I found this useful. My colleagues didn’t disagree so I’m going to assume they LOVED IT when I set it up with a audio sample so it would go off. Every hour. On the hour.

This worked well for about a week until one day a grumpy Security Guard turned up at my desk. At the time I was working for a multinational, big building, one of two buildings, in the middle of a city business park. So they employed a securty firm 24/7 to keep an eye on the place. “This PC here, yours sir?”. I felt like I was about to be rumbled for something. Turns out that while during the day, my hourly reminder could barely be heard 2 cubes over, in the middle of the night when security were patrolling the building that noise travelled a good deal further. The Security Guard proceeded to tell me how they heard what they thought was someone in the building and locked down the floor to try and catch an intruder.

It was a sample of Homer Simpson going ‘DOH!’. Every hour. On the hour.