Every morning our office wakes to a chorus of Apple Mac startup chimes. Or at least, it does occasionally when a few of us are doing more than just waking our machines up.
Well, that won’t last for much longer, as the latest iteration of Macbook Pros no longer chime, and the rest of the line-up will surely follow the same path. Just like iPhones and iPads, these new machines remain stubbornly silent, even when restarted.
From the New Yorker:
For me, the startup chime has always been a pleasing sound, suggesting a child suddenly striking the keys of a power chord or even the excited microprocessors themselves, getting organized, springing to life. The chime represents beginnings, fresh starts, new plans: the start of a pop song, the first turn onto the highway, the title page of an unread book. I often re-start my work iMac during the day to hear the chime—it’s a reset, the virtual equivalent of taking a shower.
The chime is not always a joy-filling sound, of course. There are the irritating, echoing chimes as you repeatedly re-start a wonky Mac, hoping that the computer will somehow repair itself. There is also the inconvenient chime: the 2 a.m. gotta-finish-the-paper that awakens a groggy roommate or the ill-timed chime that turns all eyes in the meeting room upon you. And then there is what you might call the “Bartleby” chime: another workday, another mountain of e-mail to answer. The chime has an evil twin—the so-called “chimes of death,” which indicate a severely damaged Mac—and the two work together with a wonderful duality. But now the chime looks headed toward obsolescence, joining the dearly departed sawing of a 5.25-inch drive and the happily departed high-pitched whine of a dot-matrix printer.