That’s how Alexis Madrigal describes the distinctive sound of a dial-up modem connection sequence (which you can listen to up top). You really must read his write-up of what the sound means, a unique look at “endangered sounds”.
It’s a wonderful essay, both a piece of technology education (just what are those bleeps and squawks for, anyway?), and a journey of nostalgia for a certain generation (including me). When the Internet at Home™ was a new and novel thing, when you spent two hours installing that awful AOL or CompuServe portal to the tinyweb from a glossy CD-ROM included with your new computer, when you told your whole family that you were getting online so they wouldn’t pick up the phone (multiple phone lines were a luxury unto themselves), when you spent days devising the perfect instant messager screen-name only to find that it was taken (Solution: add “x_x” or “99”), or when you crawled USENET boards looking for the perfect cheats to beat that level of Duke Nukem that was just out of reach … this sound was our universal passageway to that world.
It’s meaning to us was a complete mystery, while at the same time being as familiar as any voice.
Anyway, go read it. The young will learn something new, the slightly less young will smile with remembrances infinite.
Source: SoundCloud / John Pemberton