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
How A Solar Storm Sounds
The powerful waves of high-energy particles that are released from the sun during solar storms can wreak havoc on near-Earth communications. But their bombardment can also be converted into digital music, as this video out of the University of Michigan demonstrates.
Previously: NASA’s SOHO satellite gets overrun by a solar storm, GIF looks like a snow globe.
Shuttles, space stations, moon missions, beeps/bloops/blips … the whole sha-bang!
These are official releases from NASA for use in your own remixes, available in MP3 and M4R format.
Go forth and get creative …