No... apparently it's just the new Vista start-up sound... which you can't turn off!

I'm hoping that if the heated discussions over at the Scobleizer blog is anything to go by the Vista build team will pay some attention and make it optional. I for one don't want to have to listen to a creation by Robert Fripp every time I reboot my Vista machine.

I like to turn off all the sounds on my machine - I use it to listen to music so I don't want "ding dong" all the time, and I often start it up late at night or in meetings where I might not want to annoy those around me. My Vaio has an option to turn off the hardware startup sounds which I'm  really glad about.

My Media Centre has all the system sounds turned off (first time it did an automatic upgrade and reboot at 2am before I'd stopped the sounds we had the dog howling at the machine!) because - like the laptop - I want to choose what I listen to.

The arguments for this fixed startup noise are that Macs do it (yet, but it's a single tone, it's not played at full volume and it provides information on system health - which is actually useful), The xbox does it (but I'm not going to take that into a meeting or bedroom) and Sony and Toshiba computers do it (but on my Vaio it's a BIOS option).

The reasons given behind wanting this are to help with the "spiritual journey" (yeah, right. I'm still trying to work out what Steve Ball and the folks from the Audio Video Excellence team mean by that) and a branding exercise (ah, I can agree with that). Sadly I think the spiritual journey I'll go on every time I reboot in order to install a patch or security update (I'll wait on Vistas arrival to decide if it's going to be less dumb than WinXP or OSX and force me to reboot on a fairly regular basis to install service packs).

It's bad enough for me at home, but I hate to think how it'll fare in classrooms, lecture theatres, courtrooms, cube farms and boardrooms. I just hope that at the very least it's 'fixable' with a registry tweak, but better yet a control panel option. If only so Microsoft can claim kudos for having listened to it's customers!

Silence is Golden!