Random beeps (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Wed, 17 Jun 2009

Random beeps

A couple of year ago I figured out how to make custom system beep sounds on Linux, like MacOS has done forever. But then I changed machines and somehow never got around to setting it up on any other machine.

But the Intel dual-Atom board doesn't seem to support a system beep -- there's no obvious place on the motherboard to plug in the connector going to the case speaker. How odd!

With the alternative being no beep at all, I dusted off my old blog post and went to see if Fancy Beeper Daemon kernel module still existed. Happily, it does, and it's up-to-date for current kernels, so all I had to do was download the latest and build it. Easy! Then I added "beep" to the list of automatically loaded modules in /etc/modules, blacklisted the pcspkr module using the /etc/modprobe.d/00local technique, and I was all set.

Except for the really important question: what sound to choose? I did a little web searching for free sounds and downloaded some samples to try out. Then I added a few bird calls from my Stokes Field Guide to Western Bird Songs CD, editing them in audacity to make them shorter and more appropriate for system beeps.

But I still couldn't decide on just one ... and why should I? I've really been enjoying my random wallpaper: every time I log in, I get a different desktop background. It's fun to see a new picture every day. Why not do the same for my system beep?

That's no problem, using the same randomline script I use for wallpaper. I just put this in my .xinitrc:

$HOME/bin/mybeepd `find $HOME/Music/beeps -name "*.wav" | randomline` &
and now I get a different beep sound each day.

Yesterday it was a loon. Today it's a cow mooing.

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[ 20:11 Jun 17, 2009    More linux | permalink to this entry ]