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much like the transition from internal combustion to electric vehicles, the transition from mechanical to solid state computing has definitely led to a dearth of satisfying physical indications of "compute is happening". it's like going from the noisy feedback of a 1972 chevy nova to that of a prius.

feeling the purr of a hard drive in use, knowing what's happening by the feel of the head seeks under your fingertips, gone. ssd just sits there. feh.

best you can hope for are underequipped cooling fans in a laptop that spin up and sound like a jet when you start really doing shit

@djsundog fond memories of my sparc 20 that sounded like a jet engine warming up for takeoff.

@docskrzyk
Whirrr..... tweeeeee...

PEEP PEEDOODOODOODDUDUDUDUM

whirrr whirrum, whirrr whirrrum... Click!

Krrr krrrr rrr rrrr rhhh....

@djsundog

@djsundog not even that if you run Folding@Home and your laptop fans are spinning at full speed all the time

I guess at least you know something is wrong if they are *not* spinning

@Johann150 quite possibly that you've blown through yet another cheap fan bearing lol

@djsundog that is not something that has happened to me yet luckily. But sometimes there are some networking problems or whatnot where Folding at Home can not connect to the work servers and does not get a new assignment after finishing.

@djsundog When my ears were a lot younger and computers were a lot slower and power hungry, I could hear the electronics working, maybe on some harmonic. The sound of an infinite loop was really distinctive.

@dl whenever I'd get roped into selling candy bars or greeting cards or some other crap for a fundraiser for school I'd listen to hear if the big old television sets were on from outside houses to know if anyone was home

@djsundog I kind of purposefully set up the fan curves in my desktop to give me a quick ramp up when the computer's busy doing something.

That said, I have a floppy drive and zip drive in this otherwise modern PC for when I really want some nostalgic noises.

@djsundog I don't know how much I really miss the buzz of a floppy drive, or the screech of a dialup modem. But there are certain pleasant fan noises stuck in my head, perhaps from a Powerbook, or other 90s laptop.

@djsundog I wonder if you could just add some MEMS actuators or something along the edge of the case to bring that back.

@djsundog You need a sympathetic, vestigial spinning disk.

It bases it's movements loosely on SSD activity for that feel, but it doesn't actually do any data storage or retrieval.

@SetecAstronomy @djsundog Hmm I really like this idea . . . temping concept, just hook up some old HDD to some layer of logging and create abstractly equivalent grabage read/write operations, hell you could probably basically accomplish this by piping a filesystem log into the old HDD's block device ;)

@djsundog decades ago i wanted to write a program that mixed a bunch of industrial machinery noises based on various load indicators. like the "system activity" graphs some OSes have, but audio.

turned out i didn't know nearly enough about digital audio processing to make it happen

@djsundog I still don't know enough about digital audio processing :)

probably easier to find samples now than in 1997, though

@zwol no, but you know that going in this time around and have decades more experience teaching yourself things ;)

@djsundog Also @drwho was asking about blinkenlights. It oughta be possible to make fairly cheap grids of 64-256 LEDs blink with a raspi or arduino controller, based say on the output of 'top' on my server, but once it gets past one output line per LED I need an adult to draw a circuit diagram and youtube walkthru of making it.

@mdhughes @djsundog I just did a little looking around, and a couple of folks have made replicas of those display panels.

8 across by 32 down.

Seems like a keyboard-like matrix controller would be the best way of addressing the grid of LEDs.

I wonder how much power it would draw.

@drwho @djsundog Also, Sea-Tac Airport used to (pre-2001) have this black leather lounge with a wall of blinking lights that made noise, it was *fantastic*. Was originally interactive, I think, but by the time I saw it it was just a wall that beeped randomly.

@djsundog Or the beeping and whining an Atari made when loading from floppy disk.

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