But what about those of us that want that old school floppy drive initialisation sound on POST?
Not all of us are youngsters that grew up with hard drives.
The best way to make a sluggish old computer quicker is to replace spinning rust with some flash chippery. The snag is that loses part of the experience: the sound. It doesn't need to be a purpose-made SSD. In fact, right now, The Reg FOSS desk has a smallish CF card and an adapter to turn it into a 2.5" drive, waiting for a …
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I could have seen a use for this... for real. Years ago when I got my first SSD, I would launch an app and think "I did click it, didn't I?" Lots of slow launching apps didn't have user feedback and I'd become used to hearing the churn of the HDD as the sign it was doing something. Windows now has the "waiting" circle thing next the pointer when launching something, but for the early SSD years this clicker could have been an alternative.
> I'd become used to hearing the churn of the HDD as the sign it was doing something
New laptop doesn't even have a disk access light, disks are SSDs, so I have absolutely no way to know if it's frantically doing something, doing nothing, or dead and decomposing. Very frustrating, and I'd love to tell the
cretin designer who decided to drop the HD light my personal opinion. Usability? We've heard of it.
> Task Manager on modern versions will show you disk access usage. On Linux iowait does the same.
Thanks but that's highly impractical. All I want is to know if something is indeed going on when I expect something to happen. Is the program taking its sweet time or did my request go unnoticed? Was there an error the programmer was too lazy/cheap to create a message about? Is something else currently running and slowing the whole laptop down?
Yes, I could have a separate window showing me at all time what's running, but a laptop's screen space is too precious to be wasted that way.
BTW, the best tool for doing this in Windows would be Sysinternals' DiskMon.
As I process audio, I've spent a lot of time, money and ingenuity making my workspace as quiet as possible (large slow fans in the computers, antivibration pads on the case sides, recording studio wall clock, wall padding and all the rest). So the last thing I'd want to do would be to spend hard earned bucks on something that makes gratuitous noises.
And in any case my HDDs don't click, they just hum gently.
"As a child growing up in the eighties I had the joys of loading from cassette with the audio repeated by a piezo transducer.
Team Spectrum Always."
Team MSX (remember that ?). It was always a royal PITA whenever, after half an hour of reading a cassette, you had an error and had to restart !
Kids these days, can't appreciate how lucky they are to have never encountered this ...
"Team MSX (remember that ?). It was always a royal PITA whenever, after half an hour of reading a cassette, you had an error and had to restart !"
You had it lucky... 3 hrs of typing on a ZX81 and the rampack would wobble and .. its gone!
Anyway... back to using the steam hammers to forge every single bit, then a 12 mile walk home in the snow....
AND yes its uphill
I would imagine the behaviour of the stepper motors in response to commands to the FDD controller (Paula?) would be relatively predictable, hence the people behind UAE able to link sounds to that. Generating the sound of the motor, that's somewhat trickier. Samples? Will never quite be right. And synthesis? I guess possible, but what a use of a programmers time!!
The Big Mess o' Wires Store  is excellent if you are involved with Macs before 1998 & Apple IIs.
With the Floppy EMU, one can store floppy images on it and boot from it. It plugs into the floppy port.
It saves a lot of hassle if your floppy drive needs re-greasing or repair or simply if your 30 year old floppy is not as up for the task as it once was.
Anyone working with floppy images on these machines ought to check out the Floppy EMU and the Yellowstone.
I have tried the Yellowstone yet.
Back in the 1980s when we made what must have been one of the world's first remote file access systems we had a similar problem -- fetching stuff from the server took about the same time as from a local floppy, but without any indication that anything was happening. So we got the PC's speaker to produce click-clunk sounds whenever a network drive was being accessed.
Back in the day, the 1401 jockeys on the business side of the "computer center" (A porta-shed) got a program to play music via RFI modulated by the length of data in "MOVE" instructions. Not to be outdone, the 1620 pilots on the "engineering" side reverse engineered the code, ported to the 1620, and added a percussion section, issuing appropriately timed "seek" commands.
It may help to know that these were all community-college students, with a certain amount of youthful enthusiasm. And spare time...
(The practical side I have mentioned before. Having a reliable "audio signature" to track the behavior of the code allowed us to leave the machine room for next door while a longish task was running, secure in the knowledge that the distinct whine of the "waiting for next console command" state would cue us to put our parkas on and go start the next job.)
For completeness (sound from unexpected computer systems) I must mention Ken Shirriff's blog entry about using a printer for music: