It was late, everyone else long asleep. I was walking between the dining table and the kitchen counter (not a very wide space) when, from the counter-top, I heard a soft little discrete clinking sound, some electronic device wanting attention. It would not be surprising for such a thing to be found on our kitchen counter, but I didn’t recognize the sound. It would be a little more surprising, but not very, if the device on the counter were unknown to me. So I turned back and around where I could see the counter, which was only moderately cluttered, and spotted no electronics at all aside from a couple of battery chargers. They multiply like bunny rabbits when you’re not looking, producing slightly variant hybrids that don’t work with whatever needs charging next; then the original wanders away. But I digress. I was puzzled but decided to let it pass, and returned to my original errand. Soft discrete clink. I looked again: cookie jar, bottle of wine, butter, chargers, extension cord draped over the back of the counter, toaster. Well, whatever. Turn around, step, clink. Wait a second, there’s a pattern. I was brushing the cord and its end was swinging against the wine bottle. It sounded amazingly like a friendly alert envisioned and sculptured by a spiky-haired User Experience engineer in Shibuya. Real imitating fake, there you go.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: (Feb 17 2008, at 16:58)

Can you record that and eMail it to me? Please?


From: Joshua Marinacci (Feb 18 2008, at 09:15)

I recently realized that I have too many gadgets who's beeps sound the same. Yesterday it was my fridge letting me know that the door was slightly ajar. As much as I hate to admit it, there is only one solution to this beep similarity problem: downloadable ringtones for all gadgets. :(


From: Josh Peters (Feb 18 2008, at 11:57)

@Joshua, of course, by saying there's only one way to solve a problem you invite upon yourself many replies :)

I'd love to see a Growl for the home.


From: Carolyn (Feb 19 2008, at 04:28)

Clink: that’s my portmanteau word for “click on the link”, but I digress. :-)


author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
February 17, 2008
· The World (148 fragments)
· · Puzzling Evidence (15 more)

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