Re: An unusual but potentially very useful idea about sounds

Damien Sykes <damien@...>

Applications can get hardware level information, I.E. disk and ram access rates, CPU activity etc. Indeed, there is already a standalone program that plays sounds according to the level of access the computer is facing. It’s called Charm, and can be found at
I agree that this is something that could be useful to NVDA. Since there is an addon to monitor resource usage, I think it would be amazing to see the sound idea incorporated into that addon.

From: Gene
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2017 11:20 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] An unusual but potentially very useful idea about sounds
I expect interesting technical discussions will result from my suggestion as in the below message.  I hope my idea can be adopted and that it will be but I don't know if it is feasible or practical.
------ Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:01 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] An unusual but potentially very useful idea about sounds
This reminds me of precisely what I used to do in the 1970s with an AM radio
next to a PDP-8 minicomputer.

Reminiscences aside, though, do you think it's possible for NVDA to get this
sort of hardware-level information (and without interfering with it by the
very action of trying to find out what the CPU was doing before NVDA started
finding out what it was doing)?

I also wonder how specific this sort of information is to your design of
motherboard and sound card - another design which has components placed
differently (or better smoothing capacitors on the sound card's power supply
lines) might not be able to detect these fluctuations at all.


On Thursday 14 December 2017 at 11:46:06, Gene wrote:

> People who have followed my comments about sounds may believe that I don't
> see much use in sounds in general.  That isn't the case.  I think many
> sounds people rely on don't give much useful information or duplicate very
> easily gotten information already available but here is an idea for sounds
> that give unavailable information or information that is not conveniently
> available.
> Awhile ago, I got a new set of headphones that are unusually efficient.
> They are so efficient that I can hear the sounds of the processor working
> softly.  I was initially going to buy an adapter with a volume control to
> get rid of the sounds but I found that they were useful.  For example, if
> I am normalizing a file, the processor makes a certain kind of sound when
> I'm using the program I normalize with.  I don't have to check to see when
> normalization is finished nor do I need a specific sound, nonexistent, to
> tell me.  I just wait for the processor sound to stop.  The same when I'm
> copying long files.  I don't have to check periodically.  If I'm
> downloading something, again, my processor makes a certain repetetive
> sound.  I know when the download has finished by simply not hearing that
> sound any longer.  The same for uploads.  I can tell when my computer
> shuts down because the processor sound stops.  I can tell, if I issue the
> reboot command when the shutdown has ended.  That tells me that the reboot
> should be starting because a certain sound is heard.
> I can tell my computer is rebooting and hasn't gotten stuck because I can
> hear certain specific sounds during boot up.  Others may find other useful
> sounds.  Should there be a feature in NVDA or an add on that allows the
> user to hear such sounds, properly amplified, when desired?  They would be
> played through the sound card and heard over speakers or headphones,
> whatever is being used.  the function could be toggled on and off.
> Gene

Pavlov is in the pub enjoying a pint.
The barman rings for last orders, and Pavlov jumps up exclaiming "Damn!  I
forgot to feed the dog!"

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