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15 old computer sounds that take you back to the 90s

In the 1990s, there were certain sounds related to computers that we don't think about today, but that are deep in our memories. Let's go back to some computer sounds that you probably haven't heard in decades.

1. 56k modem connection

The noise of the modem connection varies depending on speed, modem brand, connection quality, etc. But today the 56k modem (the pinnacle of modem technology in the 1990s) is the best-remembered "modem screech". According to Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic the frequencies in modem screeching indicated various pieces of data that were transmitted over the phone line. "The frequencies of the modem tones represent parameters for further communication. In the beginning, for example, the selected modem plays a note that reads" I can go so fast, "writes Madrigal. “The sounds were not a sign that data was being transferred: they were the data that was being transferred. This noise was the analog world bridged by the digital. If you are old enough to remember, you still knew a world that was analog at first. "

2. Sound 3.5 "Floppy Drive

If you've ever installed software or copied a lot of files, you've heard it.

3. "Youve Got Mail" (AOL)

In addition to being a romantic comedy, the "You & # 39; ve Got Mail" sound was familiar to all AOL users. It was voiced by Elwood Edwards and recorded on a cassette deck in his living room. "My wife worked for a company called Quantum Computer Services that became AOL," Edwards told CNBC, "and in 1

989 she volunteered to Steve Case (19459028) and on a tape deck in my living room that I recorded [the iconic phrases] it was digitized into the software as a test and has continued to this day. "He seems to be a fan of standing behind a person's computer and pronouncing the iconic sentence.

4. Windows 3.1 Startup Sound

Tada! Only for a second, because in the past we couldn't afford to save space for fancier sounds.

5th Windows 95 start sound

Microsoft asked the musician / producer Brian Eno to create the Windows 95 start sound The result is a masterpiece.


If you had a Mac in the 90s, you heard a start signal … and hopefully you didn't hear the crash sound too often. It's surprising how different the startup sounds were, especially the AV model Macs (which had special audio / video hardware, hence the fancy sound).


ICQ is a chat application that was first published in 1996 and whose letters stand for "I Seek You". You will be surprised that the program, which had an abundance of funny sounds, from an "Uh oh!" For new messages and an honestly terrifying "chatLOL" laugh still exists today.

8. Windows 98 SE startup sound

This is fluid, but we still prefer the Windows 95 startup sound. It's just a classic.

9. QSound Demo

QSound was a 3D-like effect used in games and sound production in tons of 90s (for example, Madonna's Immaculate Collection was "mixed in QSound"). Here's a demo video showing different locations where QSound has surfaced – it sounds best with headphones.

10. The Hampster [Sic] Dance

This can best be seen in an archive on the original Hampster Dance website. But if your browser doesn't like this site, the video above is a loose approximation of the phenomenon of the late 90s, known as Hampster Dance . Let the gates of memory open. (And yes, the spelling "Hampster" is intentionally wrong.)

11. Dot matrix printer

If you had a hand-me-down printer in the 1990s (or needed a receipt on carbon paper), it sounded like this.

12. A PC and an inkjet printer from 1993 are launched

Listen to the POST beep (Power On Self Test), the cracking of the hard drive and the terrible clinking noises of the Epson Stylus 440. If you're wondering how a 1993 on the computer is running Windows 95 because this computer is still running today!

13. AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) Buddy Sounds

AIM, which went offline in 2017, was an AOL project designed to let people chat at work. There were a number of sounds – including a door opening when one of your friends went online and a door that closed when they left – that, when heard today, will evoke memories of epic chats and news from previous years .

14. Flying Toasters screensavers

After Dark offered some of the best screensavers in the world. "Flying Toasters" had an optional score with lyrics at the bottom. See 10 Previous Screensavers for more information.

15. Goodbye (AOL)

Together with "Youve Got Mail!" Elwood Edwards also pronounced this soundbite. In 2016 Edwards worked as an Uber driver; surely many of his drivers took a double picture when they got out of his car and he said "goodbye!"

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