Collection of Macintosh death chimes

Originally published at: Collection of Macintosh death chimes | Boing Boing


Thank you for allowing me to recall my long repressed rage of seeing hours of carefully constructed academic writing being lost for eternity. That sound brings back far too much PTSD…


It’s a difficult thing to score. If you are showing someone’s computer crash in a movie, that’s a sad trombone, but if you’re the computer itself and you just let your user down, you don’t want to sound like you’re not taking it seriously, or worse, celebrating in their face.

The smarter move would be to have the computer whimper pathetically, to emphasize that it’s suffering more from this than you are.


I like the Eep! Eep! Noise Macs made when you did something foolish. I still make that noise when I do dumb things


Oh, yeah, the IIfx! I got to use on of those in 1990 while at the company headquarters to design/simulate an early 68040 industrial computer. It was like 20% faster than the IIcx, but cost twice as much. I think it was too reliable for me to ever experience the crash sound.

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once I worked at a support job where I managed to ruin a memory chip in the troubleshooting mac we had in the dept. First time I’d ever heard the dead mac sound legit. (there was some way you could trigger it manually, which I’d definitely done more than once before.) I had to go to a physical store and buy a new stick of ram out of pocket. I am now overly cautious with all components.

Good and bad memories.

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I only heard the car crash once, and - you’re right - it scared the hell out of me. Fortunately, I was able to fix it.

The IIcx one always felt like a mistake with that weird first note that feels out of place. The IIfx or LC ones are definitely my favorites.

There’s something so mournful and ponderous about those three notes, like it’s being lost in a fugue. I think I read somewhere that it wasn’t intended at all and is just a random sequence of bytes?

More than anything, it makes me think of the Game Over music from Buck Rogers on the Coleco Adam, an integral part of my childhood. Plays briefly right at the end of this video:

Ah, the Wild Eep! fun times.

The other fun part was forcing an LC to crash by hitting the NMI button at just the right time…

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The fx in IIfx stood for “fucking expensive” IIRC.

I still have a 9600 PowerMac tower…because of how much it cost new, I couldn’t ever bear to e-cycle it. It keeps the NeXT box and the A/UX server company in the closet.



Back in the day, when the office allowed us a little creative fun with our Macs, my copywriting team replaced the functional sounds with sound clips from the movie Aliens. Startup was Vasquez: “Let’s roooooock!” shutdown was, “Game over, man! Game over!” and my crash sound was Vasquez yelling, “Oh no!” I still have an ancient IIci with those clips installed.

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