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How Computers Work: The Evolution of Technology, Tenth Edition by Timothy Edward Downs, Ron White

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Chapter 16. How Computers Tickle Your Ears

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The closest evolutional analogy to the beginnings of computer audio is the protozoan. Like some one-celled organism limited to doing the ultimate minimum to exist at all, early PC sound was a one-note beep. It could not be any less of a sound and still be a sound at all.

When you turned on your computer, if it made only one beep, all was well. If it beeped anywhere from two to five times in various patterns of long and short beeps, it was a warning something was wrong. You started rummaging through your stuff looking for a user’s manual that could decipher the beep codes. It didn’t matter much if you ...

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