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Re: what the beep? - a very strange bug

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg74528] Re: what the beep? - a very strange bug
  • From: roland franzius <roland.franzius at>
  • Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 05:20:07 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Universitaet Hannover
  • References: <eu1ri7$l0t$>

Matt Enlow wrote:
> Just the other day I noticed some very strange behavior in Mathematica.
> Whenever I received an error/warning message, it would display the
> message, then completely freeze for a full 15 seconds, after which it
> beeped--but not its normal beep, a much more "primitive", Atari-like
> beep--and un-froze. And everything's fine again. It would do that for
> every warning message cell. Display, 15-second freeze, strange beep,
> unfreeze.
> I then noticed that this would happen WHENEVER a beep was supposed to
> occur, such as typing in a mismatched grouping construct (like
> "(2x+3]"). It would freeze for 15 seconds, then strange-beep and
> unfreeze. So my guess was that it was spending that 15 seconds looking
> for the sound file to create the standard beep, not finding it, and
> giving up and going with some kind of "default beep". I searched all
> help files and online for some kind of a clue as to how Mathematica
> goes about producing its actual "beep" sound, with no luck.
> I tried re-installing Mathematica, thinking that maybe the sound file
> would be replaced, but the behavior did not change! I am baffled.
> Maybe it's really a Windows sound I am missing, that Mathematica just
> co-opts? (Oh, I'm running v5.2 of Mathematica on Win XP Home Edition,
> SP2). Any ideas/insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Seems to me that the warning beep is generated via hardware interrupt. I 
once had a gateway solo notebook that produced a standby stop because 
the beep seemed to be piped to an extra hardware shutdown address for 
swapping cd and floppy. Microsoft didnt support that adress under win2k.

Go to menu/edit/preferences/global/message options and switch off the 
warning beep.


Roland Franzius

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