unaccountable beeping

Fergal Daly fergal at esatclear.ie
Mon Nov 3 15:12:38 UTC 2008

Summary: nothing should make my computer beep without leaving a log.

Since about a week ago, my computer has started beeping occasionally.
I have no idea why, it doesn't seem to correspond with power or
network events or with any application that is running. It is annoying
and practically impossible to trace (I have replaced /usr/bin/beep
with a wrapper that logs ps auxwwf but whatever it is, it's not using
/usr/bin/beep, maybe there's some X hackery I could do but I don't
know what it is and I shouldn't have to).

It seems to me that anything that runs in the background and wants to
make a sound should do it through some central facility and provide a
text message so that

a - users can find out what is happening and why
b - hearing impaired people or people who just don't like random beeps
can have them appear as visual notifications

Given that


seems to be installed by default (at least I didn't select it myself)
should it be given a few more features (logging, supplying a reason,
looking up the ps tree to find out who is beeping). Then declare that
all beeping must be done via this command.

Of course that might involve a lot of changes to tools which beep,
maybe there's a smarter way. I don't really care how, as long as
beepers are held accountable,


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