Why do people think a noisy user interface is better

This is very annoying. Each and every time I install a new machine, the command shell has the beep enabled so that, for every ten keys I press, there is an audible “beep!”

Ok, who thinks this is a good default? Why do I want my machine beeping each time I use autocompletion? How is that helping me? What is the case for such a feature? You are in a meeting, checking up on some data, and the machine keeps on beeping? Why is that good? Ever?

I do not want software to make any noise unless I say so.

Now, if at least it was easy to turn off! For future reference, here is the cryptic command to turn off the bell:

xset b off

(I think this only works if you work inside an X server.)

To make sure that your PC speaker remains silent, do this:

rmmod pcspkr

To make sure that your PC speaker remains silent forever, add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist:

blacklist pcspkr

I also like to put the following in ~\\.inputrc:

set bell-style off

This seems to work with most shells.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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