Museum Preserves Long-Lost Tech Sounds

Museum of Endangered Sounds keeps noises from the '80s and '90s

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 1, 2012 12:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ah, for that clack of a 3.5-inch floppy disk fitting into its drive. Or the wistful piano tones of Windows 95 starting up. Anyone missing these retro tech sounds can visit the Museum of Endangered Sounds, where noises from Reagan- and Clinton-era technology are being preserved, the Washington Post reports. Three former advertising students dreamed up the site one night when they noticed how quietly one of them texted on his iPhone. "And we started thinking, ‘Are gadgets getting quieter?’ ” said one of them.

They launched the site in April as a gag, but found it resonated with Web browsers who liked revisiting an aurally bygone era. “That wasn’t intentional,” says one of the founders. “We just kind of drew on the technology we had growing up.” But they're not willing to preserve all sounds: The pop of a vinyl record needle or the clacking of an old typewriter may be old, they say, but aren't endangered. Note that the nerdy guy pictured on the site is none of the founders—just a friend who looked goofy enough to care about forgotten clicks, clacks, and computer chimes.

Remember the sound of a 3.5-inch floppy disk?   (Shutterstock)
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