Something’s beeping!

Something in my shoulder bag was beeping as I came into work this morning. It wasn’t a steady beep, just a faint, single beeeeeeep every three or four minutes.

It was driving me crazy. I looked at every gadget in my bag and couldn’t see anything going on with any of them:

  • Digital camera
  • Digital video camera
  • Palm Zire 72
  • iPod Nano
  • Two Sandisk thumb drives (they don’t even have the ability to beep)
  • Mobile phone

Nothing. None of them said or did anything when I looked at them, so I packed it all up and two minutes later I again heard “beep” from somewhere inside the bag.

At least that’s not as bad as when it happens in the middle of the night. How many times have I gotten out of bed at 4:00 A.M because something in the house is going “beep” but only once every six or seven minutes? That’s far worse because it keeps you up and you have so many more gadgets to check:

  • Three digital cameras
  • Two desktop computers
  • Laptop
  • Cable modem and wireless router
  • Two mobile phones
  • Three wireless landline phones
  • Two Palm Zire 72s
  • Two iPods
  • Five or more digital clocks
  • Three smoke detectors
  • Two component stereo setups
  • Radios all over the house

You need to stand in front of every gadget for five minutes to see if it’s the source of the beeping. Not a fun way to pass the wee hours.

Finally, I figured out what, in my bag, was beeping. It was my phone, making a beep I’ve never heard before. I hadn’t noticed when I checked earlier that the outside screen was showing an icon of a phone with an arrow pointing to it and a bunch of numbers. I open the phone expecting an explanation, but it went back to the regular screen and everything was normal again. I closed the phone, the mysterious message was gone, and it never came back.

That’s one of the problems with all of these gadgets. Each one behaves as if its the only one that matters. My phone, for example, asuming its the only thing I own that beeps, and then giving me a perplexing and unknowable message that disappears and never comes back. This is progress?

Oh, to think how hard life was before we had all these modern conveniences.

12 thoughts on “Something’s beeping!

  1. stone tablets are the way to go. scrape em for music, chisel a message and throw it for phone/email/whatever, chisel a note for yourself for a blog/diary/appointment, attach a little triangle for sundial time, chip a hole through it, peek with your eye and you have a framed photo. everything in one stone. i hear that crumpler is even making a bag for them.

  2. …Or how about this one: there’s a power failure (which is a twice-monthly, at least, occurrence in our nabe) and when it returns, the time everywhere is 88:88. Because as we know, that IS a time…! Dedicate the next 2 hours to walking around the house pressing buttons until your fingertips get red, sore indents…

  3. I work in tech and at home I’m as lo-tek as possible, for this very reason. I cant be bothered. When I got my first cell phone 2 years ago (only), it had an alarm clock feature. I got rid of my alarm clock. Why have 2 gadgets that do the same function? Oh and yes I got rid of the land-line based phone also. So one gadget replaced 2 techs. Works for me. Got a PS2 that plays DVDs… why keep the DVD player? Got rid of that also. only one machine instead of 2. This is the purpose of technology, simplification, not acceleration or accumulation.

  4. oups… forgot to add…

    so if something beeps. I got maybe 4 or 5 things to check, not 20 :)

  5. I recently realised that my phone does that everytime i receive a text message or missed a call. The beeping only stops once i touch any button on the phone. I think that may be what is happening to yours.

  6. I had one like this too many years ago. Several times, I fcould find myself awaken very early (like 6am ) in my bed with a strange feeling something had just beeped.

    Very weak stuff. 30 sec. I could hear from time to time, every week or so, when I was awaken at that time.

    I took me weeks to make sure there was really something, and more weeks to find out it was always very early, and always at the exact same time.

    So for a week, at the exact same time in the morning, I tried to wake up at the same time just before the beep. So every morning I had 30 sec to find out where from it was in my room. A weak, dampened beep. 30 sec is short. Frustation morning after morning…

    I finally nailed it to a sport/beach bag on the top of my dresser. My formerly lost watch that had been there since the previous summer (4 or 5 months ago)…


  7. Part way through reading this post, I thought “Hmmm… maybe Martine some how rigged this to get back at Blork for leaving the alarm clock on when he’s out of town on business”.

    Note to Martine & Michel: Don’t get any funny ideas.

    Glad to hear it was just your phone.

  8. I’m with Mare–I discovered the other day after tracking the beep for 5 minutes that my new refrigerator beeps if you leave the door ajar. Of course that’s a good thing but I’m just saying.

  9. My oven beeps, but only when the timer runs out.

    That’s pretty interesting about the fridge. But anything that beeps only once every few minutes is poorly designed. I wouldn’t have a problem with any of these beeps if they were continuous, or spaced only a few seconds apart. That way you could zero in on them. But you can’t locate the source of a beep that comes only once every five minutes!

  10. My at-home beeps have an additional quirk: they usually come from the Kid’s bedroom after he’s asleep, and they don’t wake him up even though they bother me from the next room. So I have to go in there and try to land my hand on anything electronic in the dark and bring it out to check…

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