Too Much Beeping

Too Much Beeping

Summary: But maybe I'm wrong and the printer manufacturers have done all kinds of studies and discovered that only a sharp, alarming beep will do. I hate to think that's the case.

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Something that drives Doc crazy is the amount of sounds emanating from some multi-function printing devices. We have one such machine (the brand shall remain nameless) in Doc's office that beeps so much it drives the nearby office workers crazy. Leave an original on the glass? Beep. beep, beep. Out of paper or toner? Beep, beep, beep. Paper jam? Beep, beep beep. Job completed? Beep, beep beep.

And we're not talking a pleasant tone here, we're talking the kind of annoying ring that usually signals your burrito is done in the microwave, or you've just entered your local 7/11. Doc believes these little annoyances are what contribute to job stress, and they are certainly distracting.

Of course, there has to be some way to indicate that something is wrong or to serve as a gentle reminder that you forgot your original. But I would think the sounds could be a lot more pleasant and less jarring. But maybe I'm wrong and the printer manufacturers have done all kinds of studies and discovered that only a sharp, alarming beep will do. I hate to think that's the case.

If you are a machine designer and know about these things, then explain to Doc why a simple and pleasant harmonious tone (like when you start up your computer) won't do the job. Do we really have to beep, beep, beep? It's enough to drive an office worker to distraction.

Topics: CXO, Data Management, Enterprise Software, Software, IT Employment

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6 comments
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  • RE: Too Much Beeping

    Well... Samsung does it a bit differently. When my washing machine (yeah, it is NOT in the office, but I guess the example stands) finishes its cycle, it does not beep. It plays a very nice classical tune (I am yet to find out which one is it, though). And you would think that outside is where you would need an "annoying" beep the most so it catches your attention, but lo and behold, I have never missed the end cycle precisely because this melody is what you least expect from a machine and it makes you turn around and listen. I do agree on office machine beeps. Some are just painfully loud or dull.
    mferrusca@...
    • RE: Too Much Beeping

      @mferrusca@... Sounds like Samsung has the right idea when it comes to alert sounds. The idea of classical music to signal the end of the print cycle is refreshing to say the least. Doc approves of this development and hopes it signals (no pun intended) a move to a more pleasant set of tones to alert printer users of various machine problems.
      DocuMentor (Doc)
  • RE: Too Much Beeping

    Interesting...
    DJK2
  • RE: Too Much Beeping

    Agreed! We have MFPs from 2 different manufacturers... one is just as you describe... but the other doesn't make any sound at all for alerts (well, technically, it will play a chirp, but it is so short and so soft that even when standing next to the equipment those with normal hearing capabilities can barely hear it). While the first one drives me nearly batty, unfortunately, it beats the alternative of having to 'watch the pot' the entire time... there has to be a happy compromise somewhere!
    Shirley A. Burns
  • RE: Too Much Beeping

    Every MFP I am aware of has the ability to adjust the volume of warning beeps - down to Mute. Talk to your copier rep, if he ever comes around after the sale.
    0426bert
    • RE: Too Much Beeping

      @0426bert
      Great advice. Next time I see our copier technician, I'll be sure to ask him to turn down the volume. A simple solution ??? thanks.
      DocuMentor (Doc)