If we cannot find the sound we want to play, let's use the system speaker!



  • That is apparently what the dumbasses that made Outlook 2007 were thinking.

    I've been wondering for a while why my computer beeps whenever I get new mail in outlook, and this is the cause.

    If Outlook is configured to play a sound when a new email arrives but no sound is configured for the “New Mail Notification” or the “Default Beep” event in the Windows sound scheme, then the system speaker is used to provide feedback.

    What is this... I don't even...



  • @garrywong said:

    What is this... I don't even...

    ...see a WTF in this?



  • Why do you believe this is a WTF?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Why do you believe this is a WTF?
     

    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    That is, normally I always have my system on mute, but occasionally I'll have a Lync call and so plug in my headphones and unmute, then mute after I'm done. This tends to result in the 'beep' from my PC speakers (or headphones if they are still plugged in).



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    occasionally I'll have a Lync call

    That is a pretty big WTF, indeed.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    Ok; well that sounds like a genuine bug.

    But I still don't get why the OP thinks it's a WTF that if Outlook is told to make a noise when new mail arrives, Outlook makes a noise when new mail arrives.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    Is that because it uses the "PC beeper" system call instead of sending audio to a sound card? That ancient device is probably faked these days instead of using the piezo beeper (or even a 555 chip from memory). It operates outside the operating system volume control: more low level.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @too_many_usernames said:
    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    Ok; well that sounds like a genuine bug.

    But I still don't get why the OP thinks it's a WTF that if Outlook is told to make a noise when new mail arrives, Outlook makes a noise when new mail arrives.

    The fact that it uses the system speaker rather than piping it through the system's sound control panel is a pretty big WTF. I could see it in 1995 on a computer that didn't have any speakers other than the crappy internal one (and I've heard some pretty impressive sounds coming out of it), but if the computer has an audio output, the beep should be sent through that. AFAIK Windows' sound drivers don't know or care about the system speaker, so when an application accesses the system speaker it totally bypasses all volume controls and any other effects that the sound driver is supposed to provide.



  • @anotherusername said:

    . I could see it in 1995 on a computer that didn't have any speakers other than the crappy internal one (and I've heard some pretty impressive sounds coming out of it),

    Ken's Labyrinth had impressive sounds on my 386 before I got a sound card.

    @anotherusername said:

    so when an application accesses the system speaker it totally bypasses all volume controls and any other effects that the sound driver is supposed to provide.

    PC beeper is the lowest common denominator. I imagine the algorithm is like if (!playSound(filename)) beep (). If that filename is empty or invalid then playSound would return false. The "make notification" config would wrap the whole thing. It is windows doing the best it can. It knows the user must be notified audibly but it couldn't play the requested wave file.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @too_many_usernames said:
    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    Ok; well that sounds like a genuine bug.

    But I still don't get why the OP thinks it's a WTF that if Outlook is told to make a noise when new mail arrives, Outlook makes a noise when new mail arrives.

    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.



  • @lincoln said:

    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    But he's told outlook he does want noises! Where's the WTF?



  • @anotherusername said:

    The fact that it uses the system speaker rather than piping it through the system's sound control panel is a pretty big WTF.

    But it does run it through the sound control panel. First it looks for an email notification sound, and if it can't find one, then it looks for a generic notification sound, and if it can't find one then and only then will it engage the PC speaker. It says so right in the goddamned quoted text in the OP.

    @anotherusername said:

    AFAIK Windows' sound drivers don't know or care about the system speaker, so when an application accesses the system speaker it totally bypasses all volume controls and any other effects that the sound driver is supposed to provide.

    Ok; I don't know what decade you're in, but in modern computers there is no such thing as a PC speaker. It's emulated by the sound card.



  • @lincoln said:

    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    If he doesn't want to hear noises, why the fuck is it turned on in Outlook? He's obviously telling Outlook he does want to hear noises.

    For all Outlook knows, the notification sound in the control panel is blank specifically because he *wants* to hear the PC speaker. Software isn't psychic.



  • @Zemm said:

    [Windows] knows the user must be notified audibly ....
    Why must the user be notified audibly (or at all)? Put the mail in the inbox and notify the user audibly and/or visually if enabled; having the speakers muted means audible notifications are not enabled. Otherwise, STFU, and I'll check my mail when I feel like it.

    Edit: Oops, my bad. I was conflating this with the message about sounds when the speakers are muted.



  • @Zemm said:

    @lincoln said:
    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    But he's told outlook he does want noises! Where's the WTF?

    An application doing anything more than asking the OS to play whatever sound it has assigned for "New Mail Notification" is a WTF.

    Possible double WTF for the OS responding with a messages that are not distinguishable between "OS failed to do this" and "User says to stay quiet". Or alternately Outlook receiving both of those messages and responding the same way.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    But it does run it through the sound control panel. First it looks for an email notification sound, and if it can't find one, then it looks for a generic notification sound, and if it can't find one then and only then will it engage the PC speaker. It says so right in the goddamned quoted text in the OP.
    I meant the system's sound output channel, not the Sounds control panel. I'm not sure what the correct name for it is, but it's the default audio output device. In general, you expect the sounds your computer makes to go through that, so that you can use the Volume control widget. The PC speaker (or the sound card, if it's emulated by the sound card; it doesn't really matter which it is for the purposes of my argument) is a low-level hardware device that isn't affected by any of the drivers that are supposed to modify or control the system's audio output streams.@lincoln said:
    @Zemm said:
    @lincoln said:
    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    But he's told outlook he does want noises! Where's the WTF?

    An application doing anything more than asking the OS to play whatever sound it has assigned for "New Mail Notification" is a WTF.

    Well, it actually does exactly that, except that it says to play the "New Mail Notification" or (if that doesn't exist) the standard beep notification. Windows actually does the rest all by itself, so it's probably not Outlook's fault, but it's still a WTF. Any application that generates a standard beep noise is going to do this.



  • @lincoln said:

    An application doing anything more than asking the OS to play whatever sound it has assigned for "New Mail Notification" is a WTF.

    Honest question: how do you know Outlook is doing more than that, and the behavior described in the OP is Outlook behavior and not default Windows behavior?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @lincoln said:
    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    If he doesn't want to hear noises, why the fuck is it turned on in Outlook? He's obviously telling Outlook he does want to hear noises.

    For all Outlook knows, the notification sound in the control panel is blank specifically because he *wants* to hear the PC speaker. Software isn't psychic.

    Because it's enabled by default? Again Outlook doing anything other than generating a request to the OS is the WTF. The only possible scenario where it should keep trying is if the OS says there is no sound hardware installed and the standard notifications are unavailable (which is different than being unset).

    If Outlook doesn't want to rely on the OS's audio event settings, it should let the user pick alternatives instead of assuming everyone loves pc speaker beeps.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @lincoln said:
    An application doing anything more than asking the OS to play whatever sound it has assigned for "New Mail Notification" is a WTF.

    Honest question: how do you know Outlook is doing more than that, and the behavior described in the OP is Outlook behavior and not default Windows behavior?

    I don't, but it seems like it would be rather straightforward to test. I would say it seems unlikely that Windows is set up to cascade sound events in the case of events being unassigned. If that is the case, that just shifts the WTF from Outlook to Windows.



  • @lincoln said:

    Again Outlook doing anything other than generating a request to the OS is the WTF.

    What makes you think it is? I ask again.

    @lincoln said:

    I don't, but it seems like it would be rather straightforward to test.

    Oh I see, that little nugget came directly out of your ass, from which you pulled it.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @lincoln said:
    Again Outlook doing anything other than generating a request to the OS is the WTF.

    What makes you think it is? I ask again.

    @lincoln said:

    I don't, but it seems like it would be rather straightforward to test.

    Oh I see, that little nugget came directly out of your ass, from which you pulled it.

    Indeed. Not having much experience with programming for windows, I made a logical assumption and it was wrong.

    Anyway, I went and looked it up. When calling PlaySound() for a system event, there are apparently cascades set up should an event not be assigned. Using the "MailBeep" alias will play the sounds in OP's post in order until one of them is hit. This can be disabled with the SND_NODEFAULT flag, which Outlook is apparently not using.

    So I'll go with my revised statement and say that telling the OS "don't play a sound for this" and the OS responding with "k i'll play this other sound" is the WTF.



  • @lincoln said:

    Indeed. Not having much experience with programming for windows, I made a logical assumption and it was wrong.

    Blakeyrat wins again.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @lincoln said:
    Indeed. Not having much experience with programming for windows, I made a logical assumption and it was wrong.

    Blakeyrat wins again.

    Going to revise again. Combination wtf here with 1. Windows has a mechanism to make a noise for certain events regardless of what the user wants, and 2. Outlook uses it by default.

    Given all that, do you still think this is all fine and dandy?



  • I'm still waiting for the OP to explain why he thinks it's a WTF. I don't care what you think, since it's obviously all just pulled out of your ass.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I'm still waiting for the OP to explain why he thinks it's a WTF. I don't care what you think, since it's obviously all just pulled out of your ass.

    Is that your way of saying you don't have a counter argument, since I've provided actual info now?



  • lincoln - you should refer to this part of the quote in the OP: If Outlook is configured to play a sound when a new email arrives.

    I'd posit that TRWTF is the OP not configuring Outlook correctly and you lot somehow blaming the sound making on the computer after it has been explicitly told to make the damn sound by the user.



  • @dfcowell said:

    lincoln - you should refer to this part of the quote in the OP: If Outlook is configured to play a sound when a new email arrives.

    I'd posit that TRWTF is the OP not configuring Outlook correctly and you lot somehow blaming the sound making on the computer after it has been explicitly told to make the damn sound by the user.

    it's not an explicit choice - it's configured that way by default. op's explicit choice was to tell windows not to make a sound for a certain event. he could also tell outlook he really really means it that he doesn't want to hear about new mails, but that's redundant. if you have a dozen apps that call a specific system sound event, and you don't ever want to hear that sound, does it makes more sense to disable the system sound once or for a dozen apps individually?



  • Hey guys. Just popping in to say that my Chromebook notifies me when I recieve an email. And get this:

    When I mute my Chromebook, it doesn't ignore that setting and make sounds.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Hey guys. Just popping in to say that my Chromebook notifies me when I recieve an email. And get this:

    When I mute my Chromebook, it doesn't ignore that setting and make sounds.

    Yeah, same for my MacBook. TRWTF is Windows, as usual.



  •  @blakeyrat said:

    Ok; I don't know what decade you're in, but in modern computers there is no such thing as a PC speaker. It's emulated by the sound card.

    I don't know about laptops & brand PCs, but pretty much every custom built PC I have built even recently have had either PC speaker on the case (less common these days) or seperate one which came with motherboard (looks like this). I never connect it on my comps tho.




  • @Buzer said:

    I don't know about laptops & brand PCs, but pretty much every custom built PC I have built even recently have had either PC speaker on the case (less common these days) or seperate one which came with motherboard (looks like this). I never connect it on my comps tho.
    Regular motherboards still have PC Speaker connectors, but brand name OEMs usually don't (HP used to have a fairly large speaker in their computers, which would play both PC speaker beeps, and soundcard output, but they stopped including that a few years ago).



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I'm still waiting for the OP to explain why he thinks it's a WTF. I don't care what you think, since it's obviously all just pulled out of your ass.

    This is a wtf for me because
    1) I told windows not to play any system sounds.
    2) The computer's sound volume is muted.

    So after these two steps why would I expect a program to go outside the bounds of the operating system and do its own shit by directly accessing hardware to play stupid sounds?
    You believe that a program should be able to disrespect any settings or restrictions set on it by the operating system simply because the user said so. I don't.



  • @garrywong said:

    1) I told windows not to play any system sounds.

    No you didn't. You told it not to play any .wav files for system sounds, leaving the PC speaker as the only option.

    @garrywong said:

    2) The computer's sound volume is muted.

    Yes well, a) you didn't mention that in the OP idiot, and b) we've already discussed that and we all agree it's a bug



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @garrywong said:
    1) I told windows not to play any system sounds.

    No you didn't. You told it not to play any .wav files for system sounds, leaving the PC speaker as the only option.

    Tell me what other option in windows is there? No where is it evident that by setting the system sound scheme to be "no sounds" the hardware system speaker would be used to play certain sounds instead.

    @blakeyrat said:

    @garrywong said:
    2) The computer's sound volume is muted.

    Yes well, a) you didn't mention that in the OP idiot, and b) we've already discussed that and we all agree it's a bug

    Kindly restrain your adolescent testosterone levels. What makes you think that hurling insults is any way to communicate with other people?



  • @garrywong said:

    What makes you think that hurling insults is any way to communicate with other people?

    "It's the way we've always done it."



  • @garrywong said:

    Tell me what other option in windows is there? No where is it evident that by setting the system sound scheme to be "no sounds" the hardware system speaker would be used to play certain sounds instead.

    Just spend like .5 seconds unclicking the checkbox in Outlook. It's RIGHT THERE. You ALREADY FOUND IT.

    @garrywong said:

    Kindly restrain your adolescent testosterone levels. What makes you think that hurling insults is any way to communicate with other people?

    What makes you think that omitting the only detail that makes this a WTF is any way to communicate with other people? The only thing anybody was saying about this for a full day was, "how the heck is this a WTF?" and that's because you forgot to tell us.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Just spend like .5 seconds unclicking the checkbox in Outlook. It's RIGHT THERE. You ALREADY FOUND IT.

    Yes, but that's not the point. That makes Outlook not beep. It doesn't make Windows not beep.

    If I set the "Default Beep" sound to "(None)" in the Sounds and Audio Devices Properties control panel, I could reasonably expect Windows not to make a sound when the Default Beep event is triggered. What actually happens (if the application allows the event to cascade up if no sound is assigned) is that it beeps the system speaker, or emulates it through the sound card. So, now, if I go to the Master Volume widget and adjust the Master Volume slider, it triggers a Default Beep event to show how loud it is (at least in XP; I don't know if the Windows 7 one uses the Default Beep sound). If the Default Beep sound is (None), Windows decides to beep the system speaker instead. And it beeps at full volume no matter where the volume slider is (even if it's muted).

    That is a bug, and it's an annoying enough bug that there are tons of results on Google for "how do I disable the default beep" with the best solution being "create a silent .WAV and use it as the default beep sound".



  • @anotherusername said:

    with the best solution being "create high frequency  silent .WAV and use it as the default beep sound to annoy your teenage children and pets".
     

    Fixed.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Hey guys. Just popping in to say that my Chromebook notifies me when I recieve an email. And get this:
    When I mute my Chromebook, it doesn't ignore that setting and make sounds.

    My Chromebook tends to ignore the volume setting for ads on YouTube videos. It's why I took it back to Walmart and got a Surface RT.



  • @garrywong said:

    Kindly restrain your adolescent testosterone levels. What makes you think that hurling insults is any way to communicate with other people?
     

    Looks like you are new here. Meet Blakeyrat, the personification of everything that this site represents.

    He lost too many arguments recently, and went away. But now he's back (just like a B movie)!



  • @drurowin said:

    @Ben L. said:
    Hey guys. Just popping in to say that my Chromebook notifies me when I recieve an email. And get this:
    When I mute my Chromebook, it doesn't ignore that setting and make sounds.

    My Chromebook tends to ignore the volume setting for ads on YouTube videos. It's why I took it back to Walmart and got a Surface RT.

    My view on ads is that if they move or make noise they shouldn't be showing on my computer. That's why I allow ads on google.com (among others) but not on youtube.com (among others).

    [insert ten pages of pro-ad-blocking/anti-ad-blocking flame war]


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Ben L. said:

    [insert ten pages of pro-ad-blocking/anti-ad-blocking flame war]
    That's behind one of these three doors, and behind the other two are goats…



  • @dkf said:

    @Ben L. said:
    [insert ten pages of pro-ad-blocking/anti-ad-blocking flame war]
    That's behind one of these three doors, and behind the other two are goats…

    So after I pick one of the three a goat gets revealed right?  Then I'll always win if I can pick the open door.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Ben L. said:

    [insert ten pages of pro-ad-blocking/anti-ad-blocking flame war]


    I'm surprised you didn't use Excel for that.



  • @anotherusername said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Just spend like .5 seconds unclicking the checkbox in Outlook. It's RIGHT THERE. You ALREADY FOUND IT.

    Yes, but that's not the point. That makes Outlook not beep. It doesn't make Windows not beep.

    If I set the "Default Beep" sound to "(None)" in the Sounds and Audio Devices Properties control panel, I could reasonably expect Windows not to make a sound when the Default Beep event is triggered. What actually happens (if the application allows the event to cascade up if no sound is assigned) is that it beeps the system speaker, or emulates it through the sound card. So, now, if I go to the Master Volume widget and adjust the Master Volume slider, it triggers a Default Beep event to show how loud it is (at least in XP; I don't know if the Windows 7 one uses the Default Beep sound). If the Default Beep sound is (None), Windows decides to beep the system speaker instead. And it beeps at full volume no matter where the volume slider is (even if it's muted).

    That is a bug, and it's an annoying enough bug that there are tons of results on Google for "how do I disable the default beep" with the best solution being "create a silent .WAV and use it as the default beep sound".

    I think this isn't so much a WTF with Windows, but more of a problem with conflicting options where there isn't an obvious solution. It's obvious to you what you want the computer to do when you give it conflicting commands, but it's not obvious in the general case.

    The problem is, should an application be able to override system defaults, or should the system override what you set the application to do? If the application obeyed the system, someone might complain that it's a WTF that when you tell Outlook to make a sound, it won't make a sound if some seemingly unrelated setting in the OS is misconfigured. After all, a user might not think to look in the system's sound options when it's only Outlook that isn't behaving.

    The problem, really, is with users setting conflicting settings (which granted, might be set by default). If you have a program that requests a sound, and the system has no set sound for that event, there's no way to make every user happy. Some users will want the program to obey what they told it to do, some will want the system settings they set to override the program. I'm on the camp that system settings should override program specific settings, but I imagine the Windows engineers figured that the common user would be upset at Windows if their applications don't do what they told them to do. Why should they go into system settings to modify the application's behavior? So they went with the more intuitive decision, which helps clueless users that don't go into system settings, and annoys power users that are used to setting up their computers the way they want it.



  • Disable beep.sys driver, and there won't be any beeps (Device Manager->Show hidden devices).



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    @Ben L. said:

    [insert ten pages of pro-ad-blocking/anti-ad-blocking flame war]


    I'm surprised you didn't use Excel for that.

    I'm surprised he didn't flood us with a markovian flame war.



  • @alegr said:

    Disable beep.sys driver, and there won't be any beeps (Device Manager->Show hidden devices).

    Just make sure you back up autoexec.bat before you do this. Trust me.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    Ok; I don't know what decade you're in, but in modern computers there is no such thing as a PC speaker. It's emulated by the sound card.

    This spring I bought a Gigabyte Z77 motherboard. It came with a little speaker built to plug in to the motherboard speaker header.



  • @drurowin said:

    My <font size="3">Chromebook</font> tends to ignore the volume setting for ads on <font size="3">YouTube</font> videos. It's why I took it back to <font size="3">Walmart</font> and got a <font size="3">Surface RT</font>.


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