I wrote before about “downgrading” to a slower hard disk, just because it made less noise than the fast disk it replaced. I also spent a lot of time researching parts and putting together two PCs from nearly silent components, just to replace my old server and Rochelle’s aging — and incredibly noisy — PC.
After doing all of that, the noisiest item in the office was once again my Mac, which lost the title when I took out the noisy hard disk, but had a couple of fans that were quite a bit louder than the now-very-quiet fans in the two PCs.
When I got my new girlfriend, that noise went away. My PowerBook is normally completely silent, because laptops run cooler than desktops and the aluminum case dissipates heat extremely well. There is a fan, and it makes noise when it’s on, but that’s only when the CPU is really crunching. Now, although they are pretty quiet, the server and Rochelle’s PC are again the noisy items in the office.
It’s really not a lot of noise. A quiet radio or a conversation would cover it, as does the street noise most of the time. But, it’s still there, and since I’m most efficient at night, when everything else gets quiet, it’s starting to be annoying. Which is crazy, because 6 months ago the reduced noise level from those systems made me ecstatic.
I’ve realized that I’m becoming a crank, someone obsessed with something most people find trivial, and I’m sure I will ultimately go mad trying to squeeze that last decibel or two out of the office. My only consolation is that I am not alone, and it’s now possible to find plenty of components, and even whole systems, that make computing quiet.