Windows XP startup chime recreated by a robot xylophone, creates nostalgia

The Microsoft Garage is a building on the company's campus that was set up six years ago as a way for employees to create side projects in their spare time, such as the Mouse Without Borders application released in 2011, Today, Microsoft posted their own feature story on the Garage facility and offered an example of one of the more whimsical projects that have been created inside its walls.

Part of the feature story shows how an idea for recreating the Windows XP  starup chime in another media came about inside the Garage. At first, the idea was to make a record with the familiar sound via a 3D printer. However, that plan was stopped when it was discovered that the printers in the building didn't have high enough of a resolution. 

The notion of making a "3D-Printed Robot Xylophone Glass Orchestra" was floated around, but the final project involved using a simple toy xylophone, combined with 3D printed mallets and servo motors. Those elements, along with a specially programmed application, allowed the team to successfully play the Windows XP startup sound.

Obviously, that's a more extreme example of a Microsoft Garage project. The company says that in the past six years, over 3,000 of its employees have worked on more than 10,000 projects in the facility. Some of them become actual Microsoft products and software features, such as the Forgotten Attachment Detector that has now been incorporated into Outlook 2013. Another Garage-created project turned into the Bing Keyword Distribution Graph, shown above, that offers a way for online advertisers to track online searches.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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14 Comments

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FAIL! In the end the sound they produced after doing all that was 2 seconds long and sounded like total crap.

First thing I did when I started using XP was turn that "noise" off.
You got mail has my heart though. I still use it in Miranda IM's Gmail plugin.

I always remember reaching for my speakers in a panic if it was up loud when the startup chime started playing. I found it quite annoying actually.

Way more than quite annoying!

One of the first things I've ever done since having a computer is disable ALL startup/login/log out/shut down sounds! Not even nostalgic either.

I wonder if the other Windows startup sounds will be recreated by a robot xylophone? Not that I don't like the Windows XP startup sound. It is lovely.

Meh, I found it quite boring. For me the best so far has been the work of the two Brians - Win95's startup sound by Brian Eno and clouds.mid used for the Win95 Easter egg by Brian Orr.

I dearly miss Easter eggs in Windows and other Microsoft software. I know all about the Trustworthy Computing push, but still. /nostalgia

tomcoleman said,
i wounder who pays their salary for them todo this.

spare time.
Hobby.

Those who are real programmers and software engineers have minds that are constantly churning.

As a former Microsoftie, garage is similar to the grassroot effort to push your own personal projects.

Sometimes, the work you do at garage will show up within the internal Microsoft newsletter.

It is not one of those 20% time at Google though, as you do it at your spare time, as mentioned by deadonthefloor

On weekend, unless you are ops managing datacenter, most the offices buildings are left empty anyway, so FTEs have full access to enter offices at at time of the day...with free milk/soda/talking-rain soda, of course.