Do you remember the strange and mysterious noise of dial-up internet? My memory of that sound is as vivid as those images that come flooding back when you smell the scent of something long-forgotten. Remembering that dial-up noise – expressed in a tweet I saw this week as ‘beep boo beeeep ejwlekl’ – takes me straight back to the 90s when we used to put up with horrifically ugly webpages that took literally seconds to load (how were we ever so patient?).
I think I got a bit overexcited about this noise at the time – when we finally got the internet at my house, I used to pick up the phone just to listen to the sound of the data streams whizzing back and forth. The image I had in my mind was something like that green symbol cascade from The Matrix.
Typing this post over my wireless broadband, I feel like some of the magic has gone (even though invisible broadband in the air is a hell of a lot more ‘magic’ than an old-fashioned cable). So I started wondering what other ‘sounds of science’ are out there – things that our children will laugh at when we’re old, and that we’ll have a hard-to-explain nostalgia for?