Former Apple Employee Reveals How He Snuck The Mac’s Iconic Startup Sound Onto Mac OS


Jim Reekes, a former Apple employee who was behind the Mac’s famous boot chime, has explained in a new interview how he (alongside another group of employees) were able to change the chime to the iconic startup sound we associate with OS X today.

Reekes said that they were able to sneak the audio file containing the famous startup sound onto a Mac without the permission of their managers. During the interview, he said:

“I just hated it. I just could not stand it. Your Mac just crashed. Again. You’ve lost your work. Again. You’re waiting for this thing to boot up. Again. That’s the audience, just a bunch of pissed off frustrated people who are annoyed and you’re wasting their time.”

The following ten-second video contains the Mac’s original startup sound:

YouTube video

Reekes decided to ask his manager if he could replace the existing startup sound with his new chime, and of course he was denied. He went on to create a new, more appealing sound that was meant to change everyone’s mood. Then, the team put the audio file on the computer without any permission.

“I had to change everyone’s mood, so I was thinking a zen-like, meditative sound similar to a gong or chanting ‘om. I played it for them and then they liked it and so when no-one was around, we put it into the build.”

Here is a short video to remind you what the improved boot chime sounds like:

YouTube video

Sure enough, everyone liked Reekes’ new startup sound and it has been found on Mac computers ever since.

[via Business Insider]

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