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ERIC Number: EJ890602
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-1945-3248
Music@Microsoft.Windows: Composing Ambience
Rickert, Thomas
Writing Instructor, May 2010
It is well known, of course, that all Windows versions except for 3.1 have a brief (four to six second) piece of music indicating that Windows is booted and ready for use. While the music may indicate Windows has booted, it bears no immediately discernable relation to the various uses we might actually put Windows to--working, gaming, communicating, browsing, and so forth. From this utilitarian perspective, the author sees Window's startup music as dinky, digital cheesecake. It is perhaps pleasant to have, a nice ornament or bit of frill, but ultimately necessary for the functionality of Windows. In this essay, the author argues that examining something as small as an operating system's startup music can open a new window on how they understand their relation to computers and computer software. The author mentions that Microsoft Windows and similar entities are not just operating systems or software programs they use; rather, they constitute an actual environment, and in so doing, they require an extension of their modes of comportment to include more complete reflections of the human. A secondary argument of this essay, then, is to puzzle out some of the deeper, richer relations they want with their technologies and how such understanding reconfigures the grounding assumptions they bring to studies of digital work. (Contains 1 figure, 6 audioclips and 11 notes.) [Figures containing audio footage are not available in ERIC version].
Purdue University (with California State University, San Marcos). Department of English, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47906. Tel: 765-494-3772; Fax: 765-494-3780; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A