echos of unfortunate familiarity

While at the local grocery store this evening I was struck by a peculiar sound. It was the sound of an old fashioned mechanical cash register. However, it did not ring out with the authenticity and high fidelity that only actual reality can provide (I’m afraid you have to specify which reality now). Rather, the cash register sound squawked out of tinny little computer speakers – dozens of them.

This particular grocery store has replaced its cash registers with computers and every time an item is scanned, they play this annoying cash register sound.

I understand the need for physical metaphors when dealing with software, but wouldn’t some other visual or less intrusive audio cue work just as well? I would think that one of the main advantages of computers over cash registers would be silent operation.

The only thing worst than ten cash registers banging away is ten computer speakers doing a poor job of reproducing the sound of ten cash registers banging away.


3 thoughts on “echos of unfortunate familiarity

  1. I don’t think the cash register sound will last. Its sound is too much a reminder that cash is exchanging hands, out of yours and into the store’s. The bell or buzz, or whatever it is, that currently accompanies each scan on other computer registers has, as of yet, no such monetary association.

    As for reality, we have virtual and actual reality. Is there such a thing as potential reality and kinetic reality?

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