Wednesday, November 19, 2014

“Automatic Noise Cancellation Mechanism”

OK, so this one isn't strictly looking back in the way my previous posts were, but it's looking back at the past four or five years of my putting up with a strange high-pitched whining noise my monitor was making, and it seems like it would be suitable put this text in here, so... here it is:

November 19th, 2014

“Automatic Noise Cancellation Mechanism”

About four or five years ago, my monitor started emitting a faint, constant, high-pitched sound (whenever on) that was initially very irritating, but buying another monitor wasn't in the budget, so I just put up with it, and - over time - the noise began to be less noticeable.

I stopped thinking about it - until I began noticing that my ears were ringing at night... but I got used to that as well, until the ringing noise began to get louder (and harder to ignore).

And so I finally went out (yesterday) and got a new (used) monitor and noticed something quite extraordinary when I first used it.  I hooked up the monitor, thought “Great!  Finally I'm free of that d*** high-pitched sound!” and then I turned on the monitor, fired up the computer, and put an ear near the monitor to make sure it was quiet.  It was, but....

It was then that I was surprised to notice that my ears were ringing fairly loudly!  Thinking about it later, it occurred to me that there was a (seemingly) clear conclusion to be reached from the following sequence of events:

1) High-pitched whine from monitor is irritating.

2) High-pitched sound unchanged, but strangely less noticeable over time.

3) Ringing in ears at night after shutting down computer grows louder over time, while monitor whine (with computer on) becomes ever less noticeable....

4) New monitor bought, eliminating monitor whine.

5) With initial use of new (used) monitor, strong ringing noise in ears noticed.

Which leads me to this conclusion:  My brain developed a counter-noise to cancel out the irritating noise my old monitor used to make whenever on, and so when the computer was shut down, the counter-noise became noticeable.  And then, with the first usage of the new monitor, the counter-noise automatically started up (as though my brain knows that computer time requires noise-cancellation), but since the new monitor doesn't make the high-pitch whine, the counter-noise itself was quite noticeable.

When I turned on the monitor today (second time since buying it), there was still a little bit of ringing in my ears, but much less than yesterday.  It stands to reason, since something that has developed over the past four or five years isn't likely to disappear in a single day.  Now to see how quickly the night returns to being quiet.

I wish I'd replaced that monitor sooner!



Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon