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BYU Project to Silence Computer Fans

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the anti-noise-is-nifty dept.

Science 369

phunster writes "The New York Times has an article about Scott D. Sommerfeldt and his students at BYU who have created a noise suppression system for computer fans (drop of human blood required to read article). The technology is not new, he uses out of phase sound to substantially cancel out the sound of the fan. What is interesting is his implementation of the technique. While other systems place a microphone and speakers in the center of a room, he places four miniature speakers and microphones around the noise source itself. His results are promising."

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Now THIS is just great... (5, Funny)

ControlFreal (661231) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268833)

BYU Project to Silence Computer Fans

We as /. computer fans have been discriminated for so long, that you'd think that we, as computer enthousiasts, have had quite enough....

  • First we are bullied as small kids...
  • Then we are bullied as high-school kids...
  • Then we couldn't (or can't) get a girlfriend...
  • Then we are shunned at parties (provided we are invited at all)...
  • Then we are looked at funny for griping about DRM issues...

An NOW, these people that have been bullying us all along have invented a system that makes us keep our mouths shut... Just great...

Pills... must... take... pills...

Re:Now THIS is just great... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268862)

I think You've got First Post ... too bad, you'll probably be modded 'troll' and not 'funny'...

Speak it, brother (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268869)

Why wasn't this posted in the Censorship section?

Corporations try to silence some kid's website, Michael is falling over himself to denounce it. Corporations try to silence fans, and where is YRO? Not reporting on this, that's for certain. A clear double standard. Disgusting.

Re:Now THIS is just great... (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268965)

I'm in Logan, Utah, home to one of the 'non BYU' Universities in the state. They have a reputation of being....non-tolerant. :)

Anyway, given that reputation, and that I'm at an in-state rival. I really expected this to be a "Your Rights Online" story.

Re:Now THIS is just great... (1)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268970)

have invented a system that makes us keep our mouths shut...

No, you can still open your mouth, but now people's eyes don't glaze over as you describe, in detail, the lapping of your processor before you attach your custom made 40 gpm watercooling system to it, and achieve a 13% higher overclock than with the factory hsf combo.

It also makes all that inscecent yammering about HL2, Doom3, and DNF suddenly, magically, go away.

Ah, the peace. The solitude.

Hey, how come nobodies listening to my story about tweaking the Mandrake kernel for faster database resonse times? Don't act like you can't hear me. You know you can! Listen to me! I DESERVE TO BE HEARD! STOP LAUGHING AT ME. I DO NOT LOOK LIKE A GASPING FISH!!!! I WILL HACK ALL YOUR COMPUTERS AND ALL YOUR FAMILIES COMPUTERS. YOU WILL PAY!!!

Oh, how you will pay...

Re:Now THIS is just great... (1)

Fearless Freep (94727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268974)

It's called The Register [theregister.co.uk] , with a higher Signal/Noise ratio

Use bugmenot.com to get a login for the NYT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268996)


Makes it easy. Unless you have the GOOGLE partner link.

Use bugmenot.com to get login for NYT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269037)

Makes it easier, unless you have the GOOGLE partner link.

Re:Now THIS is just great... (3, Funny)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269063)

I think I need some pills also, I thought the article said that a drop of human blood was what silenced the fans. Maybe I jsut need sleep, but I'd prefer pills ;-).

Is there a SPAM suppression: +1, Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269126)


system for all the crap emanting from George W. Bush - "President" [whitehouse.org] ?

Thanks and have a FOX _News_free weekend.

Regards,
Kilgore Trout

Re:Now THIS is just great... (1)

AnonymousTravis (775517) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269140)

I had this elaborate plan on silencing anyone who shows up to my door and wants to talk about the book of Mormon. They must have an insider who gave away my secret plan...

Hoisted by my own petard!

Re:Now THIS is just great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269218)

Hey, sorry for pantsing you and stealing your lunch money in the third grade. No hard feelings, right?

-- Steve Ballmer

We've seen this story before (4, Interesting)

KoriaDesevis (781774) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268841)

We've seen this before here [slashdot.org] .

Re:We've seen this story before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268872)

I've seen this post before here [slashdot.org] .

Re:We've seen this story before (2)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268952)

Nope..

This one was posted by CmdrTaco and the other was posted by timothy.

Completely different.

Re:We've seen this story before (2)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268983)

Nope... This one was posted by CmdrTaco and the other posted by timothy.

Completely different. :)

Re:We've seen this story before (1, Redundant)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269010)

*to rip from a previous post: Yes, but that post was from timothy. This one is from CmdrTaco. Completely different.

No!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269138)

Not a dupe on /.!!!!!

Never happen!!!

The editors are too on the ball for that!!!!

porn? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268860)

porn?

Re:porn? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269128)

porn?

i thought it was spelled pr0n

Silent fans are a BAD thing (3, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268863)

If the fans inside your CPU are silent you wouldn't notice if one failed, my machine is fairly quiet but i would notice if it booted without the CPU or PSU fan running.

Re:Silent fans are a BAD thing (4, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268913)

Any recent system can monitor the CPU and case fans RPMs (and temperatures) and shutdown/freak/panic/whatever if the fan stops spinning. There are a plethora of third party warning devices to this end as well.

If my CPU fan stops spinning my computer throws a tantrum you can hear from space.

Re:Silent fans are a BAD thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268915)

Most...retarded...post...ever...

Re:Silent fans are a BAD thing (1, Redundant)

HellKnite (266374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268918)

This is why most modern fans have RPM monitors, and most motherboards have built-in support to alarm and/or shutdown when RPM's fall below a certain level. Beyond that, most current CPU's also have temperature sensors, so that if a fan fails, and temperatures begin to rise, the system will either shutdown, or simply halt.

Re:Silent fans are a BAD thing (1)

RobPiano (471698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268975)

That's just silly. Most computers have temperature monitors on the CPU. If it gets to hot there are PLENTY of programs that will warn you or turn your machine off. Acoustic monitoring may not even work! It could easily be whirling loudly and you wouldn't know that the CPU was 80 C.

A temperature monitor is the way to go in all cases.

Re:Silent fans are a BAD thing (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268977)

You, sir, are an idiot.

Re:Silent fans are a BAD thing (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269087)

If the fans inside your CPU are silent
Don't worry -- they won't be silent. Only quieter.

And besides, as others have suggested, there are better ways to monitor fans. And if you have several computers in your office and just one of the fans fails, how likely is it that you'll be able to hear the difference anyways? Especially if you're not listening for it?

Forget silencing the fans... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268864)

Can't we just silence BYU and the whole state of Utah? Please, someone? Can you take Orrin Hatch with you when you do this?

NY Times Random Generator (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268868)

(drop of human blood required to read article)

Not when you use this [majcher.com]

Re:NY Times Random Generator (1)

a man named bob (623932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269207)

or this [bugmenot.com]

Re:NY Times Random Generator (1)

carrett (671802) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269248)

I read it without that and without logging in (just followed the link and the full article was shown). Weird...

Just wear NR headphones (2, Informative)

ites (600337) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268870)

Apart from the discomfort of wearing headphones over long periods, the noise-reduction works well in office environments. Cuts out more than just noisy PCs: also airco, neighbours, and fire sirens.

Re:Just wear NR headphones (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269117)

My headphones get me in trouble - like when the boss calls, or the phone rings, or my officemate has to throw things at me to get my attention.

Once we had a tornado warning and had to evacuate the top floors of the building - but I was blaring Jethro Tull into my Sony MDR-V600s.

Re:Just wear NR headphones (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269144)

Cuts out more than just noisy PCs: also airco, neighbours, and fire sirens.
You must have some magical noise-reduction headphones. The ones I have, from the low tech (plugs of foam you stick in your ear) to high tech (working like the system described in the article) do definately drop the volume of the noise around you, but neither makes it so you can't have a conversation with somebody, and certainly neither drowns out the fire alarm. (Those things are INCREDIBLY loud.)

Re:Just wear NR headphones (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269188)

That works great! Particularly when those damn fire alarms and blinking strobe lights go off, I can concentrate on reading slash

..

NO CARRIER

nice (4, Funny)

Zungert (782766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268879)

This would be well worth it on 90mm tornados. Its pretty shitty having 4 of them right beside your bed trying to sleep while your linux e-penis uptime grows every night ;)

Silence computer fans! (0, Offtopic)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268881)

"We love Apple!"
"Go Go Gateway!!!"
"Exidy Sorceror is pure magic!""
"Dude, we got Dell!!!"
(click)
Blessed silence.....

Taco is an idiot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268885)

Taco deserves an anal probe.

you fucking butt-munch.

noise cancellation (0, Redundant)

Jotaigna (749859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268886)

well its no news that as closer you get the speaker to the noise you want to cancel you'll get better results. Its like you have a light bulb and if you want to supress the light, the closer you cover it, the better it will do.

How about an effective one! (3, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268887)

I don't think this industry has come remotely close to making a fan that works. It's sad when people need tubes running to the bathroom just to keep the GPU or CPU cool.

If you create a fan that doesn't need water and guarantees performance of a water cooler, I think it'd be a hit. I have never the gotten blue screen of death from a noisy fan. Look on any forum, people are not complaining about noise. People are whining about overheating...

Re:How about an effective one! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269029)

On any what forum?

I've never had watercooling or peltiers or installed my PC in a freezer, and my 3.06ghz maxes out at only 40C at full load. It's fan runs at about 2400 rpm (it adjusts with load) and does a fine job. The actual design and construction of the heatsink is probably more meaningful than how many CFMs of air you're blowing at it.

Overclockers create their own problems for themselves. If you run your car in the red all the time, you shouldnt blame the stock radiator when you blow a gasket.

Re:How about an effective one! (1)

DrAegoon (738446) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269048)

Not in the forums I'm looking at. For many people speed isn't as important as having a computer that is always on, always convenient, and doesn't drown out every other sound in a room. Take, for example, home theater PCs. A good HTPC would have tons of diskspace, quality TV in and out, and a processor that isn't going to die trying to keep up with the broadcast. If you want to keep all that cool (and therefore stable) you need serious cooling without having the roar of the fans drown out your sound system.

Re:How about an effective one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269070)

2 things:

#1. There is nobody on this planet that "needs" tubes running to the bathroom to keep their CPU cool. If you think that you need this, then you need to be slapped around for a few minutes to put some normal non-geek sense in you.

#2. Truth does not rhyme with troll.

Re:How about an effective one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269112)

Fuck overheating, my cpu is at 46'C, (114.8'F), and my cpu fan is pretty silent(self regulating rpm). What bothers me is the fucking PSU fan, it's a fucking tornado. I should probably buy a $100 silent PSU though... but still...

Re:How about an effective one! (1)

neurojab (15737) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269125)

>people are not complaining about noise

Really? Then why is there a whole sub-culture of people working on quieting their PCs? You can now buy quiet PSUs, Quiet CPU coolers, and oversize case fans with variable speeds.

When I upgraded from celerons to athlon XPs, I was amazed at the noise generated by the cooling equipment. Then I swapped out a few parts, and I can hear my MP3s again. My PC used to sound like a cheap vacumn cleaner, now it's barely audible, quieter than most laptops. It really improves your state of mind to not be assulted by so much noise.

Re:How about an effective one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269237)

Look on any forum, people are not complaining about noise. People are whining about overheating...

You mean on any overclocking forum. Most home users don't have an over-heating problem but may try to sleep, read a book, or watch TV in the same room with a running computer. Once the bearings start to go on one a fan you might as well have a jet engine next to your head.

Can the noise be more predictable? (5, Interesting)

RobPiano (471698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268893)

Blood Donation [nytimes.com]

I don't know as much about noise cancellation as I would like, but I understand most of the concepts. Although the method described in the article certainly is very cool, I wonder if they couldn't get better results by redesigning the fan. It seems that the fan generates too much random noise. Is it possible to make a fan that has a more predictable noise source? It could even be a fan that is way noisier before noise cancellation...

Another thought on this is that you really shouldn't consider the fan alone. The G5 has a beautiful interior with a ton of fans. Its not terribly loud, however, because the airflow is well designed.

Re:Can this response be more predictable? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269024)

Perhaps that is why G5 computers cost > $1000 more than all other comparable technology.

Or is it the cult you have to join first to own one?

Better air flow is one of the benefits of joining?

Re:Can the noise be more predictable? (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269212)

Despite what the submitter said, the link works without registering. I had mod points but I figured I'd just mention it rather than mod.

Okay... (0, Redundant)

neiffer (698776) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268894)

I get how useful it would be to cancel noise in certain situations, but outside of a server (and even my Dell 400SC is sooo quiet I can barely hear it), what is the big deal for the vast majority of applications???

Re:Okay... (4, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268947)

Musicians would care
So would home theater machines
Listening to music on a PC would mean lower required volume
How about being to sleep with a PC on 24/7?

Re:Okay... (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269014)

I'm just bothered by the noise from my computer. There are ways I can ignore it, with headphones and such, but I don't always feel like wearing headphones. Idealy, the computer would just be silent.

Re:Okay... (1)

baudilus (665036) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269147)

So your wife can't hear you on the computer as she sleeps while you slashdot.

Re:Okay... (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269189)

and even my Dell 400SC is sooo quiet I can barely hear it
Then you're lucky. Many modern computers make a lot of noise -- sometimes even enough noise to make having conversations difficult. And they don't have to be servers. (Probably has something to do with the 60+ watt cpus people are using nowadays.)

Or suppose your computer is in your bedroom, and you leave it on overnight. Wouldn't it be nice if it were quieter? Even the fan and hard drive in my DTV Tivo are annoying at night -- and it's much quieter than a full blown PC.

Next project... (5, Funny)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268901)

Now if they could just silence the kids that come to my house to tell me about Joseph Smith.

Re:Next project... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268939)

Step 1: Say "No thanks".
Step 2: Oh wait, step 2 isn't needed.

Retard.

Re:Next project... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269169)

Maybe but "no thanks" isn't nearly as fun as "Fuck off you dupes of a racist and polygamous cult".

Mormon twat.

Re:Next project... (2, Interesting)

grahams (5366) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269054)

Pfft... I'll take a Mormon coming to my door over a Jehovah's Witness any day. Every Mormon that has come to visit me has been very pleasant and polite, and they have no problem taking "No" for an answer....

Just politely tell them you aren't interested and they will politely leave. Mormon missionaries are not pushy.

I've practically had to call the cops to get rid of JW's.

Hah! (0, Offtopic)

saderax (718814) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268905)

i first read the headline and assumed it was a new tactic by the group 'BYU' to forcefully quiet the complaints of geeks and nerds everywhere!

must be one of those days i guess.

Re:Hah! (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269221)

I'm with you. I was wondering why this wasn't in "YRO" [slashdot.org] . That's where we'd usually find the free (as in speech, not beer) flamefest and troll-con, right?

It's not the noise made by the fans... (5, Insightful)

zepmaid (694112) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268906)

Personally its them damn harddisks that piss me off.
If only someone could suppress the disk noise..

Re:It's not the noise made by the fans... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269111)

"If only someone could suppress the disk noise.."

A ballpen hammer will do the trick. But I know what you mean, my systems tend to have at least a three drive RAID in em. My co worker keeps going on about how I should get a MINI-ITX based system because you can run them fanless. He just dosn't seem to get that I cant hear the fans over the hard disks.

Yes, much simpler than.. (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268911)

Yeah, this is much simpler than just making the fans quiet in the first place, right?

Wonderful. "Look, instead of paying an extra 50 cents for a higher quality quiet fan, you can use cheap fans and spend $25.00 in additional parts to make the computer quiet!"

*sigh*

Re:Yes, much simpler than.. (1)

Mad_Rain (674268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269000)

yeah, this method also strikes me as being power-consuming, and impractical for that reason... although, the idea itself is pretty cool.

Re:Yes, much simpler than.. (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269076)

Wonderful. "Look, instead of paying an extra 50 cents for a higher quality quiet fan, you can use cheap fans and spend $25.00 in additional parts to make the computer quiet!"
If you're an engineer, of course you do. I thought that was a given. So what was your point?

Re:Yes, much simpler than.. (3, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269121)

cheap fan [directron.com]

higher quality, "quiet" fan [directron.com]

Hardly 50 cents. And, I doubt an IC, four mics and four small speakers would cost 25$ in parts.

You can engineer a fan with perfectly balanced blades, great bearings, and eliminate much of the mechanical noise due to vibration or friction. But what of the noise generated by the moving air itself? You can hear this clearly when you have a case full of "silent" fans, and it's every bit as annoying.

Re:Yes, much simpler than.. (2, Interesting)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269148)

Ummm, I bought nice fans, and they still make noise when turned up. What's your point? Running a 92mm fan at 6000RPM is gauranteed to make noise. No matter how much you pay for it. Fans just aren't that quiet.

Re:Yes, much simpler than.. (2, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269171)

Quietness should be a design goal/philosophy from the beginning, not an afterthought; much like security. I think it's dumb to start with power-hungry CPUs and noisy fans, and then bolt on a 'solution' for quietness.

One of the many things I don't understand about current computer hardware is the segregation between quiet/small/laptop and big/noisy/desktop/server components. If you can design a low-noise and low-power component, why limit its use to laptops and other portable/embedded devices?

I understand there are real drawbacks to laptop components, such as underperforming hard drives. But cost should not be an issue; these components are expensive only because of the limited demand. Surely it would be cheaper to use the same component everywhere, instead of producing two kinds of everything.

Four microphones and speakers per fan?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268931)

And how much electricity does this suck up, exactly?

drink your way to peace & quiet? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268937)


strange brew [kombucha.org] , that's good for you.

We need a context-free human language! (3, Funny)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268949)

For a second, I thought that BYU was going to hire big, burly henchmen to "take care" of us Slashdotters...

Re:We need a context-free human language! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268985)

Probably Lamanites.

Simple answer (1)

Altima(BoB) (602987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268954)

Get a computer without a fan. I've had my Apple G4 Cube for a few years now, only now really showing its age and completely silent. Well, except for hard disk access. Of course you can't get them anymore, and Apple's new G5s have 4 or 5 fans in them... So don't think this is just some sort of fanboy rant, I honestly think that good design can get around the need for fans.

Anyone running 120mm Sunons... (1)

Genin (541781) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268959)

...would kill for this.

Headline misleading (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268967)

For a moment there, I thought BYU was working to censor people who like computers...

Not very hi-tech but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9268971)

What benefit does this technology have over putting the case under the desk rather than on top of the desk?

Will the same technology... (4, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268980)

Will the same technology also work on my girlfriend? She is like one of those movies that is just better on mute.

What did you say?? (1)

Cboyd0319 (763684) | more than 10 years ago | (#9268992)

This is bad. The noise from the fans on my machines are the only things that drown out the voices in my head... '...Kill...Userssssss...'

Blood? (2, Funny)

paranoid.android (71379) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269021)

drop of human blood required to read article

Does it have to be mine?

"Hey Bob, come here, I've got something cool to show you. Oh, and bring a thumbtack..."

It really works (1)

rootnl (644552) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269035)

Yea, I've been using this technology for a long time; I just crank up my radio till I don't hear my computer. Unless Britney Spears comes up, then I prefer the soothing noise of my computer.

Wife version.... (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269041)

While other systems place a microphone and speakers in the center of a room, he places four miniature speakers and microphones around the noise source itself.

Will the wife version require something worn around the next and will it have a remote control?...

Already proposed for cars (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269043)

I remember an old episode of Beyond 2000 (http://www.techtv.com/beyond2000/ , but the old Australian version) where they showed an anti-noise system that would fit into a car's exhaust system. Microphones would pick up the noise from the exhaust manifold, a DSP would generate the appropriate "Anti-noise" then subwoofers would inject the Anti-noise sound into a specially designed muffler. The demonstration would drive a big V8 Holden muscle car around, clicking the noise reduction in and out. Without it sounded like, well, a muscle car. With noise cancellation it sounded like a Rolls Royce, that is, you didn't really hear the exhaust at all, just tires rolling on pavement and wind. Really cool, but probably too expensive to implement in most consumer vehicles :(

aMEN! (1)

bechthros (714240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269059)

The fan noise from a serious computer has long been the single bigegst noise problem in the modern digital recording studio. It used to be the most popular solution was putting your tower in a closet somewhere with long extension cords for the keyboard, mouse, and whatever else. I've seen this used in several studios.

I think I speak for audio engineers everywhere when I say HALLELUJAH! This is a seriously practical and useful invention, hopefully it will be affordable!

Costs involved? (1)

HellKnite (266374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269067)

"It's going to be a matter of what the consumer will be willing to pay for a quiet computer," he said.

Are these guys not familliar with items like this [tigerdirect.com] ? Somehow I don't see these fans costing that much.

My fans are silent (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269084)

I just unplug all my computer's fans. Now my computer doesn't make any noise.

At least my fiancee is happy about that.

Active Noise Cancelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269098)

I wonder if this is really cancelling the noise as opposed to masking it out so you don't notice it. It seems to me that no matter what type of active system you use you are pumping more energy into the system. That means more noise ( or heat :-).

I remember years ago you used to have noisy offices that had white sound generators in them. The white noise masked the office noise and people thought it was quiet. The only problem was it wasn't. The average noise in the offices were higher and there was a higher incidence of hearing loss because of it. Of course you could claim that that was the "long term" noise abatement solution :-).

Fans (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269120)

I just put 2 small extra fans into my p4 1.8 gzh machine (I went and got a nvidia fx chip and was worried about heat). It sounds like a friggin hair dryer. Although I've managed to tuen it out. I notice it when i turn it one and apaprenlty everyone in my 3 floor house notices the noise of this one computer.

Mac G5: Lots of big, slow-turning fans... (2, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269142)

An interesting project, but it certainly seems like a Rube Goldberg (Heath Robinson for UK readers) way to go about it.

The Mac G5 approaches this problem by using lots of big, slow-turning fans. It's probably expensive, but I doubt that it's as expensive as active noise cancellation. And Apple did a very good job. The Mac G5 is not silent, but in normal operation it is quieter than any machine I've used since the fanless 1984 Mac and the Apple ][.

doesn't solve the fan failure problem (1)

nerdb0t (712755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269149)

yay mormons. ;-)

very cool - but the holy grail is to make a _fanless_ computer. fans are moving parts. moving parts are bad.

if you just make the loud moving parts silent, then you are only removing the symptoms - but the real problem is still there: moving parts prone to failure.

its a good idea until they get heat pipes to work with 100W processors.

Silenced at BYU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9269174)

Every time I read silence and BYU I think of the forced silence [lds-mormon.com] BYU forces on its professors. It's good to see a positive article about academics at BYU. Here's to freedom of thought and freedom of speach; even at BYU.(if that's possible.)

White noise degenerators... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269175)

I found it amusing to have an add for noise *generators* come up along with the noise reduction article.

[yes, I know it's not quite the same thing]

The bad news is... (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269196)

the computational power needed is roughly equivalent to one computer.

I have always wondered (2, Interesting)

nizo (81281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269199)

Why don't case manufacturers do away with the power supply and integrate a UPS into the case? Rather than have AC -> UPS (which converts to DC to charge batteries) -> AC -> Power supply (which converts to DC) why not cut out all the wasteful conversions? I could even see having room in the battery portion so you could upgrade to additional "plug in" batteries. Any thoughts?

Will the same technology... (0, Redundant)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269211)

Will this same technology work on my girlfriend. She can be like one of those movies that is better on mute.

I, for one... (1)

advance512 (730411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269213)

welcome this new chance to write this annoyingly-repeated joke once again.

A brief timeline (1)

elwell642 (754833) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269215)

1995: My hard disk is just too darned loud!!

2000: I can't stand the hum of the case fan!!

2005: That LED is hurting my ears!

Noise Cancelling Case Revisited (1)

peel (242881) | more than 10 years ago | (#9269252)

I suggested this [slashdot.org] awhile ago for another article on silent computing. It got shot down quite handily, mainly because I can't speel verry whell. Anyway the people that did respond with things other than spelling mistakes had good insight into this. It seems this guy has come up with workarounds for problems they noted. -peel
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