As I was looking at some of the Windows 7 control capabilities via the Hardware and Sound
section of the Control Panel, I found that Microsoft had added some nice new features to Windows 7. (They may be in Windows Vista, which I don’t use, but this is the first time I’ve seen them.)
First, the Sound dialog box has a tab for Communications. Microsoft has recognized that a lot of people are using Skype or other voice computer-telephone programs. The options on this tab are ones that only apply when Windows 7 recognizes that you are using your PC to place telephone calls. You can have Windows 7 mute all other sounds, reduce the volume fo other sounds by 80%, reduce them by 50% or not do anything special. Those should be a great help.
The Sounds tab gives us the usual ability to specify the .wav file to play for various system and program events. As usual, it lets us set these by picking a sound scheme (formerly termed "theme"). Once we have our sound scheme picked, we can modify individual events to use the sounds of our choice.
The Souds tab also has a very nice addition for those of us who like to keep our computer quiet. There are times when I want Windows to make sounds — like when there is a problem. There are also programs that I want to have make sounds — like games.
However, I almost never want to have Windows play a sound as it starts. I get tired of the Windows Startup sound. Plus, since my main computer is my notebook and I use it in the den, sometimes I want to turn it on when my wife has fallen asleep in the den. That’s one of the main reasons I’ve kept the sound turned off.
Windows 7 now has a new option on the Sounds tab of the Sound dialog box (where you set the individual sounds for individual events). This new option is a checkbox labeled "Play Windows Startup sound."
By default, "Play Windows Startup sound" is checked. But, now, mine isn’t…