Forget the lessons of Tyler Durden. The things you own define who you are. And nothing makes a bigger statement than your cell phone ringtone. Your ringtone gives valuable insight for everyone within earshot about your preferences and personality -- information with which they'll use to judge you (and yes, you're always being judged). You don't want to be the guy sitting in a quiet lecture hall when your phone suddenly starts blasting the latest Fallout Boy single. That tells neighbors that you have poor taste and probably cry yourself to sleep at night. No, you want to be the guy who has Europe's The Final Countdown chime in at opportune moments, letting that cute hipster girl nearby know that yes, you too are a fan of Arrested Development.
For geeks and techies who want to attract like-minded compatriots, we've compiled a list of the top 10 must-have ringtones to own. Any respectable tech/gadget/sci-fi aficionado should have these tones stored on their phones at all times, alternating the chimes in a daily rotation to prevent them from getting stale. We've also included a definitive list of the 10 coolest text-message alert sounds, as well as the most clichéd and obnoxious ringtones and alerts that must be avoided at all cost.
10. Dial-Up Modem Sequence
Retro is in, and there's nothing more old school than the familiar sequence of a dial-up modem. All technies born before 1990 have it memorized by heart, and can duplicate the entire string of beeps and buzzes with their vocal chords. "What's that sound? Oh, it's just the internet calling me."
Cancelled before it had an opportunity to jump the shark, Futurama is three parts space drama and five parts pure genius. The catchy theme was inspired by a 1967 song called Psyche Rock, and contrary to popular belief, was not written by Danny Elfman. But you knew that, of course.
All PC users should recognize this classic arpeggio, which greeted you at the Windows 95 splash screen. This six-second chime ushered in the modern PC computing era, and was appropriately composed by ambient music master Brian Eno.
Before Wall-E strolled into the hearts of moviegoers, R2D2 was the little robot charged with charming a generation of science fiction buffs. As your ringtone, R2D2 becomes your personal co-pilot and starship mechanic. Just don’t tell his life partner, C-3PO.
Who needs shields or life support? TIE fighters are agile and speedy starfighters, powered by large solar panels and armed with rebel-toasting lasers. Use their theme as a ringtone to let Jedi-fanboys know that your loyalty lies with the empire.
Sure, Tarantino’s two-part revenge epic would’ve worked better as one long movie (we’re partial to part one), but Kill Bill is packed with enough memorable scenes to fuel its own subset of popular culture. One of our favorites? The tense showdown between Uma Thurman’s Bride and Lucy Liu’s O-Ren Ishii, set this awesome music clip.
This nerd anthem by impresario Jonathan Coulton quickly captured the souls of legions of hard-working, warm-hearted code monkeys everywhere. Coulton, the quintessential geek singer-songwriter, releases his music under the Creative Commons license, and has inspired fan videos, dances, remixes, and even machinima. Show ‘em you’ve got excellent taste and hidden depths!
The distinctive chime that rings on all CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) telephones is serious business – calls made to CTU are a matter of life and death. Nothing gets between us and Jack Bauer power hour (except maybe ridiculous plot twists).
Read on for the top 10 text message alerts for geeks!
10. Post Beep
System builders are all-too familiar with this sound. It’s a stress-relieving chime that lets you know your computer has successfully booted. We’re simple folk, and that’s all the reassurance we need in our lives.
Always funny when it happens to someone else (we've long given up on our attempts to make it on the show), the fail horn alerts contestants that they've failed a price-guessing game on The Price is Right. No jet ski’s or washing machine for you, mr. college student/generic retiree/suited-up serviceman!
Love it or hate it, few sounds are more recognizeable to the 12 million players of World of Warcraft than the eerie gurgle of the Murloc. Short, fishy, full of teeth, and with the propensity to swarm unlucky adventurers, Murlocs inhabit the coasts of Azeroth's rivers, ponds, and oceans. Their trademark burbling yell spells doom to nooblings and easy fodder for experienced adventurers, and are sure to get a reaction. It's the ultimate geeky ringtone - obscure enough to confuse the average human, yet familiar enough to be an automatic 'in' with many gamers.
Like the classic Skinner machine, 8-bit videogame classics rewarded you every time your on-screen avatar succeeded. Unlike the Skinner machine, Zelda rewarded you with a money shot of the loot (held aloft by a triumphant Link) and this timeless, uber-hooky 3 second mini-masterpiece. Put this on your phone and you'll get that "I won!" rush, every single time you get a text.
Forget the Hoff and that snooty English dude. Remember the sweet, supercomputer-powered Trans-Am, with it's signature "whoom... whoom" scanning noise. True, that 1984 Trans-Am isn't as lustworthy today, and we don't have a sentient supercomputer buddy in my trunk, but everyone around me knows that we know what the Knight Rider score is, every time we get a text message.
The hypnotic humming of a Cylon's red eye is both soothing and ominous -- these robots are out to kill you, you know. And even if modern cylons look like supermodels, we're still fans of the old centurion model that didn’t waste time with sleeper agents or psychological warfare. They just wanted to pulverize some meat bags.
"Snake...snakeeee!" Metal Gear Solid's codec lets you pretend that Otacon is paging you to give you some crucial recon data on the building you're infiltrating. Just make sure you're locked into the 141.12 frequency. Use this text message alert in Akihabara and otaku will nod their heads with approval.
You may think your cellphone is more technologically advanced than a classic Star Trek communicator, but can your iPhone broadcast on subspace channels or break through atmospheric interference to contact orbiting starships? We didn't think so. Pay homage to the grandaddy of all cellphones and get this chime installed right away!