I just read this post from Lifehacker, about how to easily silence your computer, with a jack from an old pair of headphones or earbuds. I've said before that I don't like simply mentioning someone else's post, but I have to make an exception here, as I have found this incredibly useful to me. As a student who is often on his laptop, I can see this applying to many readers.
Too many times I have had the annoying windows start-up sound disturb others around me. Most recently, I was watching a movie, which requires having my volume at 70 – 80%. But when I accidentally shut down my computer, I forgot to return the volume to regular levels. The next day, when I opened my laptop in the library, the start-up sound blared at full volume.
Here is the technique:
"When my last pair of earphones died, I cut the cord and tossed the dead earphones, but kept the part that plugs in. I just plug it into my laptop's headphone jack before I turn on my machine when I'm at the library, and don't have to worry about having set the 'mute' button or whatever."
If you don't have any extra headphones, you can just run over to the dollar store and pick up a crappy pair for $1. I think this simple lifehack is pure genius. The only problem now is trying to keep track of the plug…