By: David K. Every
Macs all have a startup sound, and a "death chime". Since Apple used a ROM for many different machines (or changed as little as they had to), these sounds only changed every few years or so.
The "Death Chimes" are heard if there is a hardware failure early in the boot process. This was usually a RAM failure, but could be for SCSI failure or other things as well. (Often there was a different set of beeps before or after the "Death Chime" to let technicians know what failed.
You could usually force the death chimes by holding the Interrupt Button (or Command-Power) key during boot.
I just converted them to QuickTime format, and viola!
Of course since Sound was such an important part of the Mac, there were certainly a few sound eggs.
A program called ROMmie can help people find them. I will try to add an archive of those sounds here.
I remember the PowerBook 520 as having this really cool jet sound -- it's code name was "The BlackBird", named after the SR-71 airplane. I heard one once (in stereo) as the startup sound -- but they probably pulled it out right before release.
The Quadra 900 was supposed to have a different crash sound. It was a large diesel engine starting up. It never shipped for some unknown reason -- too bad, I think these things give models some personality.
I'd love to get these sounds, or find out if they are still hidden in there.