479: Tones

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I need a lawn, so I can yell at kids to stay off it.
Title text: I need a lawn, so I can yell at kids to stay off it.


Cellular phone users can set nearly anything as their ringtone; even the default rings on new phones are a short string of notes put together, and serve a dual purpose as a company's trademark. Cueball is saying that there's one thing in his life he's never compromised on: When someone calls his phone, it makes a ringing sound. Of course, this is a rather minor thing on which to make a stand.

The comic also seems to begin very seriously, and thus the comic relief is provided by the turn to the inconsequential; this is mirrored in the zooming-in to the cell phone.

To continue the comic's theme of Cueball-as-crochety-old-man, the title text says that he needs a lawn, so he can yell at kids to stay off of it — a stereotypical "old man" behavior.

Randall makes another complaint about ringtones in 2272: Ringtone Timeline.


[Cueball is standing in a room next to a round table, looking out a window. A blue and orange sunset is visible outside the window. There is a phone on the table. The text of the comic is in boxes, two for each panel. Cueball is not talking, but rather narrating in these boxes.]
Narrator: I haven't lived a perfect life.
Narrator: Made plenty of mistakes. Got my share of regrets.
[Zooming in on Cueball and the table with the phone, window with colored sky still visible to the left.]
Narrator: But there's one thing of which I'm proud.
Narrator: One stand on which I've never wavered.
[Zooms in on the cell phone on the table, Cueball and window outside the panel.]
Narrator: When someone calls my phone,
Narrator: it makes a goddamn ringing sound.

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Yes!! To the death!!! A goddamn ringing sound... ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

In the olden days of electro-mechanical telephone exchanges, each exchange would have a 17 Hz ring tone generator. When a call was switched through, it would send a 17 Hz signal down the line which would be picked off by a 17 Hz pick-off filter in the receiver. This would then activate the bell inside the receiver, causing it to ring. (Feel free to delete if deemed irrelevant). -- The Cat Lady (talk) 10:56, 15 August 2021 (UTC)