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Use OpenStep's Ni.snd in OS X System
I had OpenStep running in a virtual machine for quite a long time before I got the idea to extract and convert the Ni.snd to something that OS X can play back.

For those who don't know: OpenStep had many of the same system sounds found in today's OS X. However, OS X lacks the most important one from OpenStep -- it's the "Ni" sound from Monty Python's Knights who say Ni. This hint presupposes that you have access to an OpenStep installation, as I don't know if the sound was included with NextStep.
  1. In OpenStep, find the sound file, which is located at /NextLibrary/Sounds/Ni.snd
  2. Somehow, move the file over to your Mac. Since I use a virtual machine, I first tried to use NFS for that, but failed miserably. So I installed OmniWeb 3 and mailed the sound file to myself. Astonishing that the webmail site (GMX) even worked in the old browser, but it did!
  3. On your Mac, put Ni.snd in /System » Library » Sounds (authentication required!).
You can now select Ni in System Preferences » Sound, and enjoy the greatest warning sound ever made!

[robg adds: I would save the file in either the top-level Library » Sounds folder, or my user's Library » Sounds folder, instead of in the System folder. Sounds added to either spot should be visible in the Sound System Preferences panel. I'm sure enterprising readers could use a web search engine to find a "Ni" sound effect file without having to first install OpenStep in a virtual machine. The general version of this hint is that it appears any ".snd" file from OpenStep (and probably NextStep) works natively in OS X.]
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Use OpenStep's Ni.snd in OS X
Authored by: diamondsw on Aug 04, '08 08:29:30AM

I'd say the real hint would be getting OpenStep to run in a virtual machine at all. It's definitely been the most finicky OS I've ever dealt with.

Any and all details on getting it running in the current version of VMWare or Parallels would be greatly appreciated. :)

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Use OpenStep's Ni.snd in OS X
Authored by: un on Aug 04, '08 08:59:02AM
The Ni sound is indeed included in NeXTStep (it's there in NS 3.3). Also missing from OS X is the bullfrog sound, which is my fave! Here is a Guide to installing NS 3.3 on VM Ware from the site.

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Use OpenStep's Ni.snd in OS X
Authored by: rammjet on Aug 04, '08 09:29:42AM
Use OpenStep's Ni.snd in OS X
Authored by: chrischram on Aug 04, '08 10:32:42AM

Darn you rammjet! Darn you all to Heck! I am a recovering sound junkie, and you just pushed me off the wagon! ;-)

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Use OpenStep's Ni.snd in OS X
Authored by: poenn on Aug 04, '08 10:28:26AM


Running the latest available release of OpenStep is relatively easy in VMware Fusion. I don't know about Parallels Desktop.

I believe (it's been a while) that I used Other/FreeBSD as the OS type. What's really important is to choose the correct disk controller driver or the installation will simply hang. I believe I used one of the EISA or SCSI ones.

After you get it installed you only need to install the VESA graphics driver for color and higher resolutions. There are also free OpenStep VMware mouse and audio drivers I found through Google. They make your experience much more pleasant... :-)


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Use OpenStep's Ni.snd in OS X
Authored by: poenn on Aug 04, '08 10:30:47AM

Ah, I just saw the link to posted above. The instructions there include the links to the drivers I mentioned!

Have fun!

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Use OpenStep's Ni.snd in OS X
Authored by: kb7sqi on Aug 04, '08 02:47:56PM
OPENSTEP 4.2 runs fine under Parallels as well as VMWare Fusion. It runs quite a bit faster under Parallel's, but is lacking sound. Under VMWare Fusion, it works 100% w/ the proper drivers. If you need upto date *nix software for your "NeXT" feel free to download the packages I've created on my website. If you read the forums on, you'll see I post there quite frequently and I try to keep things current as possible. Take care


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