The Solaris `snoop` command for capturing network packets has supported a -a option for at least 20 years which listens to packets on /dev/audio and comes with a warning that it "may be noisy". It used to be fun to run on a Sparcstation!
Nice, having sound in the loop for human-computer interaction I think is way undervalued. We have notification sounds yes, but would love to have more background tasks with some kind of subtle audio signal.
Especially now that these apple silicon macbooks turned so quiet, before you could still sort of get a hint that your computer is acting strangely when all of a sudden the fan would speed up.
I used to run this on my home network. It was pleasant and occasionally useful. The code was pretty unstable though, and the project looks totally unmaintained now. E.g., the “news” link redirects to a vacant domain. Sourceforge complains about the code being in CVS and suggests migrating to Subversion.
Perhaps some HN visibility will encourage someone to adopt and resurrect it.
Fun! I didn't know somebody had an OSS project that did this - 22 years ago.
The abstract of their paper reminds me of the story about the early Amazon team setting up a bell to ring in their office every time they sold a book.
Two years ago, I wrote a similar tool  to play notes in a C-Major scale based on the moving average of network events on a network interface.
The amount of dependencies the project has makes the cost of getting the thing to run much higher than the satisfaction of it running! Not fun!
I will go out on a limb and say that a times-series of system performance somewhere on your desktop is a better solution long term than listening to sounds that you play continuously from a speaker.
I like the nature sounds idea a lot. Our hearing is immensely sophisticated and we could probably develop an immersive experience of this for network monitoring with the right metrics. The idea of a secops analyst sitting by a virtual reality campfire, listening to their "surroundings," and then investigating based on environmental changes is pretty cyberpunk, and absolutely doable with something like this. Nature sounds as a complete UX metaphor is pretty amazing, and rich sound environments may be the missing immersive bit in VR/AR games.
This is timely, as just last night I was by a fire listening to a field of crickets and wondering if I could use a GAN to learn to interact with their fabric of noise and then convince the crickets to modulate their chirps according to the GAN's feedback. I then wondered how plausible it could be that this had already happened to us. Indeed, that kind of night. But these are the most interesting problems, and adversarial AI for insect control using their own audible telemetry has to be the most viable path for having it interact with biological systems. If it can't pass an insect Turing test, it probably can't pass a human one.
Thank you for posting this, it was truly a hidden gem.