Ok, I don't know if this is/was a sys admin urban myth, but when I was a student I heard of technique to help sys admins monitor a server without actively and constantly checking on it.
What they would do is route something like CPU usage or network saturation to a white noise generator. They would play this in the background at low volume, and if some unusual activity occurred the noise would sound different (volume, tone?) They would then check on the server using the regular console tools.
My question is, has anyone tried this? Does such a program or technique exist?