Every now and then though, I do see a hardware problem and the first thing I do when I turn the computer on is listen to how it beeps.
When the computer makes those funny sound via the system speaker, it's not doing it because it wants to be heard. The computer is trying to talk to the operator/technician and tell them what's wrong. In testing computer components on and off for the last three to four years, I find that almost all motherboards adhere to the IBM BIOS standard beep codes... I think a few OEM's have developed their own or use Phoenix or AMI beep codes, but for the most part motherboard manufacturers uses the IBM based ones because they are grandfathered in.