What tools or techniques are available for silencing the start up chime on a Mac? I know this can be accomplished by muting the sound before shutdown, but I was hoping that a solution existed that didn't require me to, you know, remember to do anything.
Check out the StarupSound prefpane. It allows you to control the volume of and mute the chime.
Note: I have not used its on leopard yet, so I'm not sure if it works. But I can confirm it works in 10.4
Edit: I forgot to mention that you could just hold the mute button on you're keyboard when you hit the power button to disable the sound for that boot.
This looks like what you want:
It adds a pref pane that you can use to disable the startup sound.