No audio on my laptop with Linux Mint / Ubuntu : The Solution

I’ve been searching the net trying to figure out why I wasn’t getting audio of any kind on my laptop after installing Linux Mint. For future reference (and for anyone else who stumbles upon this) here’s what fixed it:

  1. Open Volume Control (Double click on icon in menu bar)
  2. Click ‘Preferences’
  3. Check “External Amplifier”
  4. Go to the newly visible “Switches” tab
  5. Uncheck “External Amplifier” there.
  6. Crank some music.

Linux Mint up and running just dandy.

OK, I had a couple snags, but they were my own fault rather than anything I can blame on the OS. So far, it’s pretty awesome. Wifi and video working right out the box, which is impressive since I had a load of trouble when I tried to switch to Ubuntu last year. I’m really considering running it on the TV’s computer, but I have some issues to work out with streaming Netflix. I haven’t done any research on the topic, but I’m hoping someone has worked out a way to view the movies on a non-IE browser. I could probably run a virtual machine with XP, but I’d rather not.

So anyway, so far so good.

Drinking the Ubuntu Kool-Aid

ubuntulogo.gifI’ve recently installed Ubuntu Linux on my spare desktop machine and I have to say, this is light years ahead the last time I tried installing linux onto a personal machine. Ubuntu, which is an African word meaning “I can’t get RedHat to work on this machine,” just worked right out the box, if not completely flawlessly. It still requires some bit of computer savy to configure everything, but nothing compared to my previous experiences. With one or two additional packages I have internet, video, instant messengering, bittorrents, you name it – all working. I am having some problems with video chat – but I think I’ll be able to figure that out. Once I have that, I seriously thinking about dropping Windows from my normal machine. Hell, Ubuntu will even run on my iMac 3G. Since I’ve upgraded my iMac to the newest OSX I’ve noticed a tremendous drop in speed, and I’m thinking linux would be much quicker.

So far I can recommend the following apps:

  • Kopete: Yahoo!/AIM/MSN messenger client. It even does webcam but I can’t get incoming video to move past connection – it just freezes. The other party can’t connect to my cam either. I’m thinking it’s a setting somewhere that I need to fiddle with.
  • Firefox: Of course.
  • Wine: Allows you to run Windows apps under Linux. I have yet to experiment too much with it, but there are a few things that I’d like to try… uTorrent and Trillian (portable version) come to mind.
  • Automatix: Automatix2 is a graphical interface for automating the installation (and uninstallation) of the most commonly requested applications in Debian based Linux operating systems. Currently supported are Ubuntu 6.10, 6.06 and Mepis 6. Get your codecs here quickly. Much like EasyUbuntu, although I can’t get EU to actually run.
  • Frostwire: Like Limewire.
  • Thunar: File manager. (Like Windows Explorer)

If I can get the kinks worked out with the camera and perhaps add some cool eye candy like Beryl… I may leave Windows behind as well. (for future reference)

Bill Gates Is Evil

USA TODAY:There seems to be some worry at Microsoft about Linux and some of these Web-based things like Sim Desk that have popped up. Houston, Munich, and Beijing have all been considering using Linux-based products rather than going through Microsoft. How much of this is a concern?

Bill Gates: Well those are our current competitors. I mean, it’s no different than in the past people used [IBM’s operating system] OS/2.

USA TODAY: Nobody used OS/2.

Jesus. I picture Gates answering the second question while twisting his evil manical mustasche as he envisions himself tying the Linux penguin to a railroad track. It’s things like this that make me wish Linux would hurry up and get user friendly. I’ve tried at least 4 separate times to get it up and running, but I always run into one roadblock or another. – Gates on Linux

I’m a wanna-be geek

It is becoming more and more obvious that I am not as big of a geek as I thought. Besides STILL be incapible to get a linux machine to connect to the internet using my cable modem, it wasn’t until I picked up the Summer issue of 2600 that I am aware of the seriously cool Blinkenlights Project.

Chaos Computer Club in germany put lamps in all the windows of this building, then connected them to a computer. Geeks all around the world could then create little movies and show them on the side of the building.

Arcade is the brand new light installation of Project Blinkenlights. Following up on the original Blinkenlights installation in Berlin, Arcade marks a new step in interactive light installations in public space.

In the context of the Nuit Blanche art festival in Paris, the team transforms the Tower T2 of the Biblioth?que nationale de France into a huge computer screen. With a matrix of 20 x 26 windows (resulting in 520 directly addressable pixels) and a size of 3370m2, the Arcade installation is positioned to be world’s biggest computer screen ever.

I can’t believe I’m just hearing about this.

“>The one last year had more windows/pixels and was able to play simple video games via CELL PHONES on the building from across the world.

Where do I return my card?