So the main workstation has been a bit fritzy again. I blew out the dust, resat the cpu fan and such and fired it up. Worked like a charm for a day or so until my youngest, Avery, called attention to the fact that sound was not working. Sure enough, she was correct. Everything looked fine, sound appeared to be working but there was no audio. I messed with the connections, the mixer, everything, but no sound. It was very odd. Then I fired up audacity, pulled in an audio file and it played just fine. That is when I noticed the device in audacity was set to hw:0,1 for playback. HW:0,0 would not play back any sound and that is what most devices will go to by default. So why was subdevice 1 working and not 0 for audio playback?
This was at midnight last night and I did not want to invest too much time. So I plugged in the old sblive usb sound card and let her have at it. No problem there.
To my surprise at work today my friend Aja had finally brough in her laptop with a request to install Ubuntu on it. She had been complaining about having to use Vista Home edition and wanted me to hook her up. I set to it and the install was pretty painless. I resized her Vista partition using the vista tools and then install Juanty. Painless as it was I did have some issue to content with.
First, this is a pretty new laptop and the wireless card was not supported by the stock kernel supplied with Jaunty. I had to do the update to get the latest kernel and use the Jaunty module back ports. Easy as this is to do normally that means I have to connect to our internal network through the cisco clean access client. I needed java. So I used aptitude to pull down sun’s java 6 and the few dependencies and threw them onto a flash card. Did a dpkg install of the packages (have to make sure you have the dependencies for sun-java6-common and then have sun-java6-common, sun-java6-bin and sun-java6-jre all in one spot or you end of in this circular dependency if you try to install them individually). Never-the-less, once done I was able to hook up to the guest network, do an update and on to the wireless it was, easy peasy!
But, I hit another snag, no audio. Everything seemed fine, seemed to play, but no audio. I tried everything I could think of and saw note that it was going to require an updated version of alsa. Jaunty has 1.18, I needed at least 1.20. I was loath to install alsa by source on another person’s machine, I’d rather a package but I was not finding any. I thought I might just upgrade to Koala as that is about a month away.
So using the comman line way noted to me by Popey: do-release-upgrade. That went smooth as butter but then I had issue with it starting X afterwards. Not wanting to waste too much of the work day on this I went back to Jaunty and did an install of alsa by source.
That did not fix the problem. So I dug some more and found out that while the driver works someone had mentioned they had success using hda_analyzer to turn on EAPD on device 0×1c. I found out hda_analyzer is a tool from alsa (not in the repositories) and once I had that and set EAPD on dev 0×1c to on audio played perfectly. Now how was I going to make the permanent? It did not survive a reboot and I was not going to have her fire up this tool and enable that checkbox each time she wanted to use her system.
Someone had posted a script that could be run out of rc.local and another post indicated an unstable release of alsa fixed the problem. I went with the unstable release of alsa driver and bam, perfect audio.
I installed some more software for her and handed over the laptop. She was ecstatic. The thrill was all over her face and she dug right into it. It’s cool to see someone excited over a Linux system.
Back home I set to fixing my own alsa problems. I pulled out the sb live usb card and did a system restart to get things back to clean. Fiddle with aplay and noticed that audio seemed to be working fine. For some reason all was in working order. I think maybe I had something screwed up in the alsamixer. That was nice revelation. I tweaked settings on both the internal and the new external sound card, test some recording then stored the mixer settings. I hope all is even better for Wednesday night.