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Re: WAS: Curious...Are most of you in tech-related--NOW, I gave up and went back to Mandrake :-(

>  My sound card os one of those generic VIA AC97 onboard cards, on a
> Shuttle AK32 board w/Athlon 1.1.  I searched the archives of this
> list and there were many issues and posts with that card, and worse
> yet, it seems to be a fairly generic description.

Yes, this little beast has been the subject of much discussion.  I 
myself fell victim to its wiles when I brought my new computer home in 
March.  It's really not that complicated.  All you'll need to do is 
install an alsa package that matches your kernel.  Actually, the 2.4.19 
and above kernels are supposed to support this card out of the box, but 
I haven't tried it yet.  After installing an alsa package, you'll want 
to run the alsa configurator (I think it's called alsacfg or something 
like that).

Unfortunately, automatic detection and configuration of peripheral
devices like soundcards and joysticks is much more advanced in the 
"commercial" distributions.  But these are usually just frills on most 
peoples boxes, and the problems get solved eventually.  If you're 
dependent on regularly being able to process a lot of audio, then by 
all means, use the distro that's right for you.

Also, there's nothing really wrong with Mandrake (except that it uses
RPMs).  I used to love RPMs, until I started using apt.  That RPM stuff
is for monkeys.  It's (usually) not much more difficult to just build
from source.

Having said that, I haven't used Mandrake in a long time (around 3
years) and I'm sure things have changed.  I installed a RH 7.3 box a 
while ago and I was SUPREMELY impressed with the ease and smoothness of 
the installation.  Everything (including my cdrw) just worked(!).  It's 
just been my experience, however, is that RPM-based distros are more 
concerned with system installation than system maintenance (which you 
will probably be doing for much longer).

It sounds like you're on the right path.  I remember when I first 
started I was probably making a new installation about every couple of 
months or so, until I figured out that's not how you fix things on a 
Unix box. ;-)

Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it.  If you choose Mandrake, 
we wish you well.  If you need some help with Debian, well, you know 
where to come.

Stephen W. Juranich                         sjuranic@ee.washington.edu
Electrical Engineering         http://students.washington.edu/sjuranic
University of Washington            http://ssli.ee.washington.edu/ssli

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