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Re: Basic advice for setting up sound? Ubuntu convert

Rob Owens writes:
> On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 03:20:07AM -0700, Dr. Jennifer Nussbaum wrote:
> > Hi. I used to use Debian but recently have been using Ubuntu. For 
> various reasons (mainly hating the Unity interface) i now am back on 
> Debian. I have a clean install of Wheezy running under Xfce on a basic 
> desktop computer. I am looking to get audio working in a straightforward 
> way, i dont want to be doing anything fancy. The "basic" docs ive looked 
> at are often very complicated and talk aboutt hings i dont want to do.
> >
> > Under Ubuntu, running PulseAudio, sound Just Worked. That's what i 
> want. I dont care about PulseAudio specifically but if it works smoothly 
> i'll use it.

	I could have written the above exchange myself. I have
used Debian for about 10 years and except for the early 2000,'s,
it and pulseaudio just worked

	As a computer user who happens to be blind and an
amateur radio operator, I do like to do unusual things such as
recording communications off of radio receivers, etc, and
playing around with sox to edit and process sound files that
range from 8-bit 8000-sample per second audio to normal .wav and
.mp3 files.

	I recently acquired a 2004-vintage Dell desktop with a
2.7-gigabyte CPU and 1.1 gigabytes of RAM, in other words, a
very nice system.

	This very nice system appears to be in proper working
order. It will run all the obsolete versions of Linux including
a version called Vinux2.0 which has a software synthesizer to read
the screen.

	If you try to run the ubuntu live CD for ubuntu11.04,
one gets the desktop on screen for orca but no sound of any kind
except for the fans and the CDROM drive grinding away.

	Tests show the sound card as being appropriately set but
nothing, not so much as a pop, emerges from the audio outputs.

	Vinux2.0 is part of the obsolete world that works.
Vinux3.x is based on ubuntu and comes up talking on somebody's
P.C., but not mine or a number of others.

	Something is seriously broken in that the present ubuntu
appears to go through all the motions that make sound happen,
but no sound results. I think it is some sort of logic or timing
issue in which the automated processes that probe and discover
what sound system this computer uses come to the wrong conclusion
as there are no errors or complaints. It just comes up with a
perfect picture, but no sound.

	For those of us wanting to use orca, that is an absolute
show stopper. For the rest, you had better get a book on how to
read lips when watching videos or hum along with the music you
are playing.:-)

	Here's what I do know. Debian lenny has perfect sound.
When you install pulseaudio, you get /dev/dsp and all works like
it should.

	Ubuntu 9.10 appears to be when things started to go
South. I could actually get orca to speak and gnome to run but
there are issues with ubuntu9.10 and, when running gnome and
orca, the system would freeze at times.

	Ubuntu10.10 and everything after that are totally broken
for sound on this particular hardware, anyway.

	I would certainly like to help fix it, but it is very
hard to use the interface that is broken to trouble-shoot

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK 
Systems Engineer
OSU Information Technology Department Telecommunications Services Group

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