Tag Archives: ubuntu 9.10

Ubuntu Itch Returns

Ubuntu 10.04-LTS

Ubuntu 10.04-LTS Screenshot

Today I got bored, and like always, like going back to a drug, I installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on a virtual machine. Big mistake! Well, given Ubuntu’s history with me, it may be a mistake. I always have to deal with these itches to install Ubuntu; I love love love the idea of free software and Linux in general. But, if history has proven itself, then I probably shouldn’t install it on my Acer Aspire One. I have tried 8.04, 9.04, and 9.10 on all flavors of laptops, most recently 9.10 on my Acer Aspire One, in which I ended up installing XP so I could get my work done.

Ubuntu just always has “the problems,” maybe I will go through my old posts (not on this site yet) and count all those problems. I just remember it being slow and giving me enough problems that I went back to something that worked: Windows. And, it’s always about doing my work and not having to deal with fixing, hacking or customizing Linux-based OS’s all the time. But, the itch (as I have termed it over the years) is there, and I really really want to try it out. But, this time I am going to be patient and maybe Virtual Box it or something on my Acer and see how it works, maybe spend a couple days trying to use it and see if it slows down at all or just gives me hell.

Oh, Ubuntu, it’s like a bad romance…

Getting Skype to work in Ubuntu 9.10 on Acer Aspire One; Pulseaudio

My girlfriend needs to use Skype for an interview this week, so I took this as a opportunity to see if Skype worked on Ubuntu 9.10.Well, let’s just say it didn’t. But, good news, I got it to work beautifully.

I Google’d the problem and arrived at bug #433055:

The internal mic works fine with 9.04. There is no sound now with 9.10 and any level of amplification. – 9.10 Internal Microphone Does not Work on Aspire One

Pulseaudio Device Chooser Tray Icon, Volume Control GUI &  Un-lock Graphic Icon

Pulseaudio Device Chooser Tray Icon, Volume Control GUI & Un-lock Graphic Icon

Upon reading the details, I tried a number of the solutions which didn’t work. Also, note that sound recorder was working for me prior to using Skype since I used the multimedia selector to select OSS sound driver. But, I changed it all back to Pulseaudio before trying the solutions.

Finally, I reached a solution that worked:

I have found that installing pavucontrol and then using that to unlock and set the input levels from the internal microphone so that one channel is maxed and the other zeroed allows the internal mic to work with Skype! Nothing ever plugged in to the mic socket. I read this suggestion somewhere else, but I’ve lost my record of where. It’s an AOA-150 (ZG5). – Ibid., Steve Jackson, 2009-11-27

The responses to this looked like:

that’s it! Unlocking the two mic channels in pulseaudio’s volume control input devices and setting one of the two mic channels to 0% works around this bug in pulseaudio! I can now see the mic level bar in the volume control follow closely the volume meter (recording) level bar, and arecord and skype are now receiving the expected signal from the internal mic. Re-locking the two mic channels together makes pulseaudio lose the mic signal again, so the problem is likely in how pulseaudio is handling these two mic channels together. – Ibid., Marcus Granado, 2009-11-27

The sliding of both bars implied.

The sliding of both bars implied.

So I installed padevchooser:
sudo apt-get install padevchooser

After installing padevchooser I was able to use the GUI to unlock “the two mic channels in pulseaudio’s volume control.” To start the application it was under: Applications -> Sounds & Video -> Pulseaudio Device Chooser. Then, in the GUI, I went to the tray icon and went to Volume Control, then the tab Input Devices. I had to hit the lock graphic icon to let me slide one bar to the left (to 0%) and the other to the right (100%).

Webkit, Chrome, Gecko, Oh My!

Screenshot of Google Chrome and Google Gears

Screenshot of Google Chrome and Google Gears

Right now I am in Google Chrome (for Linux, on Ubuntu 9.10) and it runs so much faster. It is incredible the kind of heavy “aura” Firefox creates vs. practically any browser that runs Webkit (even Epiphany). I like fast, light, simple browsers that are concerned with making the web “just work.” Chrome does this in a variety of ways, and for those who use it, they know what I am talking about.

Lately, I have been griping about offline access to information and offline apps and pages. I’ve been looking more into HTML5, and it looks like that is where they are headed (those people are so dang smart). But, as of now, on Linux, in a Webkit browser (Chrome), I can’t use [say] Google Calendar offline. I can use when online, and it runs like a dream. But, I can’t really run it offline. Firefox is so slow and clunky, not to mention a resource hog, that just watching a movie or loading up Gmail or Google Calendar takes a while. (Don’t worry, I’m still happy the 56k days are behind us.)

But, for now I have made Chrome my default browser and will use Firefox to load up Google Calendar and the like (using Gears) when I am offline. But, I thought I would just talk a little bit about how immensely comforting it is to be in a Webkit browser! I’m not sure if there is really anything wrong with this – I mean, thanks Firefox for still being there for me when it comes to features and plugins.

Sometimes I wish Firefox would just move to Webkit. (Although, I do realize what a pain that would be.)

Acer Aspire One w/ Ubuntu 9.10 Monitor/Display Sleep

Power settings that let my display sleep.

Power settings that let my display sleep.

So, the other day I was getting really frustrated that my display wasn’t sleeping after my one minute setting (when on battery power). So, by chance, I changed my power settings to not dim my display automatically (which was also working weird) and my display started sleeping. Just thought someone would benefit from minimizing further frustration.

This is one of a few little quirks that Ubuntu has on my Acer Aspire One, and as I fix or come across a solution I’ll post more.

Acer Aspire One w/ Ubuntu 9.10: Day 2

So, if you looked around my blog, you would probably read a lot about Ubuntu and my Dell Mini 9. Well, the other day a very small part of wireing in the power-switch “fried.” Yeah, fried; it’s complicated so you will have to just live with “fried.”

Acer Aspire One

Acer Aspire One (Silver)

So, I had to get a new computer. All-in-all I really loved my Dell Mini 9. The screen was a little small, it had a very small hard-drive (8gb), but otherwise it was a nice little computer to me. So, I opted for another Netbook. Sure beats forking up $999 for some other computer. I had heard about the Acer Aspire One and even Googled it before I went out and bought one. Seemed to work just as well with Ubuntu. (It came with Windows 7, but I gave it away.)

So, I’ve been putting it to the test so far. I installed Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic with ease, no problems there. In fact, everything worked out of the box: sound, wireless (I remember the days when this was impossible), even video effects, YouTube, Hulu, full screen graphics, etc. There has been a couple of annoyances though: the webcam is out of sync with audio when using Cheese and the touchpad is really picky. Yeah, picky. I like using the tap and the button is very course (I got a blister on my thumb). The tap picks up taps badly. (But, it works!).

The bigger screen is a total plus, 10 inches versus 8 inches with the Dell Mini 9. Same resolution, but just bigger. Also, that means a full-sized keyboard too. The backspace key took a little getting-used-to, but I think I got it down. And, as I mentioned above the video-card seems to be a bit more hefty as it plays YouTube and Hulu just fine. The 160gb hard-drive has probably been the best upgrade. If everything else is mediocre-ly the same, then it was worth it just for the added space. Anyone who has had an 8gb hard-drive will tell you how annoying it is. Oh!, and I almost forgot to mention: the multi-card reader doesn’t work. That was a little lame actually.

So there is my day two review. I think I will get some things settled, like the card-reader, (not too sure about the webcam until I use Skype). I’ve been trying not to get too caught up fixing things right now. I’m on Spring Break and who wants to waste it with headaches caused by Linux (yeah, you know what I mean)? I will just fix and work things out in time.

Sorry, I would have included pictures, but I don’t have a camera with me at the moment; next time! But, I got the silver one!