Ubuntu Linux Experience

Since my Toshiba laptop apparently has no line in, just a microphone input, I recently picked up a little Sound Blaster MP3+, an external USB sound card. Had some major problems getting it to work with Mandrake 10, so thought I’d check out the Ubuntu live CD (5.04 – “hoary hedgehog” release), with a view to porting if it works.

Well, I got a big bonus from the start. I finally have wi-fi working. Almost out-of-the-box … Centrino wi-fi didn’t work, but it worked with a Belkin USB device. That’s cool, as I’ve tried a couple of times with Mandrake and others, on both devices, and always had to give up.. When it comes time to recompile the kernel, that’s when it’s time for me to say student days are over, and I have better things to do than spend a few hours tweaking settings, recompiling, rebooting, repeat.

Unfortunately, the soundcard situation’s not so good. It seems to be confused by the existence of two devices – the internal and external devices. And not helped by the mutual presence of OSS, the kernel-level module, and ALSA, linux sound of the future. Looks like I’ll be recording podcasts in windows in the medium term! At least I can now do it with line-in.

All good reasons to make my next PC a no-brainer … switch!