Podcast Season 1 Episode 11


Title: The Battle of Thorne Waste

In this episode: Android isn't as good as Windows CE on smartbooks. Debian bundles Mono. Crossover 8 is released while Opera 10 and Firefox 3.5 are nearly here. Is sound a disaster on Linux? And should geeks boycott closed platforms like the XBox 360, Playstation 3 and iPhone?

What's in the show

The name of the ThunderCat we couldn't remember is Tygra. Ho!

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Paul Hudson, Graham Morrison and Mike Saunders

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Your comments

Graham and Andrew...

...sound too alike. I demand that, henceforth, Graham speaks in a falsetto. Thanks in advance.

By the way

You're dead right about sound on Linux. It's a nightmare, a bloody nightmare. If you just want to listen to music, it's fine, but anything else is almost as difficult as asking VirginMedia to transfer your internet connection correctly.

Case in point. The other day I tried to configure mic input in order to use Ekiga. I must have wrestled with my volume controls for a solid hour before I got it to work. I was adding switches, removing switches, messing about with sliders. I got it in the end but I'll never remember how; it seemed like a completely random configuration by the time I'd finished. Now I'm scared to touch it again in case something stops working.


I haven't yet listened but

I haven't yet listened but configuring a headset is dire , I have got it to work but don't ask me how :?


Does anyone know where the name Vala comes from? It is the word for 'close' or 'shut' in the Zulu language. but I guess that the female name from a priestess of Norse mythology is more likely?

As far as sound is

As far as sound is concerned, I agree. You can find pretty much anything on the internet with a lot of searching, but then when you get a new distro you can't remember how you did it before. For example, I managed to get sound through my non-mobo sound card in Ubuntu 8.10 via a tutorial, but when I upgraded to 9.04 I couldn't for the life of me remember how I did it. I ended up just disabling the on-board sound via the BIOS, but that now means I can't use the front jacks for anything at all (my non-mobo sound card is better as it has 4.1 surround rather than just 2.1 or 6.1, but it doesn't have a socket for front jacks)

Me too with sound.

I'm glad its not just me but I haven't been able to record from the sound card either on my desktop or laptop. Everything else is fine. Why oh why is a simple matter of recording so difficult?

Too soft on audio

The state of audio in linux deserves more than a few minutes of calm discussion. 15minutes of raving maniac rant is the absolute minimum. Ridiculous is not enough.

Sounds Of The Surburbs

I have been using Linux for over 10 years and it is usually the installation of sound drivers for the sound card that causes me the most trouble. However, to be fair it is now a lot better than it was when I first started. Sound cards, either onboard or separate cards, are usually configured correctly but mostly for loudspeakers only. Using sound in Linux for headphones can be a nightmare , and yes, it is commendable that we have the choice of all the different inputs and outputs that various drivers and software offer us, sometimes, it is just the simple settings that we need most often.

Now, as Linux is gaining more and more ground and is pushing for that ever elusive breakthrough on the home market, a more concerted effort is needed from all Linux Distributions to lobby and bear pressure on the card manufacturers to open their standards, thus increasing their market and consolidating standards across the market place.

It is in our hands : either we sit and complain or we demand action and only buy sound cards that are Linux compatible. It is that simple, I feel. When the manufacturers see us buying cards that are made for us, they will start making cards for us too. Supply and demand.Name and shame.Make the compaign for open standards truly transparent and setup a Web site for such a cause.

We have the power to get change if we spend wisely.

OR we are developers, buy

OR we are developers, buy sound cards that are NOT fully compatible with Linux and start cracking.


Can you *please* make a version of the podcast without the terrible intermission music? I'd rather listen to something that doesn't make me want to lop my brain out and walk around like the prat who produced that garbage.

Now that's out of the way, thanks for the podcast!

Ok. So I skipped a few words

Ok. So I skipped a few words between "the" and "prat", but I'm sure you understand what I'm trying to say - it was just profanity either way.

Mono and a quiet voice

Thank you lads for being calm while talking about Mono,tomboy, freedom, fud, removing Mono from distros, etc...
I use to listen to "another" linux podcast where the guys blow up my mind, screaming, shouting and saying lots of ugly things about this matter for 20 minutes, which I really don't care about.
Please never talk about Mono again. I think we had enough!
Congrats for the great podcast and the nice British accent!

Linux Sound

I've recently had trouble with openSUSE 11.1 sound streaming from the BBC, it didn't flow, just stuttered! I've solved it by going over to Ubuntu 9.04 which works in this area okay, however, I had to try a number of different download versions of Audacity before I got one that would record more than half a second of audio. There are also problems with Songbird too. I just hangs when you try to install it. (libvisual-0.4-plugins is the cause of the problem but if removed it the BBC website wont load!)

All Linux sound systems should come with a hefty brick wall to bang your head up against!

Anyway, roll on openSUSE 11.2 when I, (hopefully), will be able to go back to a single bar at the bottom of the screen instead to the two, top and bottom, given by most Gnome offerings.

Eleventy one?

Where are the missing 100 programs then?

In support of the music

Personally I like the music in the podcast (it's by Brad Sucks by the way), the only trouble is I find myself humming it all day after listening to the podcast.

Go to one bar

The first thing to do to your 9.04 installation is to create the top bar features on your bottom bar, check that you have them all, and then delete the top one. All via your mouse, right clicking away, no config files and no terminal commands.

cooliris works on Asus EeePC

cooliris is a cool add-on for Firefox. I was so glad when they made this available for Linux, after having used it previously in Firefox on Windows.
I am also pleased to report that it works well even on my Asus EeePC 901 netbook, which runs the default Xandros. So it would seem that it is not entirely necessary to have a powerful PC to use it.


So true...making my Mic work in Skype took forever...FIX IT!!!!!

Sound advice

I've just listened to episode 11 and totally agree about the sound system on Linux. I'm a relative newby, Been running on Linux Ubuntu for nearly a year and gave up on 'Windows' a few months ago. I've got a PC and a Thinkpad T61, but both have problems with the sound setup. Like a previous comment'er, I have also spent hours trying the myriad different settings.
PulsaAudio, Jack etc. What we all need is a simple, starting from nothing lesson, in where all the different pieces of the puzzle fit together. A map, as it were of the sound systems available and what they do.
Right, now I'm going to have another list to your excellent episode 11 and take some notes about the discussion on sound.
BTW keep up the good work. I think the podcast is excellent

have you tried OSS _LATELY_

I think you did linux users disservice by barely mentioning oss. I just ripped out alsa & replaced it with oss 4.1 & it gave me what you're claiming to want: audio that simply works.

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