[sclug] Desktop distro recommendations

Alex Butcher lug at assursys.co.uk
Mon Apr 5 09:56:35 UTC 2004

On Mon, 5 Apr 2004, Tony Sumner wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 05, 2004 at 12:29:31AM +0100, Patrick Kirk wrote:
> > Now I know I could start wading through logs looking for clues but
> > this is 2004, I did 2/3 of that in the 90s and hated doing it then
> > and I'm too old to go through all that again.
> It's time someone said these things.
> > Can anyone recommend a desktop distro 
> Not really. My RH8.0 has a driver nv that runs the Nvidia card though
> the Nvidia driver is recommended.

...only if you want hardware 3D. If you don't care, you don't need the
closed nVidia drivers.

RH/Fedora will use the Free nVidia driver that has no hardware 3D support.

> > just loads its sound system without asking me any questions. 
> Quite. RH8.0 runs sound (A-bit mobo, on-board sound) in the sense that
> I can play jazz CDs but I failed to get RealPlayer running; it says
> stupid things like 'AC97 Codec locked at 48kHz' which is not true
> since Media Player runs under WinME. So if I want to listen to a radio
> programme I have to shutdown and power up Windows which is a nuisance
> as well as morally repugnant.

Sounds as though either the driver for your sound device doesn't support
variable output sample rates, you've got a limited sound device that doesn't
support variable output sample rates (i.e. it's not AC'97 2.1+ compliant),
or (possibly), some other process has a lock on /dev/dsp. Do you have KDE's
arts or esd running, perhaps?

If it's the first or second explanation, then Windows probably works because
its driver is doing resampling to 48KHz in software. Ugh. Nice way of
killing overall system performance.

> > I hate the whole idea of understanding how sound works.  It should
> > just work.
> Quite. If you try to get help on sound from Google you are deluged
> with impenetrable jargon, ugh. What is a codec for pete's sake [OK,
> it's a coder/decoder but I don't want .mpeg; for radio I want .ram.
> So it goes]

CoDec in this context refers to the input and output data format of the
sound device; it should be in PCM (.wav) format. Back in the mists of time,
sound cards used to deal with more than PCM encoding (have a look on the box
of a 1995-era SoundBlaster 16 for details).

> > 3. Sees a USB mouse during installation and installs it
> I don't know if RH installs with a USB mouse. I had a serial mouse and
> when I bought a USB mouse I had to go into KDE, alter the mouse
> setting (so I had two mousen) then remove the serial mouse. Odd.
> [Mm, does the 'detecting new hardware' phase detect USB gear?]

Yup, RH/Fedora automagically works with USB mice.

> Good luck in your search. 
> Tony Sumner

Best Regards,
Alex Butcher      Brainbench MVP for Internet Security: www.brainbench.com
Bristol, UK                      Need reliable and secure network systems?
PGP/GnuPG ID:0x271fd950                         <http://www.assursys.com/>

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