Wednesday, December 20, 2006

For a moment I thought, maybe it was just me.

(See the header of the pre-previous post.)

I got a new laptop at work, which, to borrow a phrase from certain digerati, I'll call Teh Shiny. :-) It has both Windows and Linux on it. Our SA at work installed Debian on it. That's the only distribution he supports. For a short while I was truly impressed with how well and painlessly it worked. It only took Steve about 2 hours to get the wireless connection working, as opposed to days and days he spent on my other Linux laptops (with very little result). And the wireless connection was stable from then on, instead of flickering on and off. That was encouraging. The laptop also recognized USB devices and did not crash when a USB device was plugged in. When I plugged in my camera, it came up automatically. More than that, when I tried to play an .AVI movie file, it played! In my previous attempts to play movie files on SUSE 9.1, the player immediately crashed, or in the best case, played the sound without the video. This was a quantum leap above my previous experiences with Linux.

I was happy, except for one little detail. There was no sound. The movie was silent. The sound icon on the desktop was set to the minimum, and when I tried to push it towards the maximum, it would bounce right back. So I asked the SA at work if he could do anything about the sound. He thought it shouldn't be hard. Well, after spending a day working on my lappy, he told me that with all the customizations he made the laptop has diverged quite a bit from standard Debian, and he would like to install Ubuntu on it instead. (No word as to whether he got the sound to work, but if I had to guess, the answer is no -- otherwise why would he want to install a different operating system on it? :-))

So now I'm thinking, as an answer to the question raised in the pre-previous post, maybe it's Not Just Me. :-)

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