running linux on laptops

Janina Sajka janina at
Mon Aug 15 13:35:13 UTC 2005

Hi, Mike:

Mike Gorse writes:
> ...  I have an IBM Thinkpad R40 which I occasionally 
> boot into Linux, and the sound card and network card work, although it 
> seems that only one program can write to the sound card at a time, which 
> can be annoying.  A user-level program such as ESD might theoretically be 
> able to overcome this, although the last time I checked it offered no way 
> to drain the audio sent to it, which would make it unusable for a screen 
> reader that needs to be able to silence the speech.  I have not been able 
> to get the wireless card to work ...

ESD couldn't possibly help you because it's OSS based. However, the
latest alsa releases support something called dmix by default. This is
alsa's software mixer, and I've had good success playing multiple sound
sources using it.

BTW: I have also used it with yasr, and it shuts up quite quickly. Of
course, this is using alsa's oss emmulator, so only one sound source
(yasr) at a time because of the oss restriction.

So, Mike, can we look forward to an alsa native yasr sometime soon? Have
I intrigued you yet?

PS: You don't say what wireless device you have in your Thinkpad. My
current Thinkpad is an X31 model with a IPW2100 wireless device builtin.
It works perfectly well with Linux, but I had to get the binary (non
open source) drivers and install them in /lib/firmware first. The issue
is that our GPL supportive distros like Fedora and Debian aren't going
to ship binary drivers. Nor would I want them to.


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