Does one have to be a sound engineer?

Timothy Murphy gayleard at
Wed Jul 2 15:20:12 UTC 2008

I installed Fedora-9 (from the KDE Live CD)
on a big new disk on my laptop (ThinkPad T43) yesterday,
and found that sound was not working.
I noticed on left-clicking on the sound icon in the panel
that the sound mixer was muted,
and the sound was set at minimal level as well.
Surely the rational setup would be to have sound working
at a reasonably high level when one logs on?

Anyway, after unmuting the sound and increasing the level
I found there was still no sound.

Left-clicking on the sound icon, and then left clicking on the word "Mixer"
in the small window that appeared brought up a KMix window.
I noticed that the "Front" slider was set at the minimal level in this,
and pushing it up started sound working.

What exactly does "Front" mean?

Windows XP seems to get by without all this sophistication.
As far as I can see, all I can do under Windows
is make the sound stronger or weaker.
I must say that is all I want.

Am I alone in feeling there is too much expertise,
and not enough common sense, in the Linux sound community?

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