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Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 Alpha 2: First impressions on ‘difficult’ hardware

My feelings for Ubuntu have run hot and cold since I first discovered the “Linux for human beings”-nicknamed reimagination of Debian during the Dapper (6.06) era.

I’ve had Ubuntu be the best distro on a given computer, sometimes it won’t even boot, I’ve had terrible trouble with Intel video, and upgrade-delivered changes have forced me to rewrite scripts on the fly. OK, it’s mostly Intel video, which for any user of Xorg over the past 2+ years has been an absolute nightmare.

And lately I’ve thrown another wrinkle into the mix: I fixed my Toshiba Satellite 1100-S101 (circa 2001) laptop’s dead sound with a sub-$3 USB Headphone Set sound module from DealExtreme.com. In Debian Lenny I managed to configure it to play all sounds except system sounds and Flash sound. That means audio and video files will play, but the system beeps and bleeps and any sound from Flash video or audio can’t be heard. I can even record via the USB sound module I got for a couple bucks and change (shipping included).

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