November 22nd, 2003


linux sound

so I have a machine with an echo mia card in it, and i wanted to load linux on it, and use it for stuff like PD and soundtracker and ardour.
Little did I know ... basically to do so, I have to go to the fucking outermost bleeding edge and apply my 20 years of Unix software development experience to get the fucking thing working.

Grr... I may try loading up one of the Linux audio distributions instead of Fedora. Fedora is, otherwise, extremely easy to install if you have standard, modern hardware. It found all the hardware on my computer (except for the exotic sound hardware, which requires building and installing ALSA). It comes with all the crap you'd ever want for basic computer tasks, and seems rock stable. Speed-wise, I think X11 is slower on this particular hardware than XP was but I'm running a 466 celeron which is near the bottom of the minimum system for either OS.

The only annoyance I ran into is that the Fedora ISO images I downloaded with Bittorent were crap, or something was wrong with the machine I burned them on. I re-downloaded and burnt em and all was well. Redhat 9 disks never did boot into install, even when I used a borrowed IDE CDROM drive.

If I was really goal-oriented, I wouldn't do any of this crap -- I already have a bazillion ways of making music without loading Linux. But like always, I follow my nose, and do stuff just because I get interested in doing it.

But I think it's really an open question whether Linux is going to ever challenge Windows on the desktop. I'd say KDE + Open Office + Mozilla + Ximian mail do everything that most users would ever want, and there isn't much system admin needed unless you do the sort of things casual users don't do.

There are two things lobbying for Windows in this choice: 1) Even though Linux is free, Windows & Common Windows apps are almost always bundled in any consumer computer. 2) Linux doesn't provide a browser that covers everything people might encounter casually, and installing new plugins is a pain in the ass.