posts from the life professional


February 2009

Ubuntu 8.1 on my hp mininote 2133 – Part 3 – Audio

This is the last of the 3 posts on having a Linux based hp 2133 that, thanks to it’s size and the decent performance of Ubuntu, will be a machine I carry most places with me, for taking notes, checking mail, writing, organising my day, talking to my Daughter in california …….

I once thought this would all be done on a smart phone.  I’m now convinced that I’d rather have 2 separate devices – this mininote with a very comfortable keyboard and decent screen size, and a basic phone that does just one thing and does that very well – making and taking phone calls.

So the last piece of getting this machine set up is the audio aspects.  First, getting Skype working well in Ubuntu (microphone and built in webcam), and then being able to record Audio notes.

Setting up Skype:

In Skype’s Options/Sound Devices you should have “HDA VIA VT82xx (hw:VT82xx,0)” set for Sound In, Sound Out.
Double click the speaker icon in the task bar (top right) to open it.
In the Device box, it should say HDA VIA VT82xx (Alsa mixer)
Select the Recording tab.
CLick on the Preferences button.
Ensure Microphone, Capture and Internal Mic are all checked.
Back in the recording tab, make sure the microphone, capture and internal mic icons are enabled.  That is, the little microphone picture under the right volume bar should be clear, with no red box and white X in it.
Plug a headset with mic into the two sockets on the left of the machine.
Do a skype test call.  You should be able to hear your voice played back to you after the recording section.

The Webcam works nicely with Skype for video calls – no need for any additional installation steps or tweaking.

Audio Recording

Recording in the default Sound Recorder app does not work, whether with the internal or plug-in mic.

However, audio recording works well using Audacity:
Install using add/remove programs.
Accept defaults for audio in edit/preferences
Double click the speaker icon in the task bar, select the Recording Tab, and enable the mic and capture sections.
Back in Audacity, increase the mic recording level (default is 0, all the way to the left).
Click on the record button
Stop when satisfied, then click the play button to listen to what you’ve recorded.

For the other parts of this series:
>>Part 1 (setup)
>>Part 2 (BIOS & video tips)
>>Photos here and here


More Photos hp2133 with manila envelope skin

The books below are courtesy of the Singapore National Library…..

Wallpaper courtesy of the Watchmen movie site

hp2133 – Photo from Flickr

hp2133 – skin on palmrest

Originally uploaded by time-travel

Will soon be posting the third and final part of my Ubuntu 8.1 on hp mininote 2133 series. Meantime, this post is a good chance to test Flickr’s blog post feature.

The skin (thanks Steph!) is based on a manila envelope design – looks great on the mininote and kinda makes you think of the clever way Mr Jobs unveiled the MacBook air (and the fantastic Yael Naim song that went with the ad)

I’ve been dual-booting this machine with Vista Business, just so that I can get VPN access to my office network if I need it. Vista is fine with the unnecessary services and eye candy stripped off, but I’m finding myself tempted to replace it with the Windows 7 beta. The Windows 7 beta is surprisingly stable. I’ve testing it on an old Tablet PC – the performance is good, the handwriting recognition is better …… wait, I should simply save this for a future post. Another day.

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