This post amuses the heck out of me.

Remember last week, when I tried to buy exactly the same audio card that 99.99% of the world owns and convince Linux to be able to play two sounds at once? Yeah, turns out, that was the last straw. I bought an iMac, and now I play my music with iTunes.

There really is something to be said for using an OS that consumer hardware vendors actually give a shit about....

I plugged a mouse with three buttons and a wheel into the Mac, and it just worked without me having to read the man page on xorg.conf or anything. Oh frabjous day.

And the fact that he ends with this is just classic:

Dear Slashdot: please don't post about this. Screw you guys.

Classic, I tell you.

Posted by jzawodn at June 10, 2005 11:41 AM

Reader Comments
# Justin Mason said:

I'm a total linux fanboy, both GNOME and KDE are the heart of my desktop, and I'm half as productive when I don't have all my home-grown keyboard accelerators and terminal windows to hand.

But for once, the consumer hardware vendors can't be blamed -- a working Linux sound solution, instead of 5 incompatible half-assed hacks, is the problem here. I thoroughly agree with him. :(

on June 10, 2005 11:47 AM
# Mike said:

It's definitely some sort of milestone, not that JWZ matters much anymore. I can remember his and other Netscape employees' parodies of Apple's "Think Different" ads - type 'about:...' in the browser and you'd get a picture of John Wayne Gacy (and other serial killers) with the words "Think Different" above him. I still haven't gotten into the Mac Koolaid...

on June 10, 2005 11:58 AM
# Philip Tellis said:

I plugged a pen drive into my FC2 box, and it automounted and put an icon on my desktop. That depressed me no end, because I had no opportunity to search the web for drivers, download, compile, install, find out the USB bus, target and lun numbers, and set up the automount.

Same with the iPod.

Then I came to FreeBSD, and I actually had to work to get it working.

Happiness again.

But fear not... all is not lost. I can still source printers, cameras and other devices that don't autoconfigure themselves and need some (or a lot) of work to get going. There's still some playing field left for us.

on June 10, 2005 12:27 PM
# GrumpY! said:

JWZ - hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people can play sounds in their linux boxes right now. maybe you aren't as smart as people think. if you weren't so arrogant you could post to a newsgroup or forum and get some help, but you'd rather whine in your blog. go back to your disco club.

Philip Tellis - my Ubuntu box has no problem with my various iPods. none of which worked on windows on the first try by the way.

on June 10, 2005 02:38 PM
# Eugenia said:

> maybe you aren't as smart as people think.

Maybe YOU are not the one who is smart enough to understand what JWZ is talking about.

He is talking about audio mixing, the ability to run audio on more than one application at the same time, an well-known ALSA problem on most AC97 Intel/VIA/SiS cards (these are cards that come with most laptops today).

The user can either forget mixing, or must use a half-assed alsa plugin called "dmix" that doesn't really work with all Alsa apps. It solves the problem only with a few of them, and it doesn't help with OSS emulation (I tried a complex alsa script that binds it to OSS, it didn't work).

on June 10, 2005 06:18 PM
# GrumpY! said:

Don't worry Eugenia, we have plenty of archives of the posts and articles you have erased on OSNEWS to cover your shame. Why don't you build a forum where people are allowed to actually respond to you and have the comments stay intact? You don't allow comments on your /. blog either. Be careful commenting on other people's blogs, you may have problems getting them to erase content that you deem haughty.

on June 10, 2005 08:33 PM
# Eugenia said:

What shame, you uniformed bozo? The article you are reffering to was removed after we discussed the issue with the developer, and in fact I documented it on my blog.

Instead of actually REPLYING to the actual issue, exactly because I just proved you have not freaking clue of what you are talking about and you accused of JWZ unfairly (he is 100% right on the ALSA crap), you are attacking me for some off topic shit you read today on from developers who don't/can't provide a good desktop platform and who get grumpy when someone tells them that in their face.

If you want to know, I don't give a sh*t how developers feel. All I care about is the final product and how well that works. But so it happens, OSS developers are veeeery soft and they require extra care when someone critisizes their code. I am not their babysitter you know. I *don't care* if something is OSS or not, I just want _publicly released code_ to WORK as EXPECTED. If not, they will have to eat shit in the face, either through my blog or osnews. It is my job to review software solutions. Too bad for them.

on June 10, 2005 08:54 PM
# GrumpY! said:

Admit it Eugenia, seeing practically every GNOME developer trash you on their blogs hurt. Don't take it out on me! If you are so penitent, why not let people comment on youir /. blog? This must bother you, someone talking back, a post you can't edit, an IP you can't block. OSNEWS is almost over, more posts seem to be mocking you than discussing content. A few more episodes like this and you'll have about as much authority as Mayor MacCheese.

on June 10, 2005 09:41 PM
# Eugenia said:

>Admit it Eugenia, seeing practically every GNOME developer trash you on their blogs hurt.

It does not hurt at all. Read my comment above again.

> If you are so penitent, why not let people comment on youir /. blog?

When I started the blog in 2002, comments were ON. But then some (real) trolls came in and were posting the exact same posts on each of my posts. No, there were not messages that were discussing my articles or my opinions, they were really bad posts (e.g. "you are a dirty fat greek and you suck cock" etc). So, comments went off, forever.

> OSNEWS is almost over

OSNews is bigger than EVER. 8.6 million pageviews last month, we are hitting 9 this month.

>more posts seem to be mocking you than discussing content.

There are 1500 comments every day on osnews. There are many 2 or 3 that are trolling against me. I can live with a few jerks around, no problem.

on June 10, 2005 09:49 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Okay guys, you're going off topic. Let's end this battle now or *I* will start deleting comments.


on June 10, 2005 09:50 PM
# Eugenia said:


BTW, why can't you just get on topic? The topic here is ALSA's dmixer and JWZ's switch.

I came here to discuss the issue (precicely because it HAS impacted me as a computer user) and instead you are attacking me full of prejudice of what you THINK you know about me or osnews. You know nothing, that's the bottomline. The Gnome developers will cover their asses you know, they won't be objective about anything, so don't get one part of the story only (if you read my blog you would see that I gave Owen Taylor a few months before I revisit the performance issue publicly -- this is why the story went down after talking to him, I gave him TIME to optimize and finish up the thing).

So, get back on topic and tell us what you know about ALSA and software mixing. Cause I am all ears.

on June 10, 2005 09:57 PM
# Eugenia said:

Sorry Jeremy, I didn't see your post before posting the above (I was writing when you posted it). Indeed, Grumpy likes off topic it seems. I don't. I very much want to discuss the ALSA dmixer problem, because 2 of my PCs are impacted.

on June 10, 2005 09:59 PM
# Aristotle Pagaltzis said:

Know what’s funny? I was completely certain that I could forget getting onboard-anything to work; like my onboard sound chip. Instead, it gives me multichannel in hardware with ALSA, something that a lot of popular soundcards apparently don’t. (A Realtek ALC650, inside a VIA 8235 on an ASUS mobo, if anyone cares.) I loaded the kernel module and it Just Worked.

I’m not sure what exactly this means.

on June 11, 2005 12:17 AM
# Eugenia said:

It means that you either using Alsa 1.0.9 which was released last week and supports some mixing for alsa apps (but not for emulated OSS apps like Real Player), or your sound card actually does have a hardware mixer so it's not impacted by the problem described by JWZ.

Or, you simply still don't understand the problem which is not "having some sound" but having more than one app producing sound at the same time another one is, e.g. XMMS and Rhythmbox, or Gnome sounds and XMMS, or Flash on a web page and Rhythmbox on the background.

on June 11, 2005 12:48 AM
# Aristotle Pagaltzis said:

No, I know what jwz was talking about. I can run Quake3 (emulated OSS) and XMMS (ALSA output pluging) and hear instant messenger sounds (via play(1) through emulated OSS) all at the same time, and have been for 2 years. This is hardware mixing, no two ways about it.

What I meant by “not sure what that means” is I’m not sure what that means about a) how to pick hardware when intending to run Linux b) the state of Linux’ hardware support itself.

It’s kind of nuts that things don’t work with the most popular card around but some obscure onboard chip works flawlessly OOTB.

on June 11, 2005 01:22 AM
# Mike said:

> Dear Slashdot: please don't post about this. Screw you guys.

"Apple: Jamie Zawinski Switches to Mac OS X"

Wow, the lag time on slashdork is pathetic.

on June 12, 2005 11:13 AM
# Steve said:

I want to see Linux thrive on the desktop, I really do, but I stopped using it and switched to OSX about 7 months ago for many different problems, including sound. To thrive as a viable desktop solution, there HAS to be some standardization of the apps, and yes, sound, video, hell, even 3-button mice have to just work. If someone's grandparents have to go through the same ALSA hell that I did then Linux is simply NOT ready for the desktop.

Years ago, people moved from Windows to Linux because people hated Linux. Nowadays, people are moving from Windows to Mac because people love the Mac. What Linux distros really need are teams of people who have never used Linux to conduct usability studies. Then they can learn from the average Joe about what they liked and did not like. To grow on the desktop, the Linux community has to look outside of itself for a fresh perspective.

on June 12, 2005 11:51 AM
# Steve said:

Years ago, people moved from Windows to Linux because people hated WINDOWS.

on June 12, 2005 12:02 PM
# Joe said:

All this fuss about one man. OS wars are really quite silly, if you ask me.

I think Apple has a great product in OSX. It's both easy for the layperson (usually) and at the same time there's lots to muck around with under the hood. Cool stuff.

If I could install it on my own built machines, on the core hardware I want, I'd give it a swing. But I just don't have the patience to spend a bunch of cash on a decent Mac. They're quite expensive! And no, the Mac Mini isn't a good alternative, really. You can't ever do any real expansion with those things.

With a Linux distribution, I can. And things DO work just work.. Mostly. I pick hardware that will work with Linux, much like one would have to do with OSX if everything wasn't handed to you by Apple. I mean, I bet a RedHat PC, if there were such a thing, would work quite well out of the box. With full mixed sound, to boot.

I enjoy a full featured, and free OS, because of the hard work that developers around the globe put into it. Sure, I get frustrated with things sometimes, and there's a lot of times when I think to myself things like "dammit! How many more years will it take before they finally develop a real media API?"

And a lot of bad things are said about Windows, of course. But really, Windows ain't that bad. Windows XP is certainly the best Windows yet, albiet it's got some issues. It sure would be great if there weren't so many security flaws, but otherwise the system is solid. I've had my main Windows workstation running the same install of XP for the last three and a half years, and it's still running along just fine. A few hundred applications installed and removed, hardware upgrades, even a crashed, recovered, and replacement hard drive. Five years ago, this would have been unheard of. I blame bad 3rd party drivers on many of the Windows problems people have. And spyware.

That doesn't mean I like Microsoft. Or Apple. Or RedHat. I like computing, and I like having a choice. Linux has really given us a viable choice, even if some people don't like it. It's forced both Microsoft and Apple to improve their products immensely, and I appreciate that quite a bit.

A single post won't stop the Great OS Debate, but really, think about it. It's all good! Use what you like, because that's all that matters. Trying to push your ideals on others just makes you sound like a jackass (not directed at anyone in particular here.)

on June 13, 2005 03:53 PM
# Deidre Nair said:

Is'nt grumpy a typical troll?
what a twat, must be another novell/redhat/canonical employed gnome dev. these pseudo elite opensource fanboys are getting on my nerves. tossers

on June 26, 2005 10:28 AM
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