Aureal Vortex and Linux

Wednesday, January 15, 2003
What I'm about to write is going to reveal me as a big nerd. However since most of you who know me well have seen through my cool exterior and unbelievably good looks I think I'll do it anyway.

As my last blog yesterday stated I have switched almost completely to Linux computers. This was not without much pain on my part though. For about the last week I've been trying to get Linux installed on my home PC correctly. So I installed Redhat 8.0 on that machine and everything was OK except one thing ... there was no friggin sound! I have a piece of crap Aureal Vortex 2. Aureal has gone out of business so there is no driver available from them. Fortunately there was a driver available at SourceForge. However it wouldn't compile. Even though I'm a fair programmer I didn't really feel like going into the source code and trying to figure it all out so I gave up on Redhat 8.0 to see if I would have more luck with Mandrake. This was fortunate anyway because I prefer KDE over Gnome (For all you non-geeks just ignore me).

So Mandrake installed and guess what ... still no sound! However during the install it did tell me exactly where I could download a driver, at SourceForge. So I downloaded it again and tried to compile. Same stupid error messages. Well after some digging I discovered that the source code relies on the fact that you have the kernel source code installed. Of course I didn't read that anywhere in the documentation (not that I ever read documentation). So I finally got sound installed and everything worked! But after all that work I wiped it out because Mandrake still has some bugs in it or something. Every time I set something in the control panel sooner or later it just gets reset without me changing anything. I got so frustrated I decided to go back to redhat. This time, since I made sure to install the Kernel source code everything went smoother ... except Redhat doesn't ship with Xine, which is the best video player ever (kicks the crap out of Windows Media Player). So I had to download that as well. Of course that was a chore in itself and it is still full of bugs... But I won't get into that since i've already lost about half my audience.