Monday, May 01, 2006

Sound problems in Ubuntu 5.10

Recently I installed Skype and my tryst with "sound recording" in Ubuntu Breezy began. I searched on Ubuntu forum and did the following settings as suggested on one of the posts:
Uncheck Enable Sound Server Startup
System>Preferences>Multimedia System Selector
Set Default Sink to OSS Open Sound System
Set Default Source to OSS Open Sound System
I could not record sound from the external microphone.

I read number of posts in many threads with no result.

Then I went to Skype Forum and serched for "Ubuntu" and found an excellent advice:
For testing your audio-setup, I suggest you to use
aplay -D default test.wav
arecord -D default testrec.wav
"aplay" and "arecord" are ALSA command line utilities. The first command did not play anything since there was no "test.wav" file.
But I could record from the microphone after using "arecord" command. Then I played the recording:
aplay -D default testrec.wav
Then I found that I could also record from the "Sound Recorder" of Gnome.

After fiddling with some other "Sound and Video" programs I found that I could not record the sound once again. I restarted the PC and could record once again.

I found one excellent post Unofficial Skype + Linux Sound FAQ on Skype Forum.

Hope it helps some people.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Resizing NTFS partition on Windows XP


When I installed Ubuntu in dual boot with Windows XP on my daughter's desktop I could resize the partitions since it had FAT32 partitions.

Recently I installed Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy on another desktop which had 80 GB SATA hard drive. The administrative tools in Windows XP did not allow me to resize the NTFS partition (c:/ drive size 45 GB). But I was sure that Ubuntu installation CD could do this.

So I put the install CD and booted (after changing boot options in BIOS). At manual partitioning stage I resized the partition to 20 GB. Just as a curiosity I aborted rest of the installation process and rebooted in Windows XP.

I was able to see the unused space but there were 3 primary partitions (all NTFS) so I could not create the fourth one. I copied the contents of drive D: temporarily on C: and deleted the partition (drive d:). Then I created three extended partitions in FAT32. (Windows XP allows no of extended partitions). I named one partition as D: and copied the data back from C:

I had created another 2 FAT32 partitions one of 9 GB (for linux /) and another of 600 MB (for SWAP).

I rebooted putting Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy install CD and installed the operating system using the two FAT32 partitions (changing them to Linux partitions).

The GRUB boot menu boots in Ubuntu if you don't select Windows XP. I modified the menu.lst file in /boot/grub and brought Windows XP on top of the list since the user wanted the machine to boot in Windows by default.

I am now more confident of installing Ubuntu Linux in dual boot with Windows XP on an existing system.