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Old 10-15-2010, 11:43 AM   #1
Benny7440
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Question Looking for a linux distro to solve/alleviate some multimedia issues - VAIO notebook


Hope this's the right forum for this!

Notebook = Sony VAIO SVG AR250G ---> BIOS = Phoenix Technologies {R0150J6}
RAM = 512MB ---> HD = have no hdd on this notebook (actually booting up with Lupu 511 live cd) {used to have a SATA HD}

Could be useful to mention that have run PL431 & Ubuntu in this notebook but none of them seems to be aware of the available multimedia hardware here.

To start with something light let me say that when the headphone plug that connects to an outside amplifier is removed no sound is heard on the integrated speakers. Probably some of you are thinking of a problem with the contacts in the receptacle for the said plug but let me say that I know well this kind of plug & it isn't at fault. If I power-up the unit without the plug in I hear clearly the sound the system makes when the logo appears in the screen through the syst. speakers, afterwards nothing comes out from them & need to plug in that plug for hearing the audio output. I suspect that there's a kind of digital switch/multiplexer that isn't enabled by default that effectively disconnects the built-in speakers from the wires that run from the receptacle. If I'm correct here there should be a driver or script/register to be addressed in order to make the necessary changes & is in this respect that I need your help.

There're many other multimedia buttons that aren't controllable from any of my distros in the notebook as well as in the Gateway-Multimedia keyboard. For ex., volume control, Play/Pause, Mute, Stop, Next/Previous Track, Record, Motion Eye web cam & A/V Mode (these last 3 buttons are specific for the notebook). I had the idea that some of thede issues might be solved just by downloading another specific distro & I'm asking now precisely that here. In the contrary, do I have to download some drivers for dealing with the issue? Or both?

Thanks in advanced to anybody that can help with the above issues!
 
Old 10-15-2010, 12:28 PM   #2
Frank Cox
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There are a couple of multimedia pups listed in the Pl forum.
I would stay away from Lupo until they get the bugs out.
 
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
Benny7440
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Question Hope to restart this issue, now that Lupu is old enough...

I still have the same issues (I'm using PL 5.11) although have downloaded a still to be proved driver for the webcam. One another important issue here is the built-in microphone, can't record/transmit anything with it (I've ALSA Mixer here --if it's important).

So, as a round up of the important issues for me:
1) learning how to install the webcam driver;
2) finding out why the microphone isn't working; &
3) why the built-in speakers only work for the BIOS startup sequence & then stops working.

Thanks in advance for any help/hint for how to proceed!
 
Old 05-23-2011, 01:34 AM   #4
Frank Cox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny7440 View Post
I still have the same issues (I'm using PL 5.11) although have downloaded a still to be proved driver for the webcam. One another important issue here is the built-in microphone, can't record/transmit anything with it (I've ALSA Mixer here --if it's important).

So, as a round up of the important issues for me:
1) learning how to install the webcam driver;
2) finding out why the microphone isn't working; &
3) why the built-in speakers only work for the BIOS startup sequence & then stops working.

Thanks in advance for any help/hint for how to proceed!
Lupo is the newest distro so is very unlikely to have the drivers you need. Considering the specs on your machine it was probably built circa 2005 and your best bet to find a distro that will just work out of the box would be either Lubuntu which I run on 2 machines that vintage , one a Fujitsu t4100 and the other an m275 Gateway Tablet. The other distros I use on the Gateway are Puppy Linux 431 retro and PL Wary 6 . If you still do not have a hard drive I would use PL 431 retro and use the standard installer {works most of the time} to install it to a USB chip. My luck with Ubuntu derivatives on USB has not been good.
If your machine won't boot to USB and you cannot upgrade to a bios that will or if you just prefer all you have to do to make a frugal install {my favorite method w/ PL} is to boot the Live Cd and then shut down and create a save file on the USB when it prompts you and the files it suggests and then reboot but be sure the Live CD is still in the drive . You can put as many frugal installs on the USB stick as you have room for and choose between them at start up.
Just remember you have to use the Live CD to boot. After it boots you can remove the Live CD and use the drive .

Once you have an install click on the setup button on the desktop and have it load the sound card and then adjust the ALSA Mixer. That should solve the sound problem and get the microphone working.

There is a webcam program built into puppy , try it first . It's in menu-multiumedia , just hit F12 or click the menu button to find it. If that does not work give me a link to the webcam driver and I will figure it out for you.

Last edited by Frank Cox; 05-23-2011 at 01:39 AM.
 
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:26 AM   #5
Benny7440
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Thanks Frank Cox for responding! The required link to the driver follows:

http://www.arakhne.org/ricoh/

I've PL 431 (not sure the variant but can try to boot it later & follow your advise for trying to boot from the usb drvie (via a CFCard and/or using an adapter for the card to put it at an usb port (hopefully 2.0 & not 1.0 port))).

In your 2nd paragraph you mention 'frugal install' in relation to usbs. I'm not sure if my BIOS would permit me to boot from usb (even though I know there's a 'switch' at boot time to be selected as per the BIOS documentation to permit it) because I've a usable DSL in an old mp3 player converted/reformatted as a regular flash drive that worked very well in another laptop, but not with this one.

By the way, in the past months I've been looking for a way to put in the same cd various isos & found a couple of viable solutions. To that end I've D/L various distros that, after adding up all MB, won't get to 700 MB, those are sitting there in a 2 GB CFCard. Have another 128 MB CFCard in its slot here where there's the FF PET & other things that I'm actually using for browsing the web.

The solution that I mention above has been tried by others but not me, yet. Still, when you mentioned that usb-multi-distro approach, a bell rang in my head. So, if you know about that solution & post your comparison here it would make my decision as to where to stir to more easy. I think it was right here in this forum that I rad about it, the poster was named coolpup & the dates where that discussion took place were from dec-10 to feb-11. The title was something like 'puppy linux multi boot cd'.

From your 4th paragraph I suspect that you think I'm linux savvy, but I'm not. Need much more detail/guidance most of the time. I've used the api for grabbing images from the webcam that comes with PL 5.11 but there's no webcam recognized. Now that I'm thinking slowly on this subject, I'm not sure if I've tried ir while using PL 431. That's something to be tried later today. I'll post any news in relation to a different behavior while running 431 later.
 
Old 05-24-2011, 01:20 AM   #6
Frank Cox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny7440 View Post
Thanks Frank Cox for responding! The required link to the driver follows:

http://www.arakhne.org/ricoh/{/quote]

Go to Menu-Graphics _GTkam camera manager.
Then go to add camera and hit the drop down box and scroll down to Richo 5 and see if it will detect it on one of the ports.
If no luck.
Try scanning for the webcam. If that does not work go to add camera and hit detect. If that does not work go to add camera and try the different ports.

Use the instructions below to create a frugal install .

Benny the first thing you have to do before installing a driver is determine if it is a WDM chipset. To do that go to menu -System-Pupscan interface information and look in USB devices for your webcam.

{quote]
I've PL 431 (not sure the variant but can try to boot it later & follow your advise for trying to boot from the usb drvie (via a CFCard and/or using an adapter for the card to put it at an usb port (hopefully 2.0 & not 1.0 port))).
I believe you misunderstood, sometimes I am not clear enough. You can boot puppy from a hard drive , flash drive, or a CF card but a frugal install {which I highly recommend} boots from the Live CD and the save file can be saved to any of those media. Follow the instructions below, i hope I made them clear , if not I will try again.

Do you have a cd or dvdrom on the laptop? If not consider purchasing a USB bridge from ebay .
http://cgi.ebay.com/USB-Cable-eSATA-...item19bc3a9688

This will allow you to hook a standard cd dvd or harddrive to a usb port. Almost all laptops are set to automatically boot from an external usb cdrom even if they don't boot from a USB stick or flash card but if you have an internal cdrom that is easier. It is still a good idea to have a bridge because you can use it to save data off unbootable hard drives which Puppy excels at.

Quote:
In your 2nd paragraph you mention 'frugal install' in relation to usbs. I'm not sure if my BIOS would permit me to boot from usb (even though I know there's a 'switch' at boot time to be selected as per the BIOS documentation to permit it) because I've a usable DSL in an old mp3 player converted/reformatted as a regular flash drive that worked very well in another laptop, but not with this one.
A PL frugal install uses the Live cd to boot and the save file is stored on a flash drive or hard drive so it is not necessary to be able to boot from usb, just to have a cdrom and a flash drive or hard drive. Again all you have to do to create a frugal install in Linux is to boot the live cd and then reboot. A prompt will appear and ask if you want to save the session, pick yes. Then it will ask a series of questions such as where to put the save file and how big to make it.
I would make it a gig if you plan on adding a lot of programs later but at least 512 mb.
Then it will ask if you want to copy the system files , say yes to all of them but I would not bother to encrypt the save file unless you are real worried about security. When it reboots you it will find the save file and now you can install programs and drivers , save book marks, save your settings etc. It is a great system because all you have to back up is the save file and if you manage to fry the system all you have to do is copy the backup on to the flash drive or hard drive and reboot and your good as new in 3 -4 minutes. Also you can have as many save files as you have space on the flash drive or hard drive so you can test different distros without deleting the others. I keep several , one for games , one for word processing etc., some just to try out. BTW you can also use a the CF card to hold the frugal install or boot from it if your bios allows but I highly recommend using the frugal method at least until you get it working .


{quote]By the way, in the past months I've been looking for a way to put in the same cd various isos & found a couple of viable solutions. To that end I've D/L various distros that, after adding up all MB, won't get to 700 MB, those are sitting there in a 2 GB CFCard. Have another 128 MB CFCard in its slot here where there's the FF PET & other things that I'm actually using for browsing the web.[/quote]

I have had poor luck trying to get multiple distros to boot from USB using 3 different programs made to do just that and I have never even heard of a way to do it from cdrom , I think you have enough dragons to slay already.

Quote:
The solution that I mention above has been tried by others but not me, yet. Still, when you mentioned that usb-multi-distro approach, a bell rang in my head. So, if you know about that solution & post your comparison here it would make my decision as to where to stir to more easy. I think it was right here in this forum that I rad about it, the poster was named coolpup & the dates where that discussion took place were from dec-10 to feb-11. The title was something like 'puppy linux multi boot cd'.
There is one for ubuntu which should work. With all the problems I had with the USB method I am unwilling to start that project , sorry.

Quote:
From your 4th paragraph I suspect that you think I'm linux savvy, but I'm not. Need much more detail/guidance most of the time. I've used the api for grabbing images from the webcam that comes with PL 5.11 but there's no webcam recognized. Now that I'm thinking slowly on this subject, I'm not sure if I've tried ir while using PL 431. That's something to be tried later today. I'll post any news in relation to a different behavior while running 431 later.
I taught myself Linux mostly and am no expert but I have learned when you have a problem like this it is useful to go to the Puppy Linux forum and post it and also the puppylinux channel at chat.freenode.net . If you are unfamiliar with chat you can connect from a browser but I suggest using Chatzilla from the firefox {Mozilla} add-ons.
If you need help there let me know.
 
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:48 PM   #7
Benny7440
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Question

Thanks Frank Cox for responding!

I'm recalling now the connection I made a long time ago with the words 'frugal installation' in connection with linux os. Sorry to include this in this way but this site isn't permitting me to put a 'proper' web-link here: make a google search for "lin'n'winNewbieProject", it should take you to a page by Brian Grainger (interesting).

I know there's a feature within many puppies to save the session to the live cd itself but I don't remember having used it. I did have a 'frugal install' once dual booting with xp in another laptop (by the time of PL 321 & probably before that) & it worked ok --reference here to the above link. I think I'm right thinking (with respect to the last 3 sentences of your 1st paragraph) that you mean to have burned into cds several distro & then tie to them the said savefiles...

In relation to your 2nd paragraph see the link below (cool!). Sorry to include this in this way but this site isn't permitting me to put a 'proper' web-link here (same as above: after adding what's obviously missing, go to: murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=63572 (another forum).

I'm still thinking seriously of giving that approach a try (last link), but your reminder of using the ppupsave files is almost as good! It would be still better to extract from any iso file the appropriate files, put them in its own folder, have a script to bundle all those folders into a user-chosen sequence, burn to a cd/dvd everything & at boot time having the chance to make a choice.

PS. Nothing different with PL 431 (tried everything I imagined with all the Ricoh versions there).

Last edited by Benny7440; 05-24-2011 at 08:54 PM. Reason: No link included within the post showed up after posting in site.
 
Old 05-25-2011, 06:20 PM   #8
Frank Cox
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I would suggest you wait until you are more experienced to play around with multi-boot dvd's . I really see no advantage in any of those save for being able to install numerous distros without carrying around numerous disks.

As far as booting multiple puppies all you have to do is burn a livecd and boot it. Then reboot and tell it to create a save file and agree with everything it asks save encrypting the home directory unless your paranoid.
If you want another puppy just burn another live cd but when the puppy boot screen comes up {not the computer boot screen} hit F2 and type puppy pfix=ram {there is a space between puppy and pfix=ram? . What this does is boot the live cd into ram so it ignores the pupsave file created with the other distro. Then just repeat the steps you used to make the first frugal install. You can do this until you have no more hd space.

This way you do not have to edit Grub or anything else, it is very easy once you have done it . I think the reason some people have trouble is it seems too easy. When you boot off the livecd all the pupsavefiles that were created with that version of puppy will be listed and you just pick which one you want. If for instance you boot the 431 livecd all frugal installs of 431, all the pupfiles created with any version of 431 will be listed , if you boot the Lupis livecd all the savefiles created with Lucid will be listed.


Once you have a frugal install i will try and help you install the driver. Hopefully running the deb file will do it as I do not relish trying to walk you through the process of compiling a driver as I was only successful once myself.
I am no expert either but I will do what I can. Did you post a thread in the Pl Forums?
 
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:33 PM   #9
Frank Cox
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I notice you have tried the Pl forum, good.
The instructions here http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtop...cf728038bcae45
were incomplete. When you hit F2 at the Puppy Screen you have to type puppy pkfix=ram , not just pkfix=ram or it won't know which kernel to boot .
Do you know what was meant by sdaxxx? If not that is the partition Puppy is on, if it is on a flash card and that is the only drive it is probably sda1

I would still just wipe with the card with gparted menu-system gparted and format to ext3 and then save the pupsavfile to it.
 
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
Frank Cox
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On this thread you got some bad advice-Puppy does not use super user commands like su or sudo as it always boots to root unless you deliberately change that and use spot or one of the multi-user pups.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...023/page2.html

Last edited by Frank Cox; 05-25-2011 at 06:41 PM.
 
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:56 PM   #11
Frank Cox
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Benny in this thread :
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...679/page2.html

You stated the cf card you were using was less than 115 mb? Is that correct? The minimum I would use is a gig. You can buy a multi-gig flash drive of flash card for less than 10.00 and your time and everyone elses is worth more than that.
Hopefully you have already upgraded the card!

As far as the pupsavefile being saved as ext2 that has nothing to do with the filesystem on the partition on which it is saved. It sounds confusing but regardless of where you save the pupsavefile , whether in a fat32 partition , in a ext2 ext3 ext4 several other linux partitions or even ntfs the pupsave file itself will still be ext2. I prefer to use ext 3 or 4 because it will speed a lot of operations up and sometimes ntfs will have a conflict with links. My pastor has been booting from a fat32 on a usb stick fopr 2 years with no worries.
 
Old 05-26-2011, 02:42 PM   #12
Benny7440
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Thanks Frank for your reply!

In post #9 you talk about re-formatting the card..., does it has to be empty of anything else? Can I create a new folder there for the Savefile? I'm thinking that I've already put in there a few important files (& big).

In your post #11 you references a 115 CFCard, I've 2 of those. The 1st is 128MB & the 2nd is 2GB. The 115 MB comes from the screen that appears after finding the properties tab, guess that in every drive there're a couple of files included by default to inform the system what it's about to find there...

I'm going to try to find out why within Lupu can't include special latin characters but with PL 431 is as easy as Ctl+(any of the following one: ' ~ ?(inverted))' + the character in question. Have tried everything conceivable but in fact, something has changed even though no one has acknowledged it yet. Once I've solved this issue I'm going to proceed with a more permanent install.

PS. Is there a reasonable way to estimate the required pupsafile size in advance? What it usually contains? Are my browser configs. included?

Since I'm booting up from the Lupu livecd I'm just getting Midori which can't manage https sites, this's a most for me. So I d/l FF as a PET file & it requires to be installed each time I boot up, as a result I also have to import my bookmarks & make other changes in the Preferences page each time. Can I expect that if I make a savefile all these data be included there?

Last edited by Benny7440; 05-26-2011 at 03:50 PM. Reason: After thinking of it I realize I've a feew doubts...
 
Old 05-31-2011, 11:52 AM   #13
Benny7440
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In post #4 you mention ALSA Mixer for dealing with the mic & on-board speakers problems. I've tried all imaginable things with it to no avail. In this computer, for instance, the on-board speakers only make any sound when the BIOS awakens, afterward there's no sound coming out of them. If I stick in a plug for an amplifier for external speakers I don't have any problem with hearing music or whatever sounds are produced in a web page. And no, isn't dirt in the plug circuitry. There must be another buffer for the external speakers, & surely it's addressable...
 
Old 06-01-2011, 02:11 AM   #14
Frank Cox
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Hi Benny:

It would be a good idea to read the puppy manual as I do not seem able to communicate the instructions clearly.

The save file does not affect anything else on the drive other than taking up room. It can be a file in another os for that matter. The drive can be formatted to fat 32 , any linux format or even ntfs but with the later you will probably have issues with links not working. Ext3 or 4 is what I use most of the time.

The pupsavefile itself will be ext2 regardless of the formatting of the drive, that is automatic, don't worry about it.

As far as the size of the psave it depends on how many programs you install. Most of mine are 1.25 gigs
Wine takes a lot of room , my office suite SoftMaker Office is about 130 mgs, it ads up quick. Start with at least 512 mb , you can increase it later. Menu-resize personal save file.
Forget using the 115 mb drive, no chance.
 
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:17 AM   #15
Frank Cox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny7440 View Post
In post #4 you mention ALSA Mixer for dealing with the mic & on-board speakers problems. I've tried all imaginable things with it to no avail. In this computer, for instance, the on-board speakers only make any sound when the BIOS awakens, afterward there's no sound coming out of them. If I stick in a plug for an amplifier for external speakers I don't have any problem with hearing music or whatever sounds are produced in a web page. And no, isn't dirt in the plug circuitry. There must be another buffer for the external speakers, & surely it's addressable...


Have you run the install wizard and set up the sound card driver?
Look on the desktop near the top and you will see the setup icon or go to menu-setup-Alsa sound wizard.
 
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