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Old 12-12-2008, 11:32 PM   #1
Noob01
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Sound card- PCI, ISA bus, ISA PnP -what's the difference?


And what will this difference make in getting a sound card to work using Basic Linux (Slackware 4.0) built around kernel version 2.2.26? The only thing known for sure is that it's an old SoundBlaster card, type and version is not known. Is Alsa the best bet for getting this card to work?
 
Old 12-14-2008, 12:31 PM   #2
scheidel21
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Any computer built in the last eight years is very unlikely to have an ISA bus of any kind. These bus types are hardware bus types for add on cards. PCI has been the standard since sometime in the late 90's now PCI-x is supplanting that slowly. what you need for the old SB card is likely the SB kernel module and ALSA should work fine. If you want to have a better answer run lspci and provide us witht he specific SB card you are using. Someone here may be able to provide you with the correct info, or running a google on the chipset data from lspci may provide you with the answer as well.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 10:34 AM   #3
Noob01
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The basic linux installation apparently does not contain the module to support lspci as running the command returns -sh: lspci: not found. The same thing happened with hwinfo so I pulled the card and googled the info from the top of the chipset. It's a CT2940 16 bit PnP ISA card (phethean.com/AUDIO/SB16FAM/CT2940.HTM), which should be no problem for alsa? Here is where the confusion begins: The alsa sound how to (tldp.org/HOWTO/Alsa-sound.html) indicates that the card must be configured before alsa is installed and that "Kernels 2.2.x need to have general sound support in the kernel (without choosing a specific card)". This, to me, appears a catch 22 or is my noobieness really showing here? How can the card, if driven by alsa, be configured outside of alsa? I am soooo confused! The PnP how to (tldp.org/HOWTO/Plug-and-Play-HOWTO.html) is my self-assigned must read of the day and hopefully it will clear some of the confusion. In the meantime, any suggestions or other info is greatly appreciated.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 12:36 PM   #4
scheidel21
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Did you run lspci as root, or using sudo, that is likely the cause of the command not running, as it should be included by default but that is neither her nor there. What type of computer is this, what processor type etc... Also what kernel version does slackware 4 run, I don't know. if it is a newer version than it likely is a 2.6 series kernel. It sounds like you are using some old hardware here. if it is a PNP card then Linux should detect it automatically. However, let's say it is not, from the chipset you describe I believe you will need to SB module for soundblaster cards/chipsets. Also do a quick google for listing ISA devices in linux, I am not even sure if lspci will produce output from cards connected via ISA, plus lspci may not have been installed if the system is so old it does not have a pci bus. Get back to us and let's see if we can get this working for you.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 09:02 AM   #5
Noob01
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Everything is executed from the root as no other user is set up. Yes, everything is old but everything still works and works well. The box is an IBM EduQuest model 9615-001 with an AMD 80486DX cpu running at 100 mHz. It has a 32M ram, 1.5G hard drive, a sound card and nothing else aside from the video card, floppy drive and cd drive. I now know that the sound card is PnP and that the box has an ISA bus, no PCI present.

The plan is to turn this machine into a stand alone oscilloscope using xoscope. The basic linux package (http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/...ions/baslinux/)is a skeleton os built on kernel version 2.2.26 and based on slackware 4.0 e.g. any slackware 4.0 module will plug into the system. This version of linux was selected for its lack of bling as all this machine has to do is function as an oscilloscope.

From yesterday's reading it appears that the alsa how to is grossly outdated, which contributed significantly to the confusion, and recent alsa releases directly address (pun intended) many of the issues at hand. So, it's time to do some more reading to get up to speed with the latest alsa release and see what needs to be done to get this thing going.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 09:41 PM   #6
scheidel21
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"pnpdump --dumpregs" shows the actual IRQs, etc. of hardware for PnP devices on the ISA bus. This could help, and I looked into it, the card is a soundblaster card which used the SB driver. The device is supported here is the alsa page you need to use the sb16 driver http://www.alsa-project.org/main/ind...-Creative_Labs If you have all ready installed it install isapnp and if you compile ALSA against your kernel you should be able to just run
Code:
modprobe snd-card-sb16
Idon't know if the latest ALSA requires a 2.6 series kernel though to compile it. What Imight suggest is trying to find the tgz package for slackware 4.0 or maybe see what version of ALSA was out when slackware 4.0 was out and try to get that code to compile it. IT should be easy as the command above once ALSA in installed.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 09:43 PM   #7
scheidel21
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Also this link is about compiling ALSA http://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentat...figuration.txt it might help you with the compilation and installation.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 09:47 PM   #8
scheidel21
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Quick install guide for ALSA, apparently the 2.6 series kernel have ALSA built in. http://alsa.opensrc.org/index.php/Quick_Install
 
  


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