Before registering to post this, I did a search of the forums about my problem, and the only thing close that I found was this:
--- link to other thread removed because my postcount is too low. thread was "No sound in XFCE", started by linda, on August 25, 2004 ---
I tried the suggestions there, and none of 'em worked.
Now, it could be my own stupidity, or it could simply be my absolute lack of experience in this direction that's leading me to post this, take your pick....
I'm no stranger to *nix. For a while I was running NetBSD on my desktop before I decided I wanted to be able to play mainstream games and went to XP Pro (suitably discounted). Before that, I was running QNX. I've been running some variant of Linux on my servers for over a decade, starting with RedHat, trying 'drake, then ending up with Debian, and on my most recent rebuild, Vector 4. CLI is great. I love it. I know exactly what I'm doing there.
So when the warranty expired on my laptop, it's no surprise that the first thing I did was reformat and install Slack 10. Long story short, I'm annoyed with the wireless not working right (but am using it as an excuse to upgrade to 802.11g by buying an ethernet bridge, I'm jacked into the 100mbit right now, which works fine), xine is annoying the heck out of me by not liking DVD menus (but won't affect me until I go on vacation, since I have 2 DVD players, and a DVD drive in my desktop), and the most persistant annoyance: xfce is not remembering sound settings.
Sound works fine. I'm listening to xmms as I type this. Video works fine. Games work fine. I've been able to get Civ working, and Raptor (used to be one of my fave games....). OpenGL works, but is as choppy as you could expect on an S3 Twister-K card with 16MB shared memory; I could set it to 32MB, but meh (pity, I liked that bouncing cow screen saver). But for some really annoying reason, xfce isn't recording the sound settings, and every time I start X, I have to set the sound again. And no, I didn't install K or Gnome (didn't even download the disc 2 ISO). It being a laptop, I'm turning it off when I'm transporting it, and so every time I startup, I need to set the sound if I want to hear anything. (unless somebody can tell me how to get hibernate working... only thing I miss)
I looked at the boot messages, and saw the message from alsa loading that said I should use alsa mixer to set the sound and then alsactl to make it permanent. Did that. alsa now remembers the sound. But xfce doesn't. If I play an MP3 from CLI, it's got sound. If I start X and use xmms, I have to unmute the sound first, but then it works.
I've heard mention that for some reason xfce simply doesn't remember sound settings. I don't like that answer, because it sounds too unlikely. Is it true, or is there some setting that I simply don't know about that causes it to suddenly start working properly?
And for those looking to know:
Computer is: Compaq EVO N115 (no hate please, bought it when I was working for the bastiges, before HP moved my job to India.)
Athlon M 1.2GHz
256MB shared memory (16 for Video atm)
S3 Twister-K sound
ADI SoundMAX sound (pretty sure it's ESS 1868-based. didn't need to check, because like everything else out of the box, it just worked)
Much thanks in advance.