Archive for March, 2009

Installing newer ALSA driver on an Asus Eee Pc 1000H

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

I have Debian testing on my Asus Eee Pc 1000H with Linux 2.6.26.  The ALSA driver therein doesn’t fully support the Eee Pc 1000H (and  therefore neither the 901).Sound playback is fine, but the microphone doesn’t work.

Installing Linux 2.6.28 was a no-go as the drivers for the wireless isn’t available there, so I decided to install ALSA 1.0.19 to that.

The explation is from the Debian Eee Pc wiki.

First make sure you have module-assistant and friends installed and setup

aptitude -r install module-assistant
module-assistant prepare

The ‘prepare’ command will download additional packages needed to compile modules for the running kernel.

Now download the latest ALSA sources, which I got from Experimental

aptitude -t experimental install alsa-source

To build the driver all you need to do is

module-assistant build alsa

and wait for the compile to finish.

Afterwards you’ll have a .deb file in /usr/src ready for installing.  I used dpkg directly, but

module-assisstant install alsa

will do it for you too.

I simply rebooted to make sure all old modules were removed and the new ones loaded. It can be done without a reboot.

Most mixer inputs and outputs change name with the new driver, so the ACPI hotkey scripts need a bit of updating. Its a bit nitty-gritty where you need to edit several scripts by hand, and its all described in the wiki.

Now I just need to get Ekiga to do video calls to Gizmo on my  wife’s macbook.

iPod Classic finally working

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

A while ago I had the opportunity of swapping my 60Gb iPod (5G) for a 160Gb iPod Classic (6G), and naturally I accepted, only to be bitten by the “No music” bug.

The old iPod, and an iPod Nano I also use, can easily be updated with new music and playlists through number of Linux applications such as gtkpod and the banshee media player.

Whenever I did the same on the iPod Classic it would simply say “No music” whenever I turned it on, but when I plugged it into the computer all the music and audiobooks were there.

Apparently Apple found it amusing to add a checksum to the itunes database on the iPod, and make the iPod say “No music” whenever the checksum didn’t  match.

Even though gtkpod and banshee  claimed to support the iPod Classic through a workaround, I had no end of problems. Sometimes updates to the iPod would work, at other times it would just refuse to see the music.

In the end I’ve managed to get it to work reliably, at least over about 10 substantial updates.

First, I reset the iPod using iTunes for windows to get a clean iPod with a vfat file system.

Second, I plugged it into a Linux computer with the newest gtkpod and libgpod 0.7 from Debian experimental (now in unstable) and immediately ran the “ipod-read-sysinfo-extended” which finds and stores the firewire ID of the iPod for use in calculating the checksum.

From this point on the iPod Classic has updated correctly each time but I’m sticking to the newest version of  gtkpod availble in Debian.

I have little idea why I had so many problems before. There might have been an upgrade to libgpod inbetween, it might be because I moved from a HFS+ filesystem to a vfat filesystem or it might be because I tried with too many different applications earlier, some of them using the previous version of libgpod which didn’t support the iPod Classic.