No sound lessons

Jeremy Byron rjjbyron at
Mon Aug 22 19:09:56 PDT 2005

Randy McMurchy wrote:
> With all due respect, you are the only person I can remember who
> has posted on this list who had trouble getting the mixer to unmute
> the channels and in configuring XMMS.
> This is basic operational stuff. Sure there is an occasional question
> about the setup of a particular sound card, but traffic on this list
> on how to unmute the channels using the Alsa-Mixer and how to
> configure XMMS is nil.

First, your 'with all due respect,' based on what comes after, reads as 
'with absolutely no respect;' nice attitude towards someone who asks for 
help on a support list.  Judging by folks' responses I'm not the only 
one to read it as such.  If you didn't intend to be insulting, then 
perhaps you should consider how others might perceive your messages 
before posting them.

Second, I don't know why you are so bent on the whole 'unmute' thing, 
except that perhaps it's because you only took enough interest in the 
thread to be insulting.

	RM wrote (Aug 19, 7:32 PM):
	>But you said the other day that you *did* get output from the
	>speaker-test program. So you *do* have sound. You never
	>answered my question as to what happens if you try to use the
	>'aplay' program to play a .wav file.

But wait a sec, yes he did.. and your emphasis was to add what, if not 
more insult?

I bring up the whole unmute thing because, as it turned out, it was 
mostly ignorance of the device permissions and the need to add oneself 
to the audio group - not unmuting the second channel.  This sort of 
issue certainly has cropped up occasionally in the past.

Note that LFS creates a bunch of groups and tinkers with the permissions 
on many device nodes saying simply that udev's defaults are far from 
ideal.  Nowhere, as far as I can recall (and I as others may well have 
missed it), is there a notice that users will likely need to be added to 
certain groups to get "basic" functionality - such as the audio group. 
It is instead assumed (again, unless I've missed it somewhere) that 
people have an understanding of *nix user and group permissions as well 
as the CLI and the many tools available from within - concepts that are 
well hidden in windows (..and what CLI, heh).

Look at this poor user, who perhaps fears your responses and posted an 
LFS question on instead (100% relevant to this topic, 
complete with solution) - maybe they're more patient with the 
understandably ignorant there ('...our forum where Linux newbies can ask 
questions and Linux experts can offer advice...'):
Hey wait, that means this actually has come up before, eh?  Neat.

Finally, as was mentioned earlier, there is a steep learning curve to 
the *nix environment for someone coming over from Windows; they first 
have to learn how, not to ask a question, but to find the relevant 
information they need in order to ask the question (assuming they're 
still stuck by that point).  And this is a problem considering the mess 
of documentation and the fact that many people don't know how to 
construct a useful google query.  How is someone new to *nix supposed to 
go from 'my sound doesn't work' to 'maybe I have a permissions problem' 
without getting a little patient guidance from his or her peers; there 
are so many ways to not get sound output - my favorite solution having 
been to plug in the speakers (oops).

Imagine taking the time to write a constructive suggestion, and being 
flamed for it.  Last I checked, it was considered good form to close off 
a long support thread with a summary of the solution; that Randhir 
actually did this is impressive and he should be encouraged, if 
anything, not insulted.  How often do you see this actually done?

I understand you're really busy and I'm sure everybody is most grateful 
for your numerous contributions to *LFS, but you really need to stop 
taking your stress out on people seeking enlightenment.

Something to cho^Hew on,

PS. As you devs so frequently tell people not to top-post, note the lack 
of emphasis in my writing; I'm sure if you've bothered reading this far 
that I can convey my message most clearly without.

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