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Sound card woes (also want to switch to Linux)

#1 User is offline Sodaholic 

Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:28 AM

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I have an M-Audio Delta AP 192, and sometimes the sound shuts off. It typically only happens after I pause a YouTube video (using the Flash player, not any of the others). As soon as I close Firefox, sound is restored. And it's seemingly random. Not consistently, but frequent enough to piss me off.

Sometimes, it won't even restore sound after that. When I restart Windows, the sound may or may not come back on as soon as I restart. Sometimes it does play the shutdown sound, sometimes it still remains silent. Perhaps the firefox.exe process is still lingering? I haven't checked that yet.

Still, what on earth could be causing this? It seems to be solely software related.
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I tried dabbling in Linux a few times, but I'm too much of a noob to get it. Installing software is completely foreign to me. I'm used to dealing with self-contained and portable binaries, not whatever Unix-like systems are doing with seemingly deep integration?? I'm not an idiot, I know how programming works and am perfectly fine with a command line, I'm just completely unfamiliar with Unix-like systems.

I generally want to play and develop games, browse the internet, and have complete control over security. I want to shut out any spying and other privacy violations. I'm probably going to buy access to a VPN service soon.

Is Linux Mint a good choice? What educational resources would you recommend to familiarize myself with the Unix way installing software and ensuring maximum security control over what I run? It'd be nice if I could run un-trustworthy programs with no viable alternative in some kind of isolated sandbox, to ensure it has access to NOTHING but what I explicitly allow.

#2 User is offline Falk 

Posted 20 March 2014 - 09:57 PM

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Does it happen in anything other than Youtube? I'm more inclined to think it's the Flash plugin than anything.

Otherwise it could be a sample rate conflict, or any other similarly related reason that's causing a particular piece of software to hijack your soundcard till you manually terminate it.

#3 User is offline Aerosol 

Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:38 PM

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Linux Mint is as good as almost any other *buntu distro. If you're just jumping in, I'd stick with Ubuntu while you read up on other *buntu distros.

#4 User is online doc eggfan 

Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:28 PM

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Vanilla Ubuntu can put some people off with it's unity interface, Mint is probably a good starting point.

I can't praise Sabayon enough for making a user friendly gentoo-based distro. You might want to consider this as well. I'm sure I read somewhere that it's more secure for some reason, but there isn't much to worry about security wise in a linux OS (or at least, I'm quite blasé about it).

#5 User is offline Billy 

Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:18 PM

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I highly recommend Linux Mint as it comes with lots of things out-of-the-box. If you'd like something 'buntu based and a bit more Windows like, you could always try Zorin-OS. Though personally, when I use Linux I go out of my way to make it not like Windows.

#6 User is offline Jeffery Mewtamer 

Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:37 AM

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Kubuntu was my training wheels distro, though I eventually ditched KDE for XFCE and then LXDE and traded upstream to Debian. I currently use a highly customized install of Adriane Knoppix, but that is due to vision lost mandating the need of our ot the box screen reader software.

If Mint comes in a LXDE variant, I would recommend either that or Lubuntu as your starter distro.

With any Debian based distro(including everyone I've mentioned), you are going to want to familiarize yourself with an APT frontend. I personally use Aptitude as I have a preference for text-mode applications, but Synaptic is the standard GUI frontend used by most Debian-based distros. Thanks to the Apt repository system, using Synaptic or Aptitude makes installing whatever software you need as simple as select it from a list, the package manager downloads it along with all of its dependencies, and installs everything for you. It has been rare that I have had occasion to manually download precompiled binaries manually and even rarer that I have had reason to compile anything from scratch.

Think of Synaptic as being like the Apple App store or Android Market, but everything is free and the interface isn't bogged down with gaudy eyecandy.

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