Thursday, November 15, 2007

nc8430 Integrated Mic on Ubuntu

I have had an HP Compaq nc8430 laptop for almost exactly a year now. There are two components I have struggled to get working. The fingerprint reader (Authentec AES2501) is rather pointless so I haven't bothered much. However, the integrated microphone can be useful at times. Since I'm heading over to the states and Skype is always useful, I gave it another bash.

Linux has always been poor with unusual hardware and a mic falls under that category. I have tried many things to get it working. There are many different solutions that people have posted. I went through many of them. Strangely enough though, there wasn't much help for this laptop.

The solution that finally worked for me was simply to build the latest version of ALSA. I am not sure what the default version is with Gutsy, but upgrading to version 1.0.15 solved my problems. It also required manually configuring the sound card model in the ALSA configuration, however, that alone did not solve the problem. For something so simple really I can't understand why this does not work by default. I hope they can solve this for Hardy.

A good HOWTO on the steps required:

So now I will be enjoying the use of free calls from the states with Skype. While I'm at it, let me take this moment to mention the true high-speed 6mbps Internet connection I am planning on getting up there. While it doesn't quite match the gbit lines we had in Croatia, I'll take this over our crappy 512K capped at 3GB lines any day! I love this:

And now with PowerBoost™, our fast connection gets even faster, with an extra burst of speed up to 12 Mbps when you’re downloading large files like videos and games.


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