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Fri Nov 9 22:00:08 CET 2007

vaio pcg-505rs and sound


Well,  the  night  I  wrote  the last entry, I managed to install
Xubuntu Gutsy onto the PCG-505RS. It was really quite simple. The
hard  part  was  finding the necessary hardware components- but I
found the power cable for the pcmcia CD-ROM reader after  digging
around a bit, and two hours later I had xubuntu up and running...

Well. 'Running' is perhaps stretching it. It was  crawling.  XFCE
is known to be stingy with resources, but... well, after watching
the tortuous startup of gdm, followed by the ten  minute  startup
of xfce...

So  I  decided  to ditch the pre-installed components and go with
xdm and fvwm for the login-screen and the window manager. I  dont
really  need  a desktop manager anyway, since its only recently I
started to use them.

Instead of firefox (which, when surfing to this extremely minimal
blog,  gobbles  up 40.1% of my precious 64M of ram), I use dillo.
Dillo renders ugly pages, but hey- its better than lynx, and when
looking at this blog, it takes only 9.6% of my memory.

Like  I said, it renders like crap, so I'll see if I can minimize
firefox a bit. Like removing support for googling  for  stuff  in
advance, keeping pages in history in memory, and the like.

Emacs  is a memory hog as well, but so is vim. Both lie at around
10-15% of ram. not much of a difference, and I can run  emacs  in
servermode, so I only need one instance of the app in memory.

Anyway,  I  had  some  problems with the sound card, which wasn't
discovered by the OS at all. No  info  in  lspci,  lshw,  nor  in
dmesg.  I knew that there was some sort of sound-blaster compati-
ble card onboard, since the machine makes  plays  a  melody  when

I installed lspnp and here's it's output: fimblo@kasama:~$ lspnp
00:00 PNP0c02 Motherboard resources
00:01 PNP0c01 System board
00:02 PNP0200 AT DMA controller
00:03 PNP0000 AT programmable interrupt controller
00:04 PNP0100 AT system timer
00:05 PNP0b00 AT real-time clock
00:06 PNP0303 IBM enhanced keyboard (101/102-key, PS/2 mouse support)
00:07 PNP0c04 Math coprocessor
00:08 PNP0800 AT speaker
00:09 PNP0a03 PCI bus
00:0a ESS1879 (unknown)
00:0b PNP0e03 Intel 82365-compatible CardBus controller
00:0c PNP0700 PC standard floppy disk controller
00:0f PNP0401 ECP printer port
00:10 PNP0501 16550A-compatible serial port
00:13 SMCf010 SMC Fast Infrared Port
00:14 ROK0010 (unknown)
00:15 PNP0f13 PS/2 port for PS/2-style mice
00:17 ESS0009 (unknown)

Im like... hmm. I recognize that string ESS1879.

After  googling  a  bit, I found the machine's specs over at Sony
sumer/PCOM/Note505RX/spec.html).  And  there  it states, loud and
clear, that Im dealing with a ES1879S.

So I ran the following command: sudo modprobe snd-es18xx isap-
np=0, and tested by playing some ABBA. Worked! yay!