USB sound in Ubuntu – automatically selecting a USB audio device when it is plugged in

Ubuntu has started to support USB audio.    When I plug in a USB speaker or headset, it gets recognized and installed automatically.  However there are some bugs:

  • The USB sound device does not get selected automatically.   This is especially annoying for headphones.  When you plug in analog headphones, the sound automatically switches to them and the main speakers turn off.
  • The volume settings are turned way up for the device.  Ideally it would remember the volume settings from the last time the device was plugged in.
  • When the computer goes to sleep, the volume of usb devices gets turned way up on wake.

I discovered that I could address these shortcomings by creating a script.

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Installing a CUPS printer via the command line under Ubuntu

I try to script everything I can on Linux.  When I install something on my desktop, I like to be able to run a script to install the same thing on my laptop.  When a computer breaks, I like to be able to run all the scripts to have it set up again just the way that it was. Here is how I scripted the installation of my printer.

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Microwaved Chicken and Artichoke Casserole Recipe

This recipe is

  1. Healthy
  2. Very fast
  3. Tasty
  4. One dish

It is based on a dish that I have ordered in restaurants in New Hampshire.   I’ve adapted it for ease of preparation and left out any cream sauce for use with the South Beach diet.

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Resetting Wireless Networking on Ubuntu without Rebooting

The wireless network on my laptop has always been unreliable.  When I open the lid of the laptop and the computer wakes up from sleep, there is a 10% chance that the wireless network won’t be able to connect.   In the past, the only thing that works in this situation is a full reboot of the laptop.

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Ubuntu Global Keybindings for Gnome (Quantal)

I recently re-installed Ubuntu on my desktop computer.  It was about 8 years since the previous full install.  I’d kept it up to date with latest Ubuntu upgrades.   I wanted to change the hard drive configuration and put most of the os on a solid state drive.  There was also a lot of cruft that I had installed over the years and a clean slate would get rid of tons of software I no longer use.

The re-install worked very well.   The most noticeable improvement was boot time.  Partly from the solid state drive and partly from the removal of all the extra software.  I didn’t lose much in the process.  I have a script that installs software that I use that isn’t included by default.  The script also tweaks a bunch of settings.  But, the one thing that I lost was my global key bindings.

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Nedit – A Text Editor for Linux with Some Killer Features

I’ve been using Nedit for at least 10 years as my primary text editor.     It has standard features for a programmer’s text editor:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Line numbering
  • Brace matching

There are a few areas in which the authors put in a lot of attention to detail.  It outshines every other text editor that I’ve ever used in these areas.

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Maynard Community Band

I have been playing with the Maynard Community Band since 2002.
Every year the band plays several concerts:

  • Summer concert series Wednesday night in Memorial Park, Maynard, MA
  • Maynardfest in downtown Maynard, MA, midday on a Saturday in September
  • Christmas pops concert on a Wednesday night before Christmas as Union Congregation Church, Maynard, MA
  • A handful of other gigs at nursing homes, private events, and community activities

Rehearsals are on Wednesday nights, check the schedule of upcomingevents for exact times and places.

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T-Mobile Sidekick Review

I just got a new cell phone: The T-Mobile Sidekick ID. This is re-branded version of the Danger Hiptop. I got the “light” version of the Sidekick III that does not come with bluetooth or a camera.

Overall, I am very happy with my Sidekick. It has many features that I’ve never had in a handheld device before. Many of the limitations that I have found are compared to a full featured desktop with a wired internet connection.

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