Computers

40 posts

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 (such as my Pyle USB gaming 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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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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TripAdvisor’s Hotel Availability Comparison

Since I spent about six months of my professional life working on TripAdvisor's hotel availability comparison feature, I thought a little writeup about it here would be appropriate. If you fill in the form over on the right you will be taken to a page on TripAdvisor that shows hotels that are available for the dates that you chose.

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