jeff on 1 Jul 2012 21:06:59 -0700

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[PLUG] When unmute isn't

I had lots of work to do today as well as social obligations, forcing me to take my laptop along. The first thing I noticed was that I forgot to bring the mouse. You see, I have the attention span of a gnat and simply putting the mouse in the laptop bag would have been too much for me.

That aside, I had to operate the laptop without a mouse. Trackpad had been disabled earlier, as it bothered me and took offense when the laptop became airborne (don't ask).

I adore the challenge of operating strictly by keyboard. At one point I had to turn the volume up and hit MUTE by mistake. So I unmuted and made the volume adjustment, only I couldn't hear anything. I plugged headphones in and noted that the onscreen graphic indicated MUTE. I unmuted again, with similar results.

No amount of muting and unmuting would produce sound. So much for all the work I had to do.

When I got home, I followed a hunch and visited the speaker icon on the taskbar (Xubuntu). There I had about FOUR choices of hardware/software to make volume adjustments:

HDA ATI SB (Alsa mixer)
HDA ATI HDMI (Alsa mixer)
Playback: RS880 HDMI audio [Radeon HD4200 series] Digital Stereo HDMI (PulseAudio Mixer)
Playback: Built-in Audio Analog Stereo (PulseAudio Mixer)

And the winner was the last one, which had become muted and wouldn't unmute with the hardware controls.

Is there an actual good reason for this?

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