Bonus: More dead soldiers

I have to add a few more casualties from my list of last month. Here too are some once-proud warriors of the Linux landscape, left to lie cold and alone in the dustbin of obsolescence.

  1. absvolume seems to have a problem similar to some other audio players or tools I’ve found: It can’t seem to switch to the /dev/snd device. I can build it, but like some others, using /dev/snd spawns errors. I blame this on the forward march of supporting software. Linux evolved, absvolume, apparently, did not.
  2. I’ve seen aumix in action before, but for whatever reason (probably the same as what plagues absvolume), it won’t run for me either in Arch or Debian-based systems.
  3. Second that for rexima; I know I have seen it work, but it refuses now. Somehow I get nothing when trying to direct these programs to /dev/snd.
  4. ddconsole, as I understand it, is a cli-based frontend to DownloadDaemon. The latter wouldn’t build for me, and I don’t see it in other distros, so it might not be completely functional.
  5. Likewise, DiggerDwarf refused to build for me, but if it’s a gopher network client I probably don’t have much use for it anyway.
  6. AUR mentions demorse, which won’t build for me. Debian has an xdemorse, which is probably related. One won’t build, the other requires graphical libraries that I don’t want to install. Forgive me.
  7. I tracked down kedpm, a console password manager, and managed to build it, but got nothing but python errors from it. Considering the latest release is nearly 10 years old, that really shouldn’t surprise me. No disrespect intended, but Python applications don’t seem to age well.
  8. Out of curiosity I installed pads, the Passive Asset Detection System. No, I don’t suffer from delusions of network technician grandeur; I was just interested. As luck would have it, it segfaulted constantly on two different machines, so my career as an IT manager is once again in a state of hibernation.
  9. playmidi would build, but wouldn’t run, and didn’t play any midi files. No sound device errors this time, just cryptic notes about file inaccessibility.
  10. I could swear I’ve seen workbone running, but no luck this time. I found a modified source file, but it wouldn’t compile and the only prebuilt binaries I could find just end without any real action aside from a crude screen display.

As always, it’s possible that these things do work, and just didn’t work for me, or I couldn’t configure them quite right.

If you have better luck than me, please share your secret. Nobody wants to cry over abandoned software.

Edit, No. 1: Ian explains below how to get two of these — rexima and aumix — working again. Thanks Ian!
Edit, No. 2: Lex was right too: Looks like demorse was either updated or adjusted and will build now. Thanks Lex!

10 thoughts on “Bonus: More dead soldiers

  1. imgx64

    I remember getting playmidi to work on Ubuntu a few years ago, and it wasn’t easy. The problem with playmidi (or any player that plays MIDI, for that matter). is that it requires a MIDI synthesizer (such as FluidSynth), a soundfont file (.sf2), and hooking them all together. There are also no good open source soundfonts that I could find, so the quality of the playback was terrible.

  2. Ian Munsie

    Well, for one /dev/snd isn’t a device – it’s a directory containing various character devices which make up part of ALSA’s userspace API. Unlike OSS, you can’t just cat PCM sound data into it and expect it to work, so you can’t simply redirect an application expecting an OSS interface to it since the API is completely different.

    If you need to run applications which have not been ported to use ALSA, you should try running them under aoss (In the alsa-oss package). The application should still be set to use /dev/dsp – aoss intercepts accesses to /dev/dsp and translates them to ALSA on the fly.

    Or perhaps you could try enabling real OSS support in your kernel so the application can work unmodified (assuming the sound card isn’t being shared – remember why we deprecated OSS in the first place?). If you are running a distro kernel it’s probably already compiled into a module – just do ‘modprobe snd-pcm-oss’ as root.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      You are absolutely right, of course. I should have thought that through a little more carefully. 😳 Prepending rexima and aumix with aoss brings them back to life again. Thanks for correcting me. 😀

      Absvolume, on the other hand, still seems to just hang, aoss or no. Perhaps that one has deeper problems.

  3. Lex

    Maybe you should AUR/demorse again? Dunno what version you tried to build, but the package got updated to 1.1
    And building this package worked fine

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I can try it again later today. The version I got hold of was less than successful. Perhaps it’s been corrected.

      Edit: Yep, this one seems to be working. I’ll add it back on my list again. Thanks! 😉

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