Thinkpad audio question

William Bulley web at
Thu Sep 15 12:50:38 UTC 2011

According to Jakub Lach <jakub_lach at> on Wed, 09/14/11 at 23:11:
> It was mav (Alexander Motin), he proposed those hints
> after I complained that sound stopped working after 
> update. He wondered how I got sound to work
> in the first place, with hints I had previously.

I would have wondered the same.  The question that remains
to be answered is: how did mav (Alexander Motin) suss out
the details of how to do this in the first place?   :-)

> I don't think pushing those specific hints somewhere
> would be so beneficial, subtle hardware revision could
> change  pin associations. (e.g. Your friend's T500?)

True, but it might give someone an idea of where to
start looking...

> I don't think man page is missing something, it's
> verbose and exhaustive, with 4 examples of hints
> for various purposes. (The truth is out there! heh.)

We can agree to disagree, perhaps.  The man page is
complete, I agree, but it isn't a great read for a
user who doesn't understand audio hardware, has never
dealt with anything other than stereo speakers and
stereo headphones (with or without microphone).

The four (4!) examples all refer to the one (1!) HP
Compaq system.  And these explanations don't give a
good description of the connection between "AS", "NID",
"SEQ", etc.  That is, there are examples there, but
the explainations assume that the reader knows more
about the underlying hardware and how audio systems
and chips work in general than is likely the case for
most users with laptops using the snd_hda(4) driver
supported hardware.  I hope that run-on sentence is
comprehensible to folks...  :-)

> The problem is, most people don't want (or don't 
> know they need) to swap line-out and speaker 
> functions, to split headphones and mic to separate 
> device etc. 

This is completly true - I agree wholeheartedly with this.

> They do not know why default pinout is not working 
> as it should, and what they should change.


> They just want to have headphones and speakers
> working as intended :)

Well, d'oh!   :-)

> But I'm afraid this can't be directly addressed, as
> possibilities of default wrong pin associations are 
> "endless".

Sadly, I must agree with you here also, sigh...  :-(

> If you think otherwise you are free to submit PR 
> as well :)

I am going to submit a PR (when I learn how from the
handbook), but not to suggest new text or wording.
Rather, I will make suggestions of areas that could
be improved for readability and understanding.

> best regards, 
> - Jakub Lach
> PS. I suspected that If by chance my device.hints
> will "just work", the "pedantic engineer" in 
> you would be silenced somehow :P

Well, then you don't know me very well then, do you??  ;^)



William Bulley                     Email: web at

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