Mic volume on Dell XPS M1330 running Ubuntu 10.04

September 9, 2010 4 comments

Problem: Microphone volume on my Dell XPS M1330 on Ubuntu is way too low.

My guess is that pulseaudio does not recognize the correct range for the volume setting on the microphone. The microphone array adjusts volume in hardware (I guess).

The not so simple fix, is to open PulseAudio Manager (paman), and set the volume manually: Devices | Sources | <microphone source> | Properties, and set volume to some large value above 100%, such as 260%.

To store this setting is not so simple, and it is something of a chore to do this setting everytime I start Skype. Until it is fixed, my solution for it is to edit  /etc/pulse/default.pa  and add the following line to the bottom:

set-source-volume 1 170000
Categories: Uncategorized

Zantel 3G data on Ubuntu 10.04

August 26, 2010 10 comments

My Zantel 3G USB modem was surprisingly easy to set up on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), at least with some help from google.

The modem, a HUAWEI model EC168C, appears initially as a storage device on linux, with id 12d1:1446. This mode is used in order to install drivers on Windows (using autorun.exe), and probably also Mac OSX. The modem must be told to switch to modem mode. The tool usb-modeswitch can do this

aptitude install usb-modeswitch

This installs (from dependency package usb-modeswitch-data) the necessary udev rules in


I did in addition (but I don’t know if it necessary) update the configuration file to include the resulting product ID after the mode switch: 1412.


Network-manager detects the new modem (probably) when the serial device /dev/ttyUSB0 appears. I configured the following:

Number: #777, username: @zantel.com, and a password with one single space. (The last is necessary in order to avoid the password prompt).

BTW, at TSH 10000 / USD 6,5 a week for 2GB, this is a good offer.

Categories: Linux