Micing it - more Ubuntu stuff
My Acer box has audio ports both on the front and the back. It took me about 30 minutes mucking with the front panel to discover that the mic input does not get recognized by alsa. I have to delved into why just yet. The rear mic port works just fine (no mucking there). Alsamixergui does not show the front mic to have any input at all (i can't turn the capture on).
But at least I now have skype working just fine!
Seems like the wireless card is still a little blooie.
Then there's the DVD ripping/burning. I had to install DVDShrink, on top of Wine. It worked out remarkably easily, and here's a fine description on how to get it all going. There's sometimes a bit of inconvenience when translating avi/divx/xvid files to dvd format, but that's where mencoder comes in. It all works fabulously, especially when combined with k3b to do the actual burning.
So, my system is pretty much happy happy. The quesiotn "is linux ready for teh masses" can be responded with a resounding "maybe, but not completely". It takes work, but the benefits are huge, and things are only getting better.
Ok, now I can get on with my life :-)