The office machine is mostly operational again. The first thing I did was install the Debian package for the 2.6.12 kernel. I use the testing distribution of Debian, which is at 2.4 something still by default. I’m not sure why, but if I boot the 2.4 kernel, X does not work. It does work with the 2.6.12 kernel, so that is fine with me.
I’m not sure what is going on with the usb problem. My mouse is usb, so it was kind of a big deal. I use a 4-port usb hub on my desktop to plug the mouse, camera, pod etc. into. For some reason, the hub quit working. From the logs it looks like there is a problem with assigning it an ID. I plugged my devices directly into the PC and everything works fine. Strange. I don’t have to fix it now, but I will need to fix it eventually because of my usb thumb drive. I use it extensively.
I finally got ALSA to work on this machine. I needed to modify /etc/modutils/alsa-base to add the line for the via82xx alias. Then I ran alsamixer and found that all of the volumes were turned down completely and muted. When something is muted in alsamixer it is displayed as [off]. To turn it on/un-mute it, use the ‘m’ key. I still don’t get anything out of the midi test from the kde sound configuration. Not sure what the deal is with that.
So, I am mostly back in business. I was thinking that if I worked from home, and this was my work machine, apt-get dist-upgrade’s would be pretty dangerous. Since I am planning to work from home someday, I better come up with a process to ensure I always have a machine available for work.