Just briefly (I’ll hopefully add some more about my new machine later):
The Intel HDA sound drivers that ship with Hardy work just fine on this machine, but if you don’t know what all the sliders do (I had absolutely no clue) you’ll have a hard time getting any signal from the built-in microphone.
After some fiddling I figured out that the Capture screen of alsamixer gives you access to the appropriate controls. You need to set one of the Input sources to “Front mic”, you need to up the Mux on that one a little, and you need to make sure that the channel says “Capture” below it (in red, leftmost column in the image below) – otherwise it’s actually muted.
Now if you want to know a little bit more on what all this is about: I found a few clues here. Apparently Mux controls something like an analog pre-gain for the AD-converter, and the different channels on display in the Capture menu reflect the fact that the Sigmatel chip offers multiple AD-converters.
arecord -f cd -D hw:0,0 -d 5 test.wav # now say something... aplay test.wav
Another thing I have to point out is that I have no idea if this is a best practice to getting it working right. Ubuntu Hardy uses something called PulseAudio and I haven’t had time to educate myself as to where that fits into the whole audio stack. Should I not fiddle with things through ALSA anymore? There’s more reading on all the different audio components at Linux.com but I haven’t had time to really get a clear picture of matters so far. Would love to hear from anyone who knows more about this.
In case the follow-up doesn’t come soon enough, do prod me if you need more info on the Latitude. One hint: if you’re ordering, phone them up and insist that you want Intel wifi (that’s not configurable in the webshop sometimes) and not the Broadcom stuff.