The easy, hackish way to give yourself permissions to use the sound devices would be to just chmod the devices to 6446. While this will work, however, it's not The Right Way to do it.
Instead, if you look at the sound devices, you'll see that they're
owned by the group `audio'. The Right Way to do sound is to add
yourself to the audio group, and then to change the permissions on the
sound devices so only users in that group can read from and write to
them. That way, you have control over the sound I/O going on in your
machine. (It's perhaps a little paranoid approach for any single-user
laptop, but it's good practice, and should be implemented on any
To add yourself to the audio group, do:
spycellar:~# adduser yourname audio
To make sure this worked, you can list the groups you're a part of
spycellar:~# groups yourname
You should see `audio' as one of those.
To change the permissions of the sound devices so only audio users can
read and write to them, do:
spycellar:~# chmod 0660 /dev/dsp*
After which, mine looked like this:
crw-rw---- 1 root audio 14, 3 Jun 30 12:17 /dev/dsp crw-rw---- 1 root audio 14, 19 Jun 30 12:17 /dev/dsp1 crw-rw---- 1 root audio 14, 35 Jun 30 12:17 /dev/dsp2 crw-rw---- 1 root audio 14, 51 Jun 30 12:17 /dev/dsp3
You might have to restart X for the changes to take place within X, though they should work immediately on the console.
This was all it took for me. If you're still at a loss, you need more help than I can give sound-wise -- good luck!