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JulianL
2005-09-02, 03:17
Note I say "alleged" because I'm asking for advice and info here, and maybe help out Slim Devices, I'm not trying to get aggressive.

I have had a black wireless Squeezebox 2 on order from dabs.com in the UK for about a week. I knew they were out of stock and people on this forum had posted that shipments were on the way to the UK. Last night Dabs web site order status still said awaiting stock and that stock was expected that day, i.e. 01Sep05. When I logged on just now to check the status of my order the status for the SB2 has changed to "Supplier not shipped - No new date".

Asking Dabs what is going on is a waste of time, they just read what is on the web site. Can someone from Slim Devices give me the real scoop here? Also, if this message is misleading then someone in sales might want to have a quiet word with Dabs because having a message like that on their web site doesn't make Slim Devices look good.

I'm hoping that it's just that the supplies didn't arrive on the expected 01Sep05 date and this is an automatic message that will be updated very soon and maybe even go straight to "in stock/(allocated)" if the shipment was just a day late and arrived today. The stock info on the public area of the site, i.e. not against the specific item on my order, still says "4 expected in stock soon" so at least it's not bad mouthing Slim Devices on the public area of the web site by saying that they failed to make a shipment.

(I'm about 3 days away from completing the riping of my entire CD collection, just 30 classical CDs and 10 various artists/compilation CDs to go, so I'm desperate to get my SB2 of course. I also have 4 other PC-related items all batched up with the same order to save shipping costs and all these items are now awaiting dispatch once the SB2 is in stock; it's the SB2 I really care about though.)

- Julian

Richie
2005-09-02, 06:24
I had a very similar experience with dabs, the due date kept getting
pushed back every time it got close. In the end I cancelled the order.
I know other people on this forum have used dabs so maybe if I'd
waited long enough I would have got it.

In the end I actually used www.multitask-computing.co.uk whose price
is the same as dabs but includes delivery so works out slightly
cheaper (unless you used one of dabs special promotions).

Richard

On 02/09/05, JulianL <JulianL.1uq8fb (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Note I say "alleged" because I'm asking for advice and info here, and
> maybe help out Slim Devices, I'm not trying to get aggressive.
>
> I have had a black wireless Squeezebox 2 on order from dabs.com in the
> UK for about a week. I knew they were out of stock and people on this
> forum had posted that shipments were on the way to the UK. Last night
> Dabs web site order status still said awaiting stock and that stock was
> expected that day, i.e. 01Sep05. When I logged on just now to check the
> status of my order the status for the SB2 has changed to "Supplier not
> shipped - No new date".

JulianL
2005-09-02, 10:12
That's a concern. I really hope this isn't going to be the case with me. It does sound as if supplies are flowing to the UK in reasonable quantities though so I hope this is just a brief hicup.

In fairness to Dabs I should point out that I've used them quite a few times in the past and have found them to be very reliable for all my other orders, typically next day delivery. Also, on the one occassion when I had a problem the third-party courier delivered to the wrong house and unfortunately whoever lived there was a totally dishonest person who decided to pretend it was the right address and that they were me. Dabs just arranged signature verification to prove it wasn't me who signed for the goods and then re-shipped another unit (a hard drive) to me. All in all, based on my personal experiences, I still consider Dabs one of the good guys.

- Julian

cliveb
2005-09-04, 02:24
All in all, based on my personal experiences, I still consider Dabs one of the good guys.
Here's another vote for DABS. They are always my first port of call for computer related gear, and have given consistently good service. That said, I only ever order things which are shown as in stock - "arriving soon" is a pretty vague term. (FWIW, I ordered my SB2 from broadbandstuff.co.uk, and it arrived the next day).

JulianL
2005-09-04, 02:40
Of course as of today I'm not really so fussed about getting my SB2 quickly :-(.

My C: drive died yesterday morning so I have bigger things to worry about right now. It's so wierd though, I've had this computer nearly 5 years and literally next weekend I was planning to commission a replacement. How did my old computer know this? If only it had waited just 8 or 9 lousy days before dying then I wouldn't have been concerned in the slightest, probably mildly amused in fact.

So, no SlimServer for me right now, but luckily all my music archive went onto a LaCie external 500GB drive (bought from Dabs as it happens; delivered next day) so this vindicates that decission (to put my FLACs on an external drive).

- Julian

cliveb
2005-09-04, 07:01
My C: drive died yesterday morning ....
luckily all my music archive went onto a LaCie external 500GB drive (bought from Dabs as it happens; delivered next day) so this vindicates that decission (to put my FLACs on an external drive).
External drives are just as likely to fail as internal ones - they ultimately use the same technology. So if you don't have your FLACs backed up somewhere else, do it asap. It's a lot easier than having to re-rip all your CDs.

Milhouse
2005-09-04, 08:28
Indeed - there's no way I'd put my music library onto a single hard disk (internal or external), mine is mirrored in a RAID array.

I'm actually quite interested by the ReadyNAS X6 and would probably go for a 4-disk setup, although of course this isn't a cheap option. But then neither is my time spent re-ripping a lost music library! :)

dean
2005-09-04, 11:08
On Sep 4, 2005, at 8:28 AM, Milhouse wrote:

>
> Indeed - there's no way I'd put my music library onto a single hard
> disk
> (internal or external), mine is mirrored in a RAID array.

There is no way I'd put my music library onto a single RAID array.
The possibility of _accidental_ deletion is too great.

I am stupid far more frequently than hard drives fail. A wiped RAID
volume can be just as permanent as a fried disk.

My technique: My server has two 250GB drives. I use one of them for
my music library. Every night a cron job does a sync between that
disk and another disk.

Then I occasionally make an archived backup to a drive not attached
to that machine. I plan to soon automate this and have that drive in
another computer, possibly in another state.

pfarrell
2005-09-04, 11:27
In "Re: [slim] Re: Alleged (And Possibly Untrue) Shipment Problem From
SlimDevices"

On Sun, 2005-09-04 at 11:08 -0700, dean blackketter wrote:
> On Sep 4, 2005, at 8:28 AM, Milhouse wrote:
> > Indeed - there's no way I'd put my music library onto a single hard
> > disk (internal or external), mine is mirrored in a RAID array.
>
> There is no way I'd put my music library onto a single RAID array.
> The possibility of _accidental_ deletion is too great.

I fail to see why RAID has caught on as a general solution. As Dean
writes, it only addresses one of the many possible data loss problems.

Copying to separate disks on a separate computer is not difficult
and much more secure. Lots of accidental or even virus deletions
are not addressed with RAID.

I think the key point is that if you really think that keeping
your CDs is not sufficient, then think carefully about what
backup strategy you want and need.

Since I remember the days of paying $30,000 for a 300 MB disk
and religiously making backups on 6250 tapes, the idea of
buying 200+ GB disks for under $100 makes them seem free to
me.

I tend to think that my collection is large, altho in the Slim
world, it is probably only "normal" but all 700+ CDs
fit on less than 250 GB of disks.

--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

Patrick Dixon
2005-09-04, 11:43
I plan to soon automate this and have that drive in
another computer, possibly in another state.I already have computers in several states - some of them work, some don't. ;-)

What's wrong with write protecting your ripped music files/directories? Solves the problem of accidental deletions at least. You can always have an 'open' directory, that you rip to, before periodicaly moving that data over to a write protected volume.

Milhouse
2005-09-04, 11:58
You're both right, there's no substitute for backing up to a seperate device and in practice it would be best to have my library backed up to storage that is safe from accidental deletion, since RAID-1 only provides security from physical device failure.

As pfarrell points out, the backup medium would need to be in a seperate PC to avoid the risk of a virus or even OS bug from wiping or corrupting the filesystem of both the active music library and backup disks, which does of course add to the overall cost of this solution! :)

And yes, the backup disk should even be kept offsite! :)

The ReadyNAS X6 potentially solves a number of storage issues for me, it wouldn't be too much of an issue to have a ~300GB disk in a seperate PC that is rsync'ed (or similar - probably only "adding" to avoid propogating accidental deletion) for the absolutely essential files that need to be backed up in case the ReadyNAS X6 bites the dust.

For now though my two DVD-RAM and single 12/24Gb DDS-3 tape drives will have to shoulder the backup duties! :)

JulianL
2005-09-04, 12:00
Thanks for all the warnings on backups. I have religiously burned a DVD after every 12-16 CDs ripped (depending on when I had a DVD's worth) so I have 2 physical backups of all my stuff (one being the original CDs of course). Typically I've been ripping, encoding and tagging my collection at a rate of about 15 CDs a day and then setting a DVD archive going overnight while I sleep. I do a read-back verify as part of the burn process and I am using the best DVD blanks I could get so I have a pretty high confidence that the backups are good.

I believe that DVDs could degrade but I suspect that in 2 to 3 years time I will probably have switched over to BlueRay or similar so at that point I will probably refresh my backups anyway so as to reduce the restore time. Also, because of the nature of the data I am backing up, I wouldn't really care if I had a few localised bad blocks on a backup, or even a few complete DVDs turned to coasters. As long as most of them are good it would still reduce 400 hours of re-ripping an entire collection down to about 30 hours or so to reload my entire collection (give or take a few hours depending on how many CDs I did need to rip from source because of DVD corruption, hopefully none) so I'm happy with this tradeoff.

- Julian

Milhouse
2005-09-04, 12:14
Julian - can I recommend that you re-verify your DVDs after a few months, or even every 6 months?

You make valid points about upgrading to higher capacity optical storage in the future and being able to survive a few bad blocks etc. but from recent painful experience of CD-R backups I tend to distruct any optical backup medium other than DVD-RAM.

In my case I had files backed up to CD-R which were made less than a year ago and due to a disk failure (non RAID - bah!) I had to restore the files form these CD-R's to find they that several had CRC errors :( These CD-R's weren't no-name blanks but TDK, had been kept in a cool, dry and dark cupboard and the data verified upon creation so either the TDK discs were substandard and deteriorated rapidly over time, the burner used was defective or it's just a fact - don't rely on CD-R for long term archiving!

Not sure if the same should apply to DVD-R, but my experience of CD-R means I have little faith in DVD-R which I see as just a bigger version of CD-R, with the same potential problems!

Backing up to another hard disk is probably the most cost effective and least troublesome method of archiving a music library. Even with my DVD-RAM and tape drives I'll end up swapping a few disks and tapes, which means I'll backup less often than I should.

mherger
2005-09-04, 12:18
> What's wrong with write protecting your ripped music files/directories?
> Solves the problem of accidental deletions at least. You can always
> have an 'open' directory, that you rip to, before periodicaly moving
> that data over to a write protected volume.

That's what I'm doing: I'll rip to my main, general purpose server, fix
the tagging, double check. My dedicated slimserver machine has the disk
with the collection mounted read only. Once I'm done with the
ripping/tagging I run a script _manually_, which mounts the disk rw,
rsyncs everything, and remounts ro. And from time to time I rsync
everything again to an external HD. This way I have at least 2.9 copies of
my collection.

I love rsync, rsnapshot (for general backup tasks) and ro mounted drives
:-).

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
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stinkingpig
2005-09-04, 12:31
Pat Farrell wrote:

>In "Re: [slim] Re: Alleged (And Possibly Untrue) Shipment Problem From
>SlimDevices"
>
>On Sun, 2005-09-04 at 11:08 -0700, dean blackketter wrote:
>
>
>>On Sep 4, 2005, at 8:28 AM, Milhouse wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Indeed - there's no way I'd put my music library onto a single hard
>>>disk (internal or external), mine is mirrored in a RAID array.
>>>
>>>
>>There is no way I'd put my music library onto a single RAID array.
>>The possibility of _accidental_ deletion is too great.
>>
>>
>
>I fail to see why RAID has caught on as a general solution. As Dean
>writes, it only addresses one of the many possible data loss problems.
>
>
>

This may have something to do with my deep and well-earned cynicism
regarding the computer industry, but my theory is simple:

RAID costs more than other solutions like tape, but is still simple
enough to be sold as a simple upgrade without triggering the customer's
"I gotta buy a second computer?!" gag reflex.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org : It's a Scientific Venture!
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
so across the Western ocean I must wander." -- All for Me Grog, traditional

pfarrell
2005-09-04, 12:51
On Sun, 2005-09-04 at 12:31 -0700, Jack Coates wrote:
> RAID costs more than other solutions like tape, but is still simple
> enough to be sold as a simple upgrade without triggering the customer's
> "I gotta buy a second computer?!" gag reflex.

Tape costs a fortune. The drives and tapes are expensive
and you have to put the tape in the slot, label them,
remember to reuse them properly, etc. And they all
degrade over time, so you have to check the media, etc.

It is hard to see that tape is actually cheaper than
anything when you add in all the repeating and management costs.

I've seen the "I gotta buy a second computer?!" gag reflex.
And I don't grok it either. Computers are nearly free.
If you want RAID, you want
the second disks anyway. So you are only talking
about a few hundred dollars, max. And for backups,
you don't need any performance, so that old P3 that
you retired and have sitting in the closet works just fine.
They are free.


Some others have asked about long term stability of DVDs.
It is a little too soon to know for sure, but it is not
wise to expect that you can burn your data onto
anything, and read it forever. You should expect to
replace it with newer technology every few years.
Just make sure to verify that you can read the old
stuff when the new cooler faster, cheaper stuff
comes out.

I expect that we'll have two generations of DVD in the
next five years. The inability to reach agreement
leading to HD-DVD versus BluRay format wars
is bad, and I expect both will be replaced sooner
than expected if one had won and achieved market share.

--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

JulianL
2005-09-04, 13:14
Millhouse,

Yeah. I hear bad things about CD-R backups all the time, I have no idea whether DVD media are any better. You've got to hope that being "next generation" that they learned from at least some of their mistakes with the CD media but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

I might well end up "refreshing" my archive every 6 months, partly because of the potential issues you mention (and your warning has encouraged me to take this more seriously), but also because the inevitable tagging errors will mean that the backups will get out of date. Right now I'm keeping a text file where I record any tag changes so that, if I have to restore from backup, I have a record of what tag updates I need to apply after I've done the restore. Admitedly recutting my backups will be a pain to do, my backup set currently numbers 38 DVD+Rs, but as long as I remember to set a DVD burn going whenever I pop out for lunch, go to the gym, watch some TV, go to bed, etc then I think that when the time comes and I set my mind to it I could probably cut at least 4 a day during these dead times so it would be a 10 day project to regenerate the backup set, maybe less, and to be honest it's one of those mindless projects that I find quite therapeutic (in moderation).

I won't disagree with your statement that "Backing up to another hard disk is probably the most cost effective..." because it depends on how you trade off cost vs effectiveness but, so long as I don't re-cut my backup sets more often than once every 6 months, it is hard to beat DVD+Rs on cost alone. My total backup set will have cost me about 7.50 in blank media so I'd have to recut the backup set quite a few times to get to the cost of an additional 200GB external drive. Also, I have so many power bricks and plugs in my home office already (I just counted, I have 27 power cables and power bricks active in my office right now!) that I am very loathe to add yet another device into my system if I can avoid it.

My long term plan is that in 2 years I hope to be able to add some sort of squeezebox-like system for my DVDs so at that point ripping DVDs will need a total rethink on my storage and I will use that as the trigger to upgrade my 500GB external drive to a > 2TB external RAID array which I hope will be pretty affordable by then and that Blu-ray blank media will also be affordable so that the number of discs in my backup set remains constant or even reduces.

- Julian

cliveb
2005-09-05, 05:16
Yeah. I hear bad things about CD-R backups all the time,
I've been using CD-R since 1997, and it has proved to be a very stable medium. I think people who have bad experiences with it have been unlucky.



I have no idea whether DVD media are any better. You've got to hope that being "next generation" that they learned from at least some of their mistakes with the CD media but maybe that's just wishful thinking.
It's still early days, but in my experience DVD-R (I actually use DVD+R) is significantly less predictable than CD-R. DVD media seems extemely variable and there's a huge amount of really poor quality media out there, whereas CD-R media seems much more stable, presumably due to its maturity and the less critical tolerances involved.

But having said that, I do in fact back up my FLACs to DVD+R (using only Taiyo Yuden media) and, touch wood, I haven't had any go bad on me yet.

ultra238a
2005-09-05, 06:01
Just to get back on to the original subject.

The dabs.com deal was very successful and cleared out all of the stock that they had on order from us so they had to re-order.

I believe that we are getting more stock in from SD this week and we will be fulfilling all back orders as soon as the stock lands with us from Customs.

Thanks

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

JulianL
2005-09-05, 07:36
Thanks Paul. I appreciate the update on this. My SB2 is batched up with a new motherboard and some other stuff which I thought was a luxury but now that my PC went bang has become somewhat more urgent. I guess I'll leave it until Thursday to see if the stock is in and, if not, then I'll divide up the order and just pay double shipping charges. I think the Slim Devices folks said last Thu/Fri that there was a shipment going out to you that day so hopefully it'll get here early in the week and just maybe by Thursday it'll be OK.

Of course now I suppose even my new computer isn't so urgent. My broadband connection has been out for the last 48 hours and, after 2 hours on a hold queue to customer support, it was identified as a fault in the exchange (which still isn't fixed).

I think I'm just going to go to bed for a very long time and hope that nothing else breaks in the meantime.

- Julian

JulianL
2005-09-05, 09:30
For others awaiting Dabs shipments, the order status on my SB2 has just changed to now say simply "070905". This being England, I assume that means that they are now expecting stock on 7th September, i.e. this Wednesday. That sounds consistent with what I've heard from Slim Devices and Progressive Consumer Electronics so with any luck that should mean shipment on Thursday and delivery on Friday. As long as nothing else goes wrong it's looking good for the weekend which is the earliest I would get a chance to play with it anyway.

- Julian

ultra238a
2005-09-05, 10:40
I will post as soon as we have shipped them to dabs.com

They will get them next day and should book them in the same day they get them (lmao) and you guys who have them ordered should get them the day after that.

HTH

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

max.spicer
2005-09-05, 10:59
Who are you, please? It's fairly obvious that your company is supplying Dabs, but Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd doesn't ring a bell. Just curious.

Max


Just to get back on to the original subject.

The dabs.com deal was very successful and cleared out all of the stock that they had on order from us so they had to re-order.

I believe that we are getting more stock in from SD this week and we will be fulfilling all back orders as soon as the stock lands with us from Customs.

Thanks

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

Fifer
2005-09-05, 11:04
Aren't they the UK Distributor?

JulianL
2005-09-05, 12:31
I will post as soon as we have shipped them to dabs.com

<SNIP>

HTH

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

Thanks Paul, that would be really helpful. The other two thirds of the parts I need to rebuild my computer are on their way to me from other suppliers so I'll need to make the decision on Thursday as to whether to split the Dabs order so that I can get the final computer parts by the weekend minus the SB2.

- Julian

ultra238a
2005-09-05, 14:20
Yes we are the UK distributor.

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

Milhouse
2005-09-05, 15:00
Yes we are the UK distributor.

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

Hi Paul - would be interested to read your opinion of the comments in this (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=15769) thread which discusses the limited presence of Squeezebox in the UK.

Edit: Hmmm, I'm just re-reading the thread myself and now realise someone called Lee Harris from the UK Distributor has already posted, I assume he's a colleague of yours? :)

chrisal
2005-09-06, 03:11
Hi,
I ordered a platinum SB2 from Dabs yesterday and it came this morning....

JulianL
2005-09-06, 08:02
Sigh. It looks as if I am suffering the same thing that someone else reported with Dabs, i.e. the stock date being slipped a few days every time it gets close. The in-stock date for the black SB2 on my order just moved from 7th Sep to 9th Sep.

- Julian

ultra238a
2005-09-06, 08:59
Stock landed with us today but too late to ship to them for tomorrow. So dabs.com will get their stock on Thursday and ship out to you guys for Friday.

Regards

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

JulianL
2005-09-06, 09:55
Woo hoo! Thanks for the update Paul.

- Julian

bludragon
2005-09-08, 09:33
Well, dabs have at last shipped my SB2. They're also showing plenty extra in stock too. The price is no longer at its bargain level though.

Michaelwagner
2005-09-10, 22:07
I plan to soon automate this and have that drive in another computer, possibly in another state.
Considering recent events, you might factor in the elevation (above sea level) of that other computer.

seanadams
2005-09-10, 23:16
Considering recent events, you might factor in the elevation (above sea level) of that other computer.

Yes - like silicon valley! Lots of computers, and no natural disa

Michaelwagner
2005-09-11, 08:06
Yes - like silicon valley! Lots of computers, and no natural disaVery funny. But you might consider a computer somewhere on the other side of the san andreas fault.


And then will your hard disk over to me :-)