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View Full Version : Okay, maybe it's time to call it a day...



CavesOfTQLT
2005-09-20, 13:38
Right, having had issues from day 1 with this whole squeezebox/slimserver system [see my other posts], I'm now getting to the end of my patience. Following a lot of help from others on this forum (thanks must go to Pat, Robin, et al) [Slim Devices need not apply - see later] I finally got the system up & running, or so it seemed. A couple of days 'play' and everything was funky dory, until I paused playback. Coming back to the SB2 after approx. 15 minutes and hitting play caused the ubiqutous 'stuttering', and after a lot of faffing about the only way to get things moving again was to go through the SB2 set-up procedure again.

Again, everything appeared to be okay, until (a couple of days later) tonight. Having just been to a funeral and having invited a few guests around to my house, I proceeded to give a demonstration of said SB2. Half way through the demo I got the 'lost contact with slimserver' message. After another faff about session with the remote I made my excuses and made my way upstairs to the server, to find it had 'stopped'. Issuing a 'service slimserver start' I made my way downstairs to find the SB2 suffering from the same 'stuttering' effect as had previously been noted.

Going to 'settings'/'wireless strength' again shows 90%+ signal strength, so I fail to see how other networks can be causing this analomy. So now I'm looking a real fool to my guests, so I just give the excuse it's because other networks are in the way. And one of the guests is only a computer technician for crying out loud. Makes me look real stupid. And I don't like to look stupid.

So I propose this.

Having had NO reply to my e-mail made to support@slimdevices.com, AND having had NO reply to my PM to Sean [the second communication to Slim Devices I might add], I've decided to pay out for a different brand of wireless router just to see if it is the cause of all the problems I'm facing, or whether it's a faulty SB2 [Sean has been told in my PM of the wierd thing that occurred when I powered up the SB2].

After I've tried this, and depending upon my findings from same, I'll then decide whether to 'pack it all in' as a great idea, but shame that it's an unreliable [wireless] system, or to come back on here and admit the issue was with the Belkin router. At least I'll be honest with whatever the outcome, and not to have the ignorance not to reply to my e-mails/PMs.

seanadams
2005-09-20, 14:28
Sorry for the trouble. I help out here when I can but I am not the company's front-line tech support, nor am I frankly as knowledgeable on the entire scope of issues with which our support team has experience.

If you didn't hear back from support@slimdevices.com, please check your spam filter as we are very responsive. We're also available by phone. Thanks.

seanadams
2005-09-20, 14:34
Kevin says he emailed you on 9/8, the same day you contacted us. Please double check your mail.

kdf
2005-09-20, 14:49
I would also never rely on PM's on the forum. I, for one, am accessing via
email so I'm rarely making use of the forum. I only go in when I need to reply
to an older message that I've mistakenly wiped from my server. The few PM's
I've gotten (only just checked today) get as old as July. They are not very
obvious. I've seen some forums that have new messages pop up if you are
online, but even that is not something the sender can rely on.

I can certainly sympathise overall. I had some nasty troubles with a router a
while back (router reset every 15-30 minutes). Fortunately I had two older
ones to test as backup. I still suffer from sudden dropouts which take my
ibook offline as well as the squeezeboxes. 90% signal can just disappear. My
only guess is that it's a particular channel on a cordless phone nearby. I've
learned to just live with the (usually only 1-2/week) dropouts and just run up
to reset the router (quicker than waiting).

Hopefully your new router will help shed some light.

-k

Music Machine
2005-09-20, 15:08
I would stick to Netgear or Linksys.

Milhouse
2005-09-20, 17:15
I don't know what the cause is, but as soon as you mentioned you had a Belkin I stopped reading... from personal experience (and the shared experience of others) Belkin are utter pants unless you have a 100% Belkin wireless network.

There may be a problem with your SB, but chances are it's the Belkin that doesn't like talking to anything else but another Belkin (and even then, sometimes not even another Belkin!)

Try a Linksys WRT54GS or something from Netgear - I would recommend either brand. But avoid Belkin like the plague.

kolepard
2005-09-20, 17:37
>as soon as you mentioned you had a Belkin I stopped reading...Belkin
>are utter pants unless you have a 100% Belkin wireless network.

Interesting. As I recall, Dean posted that he solved his coverage
problems by upgrading his router to a Belkin Pre-N. I've never been
to his house, but I'm willing to bet that there are some wireless
Squeezeboxen around. ;-) I can't believe it's a universal problem.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard
kolepard (AT) charter (DOT) net

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

Vince LaMonica
2005-09-20, 17:41
On Tue, 20 Sep 2005, Milhouse wrote:

} Try a Linksys WRT54GS or something from Netgear - I would recommend
} either brand. But avoid Belkin like the plague.

I can second that. But don't just confine your avoidance of Belkin to
their wifi stuff; avoid *all* Belkin products. I personally stopped
purchasing their products long ago, but whenever I run into someone with a
hardware problem, be it a mouse, a UPS, a cable, a wifi device or a iPod
accessory, it's always a Belkin. They seem to have ery poor quality
control.

/vjl/

Music Machine
2005-09-20, 17:47
Have to agree about the Belkin curse. Also if you ordered a d-link just smash it when you get it. Don't wait to go crazy first and then smash it.

Regards,
Music Machine

kdf
2005-09-20, 18:59
On 20-Sep-05, at 5:47 PM, Music Machine wrote:

>
> Have to agree about the Belkin curse. Also if you ordered a d-link
> just
> smash it when you get it. Don't wait to go crazy first and then smash
> it.
>
Belkin Pre-N was a nightmare for me, but a few calls to tech support
got me a replacement that is working a LOT better.
It doesn't have all the nifty features of the hacked linksys WRT54G,
but it's a lot faster, especially with a mixed network
-k

Dan Goodinson
2005-09-21, 02:23
I'm accessing this via the email lists, so haven't been keeping
up-to-date with your other posts... But from the problems you're having
it certainly does sound like some sort of interference. I suffered what
sounds like the same thing when I first got my SB1. For me, SB would
play fine for a few minutes and then would either pause playback or
sometimes the unit would reboot entirely.

It still happens very occasionally, but I managed to minimise it by
changing wireless channel and adding a different antenna to my
fileserver.

I use USR hardware, and it has had it's problems but now that I have the
latest firmware it seems to be a great deal more stable. In the UK you
can have up to 13 wireless channels (only 11 in North America). After
setting my network to run on channel 13, I find the dropouts have all
but ceased. I still sometimes have the odd day where there appears to
be a lot of interference, but I strongly suspect that one of my
neighbours has a cordless phone or something. Using a D-Link
directional antenna on my fileserver (the antenna looks like a miniature
flatscreen monitor) has greatly improved signal strength at my server
and means that the connection between SB and fileserver is much more
stable. Don't forget that even while the SB may have 100% reception,
this is no good if your fileserver has very poor signal strength as it
still effectively means that your SB can't talk to the SS
service/application.

My tips would be:

1. Make sure you're running the latest (or an otherwise known stable)
version of router firmware; the latest version is not ALWAYS the best...
2. Check signal strength at both SB and fileserver - if appropriate,
change location of one of both, or change to a different antenna
3. Make sure you're running the latest (or an otherwise know stable)
version of SB firmware (though I've never had any problems with SB
firmware)
4. Make sure your NIC drivers are up to date
5. Make sure you're running a recent version of SS software
6. Investigate changing channels on your network - do this WHILE you're
having problems!!

e.g. if you're experiencing stuttering or other symptoms of (potential)
interference, change channel to see if it gets better/worse. Best
channels are at the extreme ends of the scale, or right in the middle as
they have less 'overlap' with each other.

If your router has the functionality, DISABLE "dynamic channel" option.
This is supposed to scan for channels with the lowest noise and is
supposed to give a cleaner signal. In effect, what it means (at least
for USR gear) is that the channel may randomly change which results in a
drop-out of the signal.

Download and install "netstumbler" (it's freeware, do a Google search on
"netstumbler" and "wardriving"). You can view signal strength in a
dynamic display. It doesn't work with all hardware (it works on my
laptop, but not for my USR cards, for example). if you are very lucky
it will not only work for your hardware ;) but your card may even report
noise. You can have a permanent 100% reception, but it doesn't
necessarily mean that the signal is 100% (or even 50%) clean. It may be
that the signal is strong, but is very noisy.

Hope it helps you. Like you, I had some major issues when I first set
up SB, and I went through the same thing as you - I was close to
returning it and giving up. But after a bit of a struggle, the system
is now up and running and it's very cool.

Dan.

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of kdf
Sent: 21 September 2005 03:00
To: Slim Devices Discussion
Subject: Re: [slim] Re: Okay, maybe it's time to call it a day...



On 20-Sep-05, at 5:47 PM, Music Machine wrote:

>
> Have to agree about the Belkin curse. Also if you ordered a d-link
> just
> smash it when you get it. Don't wait to go crazy first and then smash
> it.
>
Belkin Pre-N was a nightmare for me, but a few calls to tech support
got me a replacement that is working a LOT better.
It doesn't have all the nifty features of the hacked linksys WRT54G,
but it's a lot faster, especially with a mixed network
-k

seanadams
2005-09-21, 02:37
After
setting my network to run on channel 13, I find the dropouts have all
but ceased.

Also Squeezebox2 (nudge nudge) like most 802.11g access points, lets you choose (wink wink) your region at startup time, i.e. the hardware isn't tied to a particular region's allowed channel range (know what I mean?).

(OK seriously, it's illegal)

Dan Goodinson
2005-09-21, 02:43
It's only illegal in North America - I'm in the UK, so there is no such
restriction ;)

But for anyone in NA reading this... (nudge nudge)

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of seanadams
Sent: 21 September 2005 10:38
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: [slim] Re: Okay, maybe it's time to call it a day...



Dan Goodinson Wrote:
> After
> setting my network to run on channel 13, I find the dropouts have all
> but ceased.

Also Squeezebox2 (nudge nudge) like most 802.11g access points, lets you
choose (wink wink) your region at startup time, i.e. the hardware isn't
tied to a particular region's allowed channel range (know what I mean?).


(OK seriously, it's illegal)


--
seanadams

Fifer
2005-09-21, 03:04
Does any other country use more channels than the UK's 13, or use channels outwith the frequencies used in the UK? Just checking as, being a law-abiding and upstanding citizen, I'd hate to accidentally find myself using an illegal channel, particularly if no-one else was likely to be using it.

keithleng
2005-09-21, 04:35
The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and always has been, very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs, and it shows.

I bought my first one a couple of years ago, ran into all sorts of problems and stopped using it. I recently decided to give it another try and bought a Squeezebox 2. I'm in a different city, using a different ISP, computer, router, and operating system from when I had the first SB. And I'm still getting lots of problems.

If you can give it a dedicated system, with nothing else running, and no competition for bandwidth, it now seems mostly okay. If you can't give it that level of resource, then, in my experience, you're going to have constant, recurrent hassle.

Allan Hise
2005-09-21, 04:43
On Wed, 21 Sep 2005, Fifer wrote:

> Does any other country use more channels than the UK's 13, or use
> channels outwith the frequencies used in the UK? Just checking as,
> being a law-abiding and upstanding citizen, I'd hate to accidentally
> find myself using an illegal channel, particularly if no-one else was
> likely to be using it.

If I remember correctly, back from when I worked on WLAN hardware, channel
14 (the highest channel in 802.11 b/g) is for Japan only.

Allan

Dan Goodinson
2005-09-21, 04:52
My server is more or less dedicated, as is basically just a fileserver.

Having said that, there is one other app which is constantly running -
"Folding At Home". (Kind of similar to "Seti At Home" or whatever). As
a result, my CPU is permanently at 100% usage. Even then though, I
can't think of any problem I've ever had with SS running as a service.
Any problems I've encountered have, as far as I can tell, always been
related to interference.

The server is not a particularly high spec - it's a Celeron 1.4GHz with
512MB RAM. Most of the hardware was cobbled together out of spares, in
fact.

I've never had any concerns about SS - I've never found it to be
flaky...

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of keithleng
Sent: 21 September 2005 12:36
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: [slim] Re: Okay, maybe it's time to call it a day...



The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and always
has been, very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs,
and it shows.

I bought my first one a couple of years ago, ran into all sorts of
problems and stopped using it. I recently decided to give it another try
and bought a Squeezebox 2. I'm in a different city, using a different
ISP, computer, router, and operating system from when I had the first
SB. And I'm still getting lots of problems.

If you can give it a dedicated system, with nothing else running, and no
competition for bandwidth, it now seems mostly okay. If you can't give
it that level of resource, then, in my experience, you're going to have
constant, recurrent hassle.


--
keithleng

Alex Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes
2005-09-21, 05:09
On Wednesday 21 September 2005 12:52, Dan Goodinson wrote:
> My server is more or less dedicated, as is basically just a fileserver.
>
> Having said that, there is one other app which is constantly running -
> "Folding At Home". (Kind of similar to "Seti At Home" or whatever). As
> a result, my CPU is permanently at 100% usage. Even then though, I
> can't think of any problem I've ever had with SS running as a service.
> Any problems I've encountered have, as far as I can tell, always been
> related to interference.
>
> The server is not a particularly high spec - it's a Celeron 1.4GHz with
> 512MB RAM. Most of the hardware was cobbled together out of spares, in
> fact.
>
> I've never had any concerns about SS - I've never found it to be
> flaky...

I would agree with this. I've got a 2GHz celeron with 768M of memory that
cost me about 250 and it is supplying 3 clients from the slim server and
running a couple of 15000+ page dynamic websites (java / mysql) as testing
platforms for clients and there is never any problem unless the wireless
network is clogged with other traffic.

The web interface is occasionally slow to update, but has never interrupted
the audio stream as a result. I've got 12,000 flac files currently being
served up with at least one client using LAME to encode them on the way.

Off topic: I am looking at making a web front end for the slim server that
controls the box over the CLI using my application server (for examples of
existing sites using this see www.fiennes.org). My primary motivation on
this is to have an easier way of annotating information about the music using
my CMS, but the performance will probably be slightly better than the
existing perl engine. I'll let people know how this gets on if they are
interested...

Alex

Fifer
2005-09-21, 05:14
The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and always has been, very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs, and it shows.
That's not been my experience at all. I've been running SlimServer for about a year and a half, initially using a Squeezebox1 and now a Squeezebox2. My system and network are far from dedicated and my PC is not very state of the art (P4 2.4GHz) but I find SS to be a well behaved and stable application in my set-up.

In any case and in lots of fields, many (perhaps most) 'enthuisiastic amateurs' are, in my experience, at least as competent as their professional counterparts and there are the added benefits that they (a) do what they do for love rather than money and (b) constitute a resourse pool the size of which most companies could never dream of funding.

Jason Voegele
2005-09-21, 05:46
On Wed, September 21, 2005 7:35 am, keithleng said:
> The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and always
> has been, very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs,
> and it shows.

Well, this is one way to make those enthusiastic "amateurs" a lot less
enthusiastic. You really should make sure to understand open source
before making such statements. For one, most of those "amateur"
contributors are actually professional software developers (like myself)
who happen to be passionate about software development. In fact, it is
often the case that developers who contribute to open source are really
the cream of the crop, because of that very enthusiasm you mention.
Furthermore, it has been shown in some studies that open source code
generally has fewer bugs (i.e. higher quality) than "professional"
commercial code.

None if this is to say that SlimServer is perfect or bug free, but your
comment "It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs, and it shows."
smacks of insult and of ignorance of how open source development and
software development in general really works. I'll take those
enthusiastic "amateurs" over the supposed "professionals" I've worked with
over the years any day.

--
Jason Voegele
"There is an essential core at the center of each man and woman that
remains unaltered no matter how life's externals may be transformed
or recombined. But it's smaller than we think."
-- Gene Wolfe, The Book of the Long Sun

Robin Bowes
2005-09-21, 06:17
keithleng said the following on 21/09/2005 12:35:
> The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and always
> has been, very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs,
> and it shows.

This is complete boll***s.

slimserver, particularly the release versions is very stable. I run the
latest development code (aka svn trunk), updating regularly - usually
daily. I've only seen one or two crashes in that time, and they've been
in peripheral areas of the code and have fixed very quickly.

The actual streaming code is very stable - I've never seen problems with
that.

> I bought my first one a couple of years ago, ran into all sorts of
> problems and stopped using it. I recently decided to give it another
> try and bought a Squeezebox 2. I'm in a different city, using a
> different ISP, computer, router, and operating system from when I had
> the first SB. And I'm still getting lots of problems.

Have you tried asking for help here? A quick scan through the emails
gatewayed to gmane suggests that this is your first post.

> If you can give it a dedicated system, with nothing else running, and
> no competition for bandwidth, it now seems mostly okay. If you can't
> give it that level of resource, then, in my experience, you're going to
> have constant, recurrent hassle.

Again, rubbish. *Some* people (hi Simon!) have experienced constant
problems with their Squeezebox/slimserver, but for the vast majority it
just works.

Now, rant out of the way, why don't you tell us what problems you're
having and we can try and get things working for you?

Indeed, if you're running on a Unix box and can allow me ssh access,
I'll have a look at your server and see if I can sort things out.

R.
--
http://robinbowes.com

If a man speaks in a forest,
and his wife's not there,
is he still wrong?

mherger
2005-09-21, 06:40
> The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and
> always has been, very flakey.

I don't have to add my "not true" vote here. Others did enough.

> It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs, and it shows.

Ok, I _am_ an enthusiastic amateurs (and I am happy being it) and did
contribute a bit to the code. You're right. But to consider Dean, Dan,
Sean and Vidur amateurs is rather bold. And they have clearly done most
of the checkins (this can be proved using SVN statistics).

This is simply one of those old prejudices against open source software.

BTW: the code which is responsible for wireless communication is in the
firmware. This is neither open source, nor written by amateurs, but by
Sean and Vidur.

> If you can give it a dedicated system, with nothing else running, and
> no competition for bandwidth, it now seems mostly okay. If you can't
> give it that level of resource, then, in my experience, you're going
> to have constant, recurrent hassle.

My server does fileserver, mail, web and some MySQL - and has been
running slimserver fine for 2 years.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

stinkingpig
2005-09-21, 06:46
keithleng wrote:

>The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and always
>has been, very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs,
>and it shows.
>
>I bought my first one a couple of years ago, ran into all sorts of
>problems and stopped using it. I recently decided to give it another
>try and bought a Squeezebox 2. I'm in a different city, using a
>different ISP, computer, router, and operating system from when I had
>the first SB. And I'm still getting lots of problems.
>
>If you can give it a dedicated system, with nothing else running, and
>no competition for bandwidth, it now seems mostly okay. If you can't
>give it that level of resource, then, in my experience, you're going to
>have constant, recurrent hassle.
>
>
>
troll, and untrue in most people's experiences. if you want to post
details and troubleshoot the problem you're having, please do.

that said, there are two areas that I would consider widely problematic:

1) wireless sucks. Kudos to Slim Devices for even trying to use such an
immature technology in a consumer product.

2) Slimserver will want the kind of resources you describe if your
library resembles the local radio stations... performance problems are
reported by people with tens of thousands of tracks. That number has
been going up since the 6.x conversion to SQLite, used to be that >5k
tracks would start to bog down.

--
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, trad.

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-21, 06:52
>>> slim (AT) herger (DOT) net 09/21/05 9:40 AM >>>
> The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and
> always has been, very flakey.

Been running on various machines for about 2 years. Very few
problems. None in the last 18 months that prevented music from
playing.

> If you can give it a dedicated system, with nothing else running,
> and no competition for bandwidth, it now seems mostly okay. If
> you can't give it that level of resource, then, in my experience,
> you're going to have constant, recurrent hassle.

Like you said, in your experience. In my experience, I've got a
low-end celeron 2.2ghz box running not only slimserver, but Asterisk,
MythTV, Big Brother, RRDTool, and a few other smaller apps.
Plus it functions as my squid proxy, bind, samba and cups
servers and I still have an uptime of 150+ days. If I didn't have to
power it down to put it on my UPS, it would have been up to
about 400 days by now.

Then again, I do unix sys admin at work, and my box runs like
a top at home with my kids using it for the occasional game of
tux racer too.

I don't think I'd ever use windows to run slimserver, although.
YMMV. And I've never tried wireless. That seems to be the
cause of most of the problems.

Paul

Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int)
2005-09-21, 06:52
I think someone should speak up for the windows platform......

Until recently I ran two Slimp3 (the original!) and 1 SoftSqueeze against an
old Ahtlon 800Mhz running Windows XP and 10,000 tracks.

It ran for months at a time - normaly the only time I shut it down is when I
go on holiday.
Everything pounded away quite nicely. My kitchen Slimp3 has the RSS ticker
running whenever it is not playing music and runs 24x7.

Now I have upgraded the server (3.2Ghz P4 + stupid amount of RAM) - this was
to speed up "Browse Music Folder" and be ready for new home projects. Ver
6.x is starting to resolve the "Browse Music Folder" performance.

I have since added an SB2 as well.

The system is very stable - I have managed to crash it once in the last 3
months. `

Some important points:
1. I do not use WiFi.
When I bought my house 7 years ago I decided to cable each room. As each
room is renovated I put CAT5, UHF, SVIDEO and Stereo cables in. I still
have a long way to go.

2. I only ever run the production release - never the development
versions
I also normaly wait 2 weeks after a new release just incase any
problems are found and fixed.

3. Using suggestions from www.teakxp.com I have turned off everything I
could on the server

4. the hardware is solid. I soak test any machines I build for 72
hours before putting them into a "production" role. Research for good
robust drivers is worth every second of time spent.

Windows has some major bad points but if done carefuly can very succesful.
My next project is too add Exchange Server, Outlook Web Access and a HTTPS
web site to the slimp3 server - it has plenty of capacity to run these as
well.

Everytime I think about switching to Linux I think it is more hassel than
its worth so I stick with windows.

To me SlimServer is amazing for free s/w - SlimDevices have never let me
down and I wish more companies behaved as they did.

Gavin
PS
Pls. ignore the stupid massive disclaimer that is automaticaly added to this
e-mail.



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If you would like to find out more information about Man Financial Limited
please click on the following hyperlink to our web site. "

Web site : http://www.manfinancial.com

fuzzyT
2005-09-21, 07:21
Music Machine wrote:
> Have to agree about the Belkin curse. Also if you ordered a d-link just
> smash it when you get it. Don't wait to go crazy first and then smash
> it.

i'm using a d-link product that has been stable and fast for many
months. granted they've had their share of problems with getting
products out too fast, and the resulting firmware quality issues. but,
AFAICT, it's no worse than for any other provider.

a good basic strategy for buying this equipment is to avoid new models
until they have some kind of track record, and to keep an eye on the
hardware forums at Broadband Reports or elsewhere to identify the good
firmware revs.

<http://www.broadbandreports.com/forums/18>

--rt

dean
2005-09-21, 07:22
On Sep 21, 2005, at 4:35 AM, keithleng wrote:
> The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and always
> has been, very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs,
> and it shows.
No offense taken.

> I bought my first one a couple of years ago, ran into all sorts of
> problems and stopped using it. I recently decided to give it another
> try and bought a Squeezebox 2. I'm in a different city, using a
> different ISP, computer, router, and operating system from when I had
> the first SB. And I'm still getting lots of problems.
Keith, I'd love to hear specifics about your issues. If they are
related to the details in this thread, then it's likely a wireless
interference issue, which there's very little the professional
software team here at Slim Devices can do about.

> If you can give it a dedicated system, with nothing else running, and
> no competition for bandwidth, it now seems mostly okay. If you can't
> give it that level of resource, then, in my experience, you're
> going to
> have constant, recurrent hassle.
Can you be more specific?

kolepard
2005-09-21, 08:01
>On Wed, September 21, 2005 7:35 am, keithleng said:
>> The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and always
>> has been, very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs,
>> and it shows.
>
>Well, this is one way to make those enthusiastic "amateurs" a lot less
>enthusiastic. You really should make sure to understand open source
>before making such statements. For one, most of those "amateur"
>contributors are actually professional software developers (like myself)
>who happen to be passionate about software development. In fact, it is
>often the case that developers who contribute to open source are really
>the cream of the crop, because of that very enthusiasm you mention.
>Furthermore, it has been shown in some studies that open source code
>generally has fewer bugs (i.e. higher quality) than "professional"
>commercial code.
>
>None if this is to say that SlimServer is perfect or bug free, but your
>comment "It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs, and it shows."
>smacks of insult and of ignorance of how open source development and
>software development in general really works. I'll take those
>enthusiastic "amateurs" over the supposed "professionals" I've worked with
>over the years any day.

Well said.
--
Kevin O. Lepard
kolepard (AT) charter (DOT) net

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

Dan Goodinson
2005-09-21, 08:14
Seconded regards sticking up for Windows

My fileserver is a Win2k Pro box. I've had it running 24x7 for a nearly
a year now, and it's been pretty much fine. There have been the
occasional problem with the OS which has required a reboot, but it has
been a very long time since I've actually had to go out to the server
location and flick the switch to bring it back.

My experience (from working in a tech Support environment) has always
been that Windows can be a bit crazy at times, and sometimes it has
errors that you just have to put down to Windows "magic". But my
personal experience, with SS on my home server, does not reflect this.
Like I said, I can't remember the last time I had to restart either SS
or the Windows box. Several weeks ago at the very least - probably more
like a couple of months ago.

>>
PS
Pls. ignore the stupid massive disclaimer that is automatically added to
this e-mail.
<<

And dude - that is a crazy disclaimer :) That should win some sort of
literature award :) :)


-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Bennett,
Gavin (LDN Int)
Sent: 21 September 2005 14:53
To: 'Slim Devices Discussion'
Subject: RE: [slim] Re: Okay, maybe it's time to call it a day...




I think someone should speak up for the windows platform......

Marc Sherman
2005-09-21, 08:44
Allan Hise wrote:
>
> If I remember correctly, back from when I worked on WLAN hardware,
> channel 14 (the highest channel in 802.11 b/g) is for Japan only.

What do the high channels conflict with in North America?

- Marc

Music Machine
2005-09-21, 10:01
Ask for help or go away. Whining is a waste. Follow CavesOfTQLT example if you want to improve your situation.

Slimserver works quite well for me on a lowly PIII 800mhz with W2K. Maybe because I only have ~4000 tracks so far. Wired network :)

Of course there are software "issues". I have worked in software development for more than 25 years and have never, ever, seen a non-trivial program that didn't have bugs. Can the whiners recommend anything that comes close to SS functionality, costs less, more stable, better support, adds features more often, supports more platforms. I know the Roku people can't.

If a company tried to fund an effort to create a program that would better the features, functions, cross platform support, and vigor of SS, they would not sell enough to pay the bills. They would disappear, and you would be stuck if you bought in.

Regards,
Music Machine

PS
Pearl sure gets you down the road in a hurry, but after a while you wish you had better debugging tools to use. For that reason (as a development manager) I would cringe when I saw pearl in a critical application. Regular expression libraries written in C provide robust, REPEATABLE results. Of course, with a commitment to cross platform operation there are many difficult decisions to make.

MrC
2005-09-21, 11:19
I have worked in software development for more than 25 years

...

Pearl sure gets you down the road in a hurry, but after a while you wish you had better debugging tools to use. For that reason (as a development manager) I would cringe when I saw pearl in a critical application.

I cringe even more when someone with 25 years the software biz doesn't know the difference between a pearl and Perl! :-)

Music Machine
2005-09-21, 11:53
I cringe even more when someone with 25 years the software biz doesn't know the difference between a pearl and Perl! :-)

:o Oops. Anyway I came to believe it was the garbage collection that made it so difficult to duplicate some of the bugs we had. SS obviously has some talented people to thank for it's capabilities. And I do to. Thanks.

Regards,
Music Machine

keithleng
2005-09-21, 12:04
Somebody took my reference to "enthusiastic amateurs" as an insult. It wasn't intended as that. I've asked for help here before and received it. It seems to me to be a friendly community of people who enjoy working with the SB. I disagree with the people who claim that amateurs are the cream of the crop and are likely to produce better software than professionals.

Again, I'm not trying to insult people here. I'm coming at this from a different angle to most. I'm not the least interested in getting into debugging the code or faffing around with techie stuff. That's my day job. I simply want the SB to do what it says on the tin.

For the record, the situation I often encounter is that, at the least provocation, slim.exe will start using 90-odd percent of the CPU and stay that way. Eventually it will start to stutter. Stopping and starting it sometimes fixes it; sometimes a machine reboot is needed.

The type of event that triggers this behaviour seems very varied: stopping and staring a firewall, starting a download on another machine on the network, receiving an e-mail, or, sometimes, nothing at all.

I've used SB1 and SB2 on various flavours of linux and windows and on many different combinations of hardware. I've never had a settled system and it just gets very wearisome when all I want to do is listen to some music.

MrC
2005-09-21, 13:08
Somebody took my reference to "enthusiastic amateurs" as an insult.



... very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs, and it shows.

Your choice of assessing the software as "very flakey" and linking that assessment with "enthusiastic amateurs" leaves little room for interpretive ambiguity. Given that "amateur" means essentially either "hobbyist" or "unskilled", you have essentially stated either that hobbyists produce very flakey software, or you have called the Slim team unskilled coders.

I'd suggest that certain words have emotional color, and that the emotional response invoked differs depending on context. In the context of this thread, and within your own statement, the color was a non-flattering one.

Milhouse
2005-09-21, 13:09
Somebody took my reference to "enthusiastic amateurs" as an insult. It wasn't intended as that.

No kidding - you could have fooled me and most of this forum.


I disagree with the people who claim that amateurs are the cream of the crop and are likely to produce better software than professionals.

Nobody said that amateurs were the cream of the crop - you should re-read the post that you have misquoted. The post actually suggested that many open source supporters and developers are professional programmers who maintain and contribute to open source projects as a result of their passion for their chosen profession. Programmers who are passionate about what they do are a rare breed and usually very good - hence the "cream of the crop". Granted enthusiastic amateurs are involved with open source as well - and a good thing too - but to suggest that even amatuers are not up to snuff is offensive and indicative of someone who hasn't a clue about what they speak.

An amateur or even professional coder could submit a poorly written patch to an open source project, but due to the review process employed by most of these projects the code will be improved before it is checked in, ensuring that on the whole the quality of submissions is maintained.

And over my almost 20 years in software development I've seen vast quantities of poorly written software supposedly produced by "professionals".

To be honest, "professional programmer" is an utterly meaningless description as it simply describes someone who is paid to programme. Your belief that such people will automatically produce good quality software is misguided beyond belief as paid programmers are just as capable of turning out garbage as any open source volunteer.

Anyway, this thread has seriously veered OT - nice hijack keithleng, if you have a problem with your SB please open a new thread and people will do their best to help you, provided you don't insult them any more. :)

Fifer
2005-09-21, 13:10
I disagree with the people who claim that amateurs are the cream of the crop and are likely to produce better software than professionals.
I think the point was well made that many of the enthusiastic amateurs working on open source projects are respected professionals giving for free in their spare time. Never mind though, I'm sure someone can help with the info you've provided.

stinkingpig
2005-09-21, 14:42
keithleng wrote:

>Somebody took my reference to "enthusiastic amateurs" as an insult. It
>wasn't intended as that. I've asked for help here before and received
>it. It seems to me to be a friendly community of people who enjoy
>working with the SB. I disagree with the people who claim that amateurs
>are the cream of the crop and are likely to produce better software than
>professionals.
>
>Again, I'm not trying to insult people here. I'm coming at this from a
>different angle to most. I'm not the least interested in getting into
>debugging the code or faffing around with techie stuff. That's my day
>job. I simply want the SB to do what it says on the tin.
>
>For the record, the situation I often encounter is that, at the least
>provocation, slim.exe will start using 90-odd percent of the CPU and
>stay that way. Eventually it will start to stutter. Stopping and
>starting it sometimes fixes it; sometimes a machine reboot is needed.
>
>The type of event that triggers this behaviour seems very varied:
>stopping and staring a firewall, starting a download on another machine
>on the network, receiving an e-mail, or, sometimes, nothing at all.
>
>
>
what kind of firewall? I've seen this with other programs when ZoneAlarm
is blocking the program's network access.

I'm also wondering if you're seeing database scans. A high-usage
scenario can be caused by fubar'd ID3 tags or recursive shortcuts/links
in your library.

>I've used SB1 and SB2 on various flavours of linux and windows and on
>many different combinations of hardware. I've never had a settled
>system and it just gets very wearisome when all I want to do is listen
>to some music.
>
>
>
>


--
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, trad.

CavesOfTQLT
2005-09-21, 16:40
Kevin says he emailed you on 9/8, the same day you contacted us. Please double check your mail.
I've checked and there definately is no e-mail, either in the inbox or the junk & trash folders, so what Kevin said in his message will remain unknown to me.

As an update I again had to go through the SB2 wireless set-up section tonight to get it talking to the slimserver. It's as though the SB2 'forgets' the network password, and so it can't 'see' the slimserver on the network. Could this possibly be similar to the changing MAC address issue that some people have experienced? Anyway, tomorrow I'll be looking at purchasing a new wireless router, though on Saturday I'll be going away on vacation for a week so I won't be able to give the (whatever new system) a long enough trial before leaving.

Now reading some of the posts in this thread I get the impression that some people believe that the slimserver software is at fault, and if this has been gleaned from anything I've posted then sorry, I'm not implying this. Listening to music via Softsqueeze OR a wired SB2 shows that the system is 'sound', it's just the wireless side in my case that's been a PITA. Now it's either the wireless section in my SB2 that's faulty, or it's the Belkin router, and the easiest way for me to check this is to purchase an $80 Lynksys rather than another $200+ Squeezebox2. And if doing this does indeed clear all of the problems I've faced over the past six or so weeks, then I'll be imploring anyone who's interested in having a wireless SB2 system not to use a Belkin router.

I'll post back with my findings, though it'll be in about 2-3 weeks time in order to give me enough time to give the system a thorough workout on my return.

Thanks for all your comms.

MrC
2005-09-21, 16:58
CavesOfTQLT, I will reiterate here again that I've been using the Belkin Pre-N router since it came out, and have no trouble at all. We use it for several hours a day with SB2, and with our wireless cards (belkin, intel, linksys) and have no trouble. In fact, we love it.

Remember, the airgo chip in the belkin pre-n is the same one used in the linksys srx model, and the netgear pre-n model. If you purchase one of those models, you won't be purchasing much different hardware, just different default settings and perhaps minor configuration differences.

Bottom line - 802.11b/g uses a very crowded radio band, and is very error prone under such conditions.

kolepard
2005-09-21, 20:12
>Now it's either the wireless section in my SB2
>that's faulty, or it's the Belkin router

Well, the Belkin's sure are trashed thoroughly on
broadbandreports.com (says a guy who bought one based on a
recommendation here but hasn't installed it yet, oh well).

One thing that would be cheaper than replacing it, though, is
flashing it with the Linksys WRT54GX Firwmare. I know it sounds a
little crazy, but I was reading up on it today, and there are pretty
positive reports on it in the forums there. And it would be free.
Of course, your time is always worth something, too. See:

http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/remark,13874867

Just a thought.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard
kolepard (AT) charter (DOT) net

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

keithleng
2005-09-22, 03:55
okay. My last comment on the "enthusiastic amateur" remark. I'm sure there are some very talented people working on the SB. People who are, or could easily become, "professionals" if they so desired. I also feel that there will be people who are contributing/have contributed to the project who do not fall into that category.

My remarks were based solely on my perception of the software. I do not feel that it is anywhere near as robust as one is entitled to expect of software bundled with a piece of expensive audio equipment. I believe that if this software had designed, managed and built in-house by, say, Apple, it would be a lot better than it is today.

This is not intended as a troll. It's the opinion I would give if a friend considering buying a SB were to ask me my opinion. I would love to be able to say that it's given me hours of trouble-free enjoyment. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Robin Bowes
2005-09-22, 04:12
keithleng wrote:
> okay. My last comment on the "enthusiastic amateur" remark. I'm sure
> there are some very talented people working on the SB. People who are,
> or could easily become, "professionals" if they so desired. I also feel
> that there will be people who are contributing/have contributed to the
> project who do not fall into that category.

.... who are managed by people who *do* fall into that category.

>
> My remarks were based solely on my perception of the software. I do not
> feel that it is anywhere near as robust as one is entitled to expect of
> software bundled with a piece of expensive audio equipment.

It's extremely good audio equipment that revolutionises how you listen
to your music collection, but it sure as hell isn't expensive.

> I believe
> that if this software had designed, managed and built in-house by, say,
> Apple, it would be a lot better than it is today.

Ever used iTunes? Apple have released some really bum versions of that,
particularly for Windows.

> This is not intended as a troll. It's the opinion I would give if a
> friend considering buying a SB were to ask me my opinion. I would love
> to be able to say that it's given me hours of trouble-free enjoyment.
> Unfortunately, that is not the case.

You are one of the unfortunate few who are experiencing major problems
with this product. The vast majority of users get up and running with
little or no problem.

However, so far you've given us very little detail of your environment
(server platform, version of slimserver, network hardware, wired or
wireless, etc. etc.)

Why not describe your problems in more detail and people will try to
help you fix them?

R.
--
http://robinbowes.com

If a man speaks in a forest,
and his wife's not there,
is he still wrong?

CavesOfTQLT
2005-09-22, 04:53
Just a quickie.


(...) we love (the Belkin Pre-N) (...)I'm glad you're having no issues with your Pre-N. Out of curiosity which version/firmware is your model? Mine is 1001uk/1.01.03, and it was purchased at the same time as the SB2 on Aug10,2005.


>One thing that would be cheaper than replacing it, though, is
flashing it with the Linksys WRT54GX Firwmare. I know it sounds a
little crazy, but I was reading up on it today, and there are pretty
positive reports on it in the forums there. And it would be free.
Of course, your time is always worth something, too. See:

http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/remark,13874867

Just a thought.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard
kolepard (AT) charter (DOT) net

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.
Kevin, thanks for that link. I've had a quick look through the posts, but I'm a bit worried that I'll brick the router if I tried it. And my intention, should another brand of router prove it is the Belkin (and some of the posts in your link seem to imply that 'certain' Belkin Pre-N's are dropping wireless comms every now and then), is to offload it on eBay. I know I'll make a loss doing so, but if the SB2/Slimserver starts running reliably then I won't be too bothered.

By the way it is set for a fixed channel [I'm sure someone asked me this in a previous post.]

I'll post back in about two weeks regarding my findings...

Fifer
2005-09-22, 05:17
CavesofTQLT, this is probably too late for you to see before you leave and may not help anyway, but I had hellish problems a while back with my wireless network which I blamed for ages on my decision to by a cheap Actiontec wirless router/modem. However, the problem turned out to be IPv6 and after I uninstalled it, my network ran like a wee sweety. Might be worth a try?

Jason Voegele
2005-09-22, 06:03
On Thu, September 22, 2005 6:55 am, keithleng wrote:
> okay. My last comment on the "enthusiastic amateur" remark. I'm sure
> there are some very talented people working on the SB. People who are,
> or could easily become, "professionals" if they so desired. I also feel
> that there will be people who are contributing/have contributed to the
> project who do not fall into that category.
>
> My remarks were based solely on my perception of the software. I do not
> feel that it is anywhere near as robust as one is entitled to expect of
> software bundled with a piece of expensive audio equipment. I believe
> that if this software had designed, managed and built in-house by, say,
> Apple, it would be a lot better than it is today.
>
> This is not intended as a troll. It's the opinion I would give if a
> friend considering buying a SB were to ask me my opinion. I would love
> to be able to say that it's given me hours of trouble-free enjoyment.
> Unfortunately, that is not the case.

I will take you at your word that you did not intend to disparage the
SlimServer developers, but I also continue to disagree about your
assertion that commercial software is of general higher quality than open
source software.

I do *not* think that had SlimServer had been designed, managed, and built
in-house by Apple that you would have a higher quality product. On the
other hand, I do believe that if that were the case you would have
software that would run only on Mac OS and Windows, and that it would play
only MP3 and AAC, and that you would have the same stupid DRM system as
iTunes, and that you would have nowhere near the number of configuration
options to tune the software to your needs, and you wouldn't have the
source code. And while you may not care to personally browse the source
code and submit patches or bug reports, think about the number of people
that do, and the number of bugs that have been fixed by such direct user
involvement.

Sure, Apple has a QA department and generally produces fairly high quality
software, but don't think of them as some kind of ivory tower institution
that houses the world's most ingenious software developers (that would be
Google. ;-) ) I've already mentioned in my previous message that many,
perhaps most, contributors to open source projects *are* professional
software developers who happen to be passionate enough about software
development that they volunteer their free time or are even paid to
contribute to open source. Even those who are not professional developers
have to prove their salt with quality patches before they can become core
contributors to a project. Furthermore, think about the contributions of
amateurs in other fields, such as Astronomy, that often provide key
insights and discoveries that otherwise might have gone unnoticed for many
years. Finally, don't underestimate the power of the open source
development model that helps to avoid many of the problems I listed above
with the hypothetical Apple SlimServer.

Now lest you think I paint too rosy a picture of open source, let me
clarify that I am not saying that all open source software is superior to
all commercial software. I do, however, believe that the most successful
open source software projects match or exceed the quality and utility of
their commercial competitors, and that meritocracy helps to ensure that
the best survive and evolve while the rest flounder and fade away.

--
Jason Voegele
"There is an essential core at the center of each man and woman that
remains unaltered no matter how life's externals may be transformed
or recombined. But it's smaller than we think."
-- Gene Wolfe, The Book of the Long Sun

Steve Baumgarten
2005-09-22, 06:40
Jason Voegele wrote:

> Sure, Apple has a QA department and generally produces fairly high quality
> software [...]

Tell that to the poor souls who installed iTunes 5.0... :-/

SBB





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Jason Voegele
2005-09-22, 06:53
On Thu, September 22, 2005 9:40 am, Steve Baumgarten wrote:
> Jason Voegele wrote:
>
>> Sure, Apple has a QA department and generally produces fairly high
>> quality
>> software [...]
>
> Tell that to the poor souls who installed iTunes 5.0... :-/

Yeah, that's the problem with speaking generally: there are always
specific circumstances that defy the generalities.

--
Jason Voegele
"There is an essential core at the center of each man and woman that
remains unaltered no matter how life's externals may be transformed
or recombined. But it's smaller than we think."
-- Gene Wolfe, The Book of the Long Sun

CavesOfTQLT
2005-09-22, 07:50
CavesofTQLT, this is probably too late for you to see before you leave and may not help anyway, but I had hellish problems a while back with my wireless network which I blamed for ages on my decision to by a cheap Actiontec wirless router/modem. However, the problem turned out to be IPv6 and after I uninstalled it, my network ran like a wee sweety. Might be worth a try?
Not too late, I don't go away until Sat. morn.

Okay I've looked and IPv6 doesn't appear to be installed. Thanks for the idea though.

chiphart
2005-09-22, 08:28
CavesOfTQLT wrote:
> ...(and
> some of the posts in your link seem to imply that 'certain' Belkin
> Pre-N's are dropping wireless comms every now and then)

FWIW, over on one of the NetGear lists (I remain subscribed in
the vain hope that a firmware upgrade will turn my MP101 into
something useful), anyone who shows up with a Belkin router is
told "Go get something else [Linksys]." Over and over and over,
the Belkin units seem to be a problem.

I know that *I* switched from a cheap-o Belkin to a WRT54G and
noticed an enormous improvement.

--
Chip Hart - Pediatric Solutions * Physician's Computer Company
chip @ pcc.com * 1 Main St. #7, Winooski, VT 05404
800-722-7708 * http://www.pcc.com/~chip
f.802-846-8178 * Pediatric Software Just Got Smarter.
Your Practice Just Got Healthier.

snarlydwarf
2005-09-22, 09:20
I was going to post that I have a cheapo Belkin (bought on a whim at Walmart) that works great.

This morning, though, it was happily routing stuff around the home lan, but for mysterious reasons lots its connection to the cable modem and needed to be rebooted.

It did the same thing last week, too.

So, I won't post that it works great.

It "usually" works. But, yes, it's not the greatest of routers. It's missing a lot of functionality that my (wired) Linksys has. I will acknowledge it was cheap tho. ;)

jimdibb
2005-09-22, 09:45
I used to own a .b belkin which worked fine until I upgraded to a netgear
..g, which also works fine (for general use, I have a wired SB1).
A nice thing about belkin products is a lifetime warranty. I sold the .b
(after some time of sitting on a shelf) to a coworker who found that it was
inoperable. I returned it for a new one, no questions asked (a good 2-3 yrs
after I originally purchased it)

On 9/22/05, snarlydwarf <snarlydwarf.1vrqnn (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> I was going to post that I have a cheapo Belkin (bought on a whim at
> Walmart) that works great.
>
> This morning, though, it was happily routing stuff around the home lan,
> but for mysterious reasons lots its connection to the cable modem and
> needed to be rebooted.
>
> It did the same thing last week, too.
>
> So, I won't post that it works great.
>
> It "usually" works. But, yes, it's not the greatest of routers. It's
> missing a lot of functionality that my (wired) Linksys has. I will
> acknowledge it was cheap tho. ;)
>
>
> --
> snarlydwarf
>

MrC
2005-09-22, 09:56
Folks, please be more specific and include model numbers in your descriptions (and maligning shots) rather than the non-existant "belkin unit" or "linksys router". There is no model or product called "The Belkin" or "The Linksys", as there is no product called "The Sony". Some of you are talking about any of Belkin's earlier or inexpensive, commodity routers, and some are talking about a specific model such as the Pre-N. Lumping them all together by company is silly, and such misinformation and FUD can end up costing others time and money. Imagine the poor soul who dumps his Belkin Pre-N for the equivalent Linksys SRX model.

While there is no doubt all of these companies have produced inferior products, there are also excellent product offerings as well. The key is to learn their strengths, weaknesses, and differences, and many of the postings here, and on other BBs, are sophomoric and useless as guidance. Please, lets get away from the "Ozzie Rules/Metalica Sucks" mentality here.

Jess Askey
2005-09-22, 11:00
I have a Belkin G (WPA) router that I got for like $9 after rebates that
has worked flawlessly for me and has been substantially more reliable
than my old Netgear 802.11b access point. I suppose each manufacturer's
product may react differently given different amounts/types of
interference. I have a relatively clean airspace around my house (only
two other access points that I can see and they are both relatively weak).

snarlydwarf wrote:

>I was going to post that I have a cheapo Belkin (bought on a whim at
>Walmart) that works great.
>
>This morning, though, it was happily routing stuff around the home lan,
>but for mysterious reasons lots its connection to the cable modem and
>needed to be rebooted.
>
>It did the same thing last week, too.
>
>So, I won't post that it works great.
>
>It "usually" works. But, yes, it's not the greatest of routers. It's
>missing a lot of functionality that my (wired) Linksys has. I will
>acknowledge it was cheap tho. ;)
>
>
>
>

Robin Bowes
2005-09-22, 12:24
MrC said the following on 22/09/2005 17:56:
> Please, lets get away from the "Ozzie Rules/Metalica Sucks" mentality here.

Yeah, they both suck. Rainbow rulez! :)

R.

--
http://robinbowes.com

If a man speaks in a forest,
and his wife's not there,
is he still wrong?

Pale Blue Ego
2005-09-22, 22:00
Anyone having problems with wireless and can't run ethernet might want to try a set of powerline network adapters. They cost about $110 a pair, use the existing electric wires in your walls, and are very reliable. Zero configuration - plug 'em in and they work. Netgear, Belkin, and others make them. I have Netgear and they work beautifully.

neilcoburn
2005-09-23, 07:43
Well, I've got a cheap Belkin wireless router (F5D7230uk4) and it works fine with 2 xSB2s. I have a Belkin Access Point to boost the signal upstairs. I had an initial problem with dropouts when using 128 Bit WEP encryption which was solved when I switched to 64 bit.

I'm completely non-techie, and everything, including Slimserver, works perfectly and has done since 6.1 was released (before that, my only real gripe was slow library rescans, but now it's very quick). The PC (Windows XP) is nothing special, and is often multi-tasking while I'm listening to my Squeezeboxes.

So I guess what I'm saying is that Slim Devices have put together a brilliant, low cost package for multi-room audio. And if it weren't for the 'enthusiastic amateurs' or whatever they've been called, we wouldn't have great extra features like Alien BBC.

egd
2006-04-13, 20:33
Also if you ordered a d-link just smash it when you get it. Don't wait to go crazy first and then smash it.

Regards,
Music Machine

ROFLMAO, thank you so much for making me laugh out loud, couldn't have said it better. I thought I was the only one that considers d-link to be utter crap.

MrStan
2006-04-14, 04:01
From my early days as a Radio Amateur some 44 years ago 2.4Ghz radio was highly experimental and strictly line of site. Today it is regarded as everyday but it still doesn't travel well. There are some materials that it will not penetrate well including some brick and breeze block.

I have very intermittant problems with Wi-Fi even using a Netgear router and a laptop. Some days it's very good, other days it's just not reliable. In my opinion it can be totally down to your own environment. Does it have to travel through brick, breeze or just plasteboard. The radio wave tend to scatter when it hits a surface it can't penetrate and will therefore try an alternative route, perhaps through the door, or perhaps through the ceiling until it is bounced down again. Water moisture in the air is likely to change the transmission conditions therefore you can expect the weather to have an effect. My house was built in the 1920's and many of the internal Walls are solid. The type of brick used soaks up water like a sponge and it has taken me nearly 20 years to get this house totally dry. I have neighbours who also you Wi-Fi and it is certainly down to the local weather conditions as to whether I can see their networks and therefore whether they have the potential to interfere. If they are not advertising their SSID which is quite a wise thing to do then you cannot see them and will not know if they are interfering.

Some of these problems may be reduced by increased use of the 5Ghz band as this frequency appears to scatter a little more reliably but time will tell and Squeezebox doesn't support this yet. As far as I can tell the Squeezebox is no more reliable or unreliable in my setup as my laptop, in fact I cannot see how it is fair to expect it to magically work, there may be some compatibitiy issues with some other devices but it appears to me that Slim Devices is bending over backwards to try to clear any of these issues at the moment.

Slim Server is open source software that is under constant development which means it is always going to be liable to bugs. Serious bugs should be confined to the development version but some minor bugs will remain in the stable version because it is known that these bugs will disappear when the stable version moves on. I have been running Slim Server on WindowsXP over the past year and I reckon this is one of the most stable pieces of open source software I have run for some time and I have been in the IT industry for a good many years.

If you want usability and good audio quality then in my opinion there isn't another product out there to come near to Slim Server and Squeezebox.

If you are having troubles try eliminating wireless by using a direct connection for a test and do it at a time that you have having problems with the wireless connection. If this is better then don't use Wi-Fi, it is unlikely to be reliable for you whatever product you are using. Look for an alternative. Personally I find the Ethernet over Mains works well in my situation. This has it's own problems, where to plug in the units, it will not work through mains filters and heavy machinery can interfere so you might have problems if you have air conditioning.

The final choice is with you, move on to another product if you are convinced to call it a day, it is probably only the audio quality and your bank balance that will suffer.

poyntzj
2006-04-14, 05:58
I moved to the Slimdevices from a Netgear MP101 and do not even want to consider going back. Not sure what other options are out there - I stopped after getting the SB.
If anyone has a problem with wireless then homeplug ethernet over mains is an option worth looking at. Not too bad these days in price, and the 14Mbps version is more than enough for a couple of SB's.
As the MP101 is crap with wireless I had the homeplug kit already so my first SB3 was wired only.
It worked well, but I wanted another SB so went wireless.
My home WAP is a Belkin Pre-N one. No I have read of all sorts of issues with Belkin and wireless and was unsure, but I soon found that this is simply someone elses kit rebadged. Indeed, it was the same as the Netgear kit, but with a different case and aerial arrangement. All reviews looked good and gave it a better rating over the Netgear.

My cottage is made with Ragstone which seems to absorb wifi signals. Using 11b, I cannot get a signal from one room to the next. 11g I can, but the range is limited to about 2 rooms. Using Pre-N, I can now feed a signal into the bedroom with no problems.

Moving to the wireless SB3 this week I was pleased to find that the signal was still in the high 60's for a signal rate and no problems at all.

smc2911
2006-04-14, 21:54
As far as I can tell the Squeezebox is no more reliable or unreliable in my setup as my laptop, in fact I cannot see how it is fair to expect it to magically work, there may be some compatibitiy issues with some other devices but it appears to me that Slim Devices is bending over backwards to try to clear any of these issues at the moment.
I would second this view. While I have had a few teething problems with my SB, I would attribute all of them to wireless networking. A combination of the physics of 2.4GHz and an enormous variation in performance between routers seems to be at the root of all evil. When I think of the number of routers I went through trying to get Skype to work reliably from my laptop via the wireless network (I gave up and only ever Skype now from the PC upstairs), I'm actually surprised that only one router changeover was required for the SB to be up & running reasonably well. So, if anyone wants faultless performance from their SB, I think that the only surefire solution is a wired network, but that's not the fault of the SB!

Sean.

P.S. You should see the stapled bundle of receipts from the place I keep switching routers. You have to love a good returns policy!

ceejay
2006-04-15, 00:06
Not quite sure why this thread has re-opened, but as I have something to add to its latest twist, here goes...

We've had lots of discussions on the maturity or otherwise of wireless networking generally: and one of the comments that is often made by people who are struggling to get their SBs working wirelessly is "but my laptops / PDA / whatever have always worked first time" (implication - therefore the SB itself must be the problem).

I had sight, recently, of customer satisfaction data from a major PC manufacturer (best to remain nameless!) and in particular there was a table of "reasons for dissatisfaction" - in other words, if you were dissatisfied, what was the reason? And for laptops, by a significant margin, the main reason was "couldn't get wireless networking to work".

So its not just the SBs that struggle...

Ceejay.

peter
2006-04-15, 03:30
On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 00:06:19 -0700, "ceejay"
<ceejay.26anmo1145085002 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> said:
>
> Not quite sure why this thread has re-opened, but as I have something to
> add to its latest twist, here goes...
>
> We've had lots of discussions on the maturity or otherwise of wireless
> networking generally: and one of the comments that is often made by
> people who are struggling to get their SBs working wirelessly is "but
> my laptops / PDA / whatever have always worked first time" (implication
> - therefore the SB itself must be the problem).
>
> I had sight, recently, of customer satisfaction data from a major PC
> manufacturer (best to remain nameless!) and in particular there was a
> table of "reasons for dissatisfaction" - in other words, if you were
> dissatisfied, what was the reason? And for laptops, by a significant
> margin, the main reason was "couldn't get wireless networking to
> work".
>
> So its not just the SBs that struggle...

Hah, I can vouch for that. I tried to switch my Asus WL300G AP to
WPA-PSK yesterday. I couldn't get my two XP laptops to connect to the AP
(well, actually things stuck when requesting an IP address). I decided
to upgrade the Asus' firmware, which failed, leaving my AP in a useless
state, if it weren't for the recovery procedure. That procedure worked,
but still no IP :( So I switched back to WEP-128 and never even got
'round to trying the SB3's...

Regards,
Peter

trebejo
2006-04-16, 02:11
The truth of the matter is that the squeezebox software is, and always has been, very flakey. It is largely written by enthusiastic amateurs, and it shows.

On and off I tend to agree that slimserver is still an evolving interface whose robustness is not yet where it should be.

However I take issue with your slur against amateurs. I find that equivalence between "professional" and "better" or "best" to be rather idiotic.

Schubert was an amateur, while Brittney Spears is a pro in every sense of the word. Compare and contrast.

I *heart* the open-source approach to slimserver. I know I'll put up with some grief from time to time, but I don't expect to face the day when the owner of slimserver (i.e. the universal set) will tell me that I no longer have access to my music as I desired it. Incidentally, that is essentially what happened when that lovely and well-designed iTunes program dropped flac support a few revisions ago.

One more comment on the amateur vs. pro question: when it comes to making love, do you prefer someone that loves you or someone that you have to pay for? The answer that you give is what poker players call a tell.

Cheers,

Ariel

oreillymj
2006-04-16, 03:28
Well, I've got a cheap Belkin wireless router (F5D7230uk4) and it works fine with 2 xSB2s. I have a Belkin Access Point to boost the signal upstairs. I had an initial problem with dropouts when using 128 Bit WEP encryption which was solved when I switched to 64 bit.

I also have this model with an AP downstairs in the front of my house to boost the signal in a "black spot".
It has worked flawlessly for me since FW18. The signal stength has varied a little since FW28, but FW41 seems to be back on track.

Mark Lanctot
2006-04-18, 10:21
We've had lots of discussions on the maturity or otherwise of wireless networking generally: and one of the comments that is often made by people who are struggling to get their SBs working wirelessly is "but my laptops / PDA / whatever have always worked first time" (implication - therefore the SB itself must be the problem).

I had sight, recently, of customer satisfaction data from a major PC manufacturer (best to remain nameless!) and in particular there was a table of "reasons for dissatisfaction" - in other words, if you were dissatisfied, what was the reason? And for laptops, by a significant margin, the main reason was "couldn't get wireless networking to work".

So its not just the SBs that struggle...

Yes, that's for sure.

Several other thoughts on this:

- a PC and an SB do very different things (general access versus streaming audio). If you try wireless streaming with a PC that seems to work fine otherwise, you may be surprised at its poor performance. I cannot get foobar2000 on my wireless laptop to reliably play FLAC files stored on my server - I get dropouts and stuttering. The SB does the same thing without issue.

- a comparable activity, downloading a large file over the WLAN, isn't really the same at all. If wireless conditions degrade, the download slows down without consequence because it's all spooling into a partial download file.

- a PC has much greater resources than an SB does, which allows for sophisticated connectivity software that masks problems. This software isn't perfect either, just ask anyone using Windows XP wireless zero config with their wireless NIC's software simultaneously.

- a PC's wireless settings are extremely adjustable while a lot of the adjustable parameters in a PC are fixed in the SB firmware. Go to the advanced properties of your wireless NIC and you'll see what I mean.

MrC
2006-04-18, 10:52
We've had lots of discussions on the maturity or otherwise of wireless networking generally...

I had sight, recently, of customer satisfaction data from a major PC manufacturer (best to remain nameless!) and in particular there was a table of "reasons for dissatisfaction" ...

So its not just the SBs that struggle...


Indeed. Some will recall the frustration of having to adjust rabbit ears, horizontal hold, verticle hold, vertical height, linearity, etc. on their televisions.

hifisteve
2006-04-19, 01:50
I use a Belkin router (F5D7231UK4) and PCI LAN card (F5D7000UK)in a brick built Victorian house and since I changed to a non-default channel (6 rather than 11) and stopped letting XP manage my wireless network (using the Belkin software) it's been amazingly reliable.

It registers 97-100% signal strength and connects incredibly quickly what the PC boots up.

Any frustrations I've had with the SB experience have been directed fair-and-square at my PC. SB has behaved impeccably.

timmorris
2006-04-20, 06:18
Windows has some major bad points but if done carefuly can very succesful.
My next project is too add Exchange Server, Outlook Web Access and a HTTPS
web site to the slimp3 server - it has plenty of capacity to run these as
well.


I've got an Athlon XP3200+ with 2 Gig of RAM - 4x 120Gig drives arranged in software raid 0 just for user data (including music) and it easily copes with running Small Business Server 2003, which includes Exchange, OWA etc, plus Network Associates centrally managed Anti-Virus software, Windows Software Update Services, Diskeeper, Veritas Backup and Slimserver. It supports 10 PC clients (all wireless with a network of 3 Access Points) and 3 Squeezebox 3s. Slimserver adds virtually no load at all to the server.

Having said that if I try running any of the nightlies with the latest firmware all 3 stop playing at seemingly random points.

Tim

rtitmuss
2006-04-20, 06:30
Having said that if I try running any of the nightlies with the latest firmware all 3 stop playing at seemingly random points.

Can you please try firmware 43 available in the latest nightly. This includes a fix for this problem.

Richard

timmorris
2006-04-23, 07:16
Thanks for letting me know. I set one of my Squeezeboxes playing all tracks last night and it was still going this morning so it looks like FW43 fixes the problem.

Tim

Malor
2006-04-24, 04:28
Just as an aside, Tim... be sure you take regular backups. Running 4 drives in a RAID-0 is very risky. If ANY of the drives fail, you lose the whole array. In other words, you have four times the chance of total data loss... and four times as much data to lose.

Take frequent backups.

timmorris
2006-04-25, 12:10
I have an Ultrium 2 SCSI tape drive and Backup Exec 10 installed. I take a full system backup every Sunday and an incremental every night, using 9 rotating tapes. Music is stored on a seperate tape and backed up monthly.

Good enough?

Tim