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jhd
2005-11-09, 20:39
I'm a squeezebox owner, and reasonably happy with it. However, any time I want to change anything, I end up pulling my hair out searching the slimdevices site, the wiki, the help file the bug list, and Google for any fragments or clues about stuff that ought to be obvious. If anyone can point me to any of the following, I'll be grateful. And if I've just been blind and missed an obvious source of information, my appologies. As an I side, I did submit a documentation bug (#1720) five months ago - it's still pending I believe.

Here are some things I'd like to know and can't seem to find:

Slimserver:
What is the most recent, stable release of Slimserver? Or just the most recent release?
How do I find out what version I have? (Why isn’t the version number in “Help/About” like in every other software package?)
How do I update to the new version (uninstall first, or just install over the top of my current?)
How do I get it to run as a service?

Slimserver Skins
Where can I find a list of the skins available for Slimserver?
How can I find out whether a skin has changed since I installed it?
How do I know which version of a skin I have?
Where can I download them? (I know I tried a bunch of them once – now I can’t find them)
How do I install them?

Squeezebox
What is the most recent version of the firmware for my Squeezebox? Where is the firmware version history?
How do I find out what version I have installed?
How do I know which version I should have given my version of Slimserver?
How do I update to the new version?

Thanks,
J

pfarrell
2005-11-09, 20:56
On Wed, 2005-11-09 at 19:39 -0800, jhd wrote:
> I'm a squeezebox owner, and reasonably happy with it. However, any time
> I want to change anything, I end up pulling my hair out searching the
> slimdevices site, the wiki, the help file the bug list, and Google for
> any fragments or clues about stuff that ought to be obvious. If anyone
> can point me to any of the following, I'll be grateful. And if I've
> just been blind and missed an obvious source of information, my
> appologies.

There is lots of documentation installed as part of the slimserver
itself. Not the most organized, but there is a lot.

> Slimserver:
> What is the most recent, stable release of Slimserver? Or just the
> most recent release?
> How do I find out what version I have? (Why isn’t the version number
> in “Help/About” like in every other software package?)

Third question first. On your local slimserver, click
on "Server settings" on the left side of the default
skin. Down at the bottom is the version.

Second question next, because most people talk to the
slimserver through a browser. So if you click
on help-> about you are much more likely to get
the version of IE or Firefox or Mozilla or
whatver browser you are using, and you want
the version of the server.

The "latest" version changes all the time,
the latest stable one is 6.2.1,
which is the one that the main SlimDevices
page points to.

> How do I update to the new version (uninstall first, or just install
> over the top of my current?)

The answer depends on your OS and level of paranoia.
I'm a Linux guy, and I'm pretty (or maybe very) paranoid.
So I first make a copy of all the important files,
including copying the whole slimserver tree.

Then I install the latest one using the OS-specific
install packager. And try it. Some number of months
later, I clean up unused copies.

> How do I get it to run as a service?

You'll need a Windows guy for that one.


> Slimserver Skins
> Where can I find a list of the skins available for Slimserver?
> How can I find out whether a skin has changed since I installed it?
> How do I know which version of a skin I have?
> Where can I download them? (I know I tried a bunch of them once – now
> I can’t find them)
> How do I install them?

Most of them are bundled with the release. You don't have to do any
installation of them. You can just use them.

On your slimserver:9000 page, go to
Server Settings -> interface -> Web Interface
and pick one out of the selection list.

I don't know how the skins are versioned, someone else can chime
in with that answer.


> Squeezebox
> What is the most recent version of the firmware for my Squeezebox?
> Where is the firmware version history?
> How do I find out what version I have installed?
> How do I know which version I should have given my version of
> Slimserver?
> How do I update to the new version?

Home -> Player Settings at the bottom will have your current
setting. If you have more than one SqueezeBox, they may be different.

The firmware revision history is included somewhere in the normal
distribution, but I haven't had need to look for it in so long I
don't remember where.

Again, the firmware is bundled with the normal distribution,
and the server knows which firmware it matches. It normally
is completely automatic, except for holding down your
brightness button.


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

malsbury
2005-11-09, 21:27
Slimserver:
What is the most recent, stable release of Slimserver? Or just the most recent release?
How do I find out what version I have? (Why isn’t the version number in “Help/About” like in every other software package?)
How do I update to the new version (uninstall first, or just install over the top of my current?)
How do I get it to run as a service?

The most recent "official" release can always be found at:

http://www.slimdevices.com/su_downloads.html

You can use the "maintenance" release get small, safe bug fixes added since the last "offical" release at:

http://www.slimdevices.com/dev_nightly.html

To find out what version you are currenlty running open the web interface (http://localhost:9000) click on "Server Settings" and look at the bottom of the left hand frame. It will show the version and buid numbers.

As for installing, I personally always just install over the previous install. I've never had a problem even when moving from one generation to the next (4.x -> 5.x -> 6.x).

I'll have to let someone else answer for the Running As Service question.


Slimserver Skins
Where can I find a list of the skins available for Slimserver?
How can I find out whether a skin has changed since I installed it?
How do I know which version of a skin I have?
Where can I download them? (I know I tried a bunch of them once – now I can’t find them)
How do I install them?

Allmost all of the current skins are already available in the standard release of SlimSever. You can choose which one to display by selecting it from the drop down list found in "Server Settings -> Interface -> Web Interface"

There generally are not versions of skins. As Slimserver changes, the skins get reworked. If the author of a skin does not maintain it, it gets dropped. Any skin that is listed should work.

Any new skins that have yet to be included in the Slimserver release can be found in the wiki:

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?PluginSkins



Squeezebox
What is the most recent version of the firmware for my Squeezebox? Where is the firmware version history?
How do I find out what version I have installed?
How do I know which version I should have given my version of Slimserver?
How do I update to the new version?

The current firmware release and version history is always included in the Slimserver release notes. They are always available from:

http://www.slimdevices.com/su_changelog.html

To find out what version your player currently has install, go to the Web Interface and select "Player Settings" for the plyer in question and look at the bottom of the left frame.

As for what version you need, that is determined by what version of Slimserver you have installed. Slimserver knows what firmware version is required, and will prompt to do an automatic update if one is required. All that will be required of you is to confirm the upgrade by pressing and holding down the brightness button to start it.

--Tom Malsbury

ChrisB
2005-11-10, 03:19
> To find out what version you are currenlty running open the web
> interface (http://localhost:9000) click on "Server Settings" and look
> at the bottom of the left hand frame. It will show the version and
> buid numbers.

This info is also available directly from the player, in the
Information...Server menu.

Chris

bernt
2005-11-10, 03:38
For Windows Service from the Wiki.

While you are given the option to run Slimserver service automatically when you install on Wiindows, you may want to install and run the SlimServer Windows service by hand.

Follow these instructions:

Open a "cmd" window and type "cd C:\Program Files\SlimServer\server". Type "slim.exe -install auto" to install the SlimServer software so it will automatically start as a Windows Service the next time you reboot.

Jim
2005-11-10, 04:25
It's worth noting that if these questions are asked then something needs changing.

I've never understood why the "Slim Devices" logo link goes straight to Slim Devices and the amount of times I've hit it by mistake has been a few.

Why not there have a small info page, followed by maybe a "Click here to go to www.slimdevices.com" link ?

jhd
2005-11-13, 00:47
>There is lots of documentation installed as part of the >slimserver itself. Not the most organized, but there is a lot.

Indeed there is. But the vast majority of it is either documentation for the Squeezebox, or information of interest only to developers - neither useful nor even intelligible to a person who just wants to get Slimserver installed and listen to some music. There is almost nothing about installing and configuring slimserver itself.

The "Getting Started" page is a great example: It thanks you for buying a Squeezebox. Tells you how to connect it to your stereo, how to connect to your network, even spends a paragraph describing how to plug it in. Gives a blow by blow of network setup. But it barely mentions the "Squeezebox Server Computer" - not a word on what that is, or what to do if you don't happen to have one awaiting the arrival of your new Squeezebox.

> How do I find out what version I have? (Why isn’t the version >number in “Help/About” like in every other software package?)

>... because most people talk to the slimserver through a >browser. So if you click on help-> about you are much more >likely to get the version of IE or Firefox or Mozilla or >whatver browser you are using, and you want the version of the >server.

You don't really mean that. If you believe your user is unable to distinguish between help for the browser and help for Slimserver, then why have the help link on the default screen in the first place?

J

jhd
2005-11-13, 00:53
I think it might be helpful in making it easy to tell whether this great piece of software has a reasonable level of USER documentation if someone did the following: Go through all of the existing help and documentation pages, and split them into two groups: Documentation for developers (including skin creators, people who want to talk to the command line or XML interfaces, etc. etc.), and documentation for users. I think it might surprise you how little would remain in the latter section, particularly if you distinguish between the (relatively richly documented) squeezebox and Slimserver.

Best, J

MrC
2005-11-13, 03:23
Hello Jhd,

The slimserver documentation has improved leaps and bounds over the past six months. It can take a little time for open source documentation to catch up with the progress and changes in the software. A number of people volunteer and contribute their free time to making constant improvements - and good questions and feedback such as yours helps ferret out the shortcomings.

There is a lot of documentation out there, and it is no small feat to reorganize it. Its no small feat to even read it all!

The slimserver/SB/player combination is also a pretty complex product (architecturally and functionally). It's no easy feat trying to describe all the easy, medium, and advanced capabilities, all the while making documention complete, short, and simple.

"Why isn’t the version number in “Help/About” like in every other software package?"

I don't think this is an accurate position. I would hazard that most software that uses your web browser as its interface has no Help/About box in the menu bar of the browser (consider your interface to your router/firewall, google maps, for example). Your point is taken, however - the intial out of the box, setup experience could be easier. I personally am confident it will get better and better. Its clear to me that the folks working on the software are extremely bright, talented, and motivated to succeed.

Hang in there!

Dave2
2005-11-13, 11:11
. . . It can take a little time for open source documentation to catch up with the progress and changes in the software. . . . Your point is taken, however - the intial out of the box, setup experience could be easier.

Thanks for your encouragement, though, in fairness, I think his point is a bit broader. Initial setup is not the only issue. User questions at any point still require a lengthy tour through not only the software help file but also the site's Product Info tab, Support tab, the wiki (a very “slim” wiki), the bug list, and the Forums. (A tremendous amount of information can be found only in the Forums; no way to tell whether it's authoritative.) I think there is agreement that that's not as it should be. Some of us would put a higher priority on this.

Slim recently acknowledged that documentation is one of the top items warranting "community" support and participation. http://forums.slimdevices.com/showpost.php?p=61490&postcount=1. I sympathize with the volunteer developers: It's probably more fun to add new features than to document (or stabilize) existing features for existing customers. But the reminder that this is open source software is not much comfort to the ordinary customer, as we paid hundred of dollars for hardware that can’t be used properly without a good understanding of how to use the software.

Thanks very much for your generous help.

Dave

MrC
2005-11-13, 12:32
We're in agreement Dave2.

I meant my response not as a "this is open source" reminder, but as a "its a work in progress, and you're seeing progress in action" indication.

Anything that's "not yet done" can be critiqued as lacking. There are only so many things that Slim and the volunteers can be do to speed progress: more volunteers, more employees (== higher prices?), redirect existing resources (at the expense of features, stability, and/or time-to-market == different set of unhappy customers). It just won't get better magically overnight.

Anyway, the points are heard and understood by all involved.

radish
2005-11-13, 13:50
I sympathize with the volunteer developers: It's probably more fun to add new features than to document (or stabilize) existing features for existing customers.
Indeed so. What is _really_ good about documentation however, is that you don't have to be a developer to write it. If everyone who came to this forum to ask a question took 5 minutes to add the answer to the Wiki, we'd be a lot better off very quickly.

As Slimdevices said - the documentation needs community involvement, and in this case that doesn't just mean development community.

jazzfan
2005-11-13, 16:04
On Wed, 2005-11-09 at 19:39 -0800,
The answer depends on your OS and level of paranoia.
I'm a Linux guy, and I'm pretty (or maybe very) paranoid.
So I first make a copy of all the important files,
including copying the whole slimserver tree.

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

Pat,

I don't mean to drag this thread off topic, but just had to ask...

Who's version of Linux are you running and what GUI are you using?

I am a recent convert to Xandros desktop. I'm not sure what Linux kernel it uses, but it appears to have a highly modified KDE front end. Their business edition networks really well with Bill's OS. I am thrilled with it. I am running Slimserver mainly as a management tool for my SB2. I don't rip CDs. I'm a big SqueezeNetwork listener.

I'm asking not only because I'm interested in the general Linux question, but Xandros screams compared to my Dell with Bill's OS and I have an old Compaq I think I'm going to setup with Xandros and Slimserver.

Thanks, in advance,
JazzFan

pfarrell
2005-11-13, 16:19
On Sun, 2005-11-13 at 15:04 -0800, jazzfan wrote:
> pfarrell Wrote:
> > I'm a Linux guy, and I'm pretty (or maybe very) paranoid.
> I don't mean to drag this thread off topic, but just had to ask...
> Who's version of Linux are you running and what GUI are you using?

I'm mostly using Mandriva, which is mostly KDE oriented. But I'm
agnostic, and will use gnome for things that want it, like grip


> I am a recent convert to Xandros desktop. I'm not sure what Linux
> kernel it uses,

If you fire up a shell, and do a
uname -a

you'll learn more than you want. I'm running the Mandrake 10.1, which
uses 2.6.8.1-12 kernel

> but it appears to have a highly modified KDE front end.

KDE is becoming pretty cool, it may not be that highly modified.

> for my SB2. I don't rip CDs. I'm a big SqueezeNetwork listener.

Well, you should do a few, just for fun.


> I'm asking not only because I'm interested in the general Linux
> question, but Xandros screams compared to my Dell with Bill's OS and I
> have an old Compaq I think I'm going to setup with Xandros and
> Slimserver.

There is a slimserver on *nix mailing list and forum, probably
a better place for general *nix discussions.

While the older Linux were very lean and mean, the more modern
ones are getting more full featured and are slowing down
a notch.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com

jazzfan
2005-11-13, 23:23
I'll have to get lost in seeing what uname tells me.
I have not ripped CDs mostly because of not having time to digest all the possible formats to rip to. I'll have to give it a shot.

Linux is very cool - long live the Penguin!

Thanks again,
Jazzfan

kitschcamp
2005-11-15, 05:35
There is a lot of documentation out there, and it is no small feat to reorganize it. Its no small feat to even read it all!

Is anyone responsible for overseeing the technical documentation and user documentation? I think it's a great product, but does probably require better documentation for the non-technical end user. I'm a technical trainer by profession, and would happily volunteer to help if I knew how.

This page ( http://www.slimdevices.com/dev_help.html ) says that volunteers are wanted, but gives no clue how to do it...

Dan Sully
2005-11-15, 10:08
* kitschcamp shaped the electrons to say...

>This page ( http://www.slimdevices.com/dev_help.html ) says that
>volunteers are wanted, but gives no clue how to do it...

Generally by posting to this list.. :)

If you see something that's broken, send a fix in.

-D
--
<weezyl> Oh, I cook bacon naked all the time. You just have to keep the heat on med-low.

kitschcamp
2005-11-15, 11:23
* kitschcamp shaped the electrons to say...

>This page ( http://www.slimdevices.com/dev_help.html ) says that
>volunteers are wanted, but gives no clue how to do it...

Generally by posting to this list.. :)

If you see something that's broken, send a fix in.

Ok, well I'm happy to start working on some end user documentation, if that's at all helpful?

Dan Sully
2005-11-15, 11:26
* kitschcamp shaped the electrons to say...

>Ok, well I'm happy to start working on some end user documentation, if
>that's at all helpful?

It is. Please see my post here:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=17664

For some areas that need help.

Thanks!

-D
--
<dr.pie> 31336.5: the neighbor of the l33t