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View Full Version : SlimServer / Squeezebox 3 users - PLEASE TRY THIS! (Gmail lags SlimServer)



NeilF
2007-09-21, 11:51
I've been trying to work out why my SqueezeBox 3 stutters at times seemingly with poor wireless speed at times. The answer? GMAIL! Yep! GMAIL!!


Try this if you can if you have a wireless Squeezebox 3?

Run the 5000kbps network test. I get 100%. eg:-
< 10 : 0 : 0%
< 20 : 0 : 0%
< 30 : 0 : 0%
< 40 : 0 : 0%
< 50 : 0 : 0%
< 60 : 0 : 0%
< 70 : 0 : 0%
< 75 : 0 : 0%
< 80 : 0 : 0%
< 85 : 0 : 0%
< 90 : 0 : 0%
< 95 : 0 : 0%
< 100 : 0 : 0%
>=100 : 20 :100% ##################################################
max : 100.000000
min : 100.000000
avg : 100.000000

Now I just open my GMAIL account in Firefox or IE and:-
< 10 : 0 : 0%
< 20 : 0 : 0%
< 30 : 0 : 0%
< 40 : 0 : 0%
< 50 : 0 : 0%
< 60 : 0 : 0%
< 70 : 0 : 0%
< 75 : 1 : 3% #
< 80 : 9 : 27% #############
< 85 : 7 : 21% ##########
< 90 : 15 : 45% ######################
< 95 : 1 : 3% #
< 100 : 0 : 0%
>=100 : 0 : 0%
max : 91.116173
min : 73.195876
avg : 83.858049

This seems to happen on other pages as well. eg:- http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/autumnwatch/game/


Anyone else get this behaviour??


I suspect depending on what I happen to have open, is causing my problems!! And if this is happening on Firefox/IE what other processes hit SlimServer?

gerph
2007-09-21, 13:17
I've been trying to work out why my SqueezeBox 3 stutters at times seemingly with poor wireless speed at times. The answer? GMAIL! Yep! GMAIL!!

Well, no, strictly any application will slow your system down. Windows, IME, sucks at trying to be a server for SlimServer and if you do other things with the machine whilst you're trying to serve music you're going to find that it takes away speed. A web browser running the scripts and interaction for an intensive site will end up taking away processor time. Maybe you should ensure that SlimServer always has the highest priority so that you never get its processor time taken away to do trivial things like rendering webpages, processing network traffic and executing Javascript.

Better still, don't run SlimServer on Windows. Or don't run it on a machine that you actually want to use for other things. One or the other, but don't be at all surprised that if your machine is doing a lot of processing then it runs poorly.

brucegrr
2007-09-21, 13:35
Windows can work fine IF your processor speed and ram is sufficient. I have two squeezeboxes running right now and I am surfing the net and doing email. No stutters.

The lower the processor speed and the less ram you have the more likely it is to tax the system.

If yo uleave gmail open then it is going to access the internet every "so many" minutes. Only open it when you need to. Close all other non essential programs. Turn off programs loaded in memory at start up that aren't needed.

What windows version are you running? It should be noted that Firefox tends to hog more and more memory the longer it is loaded. Well documented. I am a Firefox only user and I have verified this memory usage issue.

NeilF
2007-09-21, 13:47
Well, no, strictly any application will slow your system down. Windows, IME, sucks at trying to be a server for SlimServer and if you do other things with the machine whilst you're trying to serve music you're going to find that it takes away speed. A web browser running the scripts and interaction for an intensive site will end up taking away processor time. Maybe you should ensure that SlimServer always has the highest priority so that you never get its processor time taken away to do trivial things like rendering webpages, processing network traffic and executing Javascript.

Better still, don't run SlimServer on Windows. Or don't run it on a machine that you actually want to use for other things. One or the other, but don't be at all surprised that if your machine is doing a lot of processing then it runs poorly.

General browsing is no issue... Does not affect SS at all!

You're missing the point...

Going to GMail or other pages (like the bbc one I listed) although undetectable CPU wise (basically 0% CPU usage) really hits SlimServer for some reason...

I can run processes that take 40% CPU on the machine and this has NO affect on SlimServer! SlimServer needs very little CPU time to work, hence it's fine with something else using so much.

Why is something as innocent as GMail killing SlimServer when FireFox is using 0% CPU etc?

If you are using your SB wirelessly try my test for me!

NeilF
2007-09-21, 13:49
Windows can work fine IF your processor speed and ram is sufficient. I have two squeezeboxes running right now and I am surfing the net and doing email. No stutters.

The lower the processor speed and the less ram you have the more likely it is to tax the system.

If yo uleave gmail open then it is going to access the internet every "so many" minutes. Only open it when you need to. Close all other non essential programs. Turn off programs loaded in memory at start up that aren't needed.

What windows version are you running? It should be noted that Firefox tends to hog more and more memory the longer it is loaded. Well documented. I am a Firefox only user and I have verified this memory usage issue.

I can browser the internet as well and it has no impact on my SB! I only get stutters on FLAC files due to their large bandwidth...

Why is GMail or the other example page I listed killing SlimServer when they're using no CPU time and certainly not sending wireless traffic to the SB?

If you are using your SB wirelessly try my test for me!

With a browser open on GMail and SS doing the 5000kbps test my CPU is over 95% free (slimserver is using the most)! Firefox is basically using 0% CPU. I have over 200meg of ram free...

brucegrr
2007-09-21, 13:55
I don't use Gmail but I did load your other page with no problem at all.

Every action uses memory. What operating system are you using? Processor speed? ram? Are you using the most current version of Firefox?

I don't think gmail alone is the problem. Gmail is no different than any other function that consumes memory.

Think about it for a moment? How is Gmail able to affect a wireless signal?

NeilF
2007-09-21, 14:08
I don't use Gmail but I did load your other page with no problem at all.

Every action uses memory. What operating system are you using? Processor speed? ram? Are you using the most current version of Firefox?

I don't think gmail alone is the problem. Gmail is no different than any other function that consumes memory.

Think about it for a moment? How is Gmail able to affect a wireless signal?

I have the latest Firefox, and IE 6.

I can browse with them and not affect SlimServer. HOWEVER, if I visit some pages (like the ones I've listed), bingo! SlimServer suffers!

I didn't suggest Gmail affects the wireless signal... I suggested it affects SlimServer... It's tripping it up somehow such that it cannot dish out data so well, hence the 5000kbps test suffing...



I can reproduce it at will...

Open a browser (FireFox or IE) say to bbc.co.uk, and run the 5000kbps test in SlimServer... Get 100%.

Move to the 'cbeebies' page (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/) results drop...

Move back to bbc.co.uk, results return to 100%.

All the time FireFox is using virtually no CPU time, and my CPU is 99ish % unused.

There is something VERY odd going on!!

Check my sig for machine details...

Robin Bowes
2007-09-21, 14:11
NeilF wrote:

> I can reproduce it at will...
>
> Open a browser (FireFox or IE) say to bbc.co.uk, and run the 5000kbps
> test in SlimServer... Get 100%.
>
> Move to the 'cbeebies' page (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/) results
> drop...
>
> Move back to bbc.co.uk, results return to 100%.
>
> All the time FireFox is using virtually no CPU time, and my CPU is
> 99ish % unused.
>
> There is something VERY odd going on!!

Are you running your PC wireless by any chance?

R.

bpa
2007-09-21, 14:11
Install wireshark/Ethereal on the server PC and you can find out what is being sent from the PC.

brucegrr
2007-09-21, 14:28
I just can't think of any way that Gmail would be affecting slimserver.

Is slimserver open in a window in Firefox when you access gmail? If so , how about if you close the slimserver window(not slimserver just the window) and access gmail? Same problem?

Not trying to give you a hard time here but the two biggest memory users on my system are firefox and slimserver.They DO use memory.I can't imagine fiefox showing 0 or little memory usage.

XP needs 256 megs ram just to run. So, depending on what else you have running in the background, you could be having a memory issue.

NeilF
2007-09-21, 14:55
I just can't think of any way that Gmail would be affecting slimserver.

Is slimserver open in a window in Firefox when you access gmail? If so , how about if you close the slimserver window(not slimserver just the window) and access gmail? Same problem?

Not trying to give you a hard time here but the two biggest memory users on my system are firefox and slimserver.They DO use memory.I can't imagine fiefox showing 0 or little memory usage.

XP needs 256 megs ram just to run. So, depending on what else you have running in the background, you could be having a memory issue.

It's NOT Firefox or IE, it's what's on the page... I can browse standard HTML pages (www.bbc.co.uk & this forum for example) with no problem. There's something else at play due to what's on some pages...

SumnerH
2007-09-21, 15:07
I just can't think of any way that Gmail would be affecting slimserver.



Hmm. GMail is AJAXified, so it's going to be constantly hitting the network (unlike most pages).

NeilF
2007-09-21, 15:09
Hmm. GMail is AJAXified, so it's going to be constantly hitting the network (unlike most pages).

True... But I can be torrenting the hell out of the internet and that has no effect on SlimServer?

NeilF
2007-09-21, 15:41
Install wireshark/Ethereal on the server PC and you can find out what is being sent from the PC.

OK... I've installed it, and run it with FireFox on a page that does & doesn't affect Slimserver, but I can't make head or tail of what I'm seeing in the list of stuff?

I've got 11 seconds of capture from both pages...?

NeilF
2007-09-21, 16:03
Comparing the capture when on bbc.co.uk (no problems) with bbc.co.uk/cbeebies (problems) there are some red lines in the capture with the latter.

I suspect these are showing the problem happening as there seems to be a clear delay shown (about a 1/4 of a second!!)

See images attached!

192.168.0.99 is my PC, and 3 is the SB!

bpa
2007-09-21, 16:08
First try to get a feel of what is happening such as

1. Give a colour to the packeto/from GMAIL
2. Look at the GMAIL traffic - are the packets very big or very often compared to other traffic.
3. Have a look at selected GMAIL packets - use top panel to select a packet and look in bottom panel for text in packet - you might recognise stuff such as Javascript or text.

At worse - zip the capture file and post it - just make sure no passwords.

bpa
2007-09-21, 16:12
AFAICT The only traffic on those screen are to/from SB3 - you can tell by the port number 3483 is either source or destination.

The dark lines are retransmission - it's not clear why

Where is the GMAIL traffic ?

NeilF
2007-09-22, 02:07
It's definately nothing to do with traffic!

In the logs over say 10-20 second periods I can see no communication other than between my pc and the SB!

So what is it about just being on a particular website (eg: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/autumnwatch/game/) that reduces my 5000kbps test from 100% to around 60-70%?

Again, there is no network traffic, and basically NO CPU usage...

Something to do with these specific web pages is starting something that is conflicting with SlimServer. And the conflict is nothing to do with CPU usage, network usage or memory usage...

bpa
2007-09-22, 03:42
A couple of points.

1. If network traffic is between a PC app and 127.0.0.1 or the server IP address and the App is on the same PC - it will not show up with Ethereal. Slimserver uses AJAX a lot with Web interface and it doesn't show.

2. If you are using task manager to see what is happening - I think it is "blind" in some areas. I found ProcessExplorere to be better especially as using the mouse on the graphs can show you the process responsible for the peak.
ProcessExplorer can be got from here
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/processesandthreads/processexplorer.mspx

After starting - open the system info by clicking on the 3 small graphs on top right. Run GMail and Slimserver and see if any of the graphs rise or counters increment significantly.

If not, then it looks like there is something hanging the systems or waiting but locking out i/o while doing so - that could be a driver problem.

Phil Leigh
2007-09-22, 08:20
Doesn't do it on mine.
512Mb is no way enough to run XP IME.
You need at least 1Gb, preferably 2.

On another angle, Have you checked for viruses and spy/adware?

brucegrr
2007-09-22, 08:39
NeilF,

People keep pointing you in a different direction yet you are certain it is the particular web pages, so what advice are we to give?

Don't go to the web pages :) There, fixed it :)

I would like to know about your computer system. What is running in the background? Using process explorer, what are the actual memory usages for the programs running? Is your computer connected wirelessly or wired to the network? Router type? Is this exact problem replicated in Firefox and IE?

NeilF
2007-09-22, 10:15
NeilF,

People keep pointing you in a different direction yet you are certain it is the particular web pages, so what advice are we to give?

Don't go to the web pages :) There, fixed it :)

I would like to know about your computer system. What is running in the background? Using process explorer, what are the actual memory usages for the programs running? Is your computer connected wirelessly or wired to the network? Router type? Is this exact problem replicated in Firefox and IE?


A lot of this is already in the thread...
- Look in sig for hardware.
- SB accesses network wirelessly.
- What is running in the background? Nothing really... Typically my CPU usage is sitting there at 0.
- Look at the following post for ProcExporer examples.

I think something to do with certain web pages is conflicting with SlimServer and making it go 'mad' - Look at the shots in the following post...

NeilF
2007-09-22, 10:24
A couple of points.

1. If network traffic is between a PC app and 127.0.0.1 or the server IP address and the App is on the same PC - it will not show up with Ethereal. Slimserver uses AJAX a lot with Web interface and it doesn't show.

2. If you are using task manager to see what is happening - I think it is "blind" in some areas. I found ProcessExplorere to be better especially as using the mouse on the graphs can show you the process responsible for the peak.
ProcessExplorer can be got from here
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/processesandthreads/processexplorer.mspx

After starting - open the system info by clicking on the 3 small graphs on top right. Run GMail and Slimserver and see if any of the graphs rise or counters increment significantly.

If not, then it looks like there is something hanging the systems or waiting but locking out i/o while doing so - that could be a driver problem.

Right in the following example, I had Firefox open on bbc.co.uk, and I was running a 5000kbps test on SlimServer. I then went into bbc.co.uk/cbeebies, then back to bbc.co.uk, and then in gmail, and then back to bbc.co.uk.

Right here are some shots from ProcExplorer running. Theres four shots:-
1) One of a dedicated 'slim' window. Note the two BIG IO mounds! These are as the browser went to bbc.co.uk/cbeebies and gmail. How odd is that!!!!! The IO is averaging about 1-2KB at low, and then when visiting the 'odd pages', the IO increaes to about 9-12KB.
2) One of a dedicated 'firefox' window. Note little change as I go to the different pages!
3) One of the procerror main list.
4) One of the procerror process graphs.

So why is the IO going so much up for slim.exe when going to bb.co.uk/cbeebies and gmail??

I'll attach all the screen shots as ZIPs in the next post so you can see them full size if you want to...

NeilF
2007-09-22, 10:26
Here are the screen shots from the previous post zipped so you can see them full size...

brucegrr
2007-09-22, 10:46
Your sig does not give enough hardware info to be helpful.

According to Process Manager it looks (and I could barely read the .gif)that you have 5-7 programs running (either using or in background) All of them use memory. Not talking about cpu usage here. Talking about ram use. Big difference.


A lot of this is already in the thread...
- Look in sig for hardware.
- SB accesses network wirelessly.
- What is running in the background? Nothing really... Typically my CPU usage is sitting there at 0.
- Look at the following post for ProcExporer examples.

I think something to do with certain web pages is conflicting with SlimServer and making it go 'mad' - Look at the shots in the following post...

Phil Leigh
2007-09-22, 10:46
Looks like you are running low on memory and therefore page faulting to me...
If I were you I'd stick another 512 Mb in there and see what happens.
I've just repeated (as best as I could) your problem on my system and got no io spikes like yours. Sorry this isn't much help.

bpa
2007-09-22, 11:41
Since the problem doesn't happen on other systems and it happens with both IE and Firefox - it is something about how your system is set up.

1. Have you tried seeing if the problem shows if you turn off Ad-Aware, Grisoft Antivirus and other apps.

2. What plugins have you installed on Slimserver ?

3. If the I/O burst is network I/O then look at the TCP/IP tab on the slim.exe properties and see if there are any unusual network connections.

NeilF
2007-09-22, 12:19
Looks like you are running low on memory and therefore page faulting to me...
If I were you I'd stick another 512 Mb in there and see what happens.
I've just repeated (as best as I could) your problem on my system and got no io spikes like yours. Sorry this isn't much help.

Can you explain how you come to that conclusion? If you look at the shots you can see:-
a) There is over 100meg of free memory.
b) If you look at firefox, the memory usage is only changing by couple of meg depending on page visited.
c) I can have a dozen other programs open all at once (eg: Word, Excel, Outlook) and this does NOT cause this problem. It's just FireFox, IE, (& other programs to yet be discovered) visiting certain pages?

I just can't see how you come to your conclusion?!

NeilF
2007-09-22, 12:20
Since the problem doesn't happen on other systems and it happens with both IE and Firefox - it is something about how your system is set up.

1. Have you tried seeing if the problem shows if you turn off Ad-Aware, Grisoft Antivirus and other apps.

2. What plugins have you installed on Slimserver ?

3. If the I/O burst is network I/O then look at the TCP/IP tab on the slim.exe properties and see if there are any unusual network connections.

I concur... Something is tripping SlimServer up I recon! (eg: Java or flash or ajax)

I'll have another play... Odd though aint it :)

brucegrr
2007-09-22, 12:31
You must have a very special machine that can run WinXp Pro, 12 programs and every is fine :)all in 512mg of ram.

No offense, but I don't buy it.

It very well could be something else.........but if I was troubleshooting a customer's system I would start with reducing the programs are running, freeing up ram memory and then see how it goes. Have you disabled every unnecessary program and checked to see if this fixes it?

bpa
2007-09-22, 12:55
It could be memory but there are a couple of points that don't feel right fro memory

1. I/O for paging isn't usually attributed to a process so the slim.exe I/O burst is odd.

2. I have a laptop XP sp2 with 512Mb and it becomes very obvious when memory is short, reponse time drops so that firefox would become jerky and disk activity becomes very noticeable even on a laptop.

Since the user is unlikely to dash out tonight and get memory - he might as well alternatives.

brucegrr
2007-09-22, 13:05
BPA,

Agreed.

I can't find where the OP mentioned what version of slimserver he is running? Plugins?

NeilF
2007-09-22, 13:14
You must have a very special machine that can run WinXp Pro, 12 programs and every is fine :)all in 512mg of ram.

No offense, but I don't buy it.

It very well could be something else.........but if I was troubleshooting a customer's system I would start with reducing the programs are running, freeing up ram memory and then see how it goes. Have you disabled every unnecessary program and checked to see if this fixes it?

I know you're trying to help, and thanks! But adding more memory will not solve this issue. I'm certain 'page faulting' etc is not the cause.

NeilF
2007-09-22, 13:25
It could be memory but there are a couple of points that don't feel right fro memory

1. I/O for paging isn't usually attributed to a process so the slim.exe I/O burst is odd.

2. I have a laptop XP sp2 with 512Mb and it becomes very obvious when memory is short, reponse time drops so that firefox would become jerky and disk activity becomes very noticeable even on a laptop.

Since the user is unlikely to dash out tonight and get memory - he might as well alternatives.

Right, I tried nuking every process I could and then trying again. Same problem...

I also kept an eye on the TCP/IP values for Slim.Exe and Explorer.Exe (in procexplorer) and they didn't change from if I was on bbc.oc.uk and if I was on bbc.co.uk/cbeebies

Find attached images of my process list (see if you can see anything looking odd?) and the TCP/IP values... All in the one zip file...

I think someone at Logitech support is going to have to see what the SlimServer guys could think is in a browser (when accessing the pages in question) than could trip it up like this?

NeilF
2007-09-22, 13:48
By the way, just to put this all back into context...

Here's me spending a short while at www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies, and then a short while at www.bbc.co.uk. Notice the two obvious different set of results in the 5000kbps test...

< 10 : 0 : 0%
< 20 : 2 : 4% ##
< 30 : 21 : 46% ######################
< 40 : 1 : 2% #
< 50 : 0 : 0%
< 60 : 0 : 0%
< 70 : 1 : 2% #
< 75 : 0 : 0%
< 80 : 0 : 0%
< 85 : 0 : 0%
< 90 : 0 : 0%
< 95 : 0 : 0%
< 100 : 0 : 0%
>=100 : 21 : 46% ######################

All the 100% ones were bbc.co.uk. All the rest were while at bbc.co.uk/cbeebies

bpa
2007-09-22, 14:56
There is still the unexplained burst of I/O activity in the Slim.exe properties screen dump you posted. The smaller peaks are most likely screen refresh as they occur at 30 secs.

I have tried to recreate a similar shape burst with a standard Slimserver and I cannot - the I/O burst has to be disk I/O and not network. A rescan doesn't register as it is a different process (scan.exe) and database searches will be mysqld.exe.

What plugins have you installed ?
What skin are you using ?

Triode
2007-09-22, 15:22
I've not read the whole thread, but wanted to point out that the network test plugin assumes the server cpu is relatively lightly loaded (depending which version you are running if the server can't create traffic at the defined rate it either assumes it did or assumes it didn't - meaning it either over or under reads, but server cpu can impact the reading just because of the way the reading is made)

Do you actually have a problem with performance or are you just worried about low network test results?

If you do have a problem, I would suggest following the steps in the server performance section of http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?DiagnosingPerformanceIssues and report back what you see.

NeilF
2007-09-22, 23:23
There is still the unexplained burst of I/O activity in the Slim.exe properties screen dump you posted. The smaller peaks are most likely screen refresh as they occur at 30 secs.

I have tried to recreate a similar shape burst with a standard Slimserver and I cannot - the I/O burst has to be disk I/O and not network. A rescan doesn't register as it is a different process (scan.exe) and database searches will be mysqld.exe.

What plugins have you installed ?
What skin are you using ?

The only mod/plugin I've made to SlimServer is SuperDateTime...

NeilF
2007-09-23, 00:01
I've not read the whole thread, but wanted to point out that the network test plugin assumes the server cpu is relatively lightly loaded (depending which version you are running if the server can't create traffic at the defined rate it either assumes it did or assumes it didn't - meaning it either over or under reads, but server cpu can impact the reading just because of the way the reading is made)

Do you actually have a problem with performance or are you just worried about low network test results?

If you do have a problem, I would suggest following the steps in the server performance section of http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?DiagnosingPerformanceIssues and report back what you see.

Since receiving my SB a couple of weeks ago I've been battling periods of odd performance drops. Most of the time it's fine, but every now and then when playing tracks (FLAC) the SB would start to stutter and become unresponsive (in menus as well)...

On doing network tests at these times it was always obvious that I was getting low(er) figures. At times when all was fine, I was getting 100% even on the 5000kbps.

I've spent hours and hours trying to discover the problem, with the first port of call being the wireless network - which indeed even Logitech support (& people here & myself) diagnosed/suggested as being the problem (eg: interference).

What it turns out to be now is simply some sort of conflict. It is most certainly (I believe) nothing to do with CPU uage or memory. If you look at some of my original shots from procexplorer you'll see the CPU and memory hardly changed/used.

It seems clear that if I can browse all night on 'standard HTML' pages with no issues, but then just happen to visit a page with (AJAX? FLASH? XXXXXX?) Slimserver suffers, then something to do with what these pages require (AJAX? FLASH? XXXXX?) is kicking Slimserver out of shape.

Maybe the timing of Slimserver is being tripped up so it just sends continuously rather than every now and then... I can run the test while doing other processes which can visibly be hitting the CPU (unlike a browser in gmail using 0% CPU), and still get a 100% network test. So it is something obscure impacting on Slimserver, and not CPU related I believe.


Again, you can't believe how much time and effort I've spent on this so far, from believing (being told) its my wireless network, to finding out it's just having a browser (using no CPU and little memory) on a childrens website (or any website with flash? ajax? or xxxxxx?).

I'll have a look at the link of yours... But I'm hoping my support call to Logitech will provide the answer - I'm hoping a developer there will spot the connection!


ps: My PC was only setup a couple of months back, so is clean. It has the standard sort of anti-virus stuff (AVG, adaware etc), but more unusually VNC and zFTPSERVER, but nothing unusual really...

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 01:03
Can you explain how you come to that conclusion? If you look at the shots you can see:-
a) There is over 100meg of free memory.
b) If you look at firefox, the memory usage is only changing by couple of meg depending on page visited.
c) I can have a dozen other programs open all at once (eg: Word, Excel, Outlook) and this does NOT cause this problem. It's just FireFox, IE, (& other programs to yet be discovered) visiting certain pages?

I just can't see how you come to your conclusion?!

I know you don't believe this might be memory related, but I wonder if you are not misinterpreting something. That 100Mb you think is "free" isn't "free". It is being used by XP. Try opening several large programs and watch that number stay more or less the same - it may even go up!!!. Now is that logical?

NeilF
2007-09-23, 04:48
I know you don't believe this might be memory related, but I wonder if you are not misinterpreting something. That 100Mb you think is "free" isn't "free". It is being used by XP. Try opening several large programs and watch that number stay more or less the same - it may even go up!!!. Now is that logical?

So if I open let's say:-
- Word
- Excel
- Powerpoint
- Outlook
- uTorrent
- and a couple of other apps for good measure
- 10 browser sessions on different massive standard HTML pages

And then do the 5000kpbs test I bet it would be 100% rock solid results...


But if I open nothing except:-
- One browser session on one of our mystery web pages (www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies)...

I bet that the constant 100% success rate in slimserver reduces down to 20-30%.


Are you suggesting this is memory related?


Again, I'm fairly sure this is something conflicting somewhere. Something on the web pages listed is starting something on the PC (eg: java, flash, ajax) and that inturn is somehow stuffing Slimserver. Somehow...

I wouldn't be surprised if other apps may even have a problem, and certainly other web pages would as well...

IvanSlade
2007-09-23, 05:15
I agree (but I do not think it is computer based or related, Java et al), and I have been having the same problems. (Do a search for IvanSlade for what I have reported on other threads.) There is something wrong. My priority on S/server is set at high. That is on polling the CPU slim gets 'preference' , I assume, but it does not. I get stutter, drop out..... Try changing to Network and Server, to and fro, and see if there are problem; I get them.
Best
Ivan

NeilF
2007-09-23, 06:16
I agree (but I do not think it is computer based or related, Java et al), and I have been having the same problems. (Do a search for IvanSlade for what I have reported on other threads.) There is something wrong. My priority on S/server is set at high. That is on polling the CPU slim gets 'preference' , I assume, but it does not. I get stutter, drop out..... Try changing to Network and Server, to and fro, and see if there are problem; I get them.
Best
Ivan

Had a look and couldn't see any posts of your similar to mine?

In my case I can drop my 5000kbps test down from 100% to about 20-30% just my browsing say from bbc.co.uk (which is fine) to bbc.co.uk/cbeebies (which causes the drop)...

Can you reproduce this?

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 07:26
So if I open let's say:-
- Word
- Excel
- Powerpoint
- Outlook
- uTorrent
- and a couple of other apps for good measure
- 10 browser sessions on different massive standard HTML pages

And then do the 5000kpbs test I bet it would be 100% rock solid results...


But if I open nothing except:-
- One browser session on one of our mystery web pages (www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies)...

I bet that the constant 100% success rate in slimserver reduces down to 20-30%.


Are you suggesting this is memory related?


Again, I'm fairly sure this is something conflicting somewhere. Something on the web pages listed is starting something on the PC (eg: java, flash, ajax) and that inturn is somehow stuffing Slimserver. Somehow...

I wouldn't be surprised if other apps may even have a problem, and certainly other web pages would as well...


But so far nobody appears to have been able to duplicate your results...which you must admit points to something in your particular PC setup (hardware or software) rather than a generic problem with that web page and SlimServer.

My server performance stays rock solid at 5000 when I browse that ceebeebies page... although there is a large IO spike when the page first loads (visible in process explorer) it doesn't have any impact on what my PC is doing with Slim.

Just to be clear, are you saying that your server performance stays bad all the time you are browsing that page but recovers as soon as you go to another page?

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 07:38
OK I can see something strange going on. If you use process explorer and monitor slim.exe, the IO rate shoots up from just above zero and plateaus at about 10kb/s until you move away from the page when it immediately drops down to near zero again.
This doesn't have any effect on MY server performance...but it is strange. Next step: Ethereal...

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 08:10
OK - getting a bit closer. Having that page open in Explorer causes the slim.exe to context switch like crazy - up from 100 to 500! I have no idea why or how this is happening.

NeilF
2007-09-23, 08:17
But so far nobody appears to have been able to duplicate your results...which you must admit points to something in your particular PC setup (hardware or software) rather than a generic problem with that web page and SlimServer.

My server performance stays rock solid at 5000 when I browse that ceebeebies page... although there is a large IO spike when the page first loads (visible in process explorer) it doesn't have any impact on what my PC is doing with Slim.

Just to be clear, are you saying that your server performance stays bad all the time you are browsing that page but recovers as soon as you go to another page?

For as long as I'm on the pages I've thusfar listed (eg: bbc.co.uk/cbeebies & gmail) my 100% 5000kbps test drops. Also in procexplorer the IO of slim.exe rises from about 1kb to around 10kb... Everything stays like that until I move off that page (eg: back to bbc.co.uk).

NeilF
2007-09-23, 08:18
OK I can see something strange going on. If you use process explorer and monitor slim.exe, the IO rate shoots up from just above zero and plateaus at about 10kb/s until you move away from the page when it immediately drops down to near zero again.
This doesn't have any effect on MY server performance...but it is strange. Next step: Ethereal...

YEH! I am officially NOT mad then! If it wouldn't most likely mean some form of legal action, I'd come round there right now and give you a ruddy big kiss on the bottom!!!


OK - getting a bit closer. Having that page open in Explorer causes the slim.exe to context switch like crazy - up from 100 to 500! I have no idea why or how this is happening.Not really sure what that means... But all sounds useful!

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 08:20
The context switching of both slim and IE goes up when that page is loaded - they are fighting each other for control of the CPU.
All this switching is going to mess up the level 2 (L2) cache performance. Also, the ram and pagefile are going to be (potentially) impacted, depending on how much of each the two processes are using...

NeilF
2007-09-23, 08:22
The context switching of both slim and IE goes up when that page is loaded - they are fighting each other for control of the CPU.
All this switching is going to mess up the level 2 (L2) cache performance. Also, the ram and pagefile are going to be (potentially) impacted, depending on how much of each the two processes are using...

But the CPU usage (from I could see) of both were minimal? ie: Explorer was as good as 0, and slim was at most about 5% for me!? Or is it not the cpu usage but trying to 'gain control' (like you said) that is the problem?

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 08:23
A context switch is when the cpu stops doing something (briefly) to start doing something else. On a single-core machine, this is how it multitasks or appears to be doing lots of things at once - it isn't, it's just switching between them very quickly and giving each one a slice of the action.

Oh - and please leave my bottom out of this :o)

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 08:34
Yes that's it - it is nothing to do with CPU usage - neither is using very much...they are fighting for control.

The network test is CAUSING the "problem"...watch what happens to the context switch count of slim.exe if you stop the test!.

Basically - by having that page open AND running the test at the same time you are asking the computer to do a lot of work (actually a lot of thrashign around and very little work!)...I think this is because of the way that the network test is written.

Now the impact of this may not be noticeable on some machines - it will depend on their CPU speed, chipset design, ram type etc. My machine is fine, yours has a slight problem.

I'll do some more digging. In the meantime, I suggest you look at process explorer again and focus on the context switching counts and the CS Delta (look in the help file).

Maybe a developer could comment on why the network test casues this behaviour?

Hang on in there Neil!


EDIT: PS it is a combo of how that page works and the how the network test works.

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 09:53
Actually, I've just re-read your original post. You were having stuttering (occasionally?) with wireless streaming.

Are you still having this?
How are you wired up? - is the PC wired to the router and then wireless to the SB?

Forget the network test for a moment - you don't need 5000kbs! (1500 would be fine)

IME no wireless system is completely immune to problems occasionally. This is normally the point when someone leaps in and says they've never had a problem - best to ignore them.

I'm keen to know if you are having regular stuttering problems - and if you have tried changing the wireless channel?

Remember that what SlimServer is doing is very different to almost any application you might be running wirelessly, so just because Internet Browsing (for example) seems perfect means nothing as far as seamless operation of SS is concerned.


In my particular situation, I ended up hard-wiring my PC-ROUTER-SB to eliminate wi-fi issues messing with my audio pleasures.

However, for my patio system (don't ask) I use Devolo DLAN 200AV powerplugs to get the TCP from the router to my external SB2.

http://www.devolo.com/co_EN_cs/index.html

This has so far been 100% reliable and may be worth considering IF you really want to get things stutter-free forever.

bpa
2007-09-23, 10:19
Phil, What CPU do you have ?
I tried to reproduce the I/O burst and couldn't see it. I am wondering whether dual core / Hyperthreading hides the problem.

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 10:29
Phil, What CPU do you have ?
I tried to reproduce the I/O burst and couldn't see it. I am wondering whether dual core / Hyperthreading hides the problem.

Single core. AMD Sempron 2800+ 1.6Ghz, 1Gb of RAM.

I would expect that a dual core machine would exhibit very different behaviour?

bpa
2007-09-23, 10:40
My system is a Intel Prescott with HT.

I saw slimserver lockout behavior with a socketwrapper bug which would only affect single core CPUs so I think this issues may be related to single core systems.

The other factor in the socketwrapper bug was whether slim.exe was run as a user process or a service as Windows can do prioritising within a user process tree.

In this bug is Slim.exe run as a user process, run on login or at system startup ?

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 10:42
In my system it is automatically run at system startup.

NeilF
2007-09-23, 11:01
Actually, I've just re-read your original post. You were having stuttering (occasionally?) with wireless streaming.

Are you still having this?
How are you wired up? - is the PC wired to the router and then wireless to the SB?

Forget the network test for a moment - you don't need 5000kbs! (1500 would be fine)

IME no wireless system is completely immune to problems occasionally. This is normally the point when someone leaps in and says they've never had a problem - best to ignore them.

I'm keen to know if you are having regular stuttering problems - and if you have tried changing the wireless channel?

Remember that what SlimServer is doing is very different to almost any application you might be running wirelessly, so just because Internet Browsing (for example) seems perfect means nothing as far as seamless operation of SS is concerned.


In my particular situation, I ended up hard-wiring my PC-ROUTER-SB to eliminate wi-fi issues messing with my audio pleasures.

However, for my patio system (don't ask) I use Devolo DLAN 200AV powerplugs to get the TCP from the router to my external SB2.

http://www.devolo.com/co_EN_cs/index.html

This has so far been 100% reliable and may be worth considering IF you really want to get things stutter-free forever.


So maybe I've been mislead down the wrong path with this network test issue?

Yes, I was periodically getting stutters/poor performance on FLAC playback. I'd do a network test and voila it would be showing bad values, even on 1000-3000...

People suggested wireless was the issue (the SB is 12ft away from the router through a single wall), and when I once had bad performance I carefully check my network and could see no issues. No other networks, and the signal was as per normal.



So I've been using this test to detect issues! And trying to deduce when/what is causing it. And voila I happened to start looking to see if slimserver itself was the issue and if something else on the PC was giving it problems... Hence me finding the thing with certain web pages...


Now I of course cannot guarentee my previous problems were caused by what I have discovered... Or if indeed I've simply found something odd that has absolutely NOTHING to do with my actual problem...


If those web pages are conflicting with the network test, how is that different to if slimserver is dishing out a FLAC file (1000kbps) to the SB instead of the networks test (3000-5000kbps)? ie: Why can't those webpages still produce problems with standard playback?

Triode
2007-09-23, 12:13
Network test is very simple and was written without any support from the client. All it does is send repeated screen updates to the player at the appropriate rate over the slimproto tcp session.

The main difference between nettest and streaming actual data is the size of the buffers being written to the tcp socket - in the case of windows I think flac streaming would be 16 or 32K, but here its about 1K. So it needs to do stuff 16 or 32 times more often.

If you suspect stuttering is due to lack of cpu, then ignore nettest and look at the other portion of the diagnosis page as it can help to see if anything in the server is taking too long.

On my 1.4G single processor llnux box nettest hardly causes a cpu load, so I am supprised about its impact on windows in this case.

NeilF
2007-09-23, 12:45
Network test is very simple and was written without any support from the client. All it does is send repeated screen updates to the player at the appropriate rate over the slimproto tcp session.

The main difference between nettest and streaming actual data is the size of the buffers being written to the tcp socket - in the case of windows I think flac streaming would be 16 or 32K, but here its about 1K. So it needs to do stuff 16 or 32 times more often.

If you suspect stuttering is due to lack of cpu, then ignore nettest and look at the other portion of the diagnosis page as it can help to see if anything in the server is taking too long.

On my 1.4G single processor llnux box nettest hardly causes a cpu load, so I am supprised about its impact on windows in this case.

I have NO idea what is causing my stuttering... I mentioned before my 'path of discovery' which may have led me to an odity, rather than the cause of my stuttering...

I suspect with some further test I've done this is the case :(

Phil Leigh
2007-09-23, 12:58
Where are you at now? Do you have stuttering or not?
SlimServer is not the problem here. If it was, many many people would have the same issue.
If you do have stuttering, we should be able to help a bit,

NeilF
2007-09-23, 13:17
Where are you at now? Do you have stuttering or not?
SlimServer is not the problem here. If it was, many many people would have the same issue.
If you do have stuttering, we should be able to help a bit,

There's another thread of mine going through this...

I think I've proved I've taken a wrong turn probably...

By pure chance my 5000kbps test at the moment - for the 1st time in days - is not getting 100%...

If I load up GMail and other pages I know mess up the test, but ignore that and just play FLAC music... All seems fine...

So I'm probably back to square one... What sometime causes persistant stuttering problems - lasting hours :( FFS! :(

IvanSlade
2007-09-23, 15:18
[QUOTE=NeilF;229198]Had a look and couldn't see any posts of your similar to mine?

QUOTE]
Hi - Try Snap, Crackle and Pop.
Best
Ivan

NeilF
2007-09-29, 09:31
This afternoon - for the first time since my last post - while playing music the SB started to stutter.

Went to the PC where my nugget was using the CBEEBIES website. Closed firefox, and SB3 was fine... A few minutes later I let him back on and within seconds the mini-equaliser on the right hand section of the display started stuttering, soon followed by the music!

There, it would seem a browser does seem to affect the SB3 and not just the network test...

bpa
2007-09-29, 16:48
I think the problem may be Firefox and the handling of multiple http request in parallel which may be exacerbated by single core processors.

Can you check whether pipelining is enabled:
Enter the URL about:config and then type in "network.http" to the browser's "filter" function to identify the following entries:
network.http.pipelining
network.http.pipelining.maxrequests

If pipelining is set to false - change it to true and set maxrequests to 8. Then restart Firefox and restest.

MrSinatra
2007-09-29, 21:25
bpa, u know A LOT. impressive.


I agree (but I do not think it is computer based or related, Java et al), and I have been having the same problems. (Do a search for IvanSlade for what I have reported on other threads.) There is something wrong. My priority on S/server is set at high. That is on polling the CPU slim gets 'preference' , I assume, but it does not. I get stutter, drop out..... Try changing to Network and Server, to and fro, and see if there are problem; I get them.
Best
Ivan

ivan,

my exp is way out of date, but on early pentiums i tried increasing priority for some audio apps, and it killed my system. going back to normal set things right.

have you tried normal to see if SS acts better or the same for your issue?

bpa
2007-09-30, 01:45
I did a test with a laptop (XP sp2 512Mbram 1.7GHz single core no HT) which is similar to the OP systems and I saw the network test issue. The SB and laptop are wired through a switch so minimal router issues and no wireless.

Without pipelining enabled - network test was consiustent only 94-96% throughput - with pipelining the throughput was mainly 100% with occasional 98%.

Further testing is needed to see if it is really helping or just a one-off.

The pipelining feature will only improve responsiveness for sites using http 1.1 so it will only affect cbeebies and not slimserver. If pipeling helps, then I think the problem is firefox has many network requests waiting for responses from remote sites. Perhaps the queue of requests on a single core systems is somehow blocking the network interface and so affecting slimserver.