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snoogly
2008-03-26, 15:33
I was wondering if Logitech Support has helped anyone resolve a problem, without having to do a clean install of the software (slimerserver or squeezecenter).

I contacted them earlier this year with an issue, and they had only one answer: deletes all traces of the software and do a clean install. As this would mean losing all the various settings I have done to the server, and plugins, I really didn't want to do it. So I ignored them, and managed to find an answer elsewhere. Once someone told me what to look for in the log files, I tracked down a troublesome file in a music folder, deleted it, and everything worked fine again.

I got the feeling that Logitech Support either didn't know how to really troubleshoot a problem (on a Mac anyway), or that they do - but telling people to wipe everything and start again is easier. I fear the latter is true, as this time the 'first tier' of support told me to do just that, without any attempt to track down the problem. I have now been promoted to the 2nd tier, and low and behold they are saying the exact same thing - before they have even attempted to find out what the problem really is.

This kind of 'Support' might be normal in a Windows environment, but as a Mac user (and very long term slim devices customer) I find it shoddy and lazy.

Has anyone managed to get real support from them? If so, could you let me have the name of the support staff who helped you? I am beginning to wonder if anyone there really understands the nuts and bolts of the software.

Sorry if I sound riled - but I am. I do not consider this to be 'support' at all.

snarlydwarf
2008-03-26, 15:46
Every time I call Sprint or AT&T to report a line down, their first question is, "have you reset your equipment?"

If "for some large percentage of problems" the triage of "try a reinstall, see if that fixes it" fixes things, then it is a fine methodology.

radish
2008-03-26, 15:50
Their job is to get you up and running as quickly as possible, so that they can move onto helping the next customer. In _many_ cases a problem is due to a corrupted installation, bad cached data, custom settings, third party plugins, etc and so doing a clean install will either fix the problem right away or make the subsequent troubleshooting much easier. I've never called them myself but I've heard a lot of praise for SD support in the past, certainly more than most other helpdesks.

I find your Mac comment quite entertaining given Apple's recommended solution for pretty much any iPod problem - restart and reinstall! (http://www.apple.com/support/ipod/five_rs/ipod5gen/). Same goes for Aperture, Final Cut, etc. First update to latest version, then delete user prefs, then reinstall.

Ben Sandee
2008-03-26, 15:51
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 5:33 PM, snoogly <
snoogly.36wigb1206570901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:

>
>
> I contacted them earlier this year with an issue, and they had only one
> answer: deletes all traces of the software and do a clean install. As
> this would mean losing all the various settings I have done to the
> server, and plugins, I really didn't want to do it. So I ignored them,
> and managed to find an answer elsewhere. Once someone told me what to
> look for in the log files, I tracked down a troublesome file in a music
> folder, deleted it, and everything worked fine again.
>

First of all, your subject is just a bit melodramatic. To have grave doubts
about something like this is taking things a bit too seriously.

Second, you have to realize what perspective the support people are coming
from. Most people haven't invested a great deal of time in their player
settings and are most interested in getting their music playing ASAP.
Digging around in log files is the LAST thing most people calling support
want to do. They want it fixed, and they want it fixed an hour ago. For
most people, doing a clean install is the FASTEST way to resolve a problem
and get their music playing again. For those that have other priorities
there are certainly other options available to them and you have done well
for yourself -- congratulations.

Ben

Phil Leigh
2008-03-26, 15:58
I was wondering if Logitech Support has helped anyone resolve a problem, without having to do a clean install of the software (slimerserver or squeezecenter).

I contacted them earlier this year with an issue, and they had only one answer: deletes all traces of the software and do a clean install. As this would mean losing all the various settings I have done to the server, and plugins, I really didn't want to do it. So I ignored them, and managed to find an answer elsewhere. Once someone told me what to look for in the log files, I tracked down a troublesome file in a music folder, deleted it, and everything worked fine again.

I got the feeling that Logitech Support either didn't know how to really troubleshoot a problem (on a Mac anyway), or that they do - but telling people to wipe everything and start again is easier. I fear the latter is true, as this time the 'first tier' of support told me to do just that, without any attempt to track down the problem. I have now been promoted to the 2nd tier, and low and behold they are saying the exact same thing - before they have even attempted to find out what the problem really is.

This kind of 'Support' might be normal in a Windows environment, but as a Mac user (and very long term slim devices customer) I find it shoddy and lazy.

Has anyone managed to get real support from them? If so, could you let me have the name of the support staff who helped you? I am beginning to wonder if anyone there really understands the nuts and bolts of the software.

Sorry if I sound riled - but I am. I do not consider this to be 'support' at all.


This kind of support is the norm for any kind of equipment as it solves 90% of problems.
My understanding - having monitored these forums for many years now - is that SD support is way way above what you get from most manufacturer support forums. YMMV.
Touch wood I have NEVER had to contact SD support. But I've seen many happy customers who have. The same cannot be said for lots of manufacturers....

Mark Miksis
2008-03-26, 16:55
I don't work in any kind of tech support (anymore), but I try to spend some time supporting users on these forums. I generally avoid suggesting the "start over and reinstall" solution, but it's always in the front of my mind. IMO, by the time someone has contacted support or posted on the forums, he has probably tried 5 or 10 things on his own that didn't work. The chances that these unsuccessful fixes have broken things that are unrelated to the original problem are significant. I'd rather start debugging a problem with a "clean" installation.

ncarver
2008-03-26, 18:20
I have been very pleased with the Duet that I got a couple of weeks ago, but I was having trouble getting the new SqueezeCenter server to scan my music collection (this is under Linux). After several days I contacted tech support and provided quite a bit of info (including, as it turns out, precisely the reason for the problem). Two weeks later, the tech support person had frankly been of absolutely no help at all, and had seemingly ignored all my observations that the scanner program wasn't even running. Having a couple spare hours finally, and having given up on tech support being of any help, I learned enough Perl to be able to read the scanner code and instrument it to see what was happening. Sure enough, there were problems with module loading that caused the scanner to exit without doing any scanning (and without doing *any* logging). Luckily I was able to get SC to use the version of the module already installed in my system. However, as I told the tech support guy, I would hardly be able to recommend this product to "normal people" as they wouldn't be capable of debugging the company's code, and that is apparently necessary if you actually want to get something fixed. Certainly not a good experience. So I would have give the tech support an F! Too bad, as I am very impressed with most other aspects of the SqueezeBox. However, very reluctant now to recommend it to people that aren't, say, programmers.

Mnyb
2008-03-26, 22:45
They took there time with me a while back.
The solution was not exactly stellar so from me they get:

(2/5) for "tech support"*
(5/5) for friendly attitude, and willingness to help :-)

*not easy to support such a buggy thing as 6.5.x

Now theres probably a barrage of newcomers flooding the service line, so who nows.

</flame suit on>
</stating the obvious on>

The long term solution would be a less buggy product that didn't needed so much fiddling, to get to work :)

</stating the obvious off>
</flame suit off>

snoogly
2008-03-26, 23:52
OK, so I am eating humble pie and recognise that Logitech support isn't so different from any other kind of support. I guess it's the basic principal that a fresh instal is always the best way to start - even with a complex system like slimserver/squeezecenter.

If being asked to do a clean instal was accompanied by a note that all server settings would be lost, it might make it less potentially troublesome. Perhaps advice on how to backup settings (if that is possible) could also be given before being requested to do a clean instal. That's what really bugs me ~ a blanket piece of advice, without a warning that settings will be lost, and no hint as how to back up those settings.

mherger
2008-03-27, 00:42
> I have been very pleased with the Duet that I got a couple of weeks ago,
> but I was having trouble getting the new SqueezeCenter server to scan my
> music collection (this is under Linux).
[..]
> module already installed in my system. However, as I told the tech
> support guy, I would hardly be able to recommend this product to
> "normal people" as they wouldn't be capable of debugging the company's

"normal people" is a very loose definition. Don't get me wrong. But you're not normal ;-). "normal people" use Windows or (still normal?) OSX. SC comes with a nice installer for these platforms. No need to fiddle with modules on those systems.

Marginally "normal people" use something as esoteric as Ubuntu and run "apt-get install squeezecenter". This takes care of the modules, too.

What OS/platform are you using? I'd guess it's some non-Debian Linux or a x64 platform?

Technical support cares about "normal people".

--

Michael

peter
2008-03-27, 01:12
snoogly wrote:
> I was wondering if Logitech Support has helped anyone resolve a problem,
> without having to do a clean install of the software (slimerserver or
> squeezecenter).
>

If I have a serious problem with SC, my first impulse is also to reinstall.

Common sense, really...
Must be cause I'm not a Mac user... ;)

Regards,
Peter

matthijskoopmans
2008-03-27, 02:37
I have not used the software support from Logitech (I do remember the great help at SlimDevices... at the time).

However, where the real challenge is, is not necessarily the software support, but the hardware support. Local support for repairs and spare parts still seems to be a "utopia", which is far from desirable. Lets hope Logitech will work out the logistics of that and leverage their global reach...

Mnyb
2008-03-27, 05:20
I have not used the software support from Logitech (I do remember the great help at SlimDevices... at the time).

However, where the real challenge is, is not necessarily the software support, but the hardware support. Local support for repairs and spare parts still seems to be a "utopia", which is far from desirable. Lets hope Logitech will work out the logistics of that and leverage their global reach...

There is an incredible simple interime fix for this, reopen the online store for non US people for spares/repair only until logitechs international retails is up to it. It will take i bit longer to mail things to and from the US but thats better than nothing.

ncarver
2008-03-27, 07:32
"normal people" is a very loose definition. Don't get me wrong. But you're not normal ;-). "normal people" use Windows or (still normal?) OSX. SC comes with a nice installer for these platforms. No need to fiddle with modules on those systems.

Marginally "normal people" use something as esoteric as Ubuntu and run "apt-get install squeezecenter". This takes care of the modules, too.

What OS/platform are you using? I'd guess it's some non-Debian Linux or a x64 platform?

Technical support cares about "normal people".

--

Michael

I am running Mandriva (32 bit). I think that Red Hat and Novell/Suse (and the vast majority of commercial users of Linux in the US) will be quite surprised to hear that any Linux other than a Debian-based one is now esoteric.

As for the old "just use apt-get" refrain, there *is* an RPM for SC, and furthermore I am using the tar ball, which is supposedly completely self-contained. What could be easier than just extracting that somewhere and starting SC in its toplevel directory? Of course the problem is that it doesn't like one of its *own* modules. I was not supposed to have to fiddle with the modules (in fact once I was able to print out the error message where it fails, one of its suggested fixes is to run the tar ball version!). Unfortunately, the tar ball Perl code is apparently self-inconsistent. Adding a fancy "installer" to avoid me having to manually extract the tar ball would have helped not one whit here.

Anyway, the point was not that there was a code problem, the point was that tech support didn't provide a *single* useful suggestion about how to go about finding out what was wrong. This is Perl after all, so basic debugging should be similar on every platform. Pretty bad if they go, "this is a non-Debian Linux so we just have no clue what to do." Remember, everything except for the scanning was running fine, and I, after spending less than an hour reading about Perl, was able to diagnose and fix the trouble quite quickly. If the tech support person knew anything at all about the SC code and/or Perl, they should have been able to provide assistance.

I really am very impressed with the Duet, and would like to be able to heartily recommend it to friends. However, based on my experience, tech support is completely useless. You saying that was simply because I wasn't running Windows, etc., does nothing to inspire confidence; quite the opposite.

Norm

mherger
2008-03-27, 07:51
(please note that these are my personal thoughts, not official Logitech statements!)

> I am running Mandriva (32 bit). I think that Red Hat and Novell/Suse
> (and the vast majority of commercial users of Linux in the US) will be
> quite surprised to hear that any Linux other than a Debian-based one is
> now esoteric.

I only wanted to point out the fact that "normal user" is very loose definition. I'm sorry you didn't get the irony I tried to put in my posting.

Sure enought all those distros by far are not esoteric. But I'd bet 99% of the users out there wouldn't even know what Mandriva is. Why? Because they don't care. They're "normal users". And their computers come with Windows pre-installed.

> Anyway, the point was not that there was a code problem, the point was
> that tech support didn't provide a *single* useful suggestion about how
> to go about finding out what was wrong.

And my point was to point out that support will never try to understand 100% of all problems. They concentrate on the vast majority ("normal users"). You can't expect a Linux/Perl/whatever guru on every phone - you wouldn't want to cover the cost of such a tech support.

> However, based on my experience,
> tech support is completely useless. You saying that was simply because
> I wasn't running Windows, etc., does nothing to inspire confidence;
> quite the opposite.

If they can help 99% of the users, because they're using Windows or OSX, what's wrong with it?

Please don't get me wrong. I'm the last one to recommend Windows as a SC server. But blaming support of being ignorent, just because they don't know your Linux distro, is expecting too much. Stick with Windows and you'll have a simple installation and knowledgeable support. That's just how it is. Once Mandrake has the market share of Windows, I'm sure support will be up to task debugging your issue. Ubuntu is almost there.

--

Michael

Pale Blue Ego
2008-03-27, 08:37
Does anyone else find it ironic that the problem the original poster had was not Ligitech's or Slim's fault at all, but a "troublesome" file in his own music library?

ncarver
2008-03-27, 08:42
I only wanted to point out the fact that "normal user" is very loose definition. I'm sorry you didn't get the irony I tried to put in my posting.

And my point was to point out that support will never try to understand 100% of all problems. They concentrate on the vast majority ("normal users"). You can't expect a Linux/Perl/whatever guru on every phone - you wouldn't want to cover the cost of such a tech support.

If they can help 99% of the users, because they're using Windows or OSX, what's wrong with it?

Please don't get me wrong. I'm the last one to recommend Windows as a SC server. But blaming support of being ignorent, just because they don't know your Linux distro, is expecting too much.
...


Oh, I got your irony...I know I am not a "normal user."

But again, you cite the distro as being critical to tech support failing to help, while this was an issue within the supposedly self-contained Perl tar ball. I just fail to see how this can be "blamed" on Mandriva--unless the attitude in tech support is, "its a Linux we don't care about so don't bother."

The support was being done via email, and while I wouldn't expect to get a live expert in SC/Perl/Linux on the phone, I don't think it unreasonable to expect that somebody with that experience might be available to spend a few minutes over a period of two weeks to come up with a single suggestion about how to even diagnose the problem. The fact that I, a computer science professional but one who doesn't know anything about Perl, could spend half an hour reading about Perl, and then diagnose and fix the problem in 15min, says to me that this was not too tough to expect tech support to deal with over two weeks.

You apparently differ in what you expect from tech support, and that is fine. I cannot honestly say that I was that surprised given my experiences with tech support from other companies, but I don't recommend those companies' products to my non-technical friends either.

maggior
2008-03-27, 09:00
Support in general for any high tech equipment has gone down hill. Ever call Linksys for help? It's difficult to get a problem solved when your setup isn't typical and/or your problem isn't common. Logitech is not unique in this reguard. I used to do tech support. To cut costs, the type of support I used to provide is now part of their "premium support", which has a fee associated with it. To compensate, they created an elaborate web site and a forum much like this one. This is the norm today.

So far, I haven't had the need to call support. This forum has been tremendously helpful to me and has answered every single question I have ever had. I'm greatful that Logitech makes this forum available. I'm also greatful for the effort that the members here put forth to help their fellow SB users.

mherger
2008-03-27, 09:01
> But again, you cite the distro as being critical to tech support
> failing to help, while this was an issue within the supposedly
> self-contained Perl tar ball.

Who says the tar ball was complete? There are dependencies which have to be fulfilled. This can't be managed using a tar ball.

--

Michael

seanadams
2008-03-27, 09:51
Does anyone else find it ironic that the problem the original poster had was not Ligitech's or Slim's fault at all, but a "troublesome" file in his own music library?

The scanner should fail gracefully rather than lock up on encountering a corrupted file, but that's easier said than done with the myriad of container formats and tag formats that we try to support, and all the possible ways that a file could be corrupted. Ideally the way this should have gone is that support would have realized this as a probable cause for the scanner not completing, and been able to help the user find the bad file. Then escalate to engineering to have the code improved so that it doesn't crash on such a file in the future... has this been done? we'd sure appreciate if you'd file a bug, attaching a sample file and your fix.

This is one of the more challenging kind of problems we could encounter. I think we're OK at handling the vast majority of support calls about things like firewall settings and misbehaving plugins, but clearly we need to get better at identifying the corner cases when they come up.

erland
2008-03-27, 09:57
"normal people" use Windows or (still normal?) OSX.
I guess I belong to "special people" then, that actually feels pretty nice... :-)

ncarver
2008-03-27, 10:14
Who says the tar ball was complete? There are dependencies which have to be fulfilled. This can't be managed using a tar ball.


Michael,
Sorry about not being precise enough. Obviously you are correct that there are still some dependencies when using this tar ball--like an appropriate version of Perl! The tar ball does supply its own modules, its own MySQL, etc., so not that many distro-specific issues it appears to me. I presume that is the point of having this installation option.

I was referring to the CPAN modules, as my understanding from reading documentation and code was that all required modules are in the tar ball. The scanner.pl code (via loadModules() in bootstrap.pm) rejects the tar ball supplied Compress::Zlib module. If you can tell me how this is caused by running Mandriva I would appreciate it, because as I said, I am very new to Perl (and modules look like yet another fine library version mess). I mean this sincerely, as similar issues seem likely to arise with each update, so whatever I can learn from this so much the better. I probably should also file a bug report? The reason this problem was not obvious is that nothing gets logged from the error. I haven't looked too deeply at this, but I think the scanner runs in a subprocess and the print statements (stdout) must be redirected (to like /dev/null). Not very useful when scanner dies and writes nothing to its log file (and yes, logging was set to debug level). The only message would be from plain old print statements (followed by exit).

Norm

Mark Miksis
2008-03-27, 10:21
I was referring to the CPAN modules, as my understanding from reading documentation and code was that all required modules are in the tar ball. The scanner.pl code (via loadModules() in bootstrap.pm) rejects the tar ball supplied Compress::Zlib module. If you can tell me how this is caused by running Mandriva I would appreciate it, because as I said, I am very new to Perl (and modules look like yet another fine library version mess).

I'm not really sure what error message you're seeing and I don't use Mandriva but I recall that Mandriva uses a non-threaded perl. This means that the binary perl modules included with SC will not work. In theory, though, you should be able to run build-perl-modules.pl to build them for your perl.

What error(s) are you seeing?
Have you looked at the output with --d_startup?

mherger
2008-03-27, 10:26
> I was referring to the CPAN modules, as my understanding from reading
> documentation and code was that all required modules are in the tar
> ball. The scanner.pl code (via loadModules() in bootstrap.pm) rejects
> the tar ball supplied Compress::Zlib module. If you can tell me how
> this is caused by running Mandriva I would appreciate it, because as I
> said, I am very new to Perl (and modules look like yet another fine
> library version mess).

I'm not sure what causes this problem. I guess that module is linked against a system library which does or does not exist on your system, or which is in a different version than expected.

> like /dev/null). Not very useful when scanner dies and writes nothing
> to its log file (and yes, logging was set to debug level). The only
> message would be from plain old print statements (followed by exit).

I wonder why SC would start, but the scanner would die if the library wasn't any good. But then I vaguely remember talk about something similar. Please do search bugzilla whether there's already a related report.

--

Michael

ncarver
2008-03-27, 11:20
OK--so bugzilla search led to a filed bug and thread in developer forum:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6849

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=39802


Wish I had known about bugzilla earlier. Finally saw it mentioned in forums, but only after had already fixed this. Did not come across it looking at various web pages. Obviously tech support person didn't bother looking here either though!

Will investigate further as there are obviously multiple issues/possibilities. It is clear from this that the particular system (e.g., Mandriva) could play a role here. Wow--the Perl module system and its dependencies looks even worse than I thought it was. Want to try to figure out why the the tar ball supplied Compress::Zlib module doesn't work here, so I fully understand this. Certainly what I read about "the .tar.gz version of SqueezeCenter which includes all required CPAN modules" is not true--at least not in the sense that the modules will actually function.

Thanks for helping with understanding. Forum is really *much* more useful than tech support obviously.
Norm

Zaragon
2008-03-27, 13:36
As someone who has worked on computing helpdesks I kind of feel sorry for those people as they can't really win. They get shouted at by people that don't know what they are talking about and want it fixed but don't want to help them fix it. They get shouted at by experts who may know as much about the system as the helpdesk because they think the helpdesk don't take them serious.

I can recount many stories of users ringing in complaining of computers or terminals where they can't log in. You ask them what they see on screen and they say they can't see where to put in the password. After much prompting you get the idea that the screen is black. You ask them if they have switched it on and they swear blind that they have. You ask them if they see the little red light which of course they can't. You ask them if it is plugged in and the plug is switch on. The insist it is, they checked. You go around to them, switch the plug on and amazingly there is the login prompt.

The first rule of faulting always used to be understand the problem. Then understand the current state. With complex systems (and SC is one) get it into as close to a known state as you can and fault from there. One step at a time.

The OP found it unacceptable that they wanted to do that because he didn't want to lose settings but the helpdesk have no idea if it was precisely those settings and plugins that were causing the issue. Log files, where he found his answer, don't always tell the truth or rather can sometimes be misleading and you are faulting from an unknown state. Disaster debugging, which starts with an unknown state, is very very hard work.

So I just want to say to anyone give the helpdesks a chance. Yes they sometimes ask you to do things you know have no effect but they are working the problem eliminating things one by one. You'd be surprised how many times those things actually work, it is very easy to overlook the obvious. And don't forget many users don't have the knowledge of the people around here and need that level of support.

pfarrell
2008-03-27, 13:51
Zaragon wrote:
> As someone who has worked on computing helpdesks I kind of feel sorry
> for those people as they can't really win.

Being is support is not a lot of fun.

I think this thread meets the criteria to be closed.
Specifically for the subject

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

ModelCitizen
2008-03-27, 15:07
Just to stick my finger in the air an wave it about before Pat gets the thread closed.....

I've had a great experience with Logitech's hardware support. My Transporter backlit remote got dropped and the battery cover broke off. Via Logitech support the device was replaced.... quickly... and in spades.......

MC

Robin Bowes
2008-03-27, 15:10
One (important) point that no-one has yet pointed out is that I don't
believe that Mandriva is an officially supported platform. Although, on
looking this up in the FAQ, it only says:

"Squeezebox, Transporter and SlimServer are officially supported under:

* Windows NT/2000/XP,
* Linux
* Mac OS X 10.3 and above"

Can this be clarified? Is Squeezecenter really supported on *all* linux
platofmrs?

R.

ModelCitizen
2008-03-27, 15:19
* Linux
Can this be clarified? Is Squeezecenter really supported on *all* linux
platofmrs?

Judging by the above statements about tarballs, dependencies, threaded perl versions etc etc supporting Linux looks like a right nightmare. If I was Logitech I'd stick to Windows (but not Vista of course).

What is a platofmrn anyway? Some sort of dinosaur?

MC

JimC
2008-03-27, 16:38
One (important) point that no-one has yet pointed out is that I don't
believe that Mandriva is an officially supported platform. Although, on
looking this up in the FAQ, it only says:

"Squeezebox, Transporter and SlimServer are officially supported under:

* Windows NT/2000/XP,
* Linux
* Mac OS X 10.3 and above"

Can this be clarified? Is Squeezecenter really supported on *all* linux
platofmrs?

R.

Not really. Okay, we could but the cost would be so high (from a QA/testing perspective alone) that I would end up requesting that Linux support be dropped. What we try to do is handle the most common Linux issues, and operate under the assumption that if you're using any *nix variant you are probably "smarter than the average bear" (see this for the reference (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogi_Bear#Catchphrases)) and that you can take care of some of these issues on your own.

Maybe that's not a fair assumption, but the budgetary implications of bringing our Linux support up to the level of Windows/Mac (in terms of testing, tech support, installers, etc.) are pretty steep. We do get better at it as we go forward, but it will be a while--and probably a fairly long while--before we are excellent at it.

-=> Jim

ncarver
2008-03-27, 19:44
Judging by the above statements about tarballs, dependencies, threaded perl versions etc etc supporting Linux looks like a right nightmare. If I was Logitech I'd stick to Windows (but not Vista of course).


Hmm. Never heard of DLL hell, eh? Before you get too smug about how easy it is to provide software for Windows you might want to have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dll_hell.
If you've never installed software on Windows only to have other software break as a result, then you cannot have done much with Windows. There are library dependencies there too, just less variation in installs (but Linux/UNIX has always handled multiple library versions better).

You might also want to look at the somewhat difficult history of providing Perl on Windows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perl#Windows.

Finally, a "tar ball" is just an archive--i.e., a zip file. Never downloaded a zip file that you had to extract a program from? Again, nothing really different here, except names and formats. Ultimately more an issue of whether it is worth training support personnel.

pablolie
2008-03-27, 19:57
i am very glad about logitech's commitment to enable linux users to help themselves, and that is no irony. many companies do not even provide a basic option. i love the fact i have the choice to run squeezecenter 7.0 on a platform that -according to microsoft standards- is not worth running Vista and barely good enough for XP.

i do run an Ubuntu 7.10 server for some core stuff, and i am NOT a linux poweruser. and yet i have never had issues running SQC on my server, unlike with many other applications. try running Itunes or many others.

i LOVE this platform, and the user community that helps out so much.

written from ubuntu server running SQC!

jeffmeh
2008-03-27, 20:19
Hmm. Never heard of DLL hell, eh? Before you get too smug about how easy it is to provide software for Windows you might want to have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dll_hell.
If you've never installed software on Windows only to have other software break as a result, then you cannot have done much with Windows. There are library dependencies there too, just less variation in installs (but Linux/UNIX has always handled multiple library versions better).

You might also want to look at the somewhat difficult history of providing Perl on Windows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perl#Windows.

Finally, a "tar ball" is just an archive--i.e., a zip file. Never downloaded a zip file that you had to extract a program from? Again, nothing really different here, except names and formats. Ultimately more an issue of whether it is worth training support personnel.

With all due respect, I think you are missing the point. Regardless of the relative technical merits of Windows vs. various Linux variants, to best serve its market Logitech must best support the platforms with the largest market shares. Additionally, scale economies make it more efficient to support the more prevalent platform than the less prevalent one. Given this, Logitech's approach to this makes good financial sense.

ncarver
2008-03-27, 21:46
With all due respect, I think you are missing the point. Regardless of the relative technical merits of Windows vs. various Linux variants, to best serve its market Logitech must best support the platforms with the largest market shares. Additionally, scale economies make it more efficient to support the more prevalent platform than the less prevalent one. Given this, Logitech's approach to this makes good financial sense.

Funny, it seems like that was *precisely* what I was saying with this final line: "Ultimately more an issue of whether it is worth training support personnel." I.e., It isn't that Windows is easier to support, it just isn't worth it to support less common platforms. Perhaps you didn't bother to read to the end of my post?

JimC
2008-03-27, 21:47
Judging by the above statements about tarballs, dependencies, threaded perl versions etc etc supporting Linux looks like a right nightmare. If I was Logitech I'd stick to Windows (but not Vista of course).

What is a platofmrn anyway? Some sort of dinosaur?

MC

Actually, I use Ubuntu Linux, and it's pretty good overall. The automatic updater works really well, even with the nightly builds; it has a Windows-like GUI that makes it easier for a novice (like me!) to deal with; and it is faster than Windows, and very stable.

The SqueezeCenter installation on Ubuntu was as simple as Windows or the Mac.


-=> Jim

mherger
2008-03-27, 23:06
> issues, and operate under the assumption that if you're using any *nix
> variant you are probably "smarter than the average bear"

Much nicer wording than my "you're no normal user" - I could learn a lot
from you marketing guys. :-)

Michael

matthijskoopmans
2008-03-28, 04:34
There is an incredible simple interime fix for this, reopen the online store for non US people for spares/repair only until logitechs international retails is up to it. It will take i bit longer to mail things to and from the US but thats better than nothing.

That would be a temporary patch on the wounds,should things need replacement. However, in a lot of countries, it is mandatory to have a "consumer drop in" service centre (typically the store you bought the goods). It seems to me a bit strange that logitech with a global reach, is not able to support (technical, with testing and repairs) the Squeezebox/Transporter units. Surely the hardware is not so complicated that a spot and replace of the faulty prt can only be done in a single location in the world...

For what it's worth, I have been waiting on a power supply that has been promised to me since January... I am now at the stage that my follow up mails are left unanswered... Now I understand that the folk have to follow corporate procedures, and please don't take this as an attack on any individual (so far, my experiences with both Logitech and Slim Devices have been great - companies consists of people, not global brands), but it does indicate to me that there is a lot to do. IMHO, after 1.5 years with Logitech, this would be a high priority (try getting decent sales distribution channels set up in countries, if this is the answer to the support question... :)

As from original topic, software support... There is always opportunity in improving support. One thing that Logitech has with this platform, is a whole army of individuals who gladly donate some of their time helping with the troubleshooting of the issue. I would assume that any forum posts get escalated to support somehow (link in support log site to the forum post?). In that case, things could be escalated sooner, if certain steps have already been taken... And a last point on Software Support - It is pretty uncommon to support so many platforms. Windows should be relatively straight forward, as there are only so many flavours around (of which less are currently in the support lifecycle from Microsoft, which is a good standard for Logitech to monitor support for that platform - and no, I do not agree that all Windows support techs have to say is a fresh install. Windows did go through a massive maturity cycle). However, how many Linux distro's are there? Do they all pack the same dependencies? Do they all use the same packaging mechanism? Especially if you are forced to "make" (forgive me, it has been 6 years ago I last did anything with Linux) the files, then how would you know of dependencies? IMHO simply too many variables to deal with in support... In such case, I would be happy if a vendor like Logitech is committed to providing this support at all.

radish
2008-03-28, 06:08
Hmm. Never heard of DLL hell, eh? Before you get too smug about how easy it is to provide software for Windows you might want to have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dll_hell.

The fact that you have to provide a wikipedia link is very telling. This hasn't been a problem for years, I can say a lot of bad things about Windows but ease of installation is not one of them - even the article you link to points out that most of the problems discussed were fixed in w2k (that's 8 years ago). I personally can't think of a problematic installation of any software in the last 5 years.



You might also want to look at the somewhat difficult history of providing Perl on Windows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perl#Windows.

SC doesn't require perl on Windows so that's irrelevant to the issue at hand.


Ultimately more an issue of whether it is worth training support personnel.
Agreed, it's all about getting the low hanging fruit. The problem I see with supporting Linux is the sheer number of different ways of doing stuff. Even if linux as a whole one day hit 50% market share on the desktop, that would probably be split between 5 different major distros (and many more minor ones), all with their own subtle (or not so subtle) differences. Thankfully things seem to be stabalizing in terms of installation managers, but IMHO it's a big shame some of the efforts a couple of years ago to standardize stuff failed. I guess Ubuntu is becoming the defacto standard instead now, for better or worse.

joeriz
2008-03-28, 07:10
I just want to add my data point to this discussion. I have had to deal with Logitech support once so far. I was extremely pleased that I got through to a live, english-speaking (hey, no offense, just happens to make my life easier) human being immediately. Moreover, the gentleman was very friendly and helpful. I can't say that for the vast majority of my interactions with customer support at other companies. Kudos!

Joe

ncarver
2008-03-28, 08:57
The fact that you have to provide a wikipedia link is very telling. This hasn't been a problem for years, I can say a lot of bad things about Windows but ease of installation is not one of them - even the article you link to points out that most of the problems discussed were fixed in w2k (that's 8 years ago). I personally can't think of a problematic installation of any software in the last 5 years.

Well I am a computer science professor, and I can tell you that our sysadmins spend a significant fraction of their time dealing with software problems on the WindowsXP machines. Personally, as an only occasional Windows user I can tell you that Adobe Photoshop Elements broke other softrware on my home XP machine last year (of course what got broken under XP is known to not run at all under Vista, so this has become irrelevant). Frankly, as a desktop Linux user, installing distro-supplied software (from like 4 dvds worth online) and a few other things like Firefox and Adobe Flash, I haven't had any software issues in years (until SqueezeCenter). So individual data points are really fairly meaningless. Windows has certainly improved a great deal since 95 days, but Linux software isn't the horrible mess that many Windows users seem to think it is.

Look, dependency problem are always going to be with us--if we are going to use shared libraries. Saying that MS "fixed" this 8 years ago is simply not true (just as 30 year old UNIX hasn't "fixed" the problem). They just quit letting any application change system DLLs, and provided approaches that *can* be used by developers to avoid issues (isolated applications and side-by-side assemblies--i.e., potentially having each application provide its own version of library components). It used to be fairly common practice for companies to have statically-linked versions of their Linux/UNIX software in order to completely avoid dependency issues. This is the only real way to fix the dependency issue--eliminate it! Frankly, as machines come to have larger disks and more ram, the need to use dynamically loaded and/or shared libraries becomes less and less critical.