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tbessie
2008-08-04, 15:02
Hey all...

I have been thinking of buying the SqueezeBox Controller. However, I see various issues with them discussed here, and almost no responses from support staff on the forums.

Granted, I haven't read every post in every thread, but I have yet to find one support person replying to these issues with a solution.

Are support staff on vacation now? Otherwise occupied? Been instructed to hold off on replying until the next firmware release?

It's making me very leery of buying one...

- Tim

MrSinatra
2008-08-04, 15:08
my sbc works pretty well, and i think they're pretty responsive here.

what issue are you worried about?

pfarrell
2008-08-04, 15:11
tbessie wrote:
> I have been thinking of buying the SqueezeBox Controller. However, I
> see various issues with them discussed here, and almost no responses
> from support staff on the forums.

This is a user forum.
It is not an official support forum, and its not a good way to get
official support. If you want real support, I've found them very
responsive. But this is not where you get them. You can call the 800 or
send email to the support address

Also, note that forums tend to have folks posting about problems. Many
folks have no problems.

Most of the problems that folks with Controllers have is really networking.

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

Mark Miksis
2008-08-04, 15:11
IMO, there should be no expectation that support staff will respond to forum questions. These are community forums. Support can be contacted at support@slimdevices.com (among other methods).

Also note that, like most forums, you will see posts from people having problems and not from those for whom everything works. It's hard to judge the stability of a product from forum posts.

tbessie
2008-08-04, 15:21
IMO, there should be no expectation that support staff will respond to forum questions. These are community forums. Support can be contacted at support@slimdevices.com (among other methods).

Also note that, like most forums, you will see posts from people having problems and not from those for whom everything works. It's hard to judge the stability of a product from forum posts.

Arright. :-)

Some of the issues looked like they were posted by knowledgeable people who'd try not to bring it up until they had researched their networks, etc. first, tho'; perhaps I was spoiled by lots of support involvement here in the past, that's all.

- Tim

ModelCitizen
2008-08-04, 15:34
Perhaps I was spoiled by lots of support involvement here in the past, that's all.
There's still loads of staff/developer involvement...

MC

bhaagensen
2008-08-04, 16:55
perhaps I was spoiled by lots of support involvement here in the past, that's all.


Donno what the forums used to be like in the early days, but I imagine that they might be different now, not worse or bad in any way, but different. One has to take into account that replacing SlimServer with SqueezeCenter, and more importantly the introduction of the Duet has probably required a massive development effort and they are still very busy ironing out some of the issues causing lots of folks various degrees of problems. The Duet is really quite an advanced little piece of gear which has been developed very fast. Moreover I could imagine that they are selling orders of magnitude more devices now that they are under the Logitech brand. And perhaps they've also expanded their customer-segments to include more types of users, e.g. people with little or no understanding of computers, networks and such. All things which could explain the present form of these forums compared to how it used to be.

Anyway just me speculating in the evolution of these forums. The old Slimdevices folks still hang around and often contribute in various threads. And then there are all the regulars, 3. party developers, audio-nerds etc. who all are incredibly knowledgeable about all kinds of stuff. All in all, give it a chance and see if doesn't still work for you.

Nonreality
2008-08-04, 22:56
You want support staff, give them a call. Yeah they hang here a bit but not their job. It's not like they wait here until you or I have a question. This is a forum and they do jump in to help a bit but only when they can or happen to see it I would assume. You might want to change the title of this thread so people don't think they are messing up please because they aren't.

tbessie
2008-08-06, 15:37
You want support staff, give them a call. Yeah they hang here a bit but not their job. It's not like they wait here until you or I have a question. This is a forum and they do jump in to help a bit but only when they can or happen to see it I would assume. You might want to change the title of this thread so people don't think they are messing up please because they aren't.

I don't think I can change the thread title, can I, unless I'm an admin?
Just tried, and only managed to change the title of my posting.

- Tim

MrSinatra
2008-08-06, 16:44
don't sweat it.

Milhouse
2008-08-07, 02:25
There does seem to be a much reduced level of interest from developers/support staff where Controller/network issues are concerned - we don't even get suggestions as to what logs could be gathered which may help pinpoint the issue, in fact we get pretty much nothing at all which is very unlike the "old days".

In the recent past I have been guilty of suggesting that Conbtroller network problems were due to duff routers not implementing PSM correctly, but now that I have a Controller which fails to work with a known-good PSM implementation that clearly isn't always the cause of these problems. My Controller has had to be returned due to a faulty << button, but when I get a replacement and it continues to have problems I'll open a support ticket by email (no way am I making a transatlantic phone number to discuss faulty software, which would cost me a fortune). However the apparent lack of interest in Controller/network bugs from Slim Devices on the forums is quite worrying - perhaps it's the influence of Logitech. I even added to a bug in bugzilla, which has been ignored.

One thing that did make me laugh - this morning I received a boiler plate email from Michael Valera asking me to fill in a customer questionnaire regarding my Duet purchase, starting out with "We hope you are enjoying your purchase" etc. Well guess what Michael, no I'm f*****g not! :)

tbessie
2008-08-08, 00:08
There does seem to be a much reduced level of interest from developers/support staff where Controller/network issues are concerned - we don't even get suggestions as to what logs could be gathered which may help pinpoint the issue, in fact we get pretty much nothing at all which is very unlike the "old days".

In the recent past I have been guilty of suggesting that Conbtroller network problems were due to duff routers not implementing PSM correctly, but now that I have a Controller which fails to work with a known-good PSM implementation that clearly isn't always the cause of these problems. My Controller has had to be returned due to a faulty << button, but when I get a replacement and it continues to have problems I'll open a support ticket by email (no way am I making a transatlantic phone number to discuss faulty software, which would cost me a fortune). However the apparent lack of interest in Controller/network bugs from Slim Devices on the forums is quite worrying - perhaps it's the influence of Logitech. I even added to a bug in bugzilla, which has been ignored.

One thing that did make me laugh - this morning I received a boiler plate email from Michael Valera asking me to fill in a customer questionnaire regarding my Duet purchase, starting out with "We hope you are enjoying your purchase" etc. Well guess what Michael, no I'm f*****g not! :)

If/when you get satisfaction from either your replacement controller working, or support responding to your support request, would you mind reporting back here what the resolution is? I'm curious to find out what they say. Do you think you'll ask them if they wouldn't mind replying to the posts here that you're referring to?

- Tim

Patrick Dixon
2008-08-08, 01:30
However the apparent lack of interest in Controller/network bugs from Slim Devices on the forums is quite worrying - perhaps it's the influence of Logitech. I even added to a bug in bugzilla, which has been ignored.One of the things that's happened is that the user base has grown significantly and these forums are a lot busier as a result. The people who have helped in the past are probably overwhelmed with the number of users who are looking for networking help, and having answered the same or similar questions many times in the past, it wouldn't be surprising if their interest waned slightly. Rather than comment on the lack of help here, I'd like to applaud those people who have consistently helped others here time and time again. kdf, Fletch and bpa are just three that spring to mind, but there are many others, and many that support their various plugins and addons.

So if you want support, you should contact Logitech: if you want help, you many find it here either by searching or asking. And if someone helps you, howabout trying to help a couple of others here if you can?

If you can get someone else to verify your bug, and/or if you can provide enough info for Logitech to reproduce it, it stands a better chance of being addressed. In any event, getting it into bugzilla is good, because someone else with the same issue can search it and add their own comments.


One thing that did make me laugh - this morning I received a boiler plate email from Michael Valera asking me to fill in a customer questionnaire regarding my Duet purchase, starting out with "We hope you are enjoying your purchase" etc. Well guess what Michael, no I'm f*****g not! :)

I'm sure Michael wants to hear the bad news as well as the good, so please return it.

erland
2008-08-08, 01:49
One of the things that's happened is that the user base has grown significantly and these forums are a lot busier as a result. The people who have helped in the past are probably overwhelmed with the number of users who are looking for networking help, and having answered the same or similar questions many times in the past, it wouldn't be surprising if their interest waned slightly.

This is definitely the case, two years back there were no problem to read all posts in the "General" section, today I sometimes look there but I never read all posts, there is just too many of them. Often I just use the search functionality to find threads related to me or my plugins.

Something that would be really useful is if someone would take the time to write a good step by step troubleshooting guide for network problems on the wiki.

There is a few FAQ answers available here (http://slimdevices.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/slimdevices.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php?p_sid=Lvvz8Naj&p_lva=&p_li=&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_page=1&p_cv=&p_pv=&p_prods=0&p_cats=&p_hidden_prods=&prod_lvl1=0&p_search_text=network&srch_btn_submit=%C2%A0%C2%A0%C2%A0Search%C2%A0%C2% A0%C2%A0&p_new_search=1), but none is really a step by step guide that can be understood by someone who barely knows what a router is. I suppose the problem is that every network configuration looks somewhat different, so it could be hard to do a step by step guide that works in most of the cases.

Nonreality
2008-08-08, 01:55
I don't think I can change the thread title, can I, unless I'm an admin?
Just tried, and only managed to change the title of my posting.

- Tim
Oh sorry then. Me bad.

andynormancx
2008-08-08, 02:25
It is noticeable that a good proportion of the people here reporting Controller connectivity problems that they fail to solve are far from being networking newbies. It is worrying when people like Milhouse, who appears to have a good grasp of how networks work, can't get their Controllers to work.

Hopefully Milhouse's Controller was just a lemon and when he gets his new one it will just work. Fingers crossed.

Milhouse
2008-08-08, 02:32
Here we go...

My new Duet turned up yesterday and I was able to give it a spin for a couple of hours (actually, the Receiver stayed in the box as it's not currently required!)

First thing I did was check the Controller button diagnostics and they all work fine, yay! :) The Controller arrived with 7.01 firmware (sorry, can't recall the exact revision).

Next, I tried to connect the Controller to my 7.1 SqueezeCenter on Win2K3 over a Sveasoft (Talisman 1.3.1 on WRT54GS v2) WiFi connection - no joy, as before. The Controller had no problem establishing the WiFi connection (WPA2 Personal with TKIP) - that worked perfectly - but the Controller refused to acknowledge the SC or my SB3 existed.

Then I swapped out the Sveasoft router for my spare WRT54GS v2 running Tomato 1.21 (also with WPA2+TKIP) - this kind of worked with the previous Controller but to my surprise it no longer worked last night. I erased the NVRAM and reconfigured the router firmware but still no joy, exactly the same behaviour as with the Sveasoft firmware. I even tried downgrading the router to Tomato 1.19 but no change (and port forwarding still doesn't work - this may be a GS specific issue in Tomato). It's also possible that when Tomato worked with the previous Controller, I had already installed Controller firmware 7.1 - haven't tested this combination again yet.

Having established that Tomato was of no use, I reflashed Tomato with the latest official Linksys WRT54GS v2 firmware and configured it as a router (not a gateway) and connected it to my network so that now I have two WiFi networks: Sveasoft (my internet gateway, with firewall enabled etc.) on 192.168.0.2 and Channel 3 WiFi; Linksys firmware (router not gateway, no firewall) on 192.168.0.6 and Channel 6 WiFi. And... it all worked perfectly - the Controller connected to the Linksys WiFi network (channel 6) and it could see my SC and SB3 immediately, no lag, Controller firmware upgraded flawlessly, everything is good.

However running two WiFi networks isn't reasonable, and I don't particularly want to return to stock Linksys firmware.

Is anyone with a WRT54GS v2 willing to test Tomato 1.19/1.21 in a Gateway configuration, and see if it will work with a Controller?

Assuming this is all reproducible (I'd be happy to send anyone a backup copy of my troublesome routers config) then would it be too much to expect Slim Devices to take an interest in helping resolve a problem with what is probably the most prolific range of wireless routers on the planet (admittedly, when using popular after-market firmware)?

Over the weekend I'll try to capture more detailed logs if I get the time. I'll also try configuring the Linksys router as a gateway/enable the firewall and see if that makes any difference to the Controller.

Summary:

FAILURE: WRT54GS v2 with Sveasoft Talisman 1.3.1
FAILURE: WRT54GS v2 with Tomato 1.19
FAILURE: WRT54GS v2 with Tomato 1.21
SUCCESS: WRT54GS v2 with Linksys 4.71.4

erland
2008-08-08, 03:02
Assuming this is all reproducible (I'd be happy to send anyone a backup copy of my troublesome routers config) then would it be too much to expect Slim Devices to take an interest in helping resolve a problem with what is probably the most prolific range of wireless routers on the planet (admittedly, when using popular after-market firmware)?

Contact the Logitech support team via e-mail or phone, you will find the contact information in the "Support" menu at the top of the slimdevices.com web site.

If you are lucky someone from the support team will find this thread anyway, but to be sure you should really call or e-mail the support team directly. I assume that they like to prioritize problems from users that have actually contacted them through the official channels, before starting to search for things to do by looking in the "user to user" discussion forum.

If the problem isn't urgent, I would suggest that you at least register a bug report at bugs.slimdevices.com. The bug report will then be scheduled into an appropriate Controller firmware release if Logitech feels it is an important issue.

Milhouse
2008-08-08, 03:18
Contact the Logitech support team via e-mail or phone, you will find the contact information in the "Support" menu at the top of the slimdevices.com web site.

If you are lucky someone from the support team will find this thread anyway, but to be sure you should really call or e-mail the support team directly. I assume that they like to prioritize problems from users that have actually contacted them through the official channels, before starting to search for things to do by looking in the "user to user" discussion forum.

If the problem isn't urgent, I would suggest that you at least register a bug report at bugs.slimdevices.com. The bug report will then be scheduled into an appropriate Controller firmware release if Logitech feels it is an important issue.

You're right Erland - I should and will do that. Once I've had more time over the weekend to confirm/reproduce what I saw last night I'll open a new bug in Bugzilla (something along the lines that Controller/SC don't play nice with Linksys WRT54GS v2 with after-market firmware). I'll attach relevant SBC/SC and possibly even ethereal logs if I can, and also contact Support via email referencing the bug - a phone call is likely to be a waste of time & money.

Hard to say if Logitech/SD will see this is an important issue, but as there's an awful lot of WRT54GS-type routers out there, and many of us on here seem to be familiar with after-market firmwares it could be considered a problem waiting to happen for a lot of potential SBC owners. And the same (or similar) problem may even be affecting other unrelated routers, explaining the problems their owners are having. However the lack of interest expressed in the forums regarding Controller/WiFi problems suggests it won't get an awful lot of attention - I hope I'm wrong. Controller/WiFi issues seem to be one of the most commonly recurring problems right now (or maybe that's because they're the threads I pay most attention to!)

:)

bpa
2008-08-08, 03:32
However the lack of interest expressed in the forums regarding Controller/WiFi problems


I think it may be the perceived lack of interest.

Unlike SC where it is relatively easy for anybody to change and find bugs. The SBC is a full Linux system and the WiFi problem is probably a kernel / driver level with the driver being supplied by a vendor. AFAICT there are only one or two development guys who deal with that specialised area of SBC and they are very busy.

There will be two issues
(i) reproducing the bug
(ii) liaise with vendor to get driver changes and vendors are not always that responsive as they have their own QA procedures.

Then when a promising solution is found an SBC release has to be prepared. As a result of a problematic SBC firmeware release there is an intensive QA done even for betas.

So as I see it, changes/fixes to the SBC will always be slower to appear compared to changes/fixes to SC.

Milhouse
2008-08-08, 03:42
I think it may be the perceived lack of interest.

"Perception is everything", or so they say... :)



Unlike SC where it is relatively easy for anybody to change and find bugs. The SBC is a full Linux system and the WiFi problem is probably a kernel / driver level with the driver being supplied by a vendor. AFAICT there are only one or two development guys who deal with that specialised area of SBC and they are very busy.

There will be two issues
(i) reproducing the bug
(ii) liaise with vendor to get driver changes and vendors are not always that responsive as they have their own QA procedures.

Then when a promising solution is found an SBC release has to be prepared. As a result of a problematic SBC firmeware release there is an intensive QA done even for betas.

So as I see it, changes/fixes to the SBC will always be slower to appear compared to changes/fixes to SC.

I don't mind waiting if someone is taking/showing an interest and working towards resolving the problem... I'll even do what I can to help resolve the issue. My initial thoughts were to cut my losses, send it back and claim a refund as not being fit for purpose, but that isn't in the long term interests of everyone here who may face the same issue, or Logitech/SD. Once I've opened a new bug and registered a support case I guess we'll have a better idea how it's going to be taken forward.

funkstar
2008-08-08, 05:26
@ Milhouse

Your setup with third part firmwares might not be that common, but i think any information you can supply to SD on the issue will be useful. Although fixing and software problems just for that scenario isn't likely, the logs and debug information could well help correct more fundamental issues in the drivers/software/OS build.

Bugzilla would definitely be the best route to go, then It can't get lost and you can attach any logs etc as necessary.

erland
2008-08-08, 07:50
Once I've had more time over the weekend to confirm/reproduce what I saw last night I'll open a new bug in Bugzilla (something along the lines that Controller/SC don't play nice with Linksys WRT54GS v2 with after-market firmware). I'll attach relevant SBC/SC and possibly even ethereal logs if I can, and also contact Support via email referencing the bug - a phone call is likely to be a waste of time & money.

I agree, this sounds like a good plan.
Reproducing the problem and attaching various logs to the bug report will help a lot when Logitech likes to investigate this further.



However the lack of interest expressed in the forums regarding Controller/WiFi problems suggests it won't get an awful lot of attention - I hope I'm wrong. Controller/WiFi issues seem to be one of the most commonly recurring problems right now (or maybe that's because they're the threads I pay most attention to!)

Answering threads takes a lot of time and frustration when you don't get direct contact with the person with the problem, some people only posts a an initial question/problem and then reads the thread the next time two weeks later to check for an answer. Trying to provide support through the forum when you have a two week response time and no way to get in direct contact with the person who has the problem can be very frustrated. Sometimes the users don't even report back if a suggested solution solved the problem, so you never know when you can consider a problem posted in the forum as solved. I suppose this is some reasons why Logitech has choosen to primarily answer officially support requests, registered with mail or phone.

But note that just because no one posts answers in the threads doesn't mean they aren't reading/listening on the forum. I'm sure the Logitech developers and support personnel reads the forum and use it as a source to find things that needs to be improved/investigated in future software and hardware versions.

However, if you want to make sure something isn't lost, you will either need to register it as a bug report at bugs.slimdevices.com (if it isn't urgent) or as a support request via mail/phone (if it is urgent).

tbessie
2008-08-10, 01:09
@ Milhouse

Your setup with third part firmwares might not be that common, but i think any information you can supply to SD on the issue will be useful. Although fixing and software problems just for that scenario isn't likely, the logs and debug information could well help correct more fundamental issues in the drivers/software/OS build.

Bugzilla would definitely be the best route to go, then It can't get lost and you can attach any logs etc as necessary.

I remember there was a bug in bugzilla regarding frequent disconnections of the SB3 with SqueezeCenter, that took a year and a half (!) to fix; it ended up being something wrong with wireless key renewals:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=3778

(fix comment was: "I fixed a wireless key (GTK) renewal issue in firmware which prevented a player from receiving broadcast packets properly after a while. This might have been the cause of some of the reconnection issues reported here.")

That something as reasonably significant like this could stick around for a year and a half before being spotted, just goes to show how long something can exist, be reported by a lot of people, but not get fixed.

No complaints, I'm glad it's fixed, these things can be hard to find; just wish it was speedier. :-/

- Tim

erland
2008-08-10, 02:04
That something as reasonably significant like this could stick around for a year and a half before being spotted, just goes to show how long something can exist, be reported by a lot of people, but not get fixed.

No complaints, I'm glad it's fixed, these things can be hard to find; just wish it was speedier. :-/

I think the problem is that most people that has a problem wants it fixed immediately, preferably the same day but at least the same month or week. If there is a hardware issue this is often no problem, but if it is a software issue that only affects a specific type of environment a reasonable time is often a lot longer (unless you pay for support of these kind of issues). Many also want it fixed even without having to contact official support channels.

If you look at software issues from other companies I have to say that Logitech may not be worse than anybody else. As an example look at the time from a posted issue to Apple or Microsoft (if you haven't payed for extra support). I would imagine that their time is at least the same as Logitech, probably longer if the problem is even fixed at all. I can only imagine the day when Apple provides a fix due to a third party device which is using custom after market firmware, with Logitech (or SlimDevices) there is in my opinion really a hope to get corrections for things like that.

y360
2008-08-10, 04:28
The interaction of Slim staff with users should be applauded, especially considering that Slim got absorbed into Logitech
Where else are you going to find a guy in the position of Sean Adams rolling up his sleeves to handle bugs and respond directly to technical concerns ?
Where else are you going to find guys like Andy Grundman & Michael Herger and all the other Slim folks who respond immediately and openly to most relevant issues, even on the weekend ?
Where else are you going to find a community with the aggregated knowledge expressed in these forums ?
Where else are you going to find a product that keeps on improving at a rapid pace ?
Granted, it's a complex system and some problems are hard to track and fix, yet Slim Devices interaction with its customers is to be admired.

Milhouse
2008-08-10, 07:58
Bug #9094 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=9094) opened, configuring the Linksys firmware as a Gateway made no difference (it still worked, as it should) so it's not a gateway issue, it's entirely down to the after-market firmware doing something that the official firmware doesn't. What that something is I don't know - maybe it can be stopped with input to bug 9094 so that the Controller can work happily with all routers that do the same thing.

EDIT: I also opened a ticket with support referring them to bug 9094...