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martin@ntl
2004-07-11, 05:04
"easier" is in the eye of the beholder. If you've never used linux then I'd suggest that it's not easy to install, configure, and use a linux server. I have been considering it, as a way to teach myself linux, but I don't have a spare machine to use, and don't at the moment want to buy one. Maybe I will if I have the time.

As for stability, my work XP machine hasn't crashed in 18 months, though I turn it off at weekends. So, I'm astonished at Slimserver which forces me to turn the machine off every hour or two.. I've never come across another program that does that.

I first thought my XP problem happened when the wireless signal strength dropped, but I don't think that's the case. The problem seems worse when I use a large music folder (1500 songs rather than 20, though it's crashed with a 20 song folder). Perhaps I have some corrupt files, although crashes aren't associated with particular tracks. I note that some of my mp3s are recorded on the squeezxebox as 3 or 4 times their real length, and time passes at 3 or 4 times the normal rate as they play, although they sound ok.


Martin
-----------------------------------


First this is certainly not a fix for any bugs that might be in the XP
version.

However have you considered running a dedicated machine for the
SlimServer, and running Linux on it? Having a dedicated machine is
usually a good idea because you do not want the slimserver interfering
with your main workstation and you do not want disruptions on the main
workstation interfering with the slimserver. Also the slimserver does
not need to be a speed demon. I am using an old Athlon 900 mhz to
server out 3000 songs in FLAC format, and I do transcode to mp3 for my
softsqueeze.

As for using linux on for it. Couple of reasons,
1. Perl works better on linux. ActivePerl for windows is nice, but it
just does not compare to how perl runs on linux.
2. It is easier to keep a liunx box stable than a windows box (note I
said easier, which does not mean it is "always more stable"). I have
had Linux boxes running without reboot for more than 300 days, and
usually then only got rebooted for a kernel patch or I moved.
3. Linux is much easier to strip to a very low overhead system.

Again if there is a bug with the XP version the above is not to say the
fix is to use the linux version. The XP version should be fixed. Just
saying that for any type of "server" I would not use XP as the machine
running the server.

John Hunt wrote:
> After a week of playing with the Slim Server settings, watching my
> computer grinding to a halt, having to constantly reset the Slim Box
> I've decided it's going back. It's a great concept but I don't have the
> time to strip windows down to the bare bones, remove all electrical
> devices nearby or whatever it takes to have both the computer and slim
> server talk to each other for more than a few songs.
>
>
>
> I've only had one day where it didn't crash the computer completely.
> Sorry, it ran for a day or two then I closed it and when I tried to
> restart it, it hung so I hit cancel, and tried again and ended up with
> two copies of slim.exe running and one of slimserver.exe, all 3
> impervious to CTRL-ALT-DEL, when this happens (quite regularly) the
> computer won't even shut down, I have to hit reset or pull the power.
>
>
>
> I reckon I've spent 12 hours or so far this week on a plug and play
> device and it's still not working.

Jack Coates
2004-07-11, 08:39
>
> "easier" is in the eye of the beholder. If you've never used linux then
> I'd suggest that it's not easy to install, configure, and use a linux
> server. I have been considering it, as a way to teach myself linux, but I
> don't have a spare machine to use, and don't at the moment want to buy
> one. Maybe I will if I have the time.
>

I can agree with that -- I've been using Windows for work in the last few
months. It's my first serious exposure to Windows after about four years
of using Linux only, and it's been a hard learning experience; for me,
Windows is not the easier OS at all. Two different, largely incompatible
name resolution systems, a different little tool to do any useful
function, no meaningful command line, continual reboots, and most logging
is of the type "The description for Event ID (number) in Source (program)
cannot be found."

Anyone who tells you Windows is easy hasn't spent enough time to learn the
alternatives.

> As for stability, my work XP machine hasn't crashed in 18 months, though I
> turn it off at weekends. So, I'm astonished at Slimserver which forces me
> to turn the machine off every hour or two.. I've never come across another
> program that does that.
>

Any modern OS can be coddled into stability with more or less effort; I
don't think much of XP, but 2000 with service packs and 2003 are
reasonable server platforms. The key is to administer it; whoever started
selling computers as "easy home appliances" has a lot to answer for.

> I first thought my XP problem happened when the wireless signal strength
> dropped, but I don't think that's the case. The problem seems worse when I
> use a large music folder (1500 songs rather than 20, though it's crashed
> with a 20 song folder). Perhaps I have some corrupt files, although
> crashes aren't associated with particular tracks. I note that some of my
> mp3s are recorded on the squeezxebox as 3 or 4 times their real length,
> and time passes at 3 or 4 times the normal rate as they play, although
> they sound ok.
>

I think you probably have some corrupted files or more likely, some
corrupt ID3 tags. I would do the following:

Disable all plugins, especially MoodLogic and iTunes.
Give Slimserver half your music folder; if it still crashes, cut that in
half. Continue until it's not crashing any more or you're left with a
single directory.
Play that directory with xmms or winamp and check its tags with easytag or
whatever tagger is used in Windows... MusicMatch? Make sure it has
capability for id3v2 and id3v1 tags, as Slimserver is looking at both.

I'd also enable debugging and tail the logfile while you're at it --
probably d_mp3 and d_parse? Someone else can explain how to tail a file on
Windows, I'd really like to know myself :)

--
Jack At Monkeynoodle.Org: It's A Scientific Venture...
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,
signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not
fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." -- President Dwight D.
Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

Denny Page
2004-07-11, 12:27
I run Linux and WinXP 24x7. Both are stable systems. While I would say that Linux has a slight edge on stability, WinXP is fine. I run Slimserver on WinXP.

Given that Slimserver runs as a normal process (no device driver hooks, etc.), it is very unlikely that the problem is Slimserver. Much more likely that you have a driver problem with your network card, or your security settings.

Try this experiment. If you have Slimserver installed as a system server, stop the service. Log in a normal user (one without Administrator privilege), and run Slimserver. If this actually crashes your system, then the problem is definitely not Slimserver, but the Windows system install itself.

Yes, you can stop using Slimserver, and this will make the crashes go away for now. But they will likely come back when some other usage pattern triggers the problem...

Make sure that your Windows system is current (Windows Update). Also make sure that you have the current driver for your network card. Note: Don't depend on Windows Update for your network card--go to the manufacturer's site directly.
Denny

andreas
2004-07-11, 15:22
Jack Coates wrote:
> Someone else can explain how to tail a file on Windows, I'd really like to know myself :)

OT: Google for tail.exe :)

/a

Jack Coates
2004-07-11, 18:03
> Is this any use (from the event log from before I tried what you
> suggested).
> 5 errors a few minutes apart
>
>
>
> Faulting application slimserver.exe, version 5.3.0.1, faulting module
> slimserver.exe, version 5.3.0.1, fault address 0x0000879d.
>
>
>
> Fault bucket 120739624.
>
>
>
> Hanging application SlimServer.exe, version 5.3.0.1, hang module hungapp,
> version 0.0.0.0, hang address 0x00000000.
>
>
>
> Hanging application iexplore.exe, version 6.0.2900.2149, hang module
> hungapp, version 0.0.0.0, hang address 0x00000000.
>
>

sure smells like network card driver to me.


--
Jack At Monkeynoodle.Org: It's A Scientific Venture...
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,
signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not
fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." -- President Dwight D.
Eisenhower, April 16, 1953