Author Topic: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu  (Read 10447 times)

freymann

  • Douchebag
  • Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 380
    • View Profile
Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« on: March 17, 2008, 08:08:02 pm »
Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu

My experience with LinuxMCE was unsuccessful, frustrating, difficult, and
time consuming. I read the forums and wiki pages and searched the google for
information on LinuxMCE for at least a full 3 weeks before I decided to
dive in.

After reading online, I decided that my server was up to snuff, based
on the information provided here. My server will be a hybrid.

My server, which was bought the first week of Dec 07, has been running
Ubuntu 7.10 perfectly. It has a very good nVidia 8400 video card with 512MB
of RAM. 2 GB memory, 250GB Sata HD and Sata DVD-RW. It works fine. During
my 8 days of hell trying to run LinuxMCE the most it ever ran without
requiring a hard or soft reset was 1 day, and that was only because I
had stopped using the mouse and keyboard on the server to fiddle, I was
doing things remotely. As soon as I would go to the machine and select
KDE desktop, when I was done the software would blow up fairly quickly
afterwards. My server locked up all the time. Somebody said, maybe your
hardware should be changed out. I don't think so. It ran Ubuntu 7.10
just fine, and it runs MythBuntu 7.10 just fine now too.

After reading this:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/KnownIssues_0710_Beta4

I unchecked the nVidia option, installed the patch for MythTV and did the
fix for the sort thing.

I had some newbie issues, and I thought I would document my experience
for the benefit of others:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=4530.msg26599#msg26599

I also believe that having the USB dongle installed on bootup was a
problem. Installation worked fine with it removed. This is not
documented but is "hinted" about in the forums.

I had issues setting up with one network card, but that shouldn't have been
a problem because it says you can do it, and it says that right here:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php?title=DHCP_Plug_and_Play#Single_NIC_.26_Existing_DHCPd

Turns out the information provided is incorrect, and fortunately, this
thread in the forums produced real working results. My thanks to 1audio

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=4574.msg26843#msg26843

My next journal entry:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=4541.msg26661#msg26661

I thought I had provided good detail, but to this day nobody has offered
up any suggestions to my issues there.

I keep seeing messages about the IVTV software, so I post another
message with links and specific questions:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=4545.msg26678#msg26678

No replies. This is confusing too:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Hauppauge_WinTV-PVR-150_MCE

And my 3rd journal type entry:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=4548.msg26688#msg26688

But no responses from techs or developers.

Next on my list was to try and get LinuxMCE to change the channels on my
external Bell Dish 4700 Receiver. Good luck trying to find any information
on how this is done.
Documentation for this is extremely poor and conflicting.
I specifically bought two PVR-150-MCE with the IR Transceiver bean bag and
dongles. Why? Because I read this page:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Windows_MCE_Receiver

Now, tell me that the page above doesn't say this:

"IR Transmitter is supported with driver module lirc_mceusb2 version >= 0.24 (lirc-0.8.2)"

but in the next line it says

"However, the transmitter is not currently supported in LinuxMCE"

but in the next line it says

"Workaround for channel changing in MythTV Only"

If that makes sense to you then you are a brilliant mind. But since I took that
to mean it'll work with a little effort, I purchased what I did.

In the forums, the question about using the MCE Transceivers comes up
quite a bit and if you search, you'll see there are very few straight answers
on if they work. Most replies suggest using USB-UIRT's but nobody seems to
have the balls to come right out and say, "NO!"

Upon reflection, tschak909 says it here though:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=4440.msg26153#msg26153

but by then it's too late for me.

So I post a very specific question about my dish and remote:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=4569.msg26793#msg26793

and tschak909 convinces me to just give up and purchase a couple USB-UIRTs
and my life will be rosey. A few days later, I decide to order them online
as things are sorta working.

I also bought some X10 Home Automation equipment, based on what I was
reading here:


http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/CM11

and here:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=4456.0

I have a:

CM11A
KR10A
RR501
LM465 x 2


which still hasn't arrived, but I'd be happy to sell this to whoever wants the
box.
It cost me $45 U.S. plus shipping. You can have them all for $45 CDN and I'll
pay for shipping to North America destinations.

So next up, I know I need a computer for the master bedroom and living room, to act
as Media Directors.

Once again I scout the web to see what might work.

I look at the hardware specs for mainboards:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Category:Mainboards

and for video:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Category:Video

and graphic cards:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Category:Graphic_Cards

I decide on a barebones box from a dealer not far away, that uses and AMD 4200+
CPU, has 1 GB of RAM, has onboard nVideo video, etc. I need to use SVideo out for
this box, so I buy a nVidia 7200 GS PCIe card to pop in there.

For the bedroom, I wanted something a little smaller and I found a neat HTPC on
eBay that contains the via board. Based on this information:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/VIA_EPIA_Mini-ITX
and
http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Via_PC2500e-gOS

I figured this would be fine. Fiire uses similar equipment, and the forums had
some threads on drivers, like:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=2519.msg11991#msg11991

I didn't think this would be a big issue, but on the day it arrived, I fired it
up and Network booting the thing was a pain. It froze the core. Rebooted both. It
wouldn't load X. I posted a message:

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=4624.msg27051#msg27051

totallymaxed and darrenmason had some good advice, but after hours of fiddling
with commands I was about done. I also utilized the live chat feature too.

And then I decided to install the PVR-150-MCE card into the MD for the living room
and when it reboots? it freezes at the same point each and every time. Take the
card out? It boots. When it freezes? it shut down my entire network.

So now I have two media directors with issues, a core that freezes or requires
reboots constantly, and a week of my life has passed me by, a few things are
still being delivered, and NOTHING WORKS PROPERLY!

In all fairness, I did discover that the PVR-150 card I got off eBay is one that
contains a chip with bugs. It has the cx23415 chipset that is documented somewhere
(I can't find it) as causing problems. It's on the shelf collecting dust but I
did use the MCE remote and ir transceiver. Actually, there were two bean bag
transceivers in the box. Bonus! I ordered a brand new PVR-150-MCE kit from Tiger
Direct and that'll be here soon.

But after all this, I gave up on LinuxMCE. It just wasn't worth the hassles!
I feel sorry for any newcomer who thinks they are going to have an amazing system
as shown in the Demo Video (which I totally detest, as it's very misleading!).

If that's YOU reading this post, good luck! You have no idea what you're getting
yourself into!


I have since switched over to MythBuntu 7.10 with latest updates.

http://www.mythbuntu.org/

and being an avid fan of Ubuntu, I'm thrilled to be back into their forums:

http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=301

where there is plenty of useful information and plenty of friendly people all
happy to give out advice and tips. I contribute as well.

And funny, all three of my computers work just peachy keen with MythBuntu. No more
reboots and lockups. It just works.

I definitely prefer the way MythTV handles music, photos and videos. The interface
with LinuxMCE for those items is very poor. I never figured out how to tell LinuxMCE
to play my entire music collection in random order. MythTV? A few keystrokes. I
never liked seeing my photos in a small square on LinuxMCE. MythTV? Full screen (on
a 4:3 ration, and definitely larger on 16:9). MythTV is also easier to do a slideshow
or move around folders.

Adding thmbnails and IMDB info to avi files in MythTV is fairly painless. I think I
got LinuxMCE to look up information on one avi file for me in all the time I
fiddled with it.

Oh, and did I mention that my MCE remotes and transceivers work just fine in MythTV?

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=4527005#post4527005

Once again the ubuntu forums proved extremely useful, and things "just work" and it
doesn't take days to do what should be simple tasks.

I have two brand new USB-UIRTs coming (yah, they aren't even here yet) that are
for sale.

One is $50 and the other is $55 cause it has the 56 hertz thing. You can buy them from
me at that price (CDN) and I'll pay for shipping to North American destinations just
to get rid of them.

LinuxMCE is far from ready for the masses. Equipment support is very narrow, and your
online documentation is terrible. There's either no information on how to do certain
tasks or the information there is out of date, incomplete or conflicting. I found it
extremely difficult to get a straight answer or to find the exact steps to solve my
issues. I think you need to regroup, reorganize and redocument.

The "concept" is great.... however I don't think the general public should be
acting as your Alpha or Beta testers when support and feedback is so hard to come
by.

hari

  • Administrator
  • LinuxMCE God
  • *****
  • Posts: 2421
    • View Profile
    • ago control
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 08:50:38 pm »
Thank you for your input. Some suggestions:

* if you have multiple problems split the posts, otherwise not everybody will read your full posts. It's easy to overlook a topic where one could help.
* bashing does not help.
* you are comparing apples and oranges. If MythBuntu fits your needs, perfect. But LMCE is more than a media center. YMMV.
* this is free software. Nobody forces you to "alpha test" it.

best regards,
Hari
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

teedge77

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 591
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2008, 09:21:11 pm »
hari has some good points. most people just skim posts and look for parts that interest them or that they have knowledge of. i understand you wanted to document/blog your time with linuxmce, but you really should have had smaller posts for things you wanted help with. it was a lot to digest and im sure most people didnt make it far enough into your post to see what you wanted help with.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
Asus M2V Via AM2 ATX
Lite-On LH-20A1S SATA DVD Burner
80GB  SATA-150
EVGA GeForce 7300 GT 512MB DDR2 PCI Express
Sound Blaster Audigy SE
Kingston 2 GB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz
Ultra X-Finity 800-Watt
ZCU000
Cisco 7970
TDM400P

golgoj4

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1095
  • hrumpf!
    • View Profile
    • Mah Website
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2008, 10:23:23 pm »
bye.
Official Releases
http://deb.linuxmce.org/QOrbiter-release.apk latest Qt4 android apk  http://deb.linuxmce.org/QOrbiterQt5-release.apk for the Qt5 Android version http://deb.linuxmce.org/QOrbiter-release.dmg for the MacOSX version

Unstable Nightlies
http://langstonball.com/downloads

skeptic

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 615
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2008, 11:10:32 pm »
I am also new to LinuxMCE and switched to it from a perfectly fine MythTV setup.  Much aggravation later I was about to switch back and posted a message to that effect describing some of my troubles, which finally got some helpful responses.  With those I was able to get a semi-working setup which is overall inferior to a dedicated MythTV setup, but with potential. 

I don't understand some of the compatibility issues either.  Remote controls, external devices, and even U1/U2/U3 I understand, but why you can install MythBuntu on an older box with no problems, but LinuxMCE crashes, doesn't support certain hardware, or doesn't boot just doesn't make sense to me.  Regardless of what the wiki says, don't try to use a LMCE box as as desktop, as I've found you are just asking for trouble.

However, I have been out of town for a couple weeks just after I got LMCE 710b3 barely working and during this time I've decided to limp along until the official 710 is released.  At that time I will build a dedicated core as well as MDs.  I will also change my network config to match what LMCE wants.  I'm not doing this because I think LMCE is better as a media center, or looks nicer (I prefer the MythTV style menu system), but because of the home automation potential.  Enough other people have it running that I'm confident with the right hardware it will work.  I'm also not going to try any more beta releases because I don't have a dedicated core and I don't want to spend a few days messing with it while my desktop is non-functioning and my internet services such as e-mail and web are not functioning. 

I will agree that if you want help, limit it to one problem per post, be concise, and be specific.  On the other hand, I really don't like the posts that are unhelpful or tell people to go away if they don't like the way things are.  The whole point of LMCE is to be easy for the end user.  That's why everything is so automated and fine tuned control is difficult if not impossible to get to, at least as I understand it.  Telling people to go away or just live with it when they post a legit complaint doesn't do any more good than someone posting a bunch of complaints.  LMCE IS frustrating, it can be a PITA, there is a steep learning curve, and not everything works they way people think it does.  I speak from experience when I say after hours of fighting to get something to work, posting questions here can come off with a definite "LMCE SUCKS!!!" tone.  Probably the most frustrating thing of all is how misleading the video and wiki are.  To anyone new to LMCE I would strongly argue against trying to use existing hardware, it's just too much of a crap shoot.  I realize upfront monetary expense in order to try something new is a bit of a gamble, but the hours of frustration it would save more than makes up for it.  As it is, once I setup a dedicated LMCE core I will need to re-install my desktop from scratch just to get it fully functioning again.

diesel12

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2008, 12:00:50 am »
quitter.

alexperi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2008, 12:18:35 am »
I'll add to the pessimism....
I find that the boards are just too generic (Users/ Installation issues / Archives)
It is not the case that you find someone there and then - online that knows the problem that you are facing and its solution.
In a generic pool such as "Users", your post is lost too quickly and you never get your question answered.
I think the guys who are developing are doing hard work but they are not setting up the forums in a smart way to support the product.

orionsune

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2008, 12:54:17 am »
Quote
I'll add to the pessimism....
I find that the boards are just too generic (Users/ Installation issues / Archives)
It is not the case that you find someone there and then - online that knows the problem that you are facing and its solution.
In a generic pool such as "Users", your post is lost too quickly and you never get your question answered.
I think the guys who are developing are doing hard work but they are not setting up the forums in a smart way to support the product.

I might disagree with the conributing developers and techies on stuff, but I have to speak up for them here.

I've been on many boards, some with simple categories like this one, and some with multitudes of categories.  If there were more categories, people will still be posting in the wrong sections... it's just an inherit trait of human beings to not read/think before they post/act.

Not setting the forums up in a smart way to support the product?  I've used the forums to solve random issues of mine, very successfully.  I've found all the support i've needed so far, there are some really great people here.  Which brings me to why I am shocked at your "smart way to support the product" comment.  This is a community of mostly hobbyist that all contribute to solve each others issues and bugs.  If you can't contribute, then don't complain.  I don't recommend this product for any Novice users or under anyways.  At least not in it's current state. Remember, free product = community support, paid product = better support.
entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

danielk

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 153
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2008, 01:06:28 am »
I would just like to say that the LinuxMCE developers have no problem with Ubuntu or Mythbuntu for that matter. Paul made a very good choice when he decided on kubuntu as the base.

We are working on hardware and driver problems for the 710 release. The two NIC requirement for simple setup will stay for the foreseeable future since much of what LinuxMCE does which Mythbuntu can not depends on having an internal and external network; yes it is possible to use one NIC, but this is by no means a simple thing to accomplish.

I hope you will give LinuxMCE another try in the future. I think we're doing well for a young distro and 710 and 804 are looking better by the day. But of course -- I am a little biased.

1audio

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 552
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2008, 07:22:18 am »
I have been using 704 for many months and only a few problems, mostly created by me. I have not tried 710 because I need something that works. 710 is still beta and problems are still surfacing every day. Its a very large and complex beast and won't easily rev to new versions. (Look how long it takes the 1000's of programmers to just fix the released version of Vista, and then realize that there are less than 20 real programmers actually working on Linuxmce and what they have already accomplished.)

The point being that for someone to try LMCE but use the beta instead of the known working version and then complain that its a beta and not usable seems a little naive.

chrisbirkinshaw

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2008, 11:06:17 am »
The old pluto boards were subdivided into small sections for each system component, but nobody read your post if it was in an area which was not busy. Therefore people always just posted in the sub-board with the most posts...!



alexperi

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2008, 04:23:12 pm »
I never suggested over-complicating the forums but having it broken down to components like modo/graphics/cpu/audio/remote-controls etc. is fairly straight forward and i think that on the whole would be helpfull.

"orionsune" i think we should agree to disagree if you are suggesting that the majority of users will not follow such simple categorisation. Some will but most will not!

mikester

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2008, 04:42:44 pm »
I have been using 704 for many months and only a few problems, mostly created by me. I have not tried 710 because I need something that works. 710 is still beta and problems are still surfacing every day. Its a very large and complex beast and won't easily rev to new versions. (Look how long it takes the 1000's of programmers to just fix the released version of Vista, and then realize that there are less than 20 real programmers actually working on Linuxmce and what they have already accomplished.)

The point being that for someone to try LMCE but use the beta instead of the known working version and then complain that its a beta and not usable seems a little naive.

This is a good point, and I would be interested in hearing other people's experiences of the stability of 0704 final vs. the 0710 betas.  I am certainly willing to install the older version and wait for the new version to get out of beta, if the stability is significantly better.

One problem a lot of us noobs probably are facing is that the beta versions are prominently linked to from the main page, which leads most newcomers into jumping right in with beta softare.  In fact, I had to search around for a few minutes to even find the torrents for the 0704 download.

Maybe a helpful improvement to the site would be to change to download page to list the latest stable build (0704) and the newest build separately.  This is how other open source projects do things (I'm thinking Eclipse, which I'm very familiar with), so you always know if you are downloading the stable version or the "bleeding edge" version.

chrisbirkinshaw

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2008, 05:23:17 pm »
Perhaps separate forums for stable and unstable would be useful.


Zaerc

  • Alumni
  • LinuxMCE God
  • *
  • Posts: 2256
  • Department of Redundancy Department.
    • View Profile
Re: Why I left LinuxMCE for MythBuntu
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2008, 05:57:15 pm »
I feel that the only change on this forum we really need is an additional yawning smilie for threads like these...
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
-- Anonymous