Author Topic: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!  (Read 14501 times)

Zaerc

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2008, 02:52:19 pm »
Seems to me that most of these issues are due to PEBKAC.

We need help from people adding their experience to the wiki, not endless moaning on the forum how everything is not "ready for prime time" just because a few certain users have some issues setting things up right.  Not to mention that most can't even be bothered to look into their own (usually self inflicted) problems.

Now for all the "valid issues" reported in here, try asking for help instead of jumping on yet another "linuxmce ate my baby" bandwagon that is going nowhere fast.  Either stop acting like customers, or go here and become one (without bothering us volunteers).

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freymann

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2008, 03:40:51 pm »
Seems to me that most of these issues are due to PEBKAC.

 Hmmm, really? In my tech support days we used to say "Problem Lies Between Keyboard and Monitor" too, and in some cases that was true, but the one thing we did know was that the hardware and software worked, and it worked for thousands of people (I'm referring to being in tech support for an ISP).

 But come on now, it's attitude like this that is hurting the project! and we were regularly reminded not to think that PLBKAM. It does a dis-service for the company and the customer (I know, us LinuxMCE wannabe 'users' aren't paying customers).

 I was able to build a working MythBuntu 7.10 system using 3 different computers in half a day [and probably due to my experiences with LinuxMCE over 8 days previous to that]. That is great, but there were still some advanced issues I needed help with and there were some general questions I was interested in asking. In the MythBuntu forums I was able to ask those questions, no matter how silly you may think they may be, and in 9 out of 10 cases I was given a reply (or replies) with helpful information and I walked away with a warm fuzzy feeling about things.

 I added two "how-to" posts concerning setting up my external channel changer and one longer post on controlling some X10 equipment. I also respond to those asking questions giving assistance when I can. Those forums are very helpful!

 You seriously need to bring some of that warm, fuzzy feeling to these forums.

 You and I both know if you keep seeing the same thing from a poster over and over you can spot which ones are beyond help, and there will be some of those. But some of you seem all to quick to scare the newbies away. These forums need to be much more welcoming than it is.

 Aren't the forums the place to ask questions? Aren't the forums for sharing experiences, good or bad?

 I can say that over the last couple months I have noticed an improvement in attitude in the forums. Although I've been using MythBuntu, from 7.10 to 8.04, I have been lurking in the forums, as I intend to give LinuxMCE another shot from time to time. Am I a little concerned that I may find it difficult to get help should I need it? You betcha!

 New users will need some hand holding. This applies to pretty well all [large] software. Yes, you'll get a wide variety of people, some smarter than others, and you will see the same problems over and over, but if you have those answers documented, it doesn't take much time to say "Hi new user! Your problem has been discussed before, please go here <link> to resolve your issues and if you have any other problems let us know."

 

Zaerc

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2008, 06:45:09 pm »
Seems to me that most of these issues are due to PEBKAC.

 Hmmm, really? In my tech support days we used to say "Problem Lies Between Keyboard and Monitor" too, and in some cases that was true, but the one thing we did know was that the hardware and software worked, and it worked for thousands of people (I'm referring to being in tech support for an ISP).

 But come on now, it's attitude like this that is hurting the project! and we were regularly reminded not to think that PLBKAM. It does a dis-service for the company and the customer (I know, us LinuxMCE wannabe 'users' aren't paying customers).

How nice of you to compare volunteering here with a payed job elsewhere, and then turn around to say you're aware that it totally does not apply.


I was able to build a working MythBuntu 7.10 system using 3 different computers in half a day [and probably due to my experiences with LinuxMCE over 8 days previous to that]. That is great, but there were still some advanced issues I needed help with and there were some general questions I was interested in asking. In the MythBuntu forums I was able to ask those questions, no matter how silly you may think they may be, and in 9 out of 10 cases I was given a reply (or replies) with helpful information and I walked away with a warm fuzzy feeling about things.

Asking for help is not the same thing as starting offensive threads about "how much mythbuntu sucks", please do try it and let's see what kind of feeling you'll get from that.


I added two "how-to" posts concerning setting up my external channel changer and one longer post on controlling some X10 equipment. I also respond to those asking questions giving assistance when I can. Those forums are very helpful!

And then they gave you a medal right?


You seriously need to bring some of that warm, fuzzy feeling to these forums.

First of all I don't "need" to do anything, but you're free to spread that "warm, fuzzy feeling" around as much as you like.  Oh that's right you only lurk here until the next bandwagon comes along to jump on.


You and I both know if you keep seeing the same thing from a poster over and over you can spot which ones are beyond help, and there will be some of those. But some of you seem all to quick to scare the newbies away. These forums need to be much more welcoming than it is.

I'd say just about anybody who jumps on these bandwagons is beyond help.  Unfortunately LinuxMCE isn't for everyone, might as well be realistic about that before they start more nonsense threads like this.  And thanks for sharing your opinion but as far as I'm concerned these forums are fine the way they are.


Aren't the forums the place to ask questions? Aren't the forums for sharing experiences, good or bad?

I wasn't aware that "linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!" was actually a question.  And whining isn't really the same as "sharing your experience", shame you can't tell the difference (although hardly surprising).


I can say that over the last couple months I have noticed an improvement in attitude in the forums. Although I've been using MythBuntu, from 7.10 to 8.04, I have been lurking in the forums, as I intend to give LinuxMCE another shot from time to time. Am I a little concerned that I may find it difficult to get help should I need it? You betcha!

Yeah I agree, there have been a lot fewer of these whining threads lately.  Now am I a little indifferent about other people's (especially lurkers) overly-dramatized concerns?  You betcha!


New users will need some hand holding. This applies to pretty well all [large] software. Yes, you'll get a wide variety of people, some smarter than others, and you will see the same problems over and over, but if you have those answers documented, it doesn't take much time to say "Hi new user! Your problem has been discussed before, please go here <link> to resolve your issues and if you have any other problems let us know."

As the saying goes: Nothing is to much trouble for somebody who doesn't have to do it himself...

"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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freymann

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2008, 07:36:41 pm »
Quote
How nice of you to compare volunteering here with a payed job elsewhere, and then turn around to say you're aware that it totally does not apply.

 You missed my point, again. Are you here to help? Are the forums here to help? After your reply to my message, I'm beginning to wonder about that. Do I demand you help? Heck no!

Quote
Asking for help is not the same thing as starting offensive threads about "how much mythbuntu sucks", please do try it and let's see what kind of feeling you'll get from that.

 That is quite true. What was the reason those threads start again? Because some users get frustrated. Again, I suggest the forums are here to help those trying to utilize LinuxMCE.

Quote
And then they gave you a medal right?

 Right. I'm merely trying to show that I am more than happy to participate and help when I can. You prefer to make jokes about that for some reason. I don't feel it necessary to give you my resume, but let's just say I'm 43 years old and I have a brain and my mention of participating in the MythBuntu Forums is meant to show that I can be helpful too, but I, like many others before me and those to come after me, will need assistance with LinuxMCE, and we would appreciate being dealt with respectfully, even if we ask the same questions that others before us have asked. We are newbies afterall. I spent a great deal of time researching the forums and wiki BEFORE I jumped in. I didn't just download the ISO, install it, and say, what a piece of crap. jeez.

Quote
First of all I don't "need" to do anything, but you're free to spread that "warm, fuzzy feeling" around as much as you like.  Oh that's right you only lurk here until the next bandwagon comes along to jump on.

It's comments like the above that I'm trying to point out do nobody any good. [shakes head]

If you search for my posts, you will see I struggled with my attempted setup and gave up. I've set up MythBuntu on 3 stations with great success. I've learned more. I have kept up with the forums here to see if any of my issues came up with other users, and to see if there were any solutions, and to see what new developments were going on with the project.

I don't call that waiting for the next "let's bash LinuxMCE" thread. I call it being smart, stepping back, watching, listening and learning, before jumping into LinuxMCE a second time. You seem to want to make light of my approach and I don't know why. You make fun but yet complain nobody does anything for themselves. I can tell you that I have done plenty on my own, but I still need help.

Quote
I wasn't aware that "linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!" was actually a question.  And whining isn't really the same as "sharing your experience", shame you can't tell the difference (although hardly surprising).

 You are correct, that isn't a question.

 I'm not back here to whine, and yes, I can tell the difference between the two issues you stated above. Please stop thinking of me as a useless idiot, and any of the other newbies that run into troubles.

 I've regrouped, I've done "more studying", I've spent more money on more equipment, I've gained working knowledge over the last few months, and I'm anxious to experiment with LinuxMCE. Do you want to pound me into the ground and make me go away?

 My posts to this thread are meant to make the experience here more pleasureable. If you decide you'd rather make fun of new users and drive them away, that is your choice, but that would be sad as you seem to have a vast amount of knowledge about LinuxMCE and I, and others, would certainly prefer to see you with your hand out, welcoming us, teaching us, again, when you can, when you have time.

 Perhaps we are both after the same things, we are just approaching it from opposite ends?

 P.S.

 My new machine arrived this morning and I'm just now walking through the screens with Sarah. I hope, when I have a question, somebody with knowledge or experience in these forums can offer a helping hand... maybe that will even come from you? Here's hopin.

Zaerc

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2008, 07:56:00 pm »
Quote
How nice of you to compare volunteering here with a payed job elsewhere, and then turn around to say you're aware that it totally does not apply.

 You missed my point, again. Are you here to help? Are the forums here to help? After your reply to my message, I'm beginning to wonder about that. Do I demand you help? Heck no!

Quote
Asking for help is not the same thing as starting offensive threads about "how much mythbuntu sucks", please do try it and let's see what kind of feeling you'll get from that.

 That is quite true. What was the reason those threads start again? Because some users get frustrated. Again, I suggest the forums are here to help those trying to utilize LinuxMCE.

Quote
And then they gave you a medal right?

 Right. I'm merely trying to show that I am more than happy to participate and help when I can. You prefer to make jokes about that for some reason. I don't feel it necessary to give you my resume, but let's just say I'm 43 years old and I have a brain and my mention of participating in the MythBuntu Forums is meant to show that I can be helpful too, but I, like many others before me and those to come after me, will need assistance with LinuxMCE, and we would appreciate being dealt with respectfully, even if we ask the same questions that others before us have asked. We are newbies afterall. I spent a great deal of time researching the forums and wiki BEFORE I jumped in. I didn't just download the ISO, install it, and say, what a piece of crap. jeez.

Quote
First of all I don't "need" to do anything, but you're free to spread that "warm, fuzzy feeling" around as much as you like.  Oh that's right you only lurk here until the next bandwagon comes along to jump on.

It's comments like the above that I'm trying to point out do nobody any good. [shakes head]

If you search for my posts, you will see I struggled with my attempted setup and gave up. I've set up MythBuntu on 3 stations with great success. I've learned more. I have kept up with the forums here to see if any of my issues came up with other users, and to see if there were any solutions, and to see what new developments were going on with the project.

I don't call that waiting for the next "let's bash LinuxMCE" thread. I call it being smart, stepping back, watching, listening and learning, before jumping into LinuxMCE a second time. You seem to want to make light of my approach and I don't know why. You make fun but yet complain nobody does anything for themselves. I can tell you that I have done plenty on my own, but I still need help.

Quote
I wasn't aware that "linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!" was actually a question.  And whining isn't really the same as "sharing your experience", shame you can't tell the difference (although hardly surprising).

 You are correct, that isn't a question.

 I'm not back here to whine, and yes, I can tell the difference between the two issues you stated above. Please stop thinking of me as a useless idiot, and any of the other newbies that run into troubles.

 I've regrouped, I've done "more studying", I've spent more money on more equipment, I've gained working knowledge over the last few months, and I'm anxious to experiment with LinuxMCE. Do you want to pound me into the ground and make me go away?

 My posts to this thread are meant to make the experience here more pleasureable. If you decide you'd rather make fun of new users and drive them away, that is your choice, but that would be sad as you seem to have a vast amount of knowledge about LinuxMCE and I, and others, would certainly prefer to see you with your hand out, welcoming us, teaching us, again, when you can, when you have time.

 Perhaps we are both after the same things, we are just approaching it from opposite ends?

 P.S.

 My new machine arrived this morning and I'm just now walking through the screens with Sarah. I hope, when I have a question, somebody with knowledge or experience in these forums can offer a helping hand... maybe that will even come from you? Here's hopin.


One of us is missing the point, but I don't think it's me. 
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freymann

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2008, 07:59:18 pm »
Quote
One of us is missing the point, but I don't think it's me. 

 Enough of this already. Let's get back to our regularly scheduled program... having fun with LinuxMCE! :-)

aaron.b

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2008, 12:28:55 am »
Re: your idea of ready for prime time = "LinuxMCE will load and run on a wide variety of hardware quite nicely"...

Hardware compatibility is a major challenge with Linux itself because many hardware vendors don't publicly release the specs for their hardware, nor do they release Linux drivers.  This is nothing particular to LinuxMCE.  LinuxMCE has a ton of it's own code (ie Pluto copyright), in addition to 3rd party FOSS (like MythTV), and the underlying foundation that Linux/Kubuntu provides.  Repeatedly we heard reports of "[whatever/Myth/Xine/MPlayer/Asterisk/etc.] works fine in Kubuntu natively, but not in LinuxMCE".  I heard this a lot especially re: MythTV.  Many, many, many times we tried to diagnose the issues by getting the exact same hardware the user reported he was using, and trying to run [whatever] both within LinuxMCE and on a clean Kubuntu install without LinuxMCE.  Nearly every time we ran into the same thing: The same problem existed both with and without LinuxMCE, and LinuxMCE had no effect.

Reading your post, it really doesn't sound like LinuxMCE could be causing the things you report...  Specifically:

1.) surround sound
LinuxMCE doesn't include it's own media player.  It uses Xine and MPlayer.  Both Xine and MPlayer talk directly to alsa with no intervention from LinuxMCE.  It doesn't make sense that LinuxMCE could have any effect here.  I've reproduced lots of issues with sound cards, and I know that some sound card drivers are pretty flaky, but I've never seen the sound behave worse with LinuxMCE than without it.  RE: "linuxmce doesn't change volume", a message is sent to app server, which calls the code:
void App_Server::CMD_Vol_Down(int iRepeat_Command,string &sCMD_Result,Message *pMessage)
which calls:
snd_mixer_selem_set_playback_volume(m_MixerElem, (snd_mixer_selem_channel_id_t)0, Volume);

That's a function call in Alsa, afaik, and it sets the master volume in alsa.  So I don't think LinuxMCE does anything special with the volume.  As far as surround sound, if you have the same settings in alsa & xine.conf both with and without LinuxMCE, it doesn't make sense that it works without LinuxMCE but not with it.

2.) ui2 w/ alpha blending

RE: "If we can't fix the nvidia driver, then we need a work around."  The video tearing is *awful*, and has prevented us from a lot of commercial deployments.  But it's always there when you turn on compositing, whether or not you use LinuxMCE.  And it's in the nVidia drivers.  We've nagged nVidia for 2 years to fix it, but they don't.  And the ATI, Via, Intel video drivers don't work well either, again with or without LinuxMCE.  The only "solution" we've found is to use non-X86 hardware (like a Sigma 8634-based set top box), where you get commercially licensed drivers.  This is very unfortunately because this hardware isn't available to the FOSS community.  But if you turn off alpha blending (ie ui2 with masking) most of the bad video tearing goes away and the video is acceptable.

3.) problems with mythtv

>> While watching tv, I can press "y" to change tuners...

LinuxMCE includes the stock MythTV binaries.  We don't modify them.  It doesn't make sense that this would work in a stock MythTV install and not with LinuxMCE

4.) random lockups!

All of LinuxMCE's modules run in user space and cannot cause lockups like you describe; they can cause core dumps, but not hard locks.  Every time I've seen lockups like you describe, it's something at the low-level, like kernel modules or drivers.  And 99% of the time it's the nVidia drivers.  I always have had the same lockups both with and without LinuxMCE.  The newest nVidia drivers, 169.12, have fixed some bugs, but seem more prone to lockups than some of the prior versions, though for some reason they're pretty stable on the 7025 chipsets.  For some reason, the drivers that came with LinuxMCE 0704 worked very solid with the nForce 6050 chipsets.  Now, the nVidia drivers in 0710 seem to lockup sometimes on the 6050's, but they are solid on the 7025's.  We have about a dozen test machines that run in constant stress-test loops day and night, so we're able to see clear patterns.

>> It just couldn't hold itself together.  Sad day....

The frustrating part about the post is that you're blaming LinuxMCE, but I didn't see anything concrete that gave real evidence that the problems were caused by LinuxMCE.  If there was a back trace, or a log, or something like that to show that LinuxMCE did something, then we'd be able to fix it.  For example, before the system hard locks there's usually a kernel panic.  If you connect the serial port to another console you can get a dump of the stack trace when that happens.  We've reseached hundreds and hundreds of kernel panics.  Most of the time it's the nVidia drivers.  Sometimes I've seen problems with the drivers for sata, ethernet, usb, firewire, etc.  But I've never once seen anything in LinuxMCE cause a lockup.

In my home I'm using as my core/hybrid a system based on the msi k9ngm3.  It has been running continually, used several times a day, since 0710 was released without ever crashing.  The main caveat is I don't use the TV capture because I've found the itvtv drivers lock up all the time. 

I agree with you completely that it's very important to the future of LinuxMCE that it runs on a variety of hardware.  And if you can report something specific that LinuxMCE is doing, we can get it fixed.

Afkpuz

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2008, 03:37:20 pm »
Hey, that's great news about the booth.  I'm just so disappointed that I didn't get the same plug and play experience that some of you guys are talking about.  I did follow the hardware documentation on the wiki, but alas, no dice.  I chose all my hardware based on what was written there.  Maybe we need better hardware documentation.  I guess I have to build an exact replica of a known-to-work system which is doable, just kinda lame.  I'm still hoping someone can tell me which aspect of my system was causing the hard lockups. 

here are my exact specs

hdd:HITACHI Deskstar 7K160 HDS721616PLAT80 (0Y30002) 160GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA133
cpu:Intel Pentium 4 631 Cedar Mill 3.0GHz LGA 775 Single-Core Processor Model BX80552631
input:Microsoft 65X-00024 OEM Black USB Wireless Standard Optical Desktop 700 Mouse Included
dvd:ASUS Black ATAPI/E-IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E616A3
mobo:ECS 671T-M (V1.0) LGA 775 SiS 671 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
video:MSI NX8400GS-TD512E GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16
ram:pqi 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) Desktop Memory Model MAC42GUOE
case:Broadway Com Corp 204-4HA-S Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450W Power Supply
tv tuner:HauppaugeWinTV-PVR 500 MCE Personal Video Recorder(White box) PCI Interface
remote:fiire chief gyration remote

freymann

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2008, 03:46:30 pm »
I'm still hoping someone can tell me which aspect of my system was causing the hard lockups. 
here are my exact specs
video:MSI NX8400GS-TD512E GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16

 My first core used the GeForce 8400 GS card too. My core locked up all the time. It's the only item we have in common.

 My new core uses a EVGA GeForce 7200 GS (fanless) (so does my living-room media director). No issues so far on the core, and I haven't tried the living-room machine as MD in my current setup, although it did work fine before. I'm using an ECS nVidia GeForce6100SM-M motherboard in my new core and the living-room MD box. Core uses an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4600+ Socket AM2 chip with 2GB RAM. Living room uses 4200+ with 1GB RAM.



 Perhaps you have time to do a fresh install using a different video card?


mmnogueira

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2008, 08:25:12 pm »
... Unfortunately LinuxMCE isn't for everyone, ...

This is not what the demo video says, and I'm glad that you recognize it. Not that I'm unhappy with LMCE, but I think that a version specificaly designed for professional assisted installation, configuration and maintenance would give this extraordinay system a boost.

Best regards,

Marcos Nogueira
S. Paulo - Brazil

radmofo

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2008, 08:46:16 pm »
For those who like to bash...call a pro and get an in house quote for automation etc...
2 words for everyone "ITS FREE" 

freymann

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2008, 09:01:24 pm »
This is not what the demo video says, and I'm glad that you recognize it. Not that I'm unhappy with LMCE, but I think that a version specificaly designed for professional assisted installation, configuration and maintenance would give this extraordinay system a boost.

 Hmmm, isn't that what Fiire does? http://fiire.com/index.php

 And this forum participant

Andrew Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

Pre-configured LMCE Systems to order;
http://wiki.linuxmce.com/index.php/Convergenthome

 May not be much help to you in Brazil though... but there are certainly options available out there.

Zaerc

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2008, 12:31:31 am »
...
I'm still hoping someone can tell me which aspect of my system was causing the hard lockups. 
...

That could very well be due to hardware problems, like overheating or a bad PSU for example.

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cirion

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2008, 11:34:48 pm »
The newest nVidia drivers, 169.12, have fixed some bugs, but seem more prone to lockups than some of the prior versions, though for some reason they're pretty stable on the 7025 chipsets.
That is not the newest driver...

Version: 173.14.05
Operating System: Linux x64 (AMD64/EM64T)
Release Date: May 28, 2008

Version: 173.14.05
Operating System: Linux x86
Release Date: May 28, 2008

1audio

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Re: linuxMCE is still not ready for real life!
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2008, 06:19:35 am »
Newest driver and another round of bugs to discover. But it may be better. Try it and let us know if it works. I'll try it  next week if time permits.