Rockbox Technical Forums

Rockbox General => Rockbox General Discussion => Topic started by: jmsunlinenet on January 10, 2008, 05:10:05 PM

Title: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: jmsunlinenet on January 10, 2008, 05:10:05 PM
Having come to the conclusion that the hard drive on my Gigabeat F40 was finished, I ordered a new player which came today.

Frankly I didn't look forward to setting it up, loading Rockbox etc., having had an awful lot of fiddling about when I did it last time almost a year ago, not to mention designing and writing my own theme.

Never fear. This time I used the automatic downloader and within ten minutes the whole job was done, and I also had a reasonable choice of readable themes to choose from. Thus in about 10 minutes I had done what took me six weeks a year ago.

Any criticisms? Only two minor ones.

1) It would be helpful if a link to the automatic downloading program was more readily accessible on the site, rather than me downloading the current build and then finding the link to the automatic downloader in the installation manual.

http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/RockboxUtility#Download

2) Someone unfamiliar with Rockbox would find it disconcerting that the initial screen setting goes dark almost immediately (5 secs). Being familiar with the program I was quickly able to correct this, but others could find it more troublesome.

3) There shoud be a warning somewhere prominent that it is not a good idea to change the font to Hebrew unless you read that language, nor to change foreground and background colors to the same value. You may have to reinstall Rockbox.

Do not ask me how I know this.

Incidentally, I should also mention for those who are not aware, that you can use Winamp to rip CDs into FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files that Rockbox will automatically detect and play. In the lossless format the Gigabeat F40 will hold over 100 CDs of music.

Also, if you don't like the backdrop on the a theme, it is quite easy to edit it (maybe change the colors) using a program like Paint.net or your choice without ever moving the theme from where it is in the themes folder.

Still, overall it is now fantastically easy to get your Gigabeat F series player up and running with Rockbox.

Thanks to all involved.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox
Post by: markun on January 11, 2008, 03:33:00 AM
3) There shoud be a warning somewhere prominent that it is not a good idea to change the font to Hebrew unless you read that language, nor to change foreground and background colors to the same value. You may have to reinstall Rockbox.

Do not ask me how I know this.

;)

Quote
Still, overall it is now fantastically easy to get your Gigabeat F series player up and running with Rockbox.

Thanks to all involved.

You're welcome!
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: GodEater on January 11, 2008, 04:33:22 AM
1) It would be helpful if a link to the automatic downloading program was more readily accessible on the site, rather than me downloading the current build and then finding the link to the automatic downloader in the installation manual.

This is actually deliberate. We want to make sure people have downloaded the manual and read the installation section before they start downloading things which could make their life difficult if they've NOT read that section.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: mbbda on January 11, 2008, 05:30:35 AM
Some thing that I think would be really useful, especially for new users, is a Hints & Tips or Did you Know page.

I have read the manual more than a few times yet I am continually finding extra things you can do that are really useful from reading the forums or lurking in IRC.

Some examples are skipping to the next folder with a short, then a long press,  scrolling text in the playlist with the right arrow & flipping the screen & button functions (really useful if you have an e200 that mostly lives in your pocket).

Maybe these are in the manual & I missed them, but its these little gems that make Rockbox so good for me.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: GodEater on January 11, 2008, 05:31:08 AM
Why not start such a page in the wiki?
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: Multiplex on January 11, 2008, 08:50:16 AM
3) There shoud be a warning somewhere ... change foreground and background colors to the same value. You may have to reinstall Rockbox.
You shouldn't have to re-install Rockbox for this - there is a clear user settings startup sequence (hold Record after boot loader on iRivers)

I started to think about trapping colour combinations that are unusable (they don't have to be the same to make the text unreadable) and got a headache - it's not as easy as I thought...
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: jmsunlinenet on January 15, 2008, 02:20:23 PM
Yes, sometimes you can get into a trap when you are just experimenting to see what will happen. With the fonts it is particularly tricky, because the program comes with the tiny, tiny font and when you are trying to select another font you may not know what the alternative font looks like uniti you see it and realize that it is illegible, or you may accidentally select the wrong font (e. g. Hebrew) and you are stumped.

Yes, I am sure there are alternatives to reinstalling Rockbox, but this can actually be quicker than poring through the manual and finding an alternative way of resetting.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: GodEater on January 15, 2008, 03:15:55 PM
Except you only need to read the manual once for this information.

I guarantee I can reset my settings faster than you can re-install rockbox.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: Llorean on January 15, 2008, 05:51:22 PM
And not only that, but you can reset your settings without ever having to use a computer. Always handy if you're 1200 miles from the nearest one you own, for example. :)
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: Multiplex on January 16, 2008, 07:28:29 AM
Yes, I am sure there are alternatives to reinstalling Rockbox, but this can actually be quicker than poring through the manual and finding an alternative way of resetting.
I appreciate the desire to play, but you really should read the manual - there are many nice little features or short-cuts that I doubt you will find if you don't.

I know some folks say that the product should be intuitive and not need a manual but I don't agree. There are lots of features, a minimal UI (small screen and not even a dozen buttons), and it's something you are likely to use several times a week if not every day so you the investment will be worth it.
As an analogy; the automobile does not have an intuitive interface but a large proportion of the adult population of the developed world spend weeks or months learning the skills...

Rockbox has a manual that surpasses the quality of many comercial products and is even built in such a way that it is device specific (unlike many comercial products).
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: AlexP on January 16, 2008, 07:30:18 AM
I know some folks say that the product should be intuitive and not need a manual but I don't agree.

It should be as intuitive as possible.  The problem is that whenever someone complains, we ask how it should be done better whilst retaining the power and flexability.  No answers are forthcoming.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: Multiplex on January 16, 2008, 08:01:26 AM
It should be as intuitive as possible.

Oh, yes, I meant that with all the features in Rockbox I bleieve that to be impssible, but the basics/most used should be (and I think are).
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: jmsunlinenet on January 16, 2008, 09:14:19 AM
Yes, I am sure there are alternatives to reinstalling Rockbox, but this can actually be quicker than poring through the manual and finding an alternative way of resetting.
I appreciate the desire to play, but you really should read the manual - there are many nice little features or short-cuts that I doubt you will find if you don't.

No doubt, but like most people (probably) I don't need nearly all the features. I've been using Rockbox for almost a year to play music and podcasts, and as a backup hard disk drive, at home, in the car, and at work and am perfectly satisfied with it.

Anyway, just out of interest before starting this paragraph I spent a few minutes looking at the manual and could not locate any description of how to reset the Rockbox display to defaults using the control buttons. I imagine others would have the same problem.

I am not a complete Dummy either, as I have designed my own theme, edited While Playing Screens etc.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: GodEater on January 16, 2008, 09:22:50 AM
Quote from: The Manual
Section 10, Page 125 in the PDF version.

Reset Settings. This wipes the saved settings in the player and resets all settings to
    their default values.

    Note: You can also reset all settings to their default values by turning off the
    player, and turning it back on with the A button on.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: Llorean on January 16, 2008, 09:29:34 AM
And as a note, if you're going to say "Well that's not just the display settings":

There are multiple ways you could, in theory, cause problems that prevent you from getting into or using your player. There are NOT an infinite number of buttons. One button to reset all your settings is much more useful, because on average it'll always work, and means there's only one way to accidentally clear your settings (and immediately after boot it's possible to un-clear them by browsing into .rockbox and execute config.cfg before something else writes a change to it).
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: GodEater on January 16, 2008, 09:32:10 AM
also "re-installing Rockbox" achieves the same result anyway.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: jmsunlinenet on January 16, 2008, 02:23:56 PM
I agree, and don't get me wrong, I think Rockbox is the best thing since sliced bread (better actually), but that information about resetting with the A button is in a footnote buried in section 10.3.3 in a manual that runs up to section 10.4 and is not referenced in the table of contents. The person who got Rockbox yesterday and changed the microscopic default font to Helvetia, but hit Hebrew instead by mistake due to visibility problems and unfamiliarity will have a hard time finding it.

If this information was in 3.1.1 Player controls  in the Quick Start section where there is a picture of the controls, it would be more helpful to the newbie.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: Febs on January 16, 2008, 02:26:03 PM
I would encourage you to submit a patch to the patch tracker under the category "manual" with the changes that you recommend.  If you know LaTEX, you can submit an actual patch file that will patch the manual source documents.  But if not, you can submit a simple text file showing your suggested revisions.
Title: Re: Thank you, Rockbox (and a few remarks for improvement)
Post by: miles_power on January 17, 2008, 12:28:54 AM
1) It would be helpful if a link to the automatic downloading program was more readily accessible on the site, rather than me downloading the current build and then finding the link to the automatic downloader in the installation manual.

This is actually deliberate. We want to make sure people have downloaded the manual and read the installation section before they start downloading things which could make their life difficult if they've NOT read that section.
wow that is a good idea. make it hard so you get less peaple saying HELP!!!