Zune Thoughts

Zune Thoughts.com

Thanks for visiting Zune Thoughts - be sure to register in our forums!


Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

Windows Phone Thoughts

Loading feed...

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...




Go Back   Thoughts Media Forums > ZUNE THOUGHTS > Zune Talk

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-31-2008, 11:40 PM
Jason Dunn
Executive Editor
Jason Dunn's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160
Default Zune 30s Will "De-Brick" Themselves January 1st, 2009

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://forums.zune.net/408989/ShowPost.aspx' target='_blank'>http://forums.zune.net/408989/ShowPost.aspx</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"Early this morning we were alerted by our customers that there was a widespread issue affecting our 2006 model Zune 30GB devices (a large number of which are still actively being used). The technical team jumped on the problem immediately and isolated the issue: a bug in the internal clock driver related to the way the device handles a leap year. The issue should be resolved over the next 24 hours as the time change moves to January 1, 2009. We expect the internal clock on the Zune 30GB devices will automatically reset tomorrow (noon, GMT). By tomorrow you should allow the battery to fully run out of power before the unit can restart successfully then simply ensure that your device is recharged, then turn it back on. If you're a Zune Pass subscriber, you may need to sync your device with your PC to refresh the rights to the subscription content you have downloaded to your device."</em></p><p>There you have it, straight from the official support thread on this problem. So for those of you who were about to take screwdrivers to your Zune and open them up, just wait until tomorrow and it should start working again. This confirms that it was in fact caused by this year being a leap year, and thus having 366 days. I'm shocked and disappointed that Microsoft allowed this bug to go un-checked - they have some of the longest and most grueling test cycles in the industry for their software, so I'm stunned that the Zune team allowed this to happen. The Zune is struggling enough as it is, this is a black eye it really didn't need. We'll discuss that issue in a couple of days...I have some thoughts about it.</p>
__________________
Want to contact me personally? Use this. Want to read my personal blog? Check it out. Want to follow me on Twitter? Here you go.
 
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-01-2009, 04:50 AM
priesmeyer
Ponderer
priesmeyer's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 67

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
http://forums.zune.net/408989/ShowPost.aspx


"they have some of the longest and most grueling test cycles in the industry for their software, so I'm stunned that the Zune team allowed this to happen.
Working for a software company, I can completely see how this error might go undiscovered. Yes, the Zune has a long and grueling test cycle - but for a device that's only been out for a little over 2 years and in development for LESS than 3 - it's kind of hard to simulate something that doesn't happen but every four years. And while it's easy to say "they should have thought of that and simply changed their clock" it's very easy to miss that.

Would you have thought about it before today? I dare say that most wouldn't.

And yes, this is a black eye the Zune doesn't need. But any rational person (read: no one who posts in blog comments) would acknowledge that this doesn't detract from the features of the device or of the Zune Pass service which has made great strides this year.

Please keep up the good fight against the iPod fans. This is a black eye the Zune doesn't need - but also one it doesn't deserve.
 
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-01-2009, 05:13 AM
NathanScott
Pupil
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 11

Well you know this is one bug that all of Microsoft will be testing for in the future! I still have to wonder if the Zune team will even bother fixing it...

Actually, it'll probably be placed on their to-do list just above Unicode support.
 
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-01-2009, 04:36 PM
Jason Dunn
Executive Editor
Jason Dunn's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160

Quote:
Originally Posted by priesmeyer View Post
...it's kind of hard to simulate something that doesn't happen but every four years. And while it's easy to say "they should have thought of that and simply changed their clock" it's very easy to miss that.
Honestly? With the all the time-based DRM on the Zune (Zune Pass primarily) I would have thought that all sorts of date-based scenarios would have been tested in their Zune software emulators (which I'm sure they have). Leap years happen every four years, so I'd also have thought that they'd be part of any software development test cycle. And with all the focus around clocks and time with Y2K, you'd think serious checks and balances would have been put into play for all date-related issues.

I know what you mean - that it's easy to point fingers in hindsight - but the Zune team simply couldn't afford for something like this to happen. They need to execute better and faster than the competition.

At least no Zunes have shipped out to customers with viruses yet, like iPods have.
__________________
Want to contact me personally? Use this. Want to read my personal blog? Check it out. Want to follow me on Twitter? Here you go.
 
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-01-2009, 05:26 PM
Chris Gohlke
Contributing Editor Emeritus
Chris Gohlke's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,291

Confirmed, mine works fine this morning. Leap year testing is one of those obvious things you test for any time you have a date calculation, so it seems VERY sloppy for them to have missed it.
 
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-01-2009, 05:36 PM
David Tucker
Contributing Editor Emeritus
David Tucker's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,053
Send a message via ICQ to David Tucker Send a message via AIM to David Tucker Send a message via MSN to David Tucker Send a message via Yahoo to David Tucker

priesmeyer I understand what you're talking about since I'm also a software developer. While I completely understand how it was missed I disagree that it wasn't something they should have thought of. When you're developing software that deals with time, leap year scenarios should always be one of your primary tests since they tend to be the strangest behavior.

Bottom line is that they were careless and they're lucky it wasn't worse.
 
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-01-2009, 06:27 PM
Ed Hansberry
Contributing Editor Emeritus
Ed Hansberry's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8,228

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gohlke View Post
Confirmed, mine works fine this morning. Leap year testing is one of those obvious things you test for any time you have a date calculation, so it seems VERY sloppy for them to have missed it.
But usually it involves making sure Feb 29 in handled properly, not Dec 31.
__________________
text sig
 
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-01-2009, 06:44 PM
David Tucker
Contributing Editor Emeritus
David Tucker's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,053
Send a message via ICQ to David Tucker Send a message via AIM to David Tucker Send a message via MSN to David Tucker Send a message via Yahoo to David Tucker

Not true...I ALWAYS have tests for the year rollover. They messed up, plain and simple. While it seems to be an obscure issue...its something encountered often in writing software.
 
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-01-2009, 07:02 PM
doogald
Oracle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 984

I haven't written software in a long, long time, and it was never my primary responsibility. But if there was ever any kind of date calculation, etc. involved, I ALWAYS tested. I even included the fact that years like 1900, 2100, 2200 and 2300 are not leap years.

They just plain screwed up.
 
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-01-2009, 08:25 PM
Chris Gohlke
Contributing Editor Emeritus
Chris Gohlke's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,291

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Hansberry View Post
But usually it involves making sure Feb 29 in handled properly, not Dec 31.
That would be one test, but honestly, I'd expect them to be using some automated test scripts that would run the bootup sequence using all potential variables. One variable would be date, probably using every potential date for the reasonable lifetime of the product.

Also, I'd expect failures to be a little more elegant. Just causing everything to stop is not an elegant failure. But until we know some more details on the exact nature of the failure (if it is publicized) we are just guessing.
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:55 PM.