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19990416: LDM pqact.conf entries for ldm-mcidas decoders, etc.

>From: address@hidden
>Organization: St. Cloud State
>Keywords: 199904162027.OAA18678 ldm-mcidas


>Friday is a decent day for me as I have no lectures.  

Now I understand why your emails come on Friday afternoons :-)

>Following your last message of Tues., my assistant went through the
>testing items as listed in the html.  All went ok, with the only
>message being one that there were not enough colors available.

This is probably due to the lack of colors available to the X server.
Perhaps you/he were/was already running Netscape (tm) when you tried
to run McIDAS?  We have found that on Solaris x86 it is best to exit
Netscape; start McIDAS; and then restart Netscape (if you want it
running while you are running McIDAS).

>It did
>not seem to be a serious problem as everything appeared to work ok.  I
>am not sure how the video card settings are changed, but I have not
>looked; I would think there is some icon on the desktop.

The problem is that the X visuals on Solaris x86 are 8-bit, so you only
have 256 colors total in your session.  The more applications that run
that use colors, the fewer the number of colors available for McIDAS.
To keep things "nice", try starting McIDAS first and then the other
applications later.

>I would sense that we now need to configure the ldm properly to create
>the necessary files.

Data files?  Yes.

>I have looked at the sample pqact from your web
>page on mcidas ldm and have copied that to waldo for editing.

Hopefully, you use the one in the ldm-mcidas distribution as a template.
Cutting and pasting from a web page will lose tabs that are so important
in pqact.conf.

>present we do not get lightning and do not subscribe to  nexrad data.
>Will add the lightning data, but want to start with what we have.

I think that getting the lightning data is a good move.  It is very
interesting to see the evolution of lightning flashes during explosive
convective development.

>My plan is to use the example pqact.conf, with only the necessary

Watch out for places where tabs are needed instead of spaces!

>I plan to have ldm configured and delivering the data files
>before continuing further with mcidasx.

OK, I understand.  It is easier to test out a system when you have a
variety of data than not.

>I do have some questions.
>1.  Somewhere I have the impression that mcidasx files (upper air stuff 
>    for example) were created by ldm from fos (dd+) data and that the 
>    unidata-mcidas datastream was used only  to capture the images.  

This is where we are moving, yes.  The non-imagery products in the
Unidata-Wisconsin datastream are being removed on July 1.

>    The sample pqact shows that unidata-mcidas stream provides the data 
>    to create md files.  Can you comment?

We have shown how you can extract the MD files that are currently in the
Unidata-Wisconsin datastream using ldm-mcidas decoders, but setting this
up will be a waste of effort on your part given that those products are
going away.

The next release of ldm-mcidas will have the setup information for non-imagery
data removed.

>2.  I have not started on the sections of configuring the mcidas account
>    or the mcidas user accounts.  I see that needs to be done.  We have the
>    web page materials for these items and will follow.
>    Any 'watch out for this' items?

Here are some things that I would caution you about:

o make sure that the user's 'mcidas', 'ldm', and 'mcadde' are all in the
  same group and that that group does not contain "average" users

o pay particular attention to the sections dealing with how to setup
  McIDAS-XCD (the decoding component of McIDAS-X).  Please do not hesitate
  to ask for help in doing this as a clean installation will save both
  of us a lot of time in the long run.

o setting up ROUTE PostProcess BATCH invocations from ldm-mcidas decoders
  is tricky.  Almost every site has problems doing this 'cause it is
  hard to get your mind right to understand what has to be done (I
  have wracked my brain on an easier way to do the ROUTE PP BATCH stuff,
  but I havn't been able to do it.  For reference, the ROUTE PP BATCH
  routines are those McIDAS BATCH files specified in the McIDAS
  routings table that are kicked off after the successful ingestion/decoding
  of products from the Unidata-Wisconsin datastream (I am sure that
  you know that, but these messages are reviewed by others who
  use our tracking system).  Again, please don't hesitate to ask for

o Don suggested that I recommend that you install the ldm-mcidas stuff
  using runtime links like the LDM recommends.  This is not (yet) in
  the online documentation for ldm-mcidas, so you may have to wing it
  (or ask for advice) if you decide to do things this way.  Again,
  I can help out.

o Given that the non-image products in the UW datastream are going away
  and you are, hopefully, going to use XCD, I would recommend that you
  put all McIDAS data files into a single data directory (/var/data/mcidas 
  for instance).  When users were getting the MD files in the UW
  datastream AND creating them with XCD, they had to make sure that the
  data files were put into different directories.  You should not have
  that problem.  By the way, this will simplify the REDIRECTions you
  will need for access to data in your McIDAS sessions.

That should be a pretty good start on things to keep an eye out for.  Again,
don't hesitate to ask when you run into something that doesn't make sense
or you are unsure of.

>How many dull persons are needed to change a light bulb?    only one.



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