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20010124: inquiry about McIDAS-X display on DEC OSF/1 console

>From: Unidata Support <address@hidden>
>Organization: TASC
>Keywords: 200101031328.f03DSuo12756 McIDAS-X X display visual DEC OSF/1

Dan and Angel,

I have been attempting to help a site that is experiencing strange
display problems on its DEC OSF/1 4.0 (1229) system console, and I am
wondering if you have experienced anything similar.  I am CCing the
reporter of problem, Randy Alliss of TASC, on this message so that he
can correct and/or add to my narrative.

While at the AMS meeting in Albuquerque, NM, Randy told me that upon
startup the McIDAS image window (mcimage) would appear reddish until
the mouse cursor was move over it.  At that time, and for the rest of
the session the image window will act normally.  Upon logging off (so
that the X window manager shuts down), the entire screen is seen to
flash the same reddish color.  I am unable to reproduce this anomaly on
our aged DEC box here, and Randy's machine is not accessible over the
internet for troubleshooting.

Have either of you two seen any sort of behavior that is similar to

In either case, it would be very helpful if you could provide me with
some specifics about your Alpha/OSF/1 setup:  machine type; OS
revision; video card; what depth you are running your X sessions in
(8-bit visual or 24-bit visual); and anything else you can think of.

Thanks in advance for any input/insight you can provide!

Tom Yoksas

>From address@hidden Wed Jan 24 13:31:19 2001
>Subject: Re: 20010124: inquiry about McIDAS-X display on DEC OSF/1 console

The few times I run McIdas it's displaying back to my Mac on my
desk since that machine doesn't have a graphics card.

Does McIdasX install it's own colormap if it can't get all the
colors that it needs/wants? The screen would go weird if it did that.
Once you moved out of a McIdas window, it would restore the system
palette but while inside its own windows, the other windows would
look weird or (go technicolor as this effect is sometimes called).
On OSF (and maybe other Unices) netscape sucks up the entire colormap.
There is an option, "-install", that tells netscape to use its own
colormap and you'll see behavior similar to what Randy might be seeing.

My Mac is running X at 24 bits so it always gets enough colors.

Hope this is helpful.


>From address@hidden Wed Jan 24 13:35:14 2001

to all

the problem is the osf only allocates a max of 256 colors,
and some desktop applications lock most of those colors
up, so mcidas and other process can't use them!  one of
the solutions is to allocate more colors for applications
and fewer for the desktop from the desktop>color menu,
and/or closing all other applications such as Netscape,
and the GUI driven osf software. This fixed it for me.
in addition some graphics card defaults to 16 or 64 colors
and must be told to use more during the system installation!

Good luck


>From address@hidden Fri Feb  2 05:47:07 2001
>Subject: RE: 20010124: inquiry about McIDAS-X display on DEC OSF/1 console
>Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 07:46:56 -0500 

Hi Tom,

I now have an opportunity to look at this problem again.  Here is the
setup in our lab.  We have a DS20  running OSF1 Nimbus V4.0 1229 Alpha.
it is running in 24 bit mode and has a 3D graphics card in it
(PowerStorm 3D30 2D/3D 8-plane graphic accelerator model number =
SN-PBXGB-AA). This is the machine which produces the red display on
startup but otherwise works fine. I have 2 other alphas which are
connected to Nimbus (nimbus is the server) and the other two share the
same file system across the network. The 1st machine is a ES40 which
has a 2D graphcis card (ELSA Gloria Synergy graphics with 8MB SGRAM
model # = SN-PBXGK-BB).  The 2nd machine is a ALPHA 600A series with
the same ELSA Gloria card in it.

McIDAS is essentially crippled on these 2 machines. When i launch the
application the background windowing system changes colors. When i have
the cursor in the text window the screen looks fine, however, when i
IMGDISP the image is completely indistinguishable. You can't tell its
an image.

I would point out that before we upgraded to the unidata version the
problem was not as severe on these machines. You could use mcidas but
if you left it up running over night the next morning it would not work
correctly. ie. i would start getting strange graphic quirks, similar to
what i described above.

I may have some admin support helping me to get more information which
i will pass on to you. Hopefully this will make trouble shooting more

The first thing we are going to do is upgrade the resolution of the
ES40 monitor to 1280x1024 and try to run the graphics card in 24 bit
mode, if possible.

I'll keep you posted.



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