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20010202: McIDAS looping failure

>From: address@hidden
>Organization: SMSU
>Keywords: 200102022043.f12Kh4X20431 McIDAS loop


>So, I have a series of maps (rtgrids/eta, 0-48 hours 500mb height) in
>frames 1-9.  I want to loop them.  Simply look at them in sequence.
>Shouldn't a simple loop command do it?  LB 1 9; <alt> L

Yes, you should.

>The graphics were done with simple GRDDISP command.
>What I get is basically nothing.  The frame number (lower left) doesn't 
>change, but the counter above the command line does.
>OK, so I tried it with images too.  Same thing.  No looping.  I could
>advance the frames with <alt-a>, but not <alt-L>  In both instances,
>when it tries to loop it returns text message 'cannot locate string
>names - rerun setup'...basically twice for each frame "looped".
>Actuall, you might want to try this yourself to see it:

I took you up on your offer; logged on; and started a McIDAS session with
display back to my machine here at Unidata.  Here is what immediately
struck me:

 cannot locate string names - rerun setup.
 cannot locate string names - rerun setup.
 cannot locate string names - rerun setup.
mccheck: Multiple mcidas sessions running.
mccheck: Potential file collisions may occur for the following file(s):
mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/BASICVV1
mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/FRAMED
mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/FRAMENH.001
mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/TERMCHAR.001
mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/GRAPHICS.KEY
mccheck:         ./STRTABLE
mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/mcclean.lock
mccheck: DONE

First, the multiple sessions was expected as there was another session
running when I logged on.  What was _bad_ was:

o cannot locate string names - rerun setup.
o mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/FRAMED
  mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/FRAMENH.001
  mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/TERMCHAR.001
  mccheck:         /home/mcidas/workdata/mcclean.lock

The files  FRAMED, FRAMENH.001, TERMCHAR.001 should never be found in
any directory other than a subdirectory of ~/.mctmp.  This is probably
at the root of your problems.

Based on these files being where they shouldn't be, I also ran the
following test from the Unix command line:

cd workdata
dmap.k Frame
---- --------- ------------ --------- ---------
-rw-      3072 Feb 02 13:40 Frame1.0  /home/mcidas/help
-rw-      3072 Feb 02 13:41 Frame16.0 /home/mcidas/help
6144 bytes in 2 files

The FrameN.M files also should only be found in subdirectories of

So, the problem is that your session is attempting to use files that
have been created by corrupted McIDAS sessions (or some other problem)
and these files are intefering with the proper setting of the McIDAS

So, I:

o EXITed my invocation of McIDAS
o forced the other session to exit
o removed the offending files;

  cd workdata
  rm FRAMED *.0*
  rm /home/mcidas/help/Frame*.0

I thought that this would fix all of your problems, but it didn't.  I noticed
that when a cron-initiated batch job was kicked off, then the FRMAENH.001
file would reappear in the ~mcidas/workdata directory.  I don't understand
this one yet, but I will keep looking to see if I find anything obviously

>When I tried to change the dwell rate of the frames, I completely
>destroyed any looping attempt.  It just sits and does nothing after
>the command to loop.

There is something wrong in a setup somewhere.  I now suspect that it
is related to the 'cannot locate string names - rerun setup' message,
and I havn't found the cause of that one yet.

By the way, I went through the tracking system looking for the 'cannot locate'
message, and the only matches I got were from exchanges that you and
I have had over the years!?

>Oddly enough for a mcidas user, the looping capabilities are not
>(at this point) critical to our shop, so this is not a huge thing
>to get on right now.

OK, but the problem is indicative of something that should be fixed.

>I would kind of like to do some loops for my
>climatology class in a few weeks though.  We'll be brining a Linux
>machine on line shortly for student use...maybe that will be better than
>the (I forgot to say it) AIX box mcidas currently runs on (AIX 4.2).

I think that it will since the OS installation will be "fresh".  I am
concerned about AIX 4.2, but I can't say exactly why.


I can see what is _not_ happening correctly.  When a McIDAS session
is run, MCPATH is _supposed_ to get adjusted to include the subdirectory
of ~mcidas/.mctmp at the end.  You should be able to see this by doing
a '!env' from the McIDAS command window.  On your system, MCPATH is
coming back as the setting in your ~/.profile:


I don't know why MCPATH is not being defined correctly, but it is
resulting in FRAMENH.001 always getting created in ~mcidas/workdata
and presumably for the loop control system not finding TERMCHAR.001
(which causes the 'cannot locate' error message above).

I will keep trying to figure out the problem on your machine this weekend.

>Bill Corcoran


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