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20031003: McIDAS Session color problems on windfall

>From: address@hidden (Jennie L. Moody)
>Organization: UVa
>Keywords: 200310031507.h93F7vk1026508 McIDAS v2003

Hi Jennie,

>Okay, once again I am trying to return attention to
>McIDAS, hopefully this time long enough to get things
>working. (Its grim how broken everything is around here!).

I don't like how this is starting out :-(

>EVER SINCE we installed the new version of McIDAS
>on windfall, I have had problems.  One thing that is
>making it impossible to try to track difficulties is that
>I cannot even run a decent session of McIDAS.  When I
>fire it up, under my account, my display is compromised.
>I thought this might just be a color-sharing difficulty,
>but have cut back to 50 colors in the .mcidasrc file,
>and the problem persists.  

I see below that the compromise is apparently related to the
color table.  Is there anything other visual abnormality that
is describable?

>I have searched the email to support for help on
>"image display defaults", but since I can get a
>list under EU LIST and can see the *CORE files in
>SEE EU.CORE, this doesn't seem to be the problem.

The typical way that McIDAS has problems with the color is when
something else in the user's session is already using up all of the
colors.  The principal culprit is the web browser, but there are other
applications that can be at fault.  My advice is to make sure that all
other applications are closed (not iconified; exited) before starting

>Whenever I try to load an image, even a gray-scale
>image, the color table looks random, and multi-colored.

This sounds like McIDAS has chosen to use a private color map.
Typically when you focus on the McIDAS image window, the rest of the
desktop will change colors (like you describe) and the display of the
image and text and command window will be OK.  Now, it is possible that
if you are running a GUI (like MCGUI or the SSEC GUI) that focusing on
the image window (clicking on it) will not change the display to the
correct set of colors.  If you are running either GUI, please try the
following before shutting down the other applications:

mcidas -config

Select the option that you don't any of MCGUI, GUI, or Fkey.  This will
bring up just the McIDAS image and text and command windows.  At this
point, the colors may still be bizarre until you focus on either of the
McIDAS windows.  If it is the case that the McIDAS display looks OK
after focusing on it (and the rest of the desktop colors change/look
strange), then the cause is that you are out of colors when McIDAS is
started and McIDAS is grabbing and using a private color map.  The
"solution" at this point is to drop back and exit out of the other
applications before you start McIDAS (especially Netscape).  You can
start the applications after McIDAS is up and running and things should
be OK.

Another test to try if the above works is to uncomment the
-displayVisualMode flag in .mcidasrc.  In order to use this, however,
you will have to start McIDAS without a GUI and then startup the
GUI/MCGUI after the session is running.  This is done easily enough by
the 'mcidas -config' step, turning off running any GUI/Fkey; saving the
selection (there is a selection at the bottom of the GUI you will be
interacting with); and then typing either GUI or MCGUI in the McIDAS
text and command window after the session is running.

It also could be the case that you could change the default visual
being used by the winow manager to 24-bit and your problems would go
away with no additional actions.  Let's talk about this after your run
the tests I outlined above.

>I am running this session on windfall's console,
>and have set the window manager to display in black and
>white, leaving all colors for applications.  I don't
>have any other applications running (well, actually
>I started Netscape to look at Unidata help, but
>I set -install to share the color table).  

I would not run Netscape until after McIDAS has started.

>Its hard to do much of anything, I I cannot even
>run a session.  

I understand.

>Feeling incompetent.

Don't.  This is classifiable as a "stupid X windows thing".

>(Results from EU LIST and SEE EU.CORE...any chance
>these are old or needed to be upgraded and didn't in the
>new version installation???)

Your problem should have nothing to do with the enhancements on
your system.

If you are uncertain about what I am trying to get across above, please
give me a call (303.497.8642).

>-r--      3268 Dec 22  2001 WVIRG.ET   

>Well, maybe thats a bug in the cut and paste....I tried to cut
>from the console and paste here, but it seems to have truncated
>the output......thats pretty much the ways things go around
>here these days.....ie., broken.

Fret not.  The fix should be strainghtforward.


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