Questions / Problems Home

Trouble Before using any menu item, the message at the bottom of the Listener window should say 'idle'. If it does not, then Maclispix thinks it is doing something. Some of the show values menus and the false color menus continue running until told to stop. In any event, command- period will stop anything, and clicking on a window and then using apple-w or the close menu will delete any leftover windows. LISP notifies users of errors by breaks. These appear in the Listener window. Breaks should not occur with normal use of MacLispix, except when the user makes an error that MacLispix does not catch, or when a bug in MacLispix is encountered. The top level of LISP, with the ? prompt should usually be used. When a break occurs the prompt becomes 1>, 2>, etc., to denote the level of the break (i.e.. how many times a break has occurred). Command-period aborts one level at a time, progressing to the top level. Command-period will also interrupt any on going LISP process. It can be continued or aborted, as the message in the Listener window will tell you. Such interruptions do not erase any data, or any windows not associated directly with the current operation. More serious problems may require quitting and restarting LISP. This, of course, will erase any images and data from memory, which must then be reloaded from disk files. If a serious crash occurs, it is a good idea to reboot the Mac as well as to restart LISP. If a REALLY serious crash occurs, one should use the Norton Utilities, after booting up on an emergency disk, and examine the health of the disks. Such trouble is probably not caused by MacLispix, but occasionally, especially with other applications running at the same time, damage to disk files might occur. It is particularly good to examine everything on the system disk with the Norton Utilities.

Here are some suggestions for specific problems.

Windows left over

Sometimes extra windows are left around, if apple-. is used to interrupt a command, and sometimes they are left around on purpose for further use. (The false color bar is an example of the latter). To get rid of these windows, do one of these: Click on the window to make it the front window. (Some windows such as the color bar will show no change when clicked on.) Then use command-W (apple - W), or the {file - close} menu to close the window. Use the Erase button.

Image looks Black

If the array you are displaying has small integer values, then the elements are probably bytes (unsigned-byte 8). You can check this with the Info and Limits buttons. If this is the case, then the array may not be scaled for display. This is usually the right thing to do, but for pixels that are small integers, the gray levels are all black or close to it. Hold down the control key to scale such arrays. If the array is not a byte array, then the array might be blank, that is all the pixels have the same value. The gray level for such an array is arbitrary, so I made it black.

No optional dialogs

If the option key is held down, but the optional help dialog still does not appear, then one of these two things is likely true: There is no optional help dialog for that menu item. Complain to Dave Bright. MLx is doing something. "Busy" will appear at the bottom of the Listener window. I don't know why this behavior occurs, but apple-. (command-period) will stop whatever is running and allow the optional dialog to appear. The above has sometimes caused the optional dialogs to ALWAYS appear.

Norton Init problem

There is a conflict with the Norton choose-folder dialog box init and the choose-directory-dialog function in MCL. This results in cancellation of some routines that would save images or other files. The cancellation often occurs with no warning or notification of error. The function that is cancelled, for some reason unknown to me, is choose-directory-dialog. The fix: remove the Norton init.

out of memory

If you run out of memory, either the error message in the listener will say something to that effect or the 'GC' cursor will appear often. Try erasing all arrays and windows, or quitting MacLispix and starting over. When you start seeing a "GC" icon where your pointer should be, then you are running out of available memory. You can change the amount of memory available for use with this program by altering its preferred size in the icon "get info" box. This is often useful to do when you know how much memory is available on the Mac which you are using (this can be checked with "About this Macintosh" in the Apple Menu when the FINDER is on top). If you want to check your memory space without leaving MacLispix this can be done by typing (room) at the question mark prompt in the Listener window. If "GC" appears most of the time, MacLispix has run out of heap space. Try clearing some windows and some image arrays. If even using the MLx - change image arrays - clear all menu does not help, it will be necessary to stop and restart MacLispix. Please report these conditions too - some memory, somewhere is not being reclaimed. When handling images of any size, give MLx as much memory as you can. If when doing array operations, you see this in the listener: > Error: Memory allocation request failed. > While executing: CCL::%MAKE-UVECTOR > Type Command-. to abort. See the Restarts menu item for further choices. After using command-. to get back to the '?' prompt, erase some image arrays with the {MLx - pixel array ops - erase} menu. This should allow more space. If this does not work, the mac heap has probably grown too large, due to too much image window area. Probably the best thing to do is to quit MacLispix and start over. If possible, assign more memory in the preferred size box inside the 'get info' dialog. The get info dialog can be displayed from the finder by selecting the MLx application (round icon) and typing command-i. The more memory can be allocated in the preferred size box when MLx is NOT running. This will allow the LISP heap to grow more. After starting over, display only the images you absolutely need. (Displaying a byte image (pixel values 0-255) can triple the amount of memory required or more, because MaxLispix has the scaled array and the pixmap on the heaps, as well as the image array. (It is possible to write window refresh routines that would use much less heap memory, but that would take much longer to refresh the windows. If they would be useful, let me know. )

Too many windows cluttering up my screen:

Erase them all with the arrange...erase images button. .. or.. Push them to the bottom by clicking on the title bar while holding down the option key. ..or.. Click the go-away box at the upper left, for one window at a time.