Appendix F: PIA Trouble shooting
The purpose of this chapter is to give the user of the PHT Interactive
Analysis hints on what to do if he runs into trouble or in the event of
S/W crash. This might happen due to wrong installation or due to the fact
that PIA is still under development or just because it is a very complex
piece of code and beyond a certain complexity level of a software it becomes
very hard to rule out all bugs.
If you come across a serious problem while using PHT Interactive Analysis,
the following steps should be taken:
Please check first the following section and the part of this manual
relating to the action you were trying to perform when the problem occurred
and try to find out as far as possible yourself whether the problem is
already known or due to wrong usage and whether a solution to your problem
is described in this manual.
If you are sure that you cannot cope with the problem yourself and that
the problem is not described here, i.e. you are sure that you really have
discovered a bug within PIA, please write a problem report. Please write
down as detailed as possible what you were trying to do when the problem
occurred, describe all important steps you have performed before the error
showed up, name the data set that was in use when the error was detected,
describe the error itself and, very important, copy any error message that
you have got from idl on the prompt you have started PIA from into a file.
Finally send this file via E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Known Problems and Solutions
The missing calibration file problem
During a certain processing step or during startup PIA
crashes with a message like this:
% FXBOPEN: Unable to open file /home/idt/cg/ia/cal/PDIE1TRANS.FITS
Solution: Errors like this indicate that the PHT Interactive
Analysis software is either missing a calibration file (CAL-G, CAL-Q or
CAL-U) or the user does not have read access to the directory which holds
these files: CALDIR. This error can occur if the PIA software
has been updated, but the calibration files related to the new version
were not entered in the related directory. Ensure that the user has read
access to the directory CALDIR and that this directory contains
the latest version of all CAL-G, CAL-Q and CAL-U files used by PIA. You
can find lists of these files in Table 2 "Calibration Filename Conventions
(Calibration G Files)" on page 12, Table 3 "PHT Uplink Tables generated
by PIA (Calibration U Files)" on page 12 and in Table 4 "RTA/QLA Calibration
Files (CAL-Q) generated by PIA" on page 13.
The pht_fm.idb_def transfer problem
Due to the specific format of the pht_fm.idb_def
file, the file is sometimes corrupted during electronic file transfer.
This makes PIA crash when house keeping data shall be displayed (HK button),
because PHT house keeping data are converted by using the information in
Solution: Ensure that the latest version of pht_fm.idb_def
is installed in the CALG directory. In case problems occur, compare the
length of the file in byte with a working version (distribution version)
in order to make sure that no corruption during file transfer has occurred.
The hidden window problem
Certain warning windows or small input windows block the
rest of PIA. As this is not normally the case for other PIA applications,
it can lead to confusion, especially when parts of PIA are iconized and
the screen is very crowded with applications.
Solution: In cases where PIA applications look blocked, check
the IDL prompt for a crash, and, if no indication for a crash is indicated,
open all iconized windows in order to check if any of them is waiting for
an input, before killing the PIA process. You can use the help of a window
manager tool installed under the Control button in the PIA top window.
The colour table problem
The PHT Interactive Analysis uses a special colour table
within idl. The use of other colour-intensive X-applications (like e.g.
which were started on the same terminal or console before the PIA session
was started, can cause the colour table to change randomly when entering
or leaving certain windows with the mouse pointer. Normally the actual
performance of PIA is not disturbed, however, it can be very annoying.
Solution: If you feel very disturbed by this, exit all X-applications
before starting PHT Interactive Analysis on your terminal.
The printer problems
Problem: PIA crashes when trying to print. This could be due to
the fact that the user hasn't got a write access to the directory PIA_PRINTDIR
or to the file idl.ps, which is a temporary file which is overwritten
when PIA performs a print-out. This error can be caused if several users
use the same directory PIA_PRINTDIR. In this case the file idl.ps
is generated when the first user first starts a print job under PIA, causing
this file to have his/her user id and default access rights. This normally
blocks the write access of other users.
Solution: In order to solve this problem please change the
file access for the group and owner of this file (idl.ps) in such
a way that all users of PIA who share the PIA_PRINTDIR read and
write have access to it.
Problem: No output on my printer after a print command.
What to do after a crash in order not to avoid losing
As the PHT Interactive Analysis software holds a lot of information in
large internal buffers, a crash of PIA does not necessarily mean the complete
loss of all data that have been processed so far. Please note that the
procedure described in this section is only the last resort. There is no
guarantee that it will actually work, because a crash of PIA can (but need
not) destroy the contents or parts of the contents of the PIA buffers.
In general it is a saver procedure to always store all intermediate products
at the moment they are generated in order to have them available for later
use, not only after a crash.
After you have followed the instructions under "General Procedure" of
what to do after a crash has occurred, you can try the following steps
in order to recover your data:
Close the window from which you triggered the action leading to the crash
with the QUIT button.
Store all the interesting data currently in the internal PIA buffer in
either internal or external files. Do not overwrite existing data files
as the data you are writing now might be corrupted by the crash.
Leave PIA using the QUIT button
Leave IDL by: IDL> exit
Restart IDL and PIA
Read back the data you have saved
If PIA behaves normally during the read process of step 6) and the further
processing, the recovery action was successful. Otherwise there is no other
way than to start the processing again from the beginning.
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