The MI/X FAQ

MicroImages X Server

  1. General
  2. Install
  3. Configuration
  4. Using MI/X
  5. Support
  6. Purchasing MI/X
  7. Known Problems

1.1 Q: What good is an X-server? What can I use it for?

A: Using MI/X, you can run a UNIX program remotely on the UNIX machine itself, sending the display output to MI/X on your local PC.


1.2 Q: Can I use MI/X to run programs remotely on my PC and display the output on a UNIX machine?

A: No. An X server goes the other way around.


1.3 Q: Can I run the X11R6 executables that have been ported to Windows NT?

A: Yes. Make sure that your DISPLAY environment variable points to the machine running MI/X, i.e. set DISPLAY=hostname:0.0 You can then run xclock, oclock, etc. on a PC running NT or 95 instead of using a remote UNIX host.


1.4 Q: Are there any plans to support the LBX (low band width) extension?

A: No.


1.5 Q: Is MI/X available for the Windows NT running on a DEC Alpha?

A: No.


1.6 Q: Does MI/X support OpenGL?

A: Yes. At the moment, it supports OpenGL 1.1, which is all that the Microsoft SDK provides. We have figured out how to discover what version is provided by your graphics card's driver and plan to support as much of it as we can.


1.7 Q: Is MI/X implementing X11R5 or X11R6?

A: MI/X 4.0 is X11R6, based on XFree86 4.3


1.8 Q: What extensions does MI/X support.

A: MI/X supports the following extensions:

MI/X also supports backing store, save unders and font servers. In rootless mode, it also supports "focus follows mouse" and "Auto-raise window on mouse focus" options.

The Shared Memory extension is also available, but only useful for local clients (for obvious technical reasons, the client and server have to be on the same machine to share memory).

The XINERAMA extension allows clients to detect that you have multiple monitors and query their geometries. This is only meaningful if you actually have more than one monitor.


1.9 Q:Is it MI/X or MI-X?

A: Either, really. Officially, it's MI/X, but InstallShield won't let you name a product with a slash in the name. So for that, it's MI-X. Also, the desktop shortcut and Start Menu icons have to be named MI-X because you can't put a slash in a filename.


2.1 Q: I'm having problems downloading MI/X. Can you send it to me somehow?

A: No.  We get 1000 to 2000 downloads of MI/X per week, so our server is very busy.  Please try again at a different time.

You may also need to tell your browser or FTP client to use a "passive" FTP connection. In Internet Explorer, this is done by checking a box on the "Advanced" tab of the Internet Options dialog.


2.2.1 Q: How do I setup a multi-user license?

A: To install clients that access licenses from a remote server, install MI/X 4.0 on the client machine. Run MI/X 4.0 and when the authorization dialog comes up, select the type of server from the list of servers, do not select "Single System". Enter the machine name and press OK. MI/X will then access the server machine and attempt to obtain a license from the server machine. If the background screen comes up, MI/X obtained a license to operate.


2.2.2 Q:Windows NT/2000/XP License server installations

A: The installation requirements for setting up a MI/X license server for Windows is that it can only be installed on a Windows NT4.0, 2000, or XP machine. Windows 95 / 98 / ME will not work.

Make sure you are logged into an account with administrator privileges when you do this.

When you purchase a floating license, MicroImages will send you an email with an attached file named mixprod.lic. Copy this file to the installation directory. If you purchased the floating license online, the mixprod.lic file is already setup with the correct machine name. If you ordered by phone, you may need to edit the mixprod.lic file with a simple text editor (notepad will do). There are comments in the file that tell what to change.

To start the license server, open the Start menu and select All Programs / MicroImages / MI/X 4.0 / License Tools


2.2.3 Q: I tried installing the license manager on NT or 2000 and it didn't work.

A: You probably were not logged in as a user with administrator privileges when you installed. Here's how to install the license server manually.

Check the MI/X install directory for the files lmutil.exe, lmgrd.exe, lmtools.exe, lmdmcrimgs.exe, and installs.exe. These files need to be on the machine that will be running the license server.

Make sure you are logged into an account with administrator privileges.

Open a command prompt, cd into the MI/X installation directory and type:

 installs -n "MIX_4_0 License Manager" -c "%s\mixprod.lic" -l "%s\mix_4_0.log" -e "%s\lmgrd.exe"
where %s is the MI/X 4.0 install directory (usually c:\Program Files\MicroImages\MIX_4_0). You will need the double quotes. (Note that that should all be one line, your browser may have broken it up into multiple lines to make it fit the page).

To start the license server, open the Start menu and select All Programs / MicroImages / MI/X 4.0 / License Tools


2.2.4 Q: Unix server installation

A: Go to https://www.microimages.com/mix/floating.htm and download the license server package for the flavor of Unix that will be running the license server. Follow the installation instructions on that page.

To start the license server, type

	lmgrd -c license.dat
To shutdown the license server, type
	lmutil lmdown -c license.dat
and answer "y" to the prompt.


2.3 Q: How do I uninstall MI/X?

A: Use the "Add or Remove Programs" from the Windows control panel.


2.4 Q: My trial period expired as soon as I ran the demo.

A: There are a few reasons this can happen.


2.5 Q: What's a "Host ID" or "Machine ID" and how do I find out what mine is?

A: Run the software. The dialog that comes up asking you for an authorization code contains your Host ID. You can also find your Host ID on the "About" dialog.

The Host ID is not your machine's host name or IP address.

Machine ID is just another term for Host ID.


2.6 Q: When I run the installer, it seems to be installing some completely different package or doesn't run at all.

A: This is usually caused by a previous installer leaving stuff behind in your temp directory.

When you run the installer, it self-extracts itself into your Windows temp directory (usually \Windows\temp or \winnt\temp, depending on your OS) and runs the setup.exe that it extracted. If there was already a setup.exe hanging around that couldn't be overwritten, it will end up running that setup.exe instead of MI/X's.

If nothing happens it's because the other setup program fails to run. Usually this is because it managed to delete all the temporary files it would need to do the install but not the setup.exe itself. Windows actually makes it hard to delete a program that's running (for obvious reasons), so many installers just register themselves as a file to delete the next time the computer is rebooted. In that case, rebooting will remove the old setup and the MI/X installer will run fine. If not, you can always go to your temp directory and delete anything there.


2.7 Q: I have a licensed version of MI/X and suddenly it says my trial period has expired.

A: Chances are your machine ID changed, so MI/X thinks it's running on a different machine. This will happen if you replace your Ethernet card. It also seems to happen a lot if you have a wireless card. Here's how to solve it. If you have a wireless card, temporarly pull it out or disable it. Run MI/X again and write down the new machine ID. Email mix-support@microimages.com with the old and new Machine IDs and we'll transfer the licence by issuing a new authorization code. Once you've entered the new code, you can reenable the wireless network card and MI/X will be happy again.


3.1 Q: Can I use a window manager other than twm with MI/X?

A: Yes. You can tell MI/X not to use the default window manager and then start one on the remote Unix machine. The advantage to using twm is that it runs locally, which makes it much more responsive than other window managers if you have a slow network connection.

Note that if you use XDM to connect to a remote machine, MI/X does not run its local copy of twm. Instead it expects the remote session to start its own window manager.

Also, if you run in Windows Desktop (a.k.a. Rootless) mode, the MI/X itself acts as the default window manager instead of using twm.


3.2 Q: What's the "advanced window manager" toggle all about?

A: It's there to work around a problem with some window managers. If you have the "Exit when All Windows Closed" option selected, MI/X watches the number of connected clients and will exit when this reaches zero. Some window managers connect once and then, for some reason, they disconnect and reconnect. This toggle causes MI/X to not count this as the last client disconnecting.


3.3 Q: How do I configure twm?

A: The MI/X distribution comes with a file named tntserv.twm. This is twm's configuration file. To learn the format of tntserv.twm, consult the documentation, man page, etc. for twm. If you wish to create a custom format for twm, you can make a configuration file with any name, and direct twm to use it instead of its default configurations. This is done by using the -f option, i.e. twm -f myconfigfile.twm

Note, that for reasons too complicated to explain, the twm executable that is distributed with MI/X is named mixwm.exe.


3.4 Q: I don't have a three-button mouse, but I need three buttons for my X clients. How do I do this?

A: Currently, if you want to have three buttons for your X clients, you need to have a three button mouse on your PC.

If you want to use the paste/insert text function in X which is by default mapped to the middle button which is unavailable on the PC, then there may be a workaround: You can use the xmodmap program to modify how the mouse events from the server (MI/X) are interpreted by the X client (i.e. xterm). For instance you can swap the middle and right mouse button with this command:

   xmodmap -display mix.machine.name:0.0 -e "pointer = 1 3 2"
That will make the right mouse button act like the "middle" button of a three-button mouse, thereby allowing selecting and copying text with the left button, and pasting/inserting with the right button. Note that on a two-button mouse you will still be missing a button (the button that was the right button, or button 3): you just switched around what button does what using the xmodmap program. So if you need true three-button functionality, the best solution is still to get a three button mouse.

If you have a three-button mouse and can't get the buttons to work properly, make sure that you have drivers properly installed and configured for the three-button mouse so that Windows can handle three buttons instead of the default two. Specifically, you will need to tell the driver that the middle button of the mouse is to be mapped to a "Middle Button" function, and not to some other nifty (and tempting) Windows shortcut. Note that if you do this, the "Middle Button" function will not used under Windows itself, but will be accessible to MI/X and clients running in it. Logitech provides three-button mice and drivers that work and have been tested with MI/X. Also, most modern mice which have a scrolling wheel in the middle which also doubles as a middle button.


3.5 Q: Is MI/X capable of XDM queries?

A: Yes. See: XDM Settings


3.6 Q: Is it possible to run MI/X on my Windows machine to access the binaries on a Linux box using a serial (nullmodem) cable?

A: Yes, if you are using the null modem cable to establish a TCP/IP network between the machines. However it will be limited to the speed of the communications. This is really no different than using serial to talk to a modem to talk to another machine to establish TCP/IP.


3.7 Q: Is there a way for me to determine what my IP address is when I'm connecting to a UNIX machine through a modem?

A: Yes, you can specify that your local IP be displayed at the top of the MI/X windows through the MI/X Preferences.

It is also displayed in the "About" dialog, which can be accessed by right-clicking the MI/X icon in your system tray.


3.8.1 Q: When I start MI/X, a warning message comes up saying I need 256 colors, what do I do?

A: If you are running your computer/monitor in a color mode with less than 256 colors, MI/X will not work. If you want to run MI/X, you will have to change the color mode to 256 or more colors. 24-bit or 32-bit is recommended.


3.8.2 Q: It seems that MI/X always takes up the full screen when it is launched. Is there a way I can set the screen size for MI/X?

A: Yes. This can be specified through the MI/X Preferences, which is found by left clicking on the MI/X icon in the upper left corner of the MI/X window or in the system tray.


3.8.3 Q: When running a graphics intensive application through MI/X, I get error messages or the graphics don't display correctly. Is there a way to correct this?

A: Try setting your local display to 256 colors (8 bit).


3.8.4 Q: Does MI/X support pseudocolor?

A: Yes, if your local display is set to 256 colors (8 bit).


3.8.5 Q: Does MI/X support DirectColor?

A: No.

Update: 26-Mar-03: Actually, we discovered the other day that direct color is supported in 4.0 unless you have the RENDER extension enabled (which uses different initialization code). It seems obvious how to enable it in both modes, so as of 4.0.8 it will be. Although we don't know of anything that would make use of this, so it hasn't been tested. We are therefore leaving TrueColor as the default visual.


3.8.6 Q: Does MI/X support True Color?

A: Yes. You can obtain this by setting your local color bit depth to 16, 24 or 32 bit. Note that MI/X will have a 32-bit visual in this case.


3.8.7 Q: Can I change the bit depth that MI/X is running at to something other than what my local machine is running?

A: No. There is a work around, if you have Microsoft's Power Toys installed. You can use quickres to set your display to one bit depth, launch MI/X, minimize MI/X and then use quickres to change the bit depth of your display to something else. This isn't something we recommend, but some users have tried it with success.


4.1 Q: How do I start the MI/X program after installing it?

A: You can start MI/X from the "Start" Menu (Start / Programs / MicroImages / MI-X 4.0 ) which runs MI/X, or you can change to the directory where MI/X is located and type 'MIX'.  In some rare cases using the shortcut  to launch MI/X does not work. In those cases issue the following commands from a DOS prompt (you cd to the directory where you installed MI/X):

   MIX
This will start the server and its window manager manually.


4.2 Q: I login to my remote UNIX host. Then I start MI/X and it comes up okay. Then when I try to start an X session, or send a remote X client to the machine running MI/X, MI/X quits. It does this every time. What am I doing wrong?

A: Try changing your MI/X Preferences (found by left clicking on the MI/X icon in the upper left corner) so that "Exit When All Windows Closed" is not checked.


4.3 Q: Is there a way to start my xterm with a white font color and a black background?

A: Yes. Start the xterm as follows:

   xterm -fg white -bg black


4.4 Q: Can I cut and paste with MI/X?

A: MI/X will support cut and paste of text to other X applications, but not graphics. See: Windows Clipboard Support


4.5 Q: I get a Bad Length error message when I'm trying to run a program through MI/X. What can I do to correct this?

A: This error occurs when the UNIX box that MI/X is running against attempts to pass an image that is at a greater bit depth than the display of the local machine is set to. For example, if you are running MI/X on a Windows machine set to display 256 colors (8-bit) and the program you are running tries to pass a 16 bit image, you'll get this error. To correct this, set the parameters of the program you are running to match the resolution of the local machine, or change the resolution of the local machine to match the bit depth of the images that the UNIX box is trying to pass.


4.6 Q: Does MI/X support xauth, or is there some other means of limiting what users can use it or what applications they can open?

A: It doesn't support xauth, but xhost works.


4.7.1 Q: When I start MI/X, all I get is a big blue screen. How do I make my remote connection?

A: You have to establish your remote connection outside of MI/X. Windows comes with a telnet utility that works well for this purpose. In MI/X 4.0, you can also use XDM to login to a remote Unix machine.


4.7.2 Q: How do I use MI/X to start an X session with a remote host?

A: Start MI/X. Telnet to the remote host. Set the DISPLAY environment variable on the remote host to the machine you are running MI/X on. For example on Solaris (running csh):

   setenv DISPLAY mymachine:0.0
or failing that:
   setenv DISPLAY my.machine's.ip.number:0.0
(and if you're running BASH):
   export DISPLAY=mymachine:0.0
or failing that:
   export DISPLAY=my.machine's.ip.number:0.0
replacing "my.machines's.ip.number" with the actual IP number of the local machine running MI/X.

After this, you can launch whatever X applications you wish on your remote host and they will display on the machine running MI/X. To invoke a command shell try:

   xterm 
When the xterm comes up you can close the telnet session. The commands may differ on various flavors of UNIX.


4.7.3 Q: Is there a way to use MIX to do a rsh or rexec directly to the station I want to login to?

A: No. The MI/X distribution does not include an rsh or rexec client. You can obtain rsh or rexec clients from other sources. The telnet utility comes with Windows.


4.7.4 Q: I've set my display correctly and I know I'm using the correct IP number because I know it or I used winipcfg.exe to find it when it is dynamically assigned, but I am still getting a "can't open display" error message. What now?

A: If you are following the procedure outlined in this FAQ and you are still getting this error, contact the sysadmin of the remote host, the sysadmin of the system you are using or tech support for your ISP and ask if the systems that you are going through allow x-traffic to pass through. Some of them don't.  You can also specify to have your local IP displayed at the top of the MI/X windows through the MI/X Preferences.


4.7.5 Q: How can I connect via a secure connection (ssh) or through a VPN or NAT

A: You need to use SSH. There are several free SSH implementations available for Windows. One good SSH client for Windows is PuTTY, which has X11 forwarding built in. It's disabled by default, but you can enable it through the preferences.

Another such implementation is TTSSH, which is an extension to TeraTerm Pro. TeraTerm Pro is a telnet client for Windows. If you install the TTSSH extension for it, you can make it transfer X traffic through the secure connection.

You will also want to tell MI/X to only listen on the 127.0.0.1 address. This may not seem logical, since that would prevent any remote clients from connecting. However, SSH acts as a proxy, making it look like all the clients are local.


4.7.6 Q: Client applications give the error "Can't open display: hostname:0"

A: There are two possible answers here.

The most common is that MI/X is not listening on the IP address that you're trying to connect to. To check this, go to the Network tab on the preferences and select that IP address. Make sure that the IP address for your computer is selected. It not, check it and restart MI/X. This occurs mostly for people who are trying to use MI/X over a dial-up service or where your IP address is assigned on boot up via DHCP. Your address changes and MI/X is still listening at the old address.

There is also an option to "Listen on all IP addresses for this machine" which should eliminate the problem.

The other possibility is that you have a firewall on one end or the other (or both) and it's blocking all X traffic. The first thing to try is to use telnet or a secure shell to connect to the remote host and from there, ping yourself.

   ping your.ip.address.here
If that works, try
   telnet your.ip.address.here 6000
If you get a "Connected" message, MI/X is listening. If either of these fail, chances are you are being blocked by a firewall. You should contact your system administrator to correct the problem.

Port 6000 is often blocked for security reasons. The X11 protocol isn't all that secure to begin with. If you use a secure shell (See FAQ 4.7.5, your connection is established through a secure connection and you don't need to open the port in the firewall.

Another possible cause for this problem is that if you are using a secure shell to tunnel X traffic, you should not set the DISPLAY environment variable yourself. The ssh daemon on the remote server will set it for you to an address that it will intercept and forward over the secure connection. When the requests get to your PC, ssh delivers them to MI/X as if they had originated from 127.0.0.1 (localhost).


4.7.7 Q:I keep getting "Cannot open display: somehostname:0"

A: Open the preferences, and on the Network tab, click on the entry for your IP address (The one that is somehostname). Make sure the toggle to listen at that IP address is checked. If it wasn't, check it and restart MI/X. You can also check the "Listen on all IP addresses" button.

The main problem here is that the first time MI/X is run, it defaults to listening on all IP addresses assigned to the machine at that time. If your IP address gets reassigned the next time you reboot or connect to the internet, it won't default to listening on that address. If you select the "listen on all IP addresses" option, this won't be a problem

Another possible problem is a firewall between you and the remote machine.


4.8.1 Q: What fonts can I use with MI/X?

A: BDF, PCF, and Speedo fonts. These fonts may also be compressed with gzip, in which case they should end in .bdf.gz or .pcf.gz. MI/X will also make all the TrueType fonts in your Windows fonts directory available as scalable fonts.


4.8.2 Q: The fonts that I need to run my program aren't included in with MI/X. Where can I get more fonts?

A: The MI/X installer only provides the "misc" subset of the fonts that come with the standard X11R6 distribution. This is mainly to keep the size down. For MI/X 4.2, you want mix_4_2_100dpi_Fonts.exe and/or mix_4_2_75dpi_Fonts.exe. For MI/X 4.1 or earlier, you want mix_4_00_100dpi_Fonts.exe and/or mix_4_00_75dpi_Fonts.exe. These are InstallShield installers which will just put the fonts in the correct places, assuming you don't already have 100dpi and 75dpi font directories. The only difference between the 4.2 version and the 4.1 version is that 4.2 installs to a different directory.


4.8.3 Q: I've got all the standard X fonts here, but in the PCF format. Are these compatible with MI/X, or do they need to be in the BDF format? And how do I tell MI/X to add them?

A: Yes, you can use the PCF format. Find the bdf/misc directory (it should be in the directory into which you install MI/X), there should be a file called "fonts.dir" which contains examples of how to add BDF and PCF fonts. The "fonts.dir" file for MI/X corresponds to the file with the same name on a UNIX X server.


4.8.4 Q: Okay, I understand that to add a font, it has to be in a *.bdf or *.pcf format and that they have to be added to the fonts.dir, but how do I do that?

A: If you have a whole directory of fonts with a fonts.dir that you want to copy from one machine to MI/X, just create a new folder in c:\Program Files\MicroImages\MIX_4_0\bdf (or wherever you installed MI/X to) and copy the whole contents of the directory into it. When MI/X starts, it looks for all subdirectories under the bdf directory and tries to load a fonts.dir from each one. If you want to add a single font to an existing fonts.dir use the following steps. First, open the font in a text editor. The first few lines will look like this:

   STARTFONT 2.1
   FONT -Misc-Fixed-Medium-R-Normal--10-100-75-75-C-60-ISO8859-1
   SIZE 10 75 75
Copy the line that appears after FONT. Next, open the fonts.dir file with a text editor. It will look like this:
   87
   gb16.pcf       -cclib-fixed-medium-r-normal--16-150-78-78-c-160-gb2312.1980-0
   ascii.bdf       -mi-fixed-medium-r-normal--16-160-72-72-c-160-ascii-1
   7x13b.bdf       -misc-fixed-bold-r-normal--13-120-75-75-c-70-iso8859-1
Note that there is a number at the top of the file. This has to match the number of fonts in the file. (I've only included the first three in this example. The actual file would have 84 more entries.) Once the fonts.dir is open, go to the bottom of the file and add the name of the font you are adding and paste in the information you copied from the font. Then change the number at the top of the file to reflect the new number of fonts in the file. In my example, I would change 87 to 88.


4.8.5 Q: How can I delete fonts?

A: Follow the steps mentioned above for opening the fonts.dir file, delete the entry for the font you are deleting, change the number at the top of the fonts.dir file to reflect the correct number of fonts listed in the file. Save the fonts.dir file and delete the *.bdf or *.pcf file.


4.8.6 Q: Can I use a fontserver for MI/X?

A: Yes. From the remote host, run the command

xset +fp tcp/fontservername:7200


4.8.7 Q: Java programs on SGI, Sun, and DEC machines crash when trying to use MI/X as their X server. Is there a way to correct this?

A: The problem occurs because the Motif AWT libraries use the Font "plain Dialog 12 point" as a fall-back default font. Unfortunately, when using a remote X server sometimes this font isn't available.
The problem is common enough to be included in the Java Programmer's FAQ (http://www.faqs.org/faqs/computer-lang/java/programmers/faq/):

4.2 Why do I get this when using JDK 1.1 under X Windows? A. There's a missing font on your system. Move font.properties from the "lib" subdirectory aside to font.properties.bak Then it won't look for the font and fail to find it. Once this fix is in place, MI/X works well with Java clients running on Sun and SGI.

Note that MI/X has a few fallbacks of its own so that it will be able to handle many problems of this type automatically. For example, if you don't have a Helvetica bdf font, it automatically substitutes the Arial TrueType font. For missing Lucida fonts, it automatically substitutes Lucida Sans Unicode if you have it.


4.8.8 Q:Can't run xterm on RedHat 8.0

A: This was a problem in MI/X 3.0. It reportedly works in MI/X 4.0.


4.9.1 Q:How can I run MI/X in rootless mode so that my X clients look like Windows?

A: Go to the preferences window and check "Windows Desktop mode".


4.9.2 Q:When I run in rootless mode, none of my windows get any borders or title bars.

A: You've got the default window manager turned off. Go to the "Other" tab on the preferences dialog and turn it back on.


4.9.3 Q:When running in fullscreen mode, you can get a menu by right clicking in the background. What happened to that menu in rootless mode?

A: In rootless mode, the background is the Windows desktop, and Windows has its own menu there.


4.9.4 Q:My client program crashed and with no menu to select "kill client" from, how do I make it go away?

A: Hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys while clicking the close button on the window. This tells the server that the client is gone and will close all windows belonging to that client.


4.9.5 Q:In rootless mode, how can I make keyboard input go to a window without clicking on it and raising it to the foreground.

A: In the preferences panel, go to the "Other" tab and scroll down to the bottom of the list of options. Check the "Focus follows mouse" option.


4.9.6 Q:Is there an option to have the focus not only follow the mouse but to automatically raise the window to the foreground without clicking on it.

A: This was implemented but was deemed "annoying" and disabled by default. If you really want it, there's a toggle to enable it on the "options" tab of the preferences panel.

We've made it less annoying by not raising the window unless you hold the mouse still over it for a second or so. That way, passing the mouse over one window on your way to another one won't raise the one that's just in the way.


4.10 Q: When I start a KDE session, nothing starts. What's wrong?

A: Make sure you're not logged in as the same user from another machine. If you are, KDE will refuse to start the second session.

You can also check the .xsession-errors file in your home directory. If something refused to start, this file will usually tell you why. It's usually as simple as a lock file hanging around.


4.11 Q: My windows have no borders or title bars and I can't move or resize them.

A: You don't have a window manager running. If you're using XDM to log in to a remote machine, MI/X assumes the remote session will start a window manager. If for some reason, the window manager your remote session tries to start fails, you will need to start one by hand and/or select a new one.

There is at least one window manager which will fail to start because MI/X does not support an extension it thinks it can't live without.


5.1 Q: Are there any manuals or documentation available for MI/X?

A: The help is available from the MI/X icon in the system tray. It contains help for the various dialogs plus a copy of this FAQ. The current version of the FAQ can be found at https://www.microimages.com/mix/mix-faq.htm.


5.2 Q: Is it possible to submit reports of possible errors or ask for new features for MI/X?

A: Yes, you can do so by contacting Software Support.  If you contact us with errors, please be very specific about what you were trying to do when you experienced the problem, and what your results were.  If you send us feature requests, please keep in mind that all feature implementations are a management decision.  To report errors and to request new features, please send email to mix-support@microimages.com.

Do not try to get support by replying to the receipt you get when you purchase MI/X online. If you do, it will go to our accounting department, and they can't help you unless there's a problem with the order. Do not use the tech@microimages.com address. They provide support for our GIS products, not MI/X.


5.3 Q: Do you make the source code for MI/X available?

A: No.


6.1 Q:How do I purchase MI/X?

A: MI/X is now free.


7.1 Q:I've found a problem with MI/X. Do you already know about this one?

A: There are some known problems. This section of the FAQ will list the problems we know about and are trying to fix, as well as some of the ones which have been fixed recently.


7.2 Q:I've been told my problem can't be reproduced at MicroImages. Is there anything I can do to help?

A: Yes. Sometimes problems that are reported cannot be reproduced at MicroImages. Programmers hate this kind of problem. If mix-support@microimages.com referred you to this FAQ entry, you have one such problem. If you do have one of these problems, you can help us solve it by running MI/X with a command line option to produce debugging information. To do this, open a DOS prompt and type:

   cd "c:\program files\microimages\mix_4_0"
   mix -d
When MI/X exits you'll have a nice debug.txt file that may help us determine what's happening on your system that doesn't happen on any of ours. Please email it to mix-support@microimages.com


7.3 Q:I just purchased MI/X and it tells me the authorization code is invalid.

A: The Host ID has a checksum built into it so that the web page for purchasing MI/X can verify that you didn't mistype it. However, if you have disabled JavaScript in your browser, this check is bypassed making it possible to accidentally purchase MI/X for an invalid Host ID. In this case mix-support is automatically notified and will wait for you to contact them with the correct Host ID, at which time they will generate your authorization code for you.


7.4 Q: I get a BadAlloc error on an X_OpenFont call

A: The full error looks something like this:

   X Error of failed request:  BadAlloc (insufficient resources for operation)
     Major opcode of failed request:  45 (X_OpenFont)
This is usually due to an error in either fonts.dir or fonts.alias. This usually indicates that the client requested a font which MI/X could not supply. Sometimes it indicates that an entry exists in fonts.dir or fonts.alias which makes MI/X think the font is available, but the file the entry refers to is missing.

If you have Windows 2000 or XP, MI/X will display a notification bubble on the MI/X icon in your system tray telling you what font it was looking for. This feature isn't available in Windows 95 or 98, so instead MI/X will popup an error dialog.


7.5 Q: Some text is drawn "chopped off" when typing. Only half the characters are displayed.

A: This problem has only been reported once, but the "solution" was so obscure, that we just had to document it.

The fix was to bring up the preferences and, on the Screen tab, set the width a few pixels less than the actual resolution. We have no idea why this would help or what caused the problem. It may be related to the display drivers for the video card being used. The person who reported it said that he had several identical computers and it only happened on a couple of them.


7.6 Q:Konqueror or KDE crashes under MI/X 4.0

A: This problem is fixed in 4.0.9 (8 April 2003). Currently we have verified that MI/X works with the versions of KDE which ship with RedHat 8.0 and Suse 8.0 and 8.1.


7.7 Q:After running the 4.0 demo, 3.0 has problems drawing windows

A: The RENDER extension causes MI/X to use new frame buffer (FB) code to do the rendering. This feature was present in 3.0.11, but not finished and therefore disabled. MI/X 4.0 lets you enable it and uses the same registry location to store its preferences as 3.0.

The short-term solution is to do one of the following.


7.8 Q:Icons are missing in KDE applications, such as konqueror

A: There appears to be a problem with how KDE 3 used the RENDER extension. The problem existed in the version of KDE that shipped with Suse 8.0 but is fixed in the version that ships with Red Hat 9 (we havn't tried Suse 8.1 or 8.2 yet). We implemented a workaround in MI/X, but it appears that this workaround breaks other things, specifically cursors won't show up in Gnome under Red Hat 9.

Soooo.... As of MI/X 4.1, there will be an additional option on the Options tab of the preferences dialog. If you turn on "RENDER compatibility for KDE3", you'll get the version that works with older KDE but not with current versoins of Gnome. If you turn it off, it will work with the current version of Gnome. Since newer versions of KDE seem to work with or without the option, it defaults to being off.

Now for a technical answer: It appears that there's either a problem with how KDE handles transparency with the RENDER extension, or a problem with the RENDER extension itself, or possibly fbcompose.c in XFree86 4.3.

Here's how KDE appears to create these icons:

The problem is that in combining the source picture and the mask in fbCombineMaskU(), the source has zeros for all the alpha values. The result is a picture which ends up with zero for its alpha value, so fbCombineOverU() thinks it's 100% transparent.

Possible solutions are:

It seems like the best solution should be the first one. Perhaps there's some way MI/X could force KDE to use PICT_x8r8g8b8 pictures?

Update: It appears that the newer versions of KDE fix the problem and do not require the modification we made fbcompose.c. In fact, with that modification, cursors which try to use alpha channel dissapear. As of MI/X 4.1, there is a KDE3 compatibility option in the preferences to control this.


7.9 Q:Running KDE, after a while, my CPU load goes 100% and my PC gets really sluggish.

A: We are looking into this. What we've found so far is that klipper seems to be constantly asking for the primary selection. Over and over and over... If you kill klipper, everything returns to normal.

You can also disable the MI/X option to automatically copy the primary selection to the Windows clipboard. It turns out that what's happening is that this option and klipper are fighting over who gets ownership of the primary selection.


7.10 Q:XDM login to Red Hat 9 just flashes the screen over and over

A: This has been fixed and will work in MI/X 4.1


7.11 Q:XDM login to Red Hat 9 shows up but there is no mouse cursor.

A: Obviously you have MI/X 4.1 or you wouldn't have gotten this far (See previous FAQ entry). This is the flip-side of FAQ 7.8, so see the explination there.


7.12 Q:All the text is missing in Mozilla under Red Hat 9

A: This is an error in how Mozilla 1.2.1 tried to render antialised text if it detected the RENDER extension. Turning off RENDER fixes the problem.

A better option here it to download the latest version of Mozilla from www.mozilla.org. Version 1.4 works just fine. Watch out when you install it though, because it defaults to installing into a different location (/usr/local/mozilla), so the menus in Gnome and KDE will still run the old version.



This document maintained by: mix-support@microimages.com
Questions to: mix-support@microimages.com

Last updated: 1-Feb-2005