Problems & Ideas
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get help with MISTC?
For help with downloading and starting up
MISTC, send email
to MISTCHelp@netlab.gmu.edu. If the problem can't be resolved without spoken consultation, we'll set up a phone conversation.
Be sure you have loaded the software, tested playback, and made a trial connection through Moodle to the
server at least 24 hours before class before you email us. During your classtime, you can call 703 993-1515 to find out
if the class in running on the Internet--no
support will be provided, however.
Our staff is very limited, and though we are willing to offer you some help in getting started, we cannot offer any
significant technical support. As you probably know, this is the policy for most open-source software. But we have
tried to anticipate questions and difficulties in our documentation, so we hope you will be able to set up and use
Feedback from you is welcome.
Can I use the MISTC software with Windows XP?
We have experienced no problems running MISTC under Windows XP.
Can I use MISTC with Windows Vista?
will run under Windows Vista. Please note that the installation requires
On the download web page, it says that the size of the MISTC Client is 10MB.
Unfortunately, when I downloaded it, I only received 163KB. What did I do wrong?
When you allow all of the tools to load, it will be at least 10MB. The tools will
load if you allow the download to execute as set in the zipfile. Alternately, you can
install just the master client and then click on newadd.bat.
The clients that I downloaded do not have Floor Control.
Is it the way it should be?
In MISTC releases through 4.0.0, the Floor Control does not load until the first
time it is used in an online session.
I want to use MISTC at work. How do I get through our firewall?
When you use the Connect to Class link on your Moodle account, you will find the firewall information there that is particular to your course.
How do I run MISTC on Mac OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion)?
The newest version of Mac OS 10.8 includes security features to prevent the execution of unsigned apps. In order to use MISTC,
you must do the following:
1. Download the MISTC.app normally and copy it into your Applications folder
2. Right click the MISTC.app and select open, then click open again at the security warning
3. The app should then launch and you should not be prompted for the warning again.
You may also be prompted about "gs" requiring X11. If you click OK, it will take you to an Apple webpage
with a note to download XQuartz version 2.7.2 or later from SourceForge. Follow the link to
http://xquartz.macosforge.org/landing/ and download the .dmg file. Then open the .dmb file and install XQuartz.
The Whiteboard should work normally after this.
I am trying to install MISTC on Windows 8
64-bit and it's not working. What should I do?
has been tested with Windows 8, but there are
possible quirks yet to be worked out. One user found that with the 64-bit version of Windows 8 you have to install both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions
of Java for Java to work properly. So try this out, and if you still have a problem, contact MISTC Help
I am using Windows Vista and get the message, "error in 16-bit waveInOpen testing format" when starting MISTC.
What should I do?
For many users this problem has been remedied by updating the audio drivers on their system. Try visiting
your system manufacturer's support website and installing the latest audio device drivers. If this does
not fix your problem, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I tried to download and install, but I get an error message saying to install
java 1.5. I think I did download J2SE 1.5.2. Is there another option?
Try uninstalling all versions of java on your machine. Then goto
and download the latest 1.5 by clicking the 'download now' button. If you need the
JDK, try the
The problem is that java isn't in your path and MISTC
isn't able to find it on
your system. A proper installation should remedy this.
Does the MISTC install program use the JAVA_HOME environment variable to find the
installation of the JDK?
The installation program tries several ways to locate Java 1.5 runtime. JAVA_HOME
is on the list; but it tries the Windows registry first. If there is a problem
with the registry setting, JAVA_HOME will not be consulted. Reinstalling Java 1.5
typically resets the registry values.
When I try to install the MISTC software with my Windows 98, I get an error message
about the installer. What should I do?
Download and install the Windows Installer from Microsoft. You can download
My MISTC installation freezes. The console reads:
MISTC Master Client 040300 starting java cmd:
"C:\Windows\System32\java.exe" -classpath "C:\PROGRA~1\NEW\NEWC040204" testJava14"
What should I do?
You should install (or reinstall) the Sun's Java Runtime Environment from
When installing the client, the application fails with the message, "MISTC client
software download failed." What should I do?
If you are connecting from behind a web proxy server or have local firewall software
running, such as Norton Internet Security or ZoneAlarm, try disabling these while
installing MISTC. Or you could configure your security system to grant access to the
MISTC java application. MISTC needs to connect to the Internet to download additional
components during the initial installation and may need to do so again later to
I am running 64 bit Linux and I keep getting error messages about missing whiteboard
libraries. What should I do?
With Red Hat based Linux distributions, such as Fedora/RHEL/Scientific Linux, install these packages:
> yum install glibc.i686
> yum install libstdc++.i686
> yum install libX11.i686
> yum install libXScrnSaver.i686
For non Red Hat based Linux distributions, look for the libraries in their
respective package managers (e.g., on Ubuntu use the
> apt-get command) or search in Synaptic.
When I installed MISTC, why didn't I get an icon in the programs menu?
MISTC does not install an icon in the programs menu. It is a client for Web
access, and as such it is not normally run independently of a webpage. The MISTC
clients will be invoked when you access the live class from your Moodle account.
To run the MISTC client offline for playback or recording: on Windows or MacOSX navigate to Documents/MISTCDATA and click OFFLINE.nwm; on Linux, type command /usr/local/MISTC/MISTC in the terminal window. In addition, on Windows or MacOSX you can play a MISTC recording simply by clicking on its icon.
My Speak Freely window says it cannot support the audio format. What should I do?
This is a Windows problem and the answer is to reboot.
I normally use 800x600 monitor resolution and there just is not enough room for
everything. Do you have any suggestions?
If you are not planning to ask spoken questions, run the LISTEN-ONLY version of
MISTC. It has a smaller GUI.
Though I can hear the instructor with the MISTC software, he cannot hear me.
What should I do?
First ensure sound is working on your computer. Use the "sound test" button on the
MISTC Speak Freely panel. It will capture a short segment from your microphone
and play it back.If the green bar does not bounce when you speak, either your
microphone is not working or the volume needs to be increased. If the bar bounces,
but you do not hear sound coming back soon after, either your speakers/earphones are
not working or the play volume needs to be turned up.
When trying to run
on a modern 64 bit Linux OS, I get an error like:
-bash: ./MISTC: /lib/ld-linux.so.2: bad ELF interpreter: No such file or directory
What should I do?
You need to install the i686 GNU C Library. On Fedora, run:
> yum install glibc.i686
or similar, and a similar procedure must be done in Ubuntu using
My connection is too poor, so I want to try the GMU dialup. How can I do that?
If you are a GMU student, follow the instructions found here
I am getting disconnected from my live class repeatedly. What can I do?
There are several sources for this problem. Check for them with these steps.
First, if you have been connecting with video, try connecting without it.
Second, reboot your machine before connecting with MISTC. This is especially
important if you have not rebooted for some time.
, if you are a GMU student, check if your disconnects are due to your web connection by trying
the GMU dial-up
When using the dial-up, be sure to deactivate your call-waiting by preceding the
number with "*70".
Be aware that not all ISPs provide good connection to GMU at all times. If other
network applications are sluggish, MISTC
will not be able to work, because it needs
streaming delivery of at least 56 kb/s.
Fourth, be sure there is no background application running on your machine
such as messenger/AIM or a P2P program.
, check your machine for spyware/worms/viruses that may be creating
general instability and/or saturating your network connection. Try installing
and running an anti-virus scanner. Look in the task
manager for DLLHOST.EXE or SVCHOST.EXE. These can be legitimate processes, but
if the names are all capital letters, it may be the w32 welchia worm. To eliminate
worm, run the tool at Symantec
website. You may safely run this tool whether you have the worm or not.
When I try to use MISTC
with my linux computer, I get the report that
cannot locate the audio system, and the console output states that the hardware is busy. What should I do?
In some distributions of linux, this error occurs. It can be fixed by running
MISTC as root with the
command sudo /usr/local/MISTC/MISTC. When MISTC
has been started as root once, you may close it and open it normally (/usr/local/MISTC/MISTC)
When I send a message to the professor, it is displayed in the window for text received.
Do the other online students see that message?
Typing in the pink text window sends messages for the instructor alone to see.
The white text window is a chat area for all participants to see.
How do I use my computer's microphone to speak in class?
To participate with audio, you need a computer with sound interface
and a microphone (which is already built into most laptops).
Before participating in class with audio, you should run Sound Test
using button on the MIST/C control panel. This will capture a snippet of
audio and play it back, showing that you are ready to participate. If
you can't get sound to work you can contact email@example.com.
When you want to speak in class, you must first request the floor using
the button on your Floor Control. When you instructor grants you the floor,
your name cell will turn red and you may speak.
My Windows 7 audio control does not show a microphone even though my computer has one.
What should I do?
Go to Start --> Control Panel --> Hardware and Sound --> Sound. Click on the Recording tab.
Next, right click in the area where the devices should be listed and pick the "Show Disabled Devices"
All of your disabled recording devices should appear (if there are any). Right click on the
device you wish to enable, then choose enable.
You should see a green check mark on the device to indicate that it has been enabled.
Select "OK" to save your changes.
How about adding student microphones to MISTC?
If you are going to add student microphones, they need to be combined through a mixer
with the instructor microphone, not brought in through MISTC running on student machines.
The half-duplex sound in MISTC assumes no two machines are within sound reach of each other;
otherwise you get feedback.
There are basically three options for the student mics:
1. leave them open all the time- this results in a great deal of noise
going out on the net and into the recording.
2. voice-activate the mics- this is expensive and ends up being just the same
as #1 because any cough, dropped item, etc. activates the mic.
3. have the students push a button to activate--this results in the instructor
constantly saying, "Push the button on the mic before you speak."
Bottom line: Our experience shows student mics are not a good use of money,
instructor time, class time, or technician time. I strongly prefer a single
wireless mic that can be worn by the instructor and passed to a student who has
something long to say. (A two-channel system with one worn by the instructor and
the other available to pass around is even better. In this case, the second should
be hand-held not clip-on.) When the student has a short question or comment, the
instructor should repeat or paraphrase it for the group. This is actually the
best teaching technique in any case, whether you are online or not.
ImportWindow worked for a while on my Mac but now it won't work. What is wrong?
We have found it necessary to reboot Macs before a class that uses ImportWindow. It seems
there is something in the Mac getting filled up, but we've not been able to learn now to
empty it without rebooting.
ImportWindow button doesn't work to transfer
the image of a screen window to the whiteboard on my Linux system.
What is wrong?
Most likely, your XWindows package is missing some files. On Linux,
ImportWindow needs files xwd, pnmtojpeg, and pnmtopng.
To load them on Fedora:
>yum install xorg-x11-apps
>yum install netpbm-progs
To load them on Ubuntu:
>apt-get install xorg-x11-apps
>apt-get install netpbm
I see this in Mac console log:
newwbd[...] : kCGErrorInvalidConnection: CGSGetWindowTags: Invalid connection
According to various web posts, this message appears under MacOS 10.7 "Lion" but is spurious; does not indicate a real problem.
How do I play MISTC recordings?
When I try double clicking on PLAY STANDALONE, I get the following error:
"unable to connect to record/playback server - continue anyhow? (click CANCEL
to quit)." Could you tell me how can I solve this problem?
This is usually a symptom that you do not have Java installed. See the downloads
page for a link to get it.
When I playback a class, sometimes the slides seem to be out of order. Why?
There was a bug in the playback resequencing. When the instructor went forward
a slide, and then back, the slide did not in fact go back. So all the marks got
made on the wrong slide. This bug has now been fixed so future classes will not
have this problem. We are resequencing the files of past classes, but this may
take some time.
Why do the slides not play properly when I change classes on playback?
The whiteboard caches slides as received. You should restart MISTC when you go to
the second class and the problem will not occur.
I would like to stop and come back to the same point in a lecture recording, but
when I use the forward button to position the recording, the slides and the
instructor's markings get out of sync. What should I do?
The recording works by playing back a stream, so what you want is virtually
impossible. However, the player is built to skip forward by exactly one slide
each time you click the double-arrow-forward button. If you do that, you'll get
to see the slide.
Is it possible for me to use MISTC to make a recording?
Yes, you can make your own recording and play it back with MISTC
Follow these instructions