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I am using Fedora Core 3 with GNOME. Please understand that my frame of reference is W98. Linux and the FC3 distribution is still very much foreign to me.
My system keyboard is an old AT style made by Northgate. It is an OmniKey Ultra for those who may remember such things. The AT keyboard had a separate numeric and position function pad on the far right.
With NumLock off, I have noticed that when I attempt to select text using the keypad on the far right, the arrow and position keys do not function when Shift is also held down. The arrow keys are up, down, left and right. The position keys are Home, PgUp, End and PgDn.
For example, if the cursor were in the middle of this line and I held down Shift + Home, the text between the left margin and the cursor position should be selected. Instead, the number 7 is inserted, as if the NumLock were actually on.
If I do enable NumLock and proceed as outlined in the last paragraph, then the text selection is made. This behavior is the opposite of what I would expect and does not follow what I use in W98.
Do I have a keyboard problem that can be corrected? Or are the text selection rules in GNOME/Linux different from W98?
I've never noticed this until now that you bring it to my attention, but yeah, the text selection rules does seem a little off (if not braindamaged). Since I have the same situation (I think I do) I guess it's not specific to your setup. I can't tell whether it's a bug or a feature, but standard behavior is for shift to toggle-while-hold the numlock status. So shift turns 4 into left-arrow, but at the same time, shift + left-arrow selects text to the left (was that clear?).
Suggestion if you want to change this: have a look at how setxkbmap works (especially the keymapping files). Also, try a few different applications and see if the act the same. To get you started: gedit, firefox, abiword. I think you'll find that they don't.
Final thing: if you go to User CP -> edit profile -> distro, you can type in your distro name, version and (if you like) kernel version; in that way, you don't have to repeatedly state which distro you need help for (unless you run more than one).