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This is the strangest thing I have ever heard of. For some reason all Gnome apps (Gaim, Evolution, all Mozilla based browsers (Moz, Firebird, Galeon), etc.) stop responding to alpha/numeric keyboard input. Keys like backspace, tab, and the arrow keys still work as usual, but normal alpha keys stop responding. The only recourse I have found is to restart the app. I have checked and double checked all keyboard mappings and everything is usual. This is a fairly fresh install (within last week), and I have never had this issue with any other install of this distro on same machine or others. Any insite or tips would be greatly appreciated. Don't hesitate to suggest the most off the wall things, because I have covered most all of the obvious and not so obvious things.
Some Background (I am going to be detailed in the off chance it will help someone)
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat/CentOS
May be an X problem...I would start there. You may want to check your x86config file to see how your keyboard is listed. I would also look at google to see if others with your keyboard are having similar problems.
If it was a X issue, why would it only affect Gnome apps and also not affect them consistently? Also, I have used this keyboard for a long time with Linux and not had issues until after this install. I'll research it none the less. Thanks for the idea.
I have came up with a new hypothesis on what might be happening. When you mentioned X, it made me think to dig deeper into the underlying OS. Checking /var/log/messages I stumbled across a lot of kernel errors similar to this:
linux kernel: keyboard.c: can't emulate rawmode for keycode 272
I did my homework, and find this is a known issue with Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse combo's, and there is a kernel patch which disables display of the error. Now this message in the syslog is not the "cause" of the problem to my knowledge, but possibly could be related. This keycode (272 and also 273) is caused by the clicking of mouse buttons. This started to make me think, usually when the Gnome apps stopped working, it was after a mouse button click (not always though). Maybe just maybe these extraneous keycodes are causing a conflict with something I have installed this time, that I did not before. If anyone has any ideas at all of what that could possibly be, please let me know ASAP.
I have resolved the issue by uninstalling a bunch of stuff which I inadvertently installed during the new install. I am not sure exactly which app it was, but everything I removed was related to foreign languages (mostly Asian C/J/K language stuff). If anyone has the unfortunate experience of having this issue in the future, I would look at those packages first.