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Old 03-06-2009, 11:05 PM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2009
Location: New Zealand
Distribution: PCLinux
Posts: 17

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Angry Keyboard not responding properly - probably not hardware problem

How ignominious!! Here I am having to log in with my old Windaze PC, because Linux has done something unspeakable to my keyboard, so I can't communicate with it under Linux.

I've looked at similar threads, "Keyboard not responding," "Keyboard not responding in KDE," and "Keyboard problem (not responding)," all from 2006. But none of these deal with a similar problem; they all relate to complete lack of keyboard response.

All of a sudden today, after working fine, without any discernible provocation from me, my old Dell keyboard, Model SK8110, started responding as follows: it would only input a letter after holding a key down firmly for a second or so, and completely lost all response to the normal tapping. On holding a key down for longer it would repeat.

The entered text could be deleted by the Backspace key, which also responded in the same slow ponderous way.

My mouse continues to work fine.

This is a PS2 keyboard. The system identified it OK.

I substituted a Microsoft Office keyboard, which likewise was identified, but behaved in the identical fashion.

I tried booting into Windows on the same machine, and there was no trouble at all - the MS keyboard entered letters in accordance with the usual light taps. Therefore I don't think this is a hardware problem.

I tried tweaking everything which could conceivably be tweaked in the Control and Configure windows (not much!) but to no avail.

Thinking the problem might be caused by a slightly damaged file, I re-installed Linux. But the problem continues.

Help!! I'm at the end of my tether, having never struck anything like this in more than 20 years' experience of Windaze computing. I must say it's rather disillusioning!
Old 03-07-2009, 02:34 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2007
Distribution: Fedora, openSUSE
Posts: 252

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It sounds like it could be an accessibility feature, although I don't know why it would remain switched on after reinstalling (do you have a separate /home partition that was untouched when you reinstalled?). Don't know how to set those features in KDE I'm afraid, but you should be able to find them easily enough in the control centre. I just checked and Gnome has an accessibility feature which gives exactly the symptoms you describe.
Old 03-07-2009, 05:20 PM   #3
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Registered: Feb 2009
Location: New Zealand
Distribution: PCLinux
Posts: 17

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MANY thanks - what a relief! I had to turn off "Use gestures" and "Use slow keys."

There was another very recent post about this at

Looks like this may be a hidden bug, because neither I nor the other person posting had consciously done anything to start the problem - for my part, I'd never even been in that part of Control Center: Regional & Accessibility > Accessibiliity > Activation Gestures > & Modifier Keys.


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