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Old 04-16-2005, 12:09 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Distribution: Slackware, Mandriva, Debian derivatives, +BSD/ Solaris/ Minix/ plan9/ GNU/HURD...
Posts: 185

Rep: Reputation: 30
strange Gnome desktop keyboard problem...

This one's from the Twilight Zone...

The place: My other computer that's not connected to the internet, running Red Hat Linux 9.0 as root on the Gnome desktop.

The event: The keyboard suddenly started beeping at every keypress, and would not otherwise respond.

What I was doing right before this happened: running a script that I wrote which searches for files that you specify, (like with locate), sorts them according to text files, html files, man pages, etc, displays them in a list of each, and opens the appropriate viewer for the page you want to view (i.e. info browser for info files, lynx to views web pages, etc). That's all it does! I was using it to go through it to read a programming tutorial in the lynx text mode web browser, looking at a file I downloaded and floppy-copied.

How this script (named 411) works: if I type "411 foo" it would be just as if I'd typed:
locate -i foo > /tmp/results
grep "\.html" /tmp/results > /tmp/results_web
sed -n '1p' /tmp/results_web > lynx
rm -f /tmp/results*

Everything I tried:
rebooting (still had the problem)
exiting gnome and typing in the console (worked fine)
switching desktops to KDE and TWM (worked fine for each)
shutting down and installing a new keyboard (didn't fix it)
checked all running processes, daemons, etc (nothing unusual there)
running the same script and choosing the same options from the console (didn't do anything wrong in the console - same web page and everything!)
testing gnome desktop again - (still had same problem, keyboard transforms into automatic beep machine, and caps lock, etc, doesn't even turn on the little green lights!)
tested in KDE and TWM (STILL fine!)

What finally fixed it:
recursively deleting my entire ./.gconf directory, after reading it and noticing that each and every instance of "%gconf.xml" in it was accessed on today's date, and seemed to have about 25 lines of extra, untranslatable garbage!

Of course, now, I have to spend a jolly hour resetting wallpapers and etc to the way I like them again.

My question is: What happened to cause this? Does anything leap out at you?
Old 04-16-2005, 02:30 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Distribution: Slackware, Mandriva, Debian derivatives, +BSD/ Solaris/ Minix/ plan9/ GNU/HURD...
Posts: 185

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
forgot to mention: I also tried logging in under different user ID, the problem still didn't happen.

Anybody have even a guess what this could be, or are there so many possible causes that it would be impossible to sort them out?


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