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-   -   Cat locking up keyboard (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=870461)

dtilque 02-09-2019 03:48 PM

Cat locking up keyboard
 
Just a little while ago, a cat walked across the keyboard of my laptop and decided to sit down in the middle of it. Usually he just walks across to the other side and doesn't cause any significant problem. Maybe scrolls the window but that's about it.

This time, he managed to lock up the keyboard. The mouse pointer would move around but none of the keys, including the left mouse key, had any effect. I ended up having to reboot because I couldn't figure out a way to unlock otherwise. It's running Ubuntu. I tried Ctrl-q, just in case he hit a Ctrl-s, but that didn't work.

So what's it likely that he did? And how do you unlock it?

Hari Seldon 02-09-2019 04:31 PM

Reboot. Hold the power key for 10 seconds if nothing else works.

engineer_comp_geek 02-09-2019 04:35 PM

No idea what your cat did, but mine has managed to get my keyboard completely borked on more than one occasion (Windows, in my case). A reboot is the fastest way out of it that I have found.

dtilque 02-09-2019 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hari Seldon (Post 21479784)
Reboot. Hold the power key for 10 seconds if nothing else works.

That's what I did. I was just hoping for an idea to avoid doing that.

jasg 02-09-2019 05:07 PM

I prevent this problem by putting a cat trap on the desk...

dtilque 02-09-2019 11:32 PM

I've seen the keyboard lockup complaint enough that this must not be some specific key combination. Rather just too many keystrokes at once causes keyboards to enter a safe state or something like that. You'd think keyboard manufacturers would build in some escape from this state. After all, some people will be in a situation where they'll lose a considerable amount of work if the computer is rebooted.

septimus 02-10-2019 06:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dtilque (Post 21480307)
After all, some people will be in a situation where they'll lose a considerable amount of work if the computer is rebooted.

I'm often in a situation where random reboots are inconvenient. But still Micro$oft has rebooted me without warning four times in the last week. :mad:

And we don't even have a cat. (There are 2 or 3 hoopoe birds right outside my window but they've not been in the house for many months and AFAIK have no interest in playing Windo$e anyway.)

ThelmaLou 02-10-2019 07:46 AM

Many people have had this happen. Seriously.

One time my cat ran across the keyboard and turned the screen sideways. I have no idea what key combination she accidentally hit. I googled
Quote:

cat ran across keyboard screen sideways
and got millions of hits. Also the solution. Google is your friend (except when it's not).

BTW, this thread is in the Google search results linked to above.

Miss Mapp 02-10-2019 07:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 21480548)
Many people have had this happen. Seriously.

One time my cat ran across the keyboard and turned the screen sideways. I have no idea what key combination she accidentally hit. I googled

and got millions of hits. Also the solution. Google is your friend (except when it's not).

BTW, this thread is in the Google search results linked to above.

This is exactly what I did when Annie turned my screen sideways a few months ago. I had heard somewhere that it was a common problem, and probably inevitable in my case since Annie frequently likes to sit on the laptop keyboard if I don't close it; I can feel that the keyboard is slightly warm and that attracts her to it.

Musicat 02-10-2019 08:00 AM

You need to get a GE Transparent Cat.

PoppaSan 02-10-2019 08:58 AM

nm.
ETA: I will assume you like the cat.

dtilque 02-10-2019 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 21480548)
Many people have had this happen. Seriously.

But I don't see anyone finding a solution.

Quote:

One time my cat ran across the keyboard and turned the screen sideways. I have no idea what key combination she accidentally hit. I googled

and got millions of hits. Also the solution. Google is your friend (except when it's not).
Yes, a specific set of keystrokes rotates the display left or right. Easy to undo when you know what it is. No one seems to have come up with such a set for unlocking.

Quote:

BTW, this thread is in the Google search results linked to above.
Google adjusts your results based on what sites you visit a lot. You (and lots of others here including me) visit here a lot, so it moves results from those sites to the first page. Same reason Wikipedia hits are usually near the top, at least for me and lots of other people.

mhendo 02-10-2019 01:25 PM

I've made this recommendation before on these boards:

You need PawSense software on your computer.

At 20 bucks, it seems a bit expensive given the relatively low risk of disaster, but if you have cats who like to make a nuisance of themselves, it might be worth it.

nightshadea 02-10-2019 01:51 PM

heh our cats get annoyed by phones and tablets my aunts cat has figured out that if you tap the screen it makes noise....well she ended up buying my aunt a 30 dollar upgrade box for her game ...but a few months ago I made the screen black and white ...figured the video card went out ...bought a new one put it in and didn't help

come to find out theres a specific combo of keys that if pressed and permanently puts windows in B&W until you undo it and we had to dig on how to find out how.....

RedSwinglineOne 02-12-2019 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dtilque (Post 21480307)
I've seen the keyboard lockup complaint enough that this must not be some specific key combination. Rather just too many keystrokes at once causes keyboards to enter a safe state or something like that...

I used to have cow-orker who would fall asleep at his desk. When he did, he would press some keys for an extended period of time and his computer would go into some kind of "disability" mode. It would assume the person using the computer had some type of coordinational difficulty and would only allow 1 keystroke per some unit of time. (like several seconds) It required going somewhere into the settings to turn off.

Elendil's Heir 02-12-2019 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedSwinglineOne (Post 21484388)
I used to have cow-orker who would fall asleep at his desk....

Having a cow step on your keyboard is likely to be a significantly bigger problem than having a cat do it.

asterion 02-12-2019 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhendo (Post 21480952)
I've made this recommendation before on these boards:

You need PawSense software on your computer.

At 20 bucks, it seems a bit expensive given the relatively low risk of disaster, but if you have cats who like to make a nuisance of themselves, it might be worth it.

I wondered if they still made that software. I remember hearing about it back when I was still using Win98SE.

markn+ 02-12-2019 04:29 PM

I believe PawSense is only available for Windows. The OP is running ubuntu. I've never seen a Linux keyboard lock up except when ctrl-S was involved, but the OP says he checked for that.


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