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Old 02-09-2019, 03:48 PM
dtilque is online now
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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?
  #2  
Old 02-09-2019, 04:31 PM
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Reboot. Hold the power key for 10 seconds if nothing else works.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:35 PM
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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.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
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.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:07 PM
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I prevent this problem by putting a cat trap on the desk...
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:32 PM
dtilque is online now
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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.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
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.

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.)
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:46 AM
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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.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
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.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:00 AM
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You need to get a GE Transparent Cat.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:58 AM
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nm.
ETA: I will assume you like the cat.
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Last edited by PoppaSan; 02-10-2019 at 08:58 AM. Reason: eta
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
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.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:25 PM
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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.

Last edited by mhendo; 02-10-2019 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:51 PM
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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.....
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
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.
  #16  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSwinglineOne View Post
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.
  #17  
Old 02-12-2019, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhendo View Post
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.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:29 PM
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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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