Is my computer posessed?

Skip Morrow (
Sun, 3 Jan 1999 14:00:34 -0800

This may be off topic, but I am running Afterstep 1.6 and you guys seem like
a pretty smart bunch so I thought I'd give you a try.

I (finally) got my linux going again (I got a new computer for Christmas and
was fretting over drivers and X servers and the like).  I grabbed XFree86
ver 3.3.3 and got it working (STB nVidia TNT 16 meg video card).  But
there's one strange problem.  When I run X and open a terminal window, about
once a minute a single ` character (the un-shifted tilde ~) appears in the
terminal.  Right where I would be typing in commands.  It even sometimes
puts them in right while I am typing.  I don't even have to be at the
computer doing anything.  If I leave for a few minutes and come back, there
will be a row of a dozen of them.  This behavior does not happen if I don't
run x and just stay in plain linux.  It turns out that the ` characters
appear in the terminal every 70 seconds like clockwork, but only if the
terminal window has the focus.  If it doesn't have the focus, the characters
are not stored in a buffer, so that when xterm does get the focus again,
there is not a quick stream of a bunch of them.  I have double-checked my
keyboard entries in /etc/XF86Config and I have tried both the Microsoft
setting and the pc102 settings.  neither helped (I have one of those funky
split keyboards.  I don't know if it is a "true Microsoft natural" keyboard,
but it is brand new.  I got it with my new dell computer).  Finally, this
only happens in terminal windows.  It does not happen in text editors or
anything else.  It will however happen in any application that runs "full
screen" in the terminal (like pico).

Is my computer possessed?