From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space

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Strange computer error
We had a power failure this afternoon. Everything came back OK, except for one little detail: The ENTER/Return key did not work on one of my computers.

This computer was on a KVM switch. The other computer on the switch had recovered perfectly. The ENTER key (on the same keyboard) worked just fine.

The computer with the problem was a dual-boot Linux/Windows system. It had been running Linux when the power went out. I rebooted it into Windows. The ENTER key worked fine.

I rebooted it again in Linux. The system is set to a console logon. The ENTER key worked fine for entering the logon and password, but was useless after that, both in console mode and in a GNOME terminal. Digging back into my memories, I recalled that CTRL-J sent the same bit sequence as ENTER. I tried it, and CTRL-J worked find. I had a workable, if ugly, substitute for ENTER.

With this I was able to use sudo (this is a Ubuntu system) to create a new logon. The ENTER key worked fine after I logged on with this ID.

What I did after that was to delete the original logon, then recreate it, after copying and/or deleting files as needed (fortunately not too many on this system). This would have been really easy on most Linux systems—just logon as root. With Ubuntu this was a little more complicated, since it does not have an explicit root logon, but I managed with sudo.

Getting another Debian system (with a real root logon) running has just moved up on my priority list.

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Actually, all you have to do on Ubuntu is set a password for root. This also works on MacOS, though it's not as simple as editing /etc/passwd on a real Unix system.

Mostly I just ssh root@localhost.

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