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Pointer Turns Into Question Mark

Sometimes when I use my Mac OS X over VNC, I would accidentally tap the "Insert" key on my keyboard. This key happens to be mapped to the "Help" key on a Macintosh keyboard. So it turns the pointer into the help icon.

At that point, it's practically fruitless to continue to use the Mac OS X over VNC, because every keystroke will turn the pointer into a help icon. And Mac OS X will not let you enter any keystrokes unless it's in combination with the shirt, alt, ctrl, or command key.

I have found no way out of this mode, once it is in this mode. Stopping and restarting the VNC client is useless. The only way is to reboot the Mac OS X computer or to log out, then back into the account (causing VNC to close connection).

Using the keyboard on the actual Mac OS X computer, on the other hand, doesn't suffer this problem.

Has anyone see this strangeness? And has anyone figured out a way out of it?

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 11 Apr 2011 21:12:47 +0000

I might have been mistaken about the "Insert" key. It's the "Delete" key that causes this problem. And the "Delete" key is pretty important when editing documents. Has anyone figured out a way around this problem?

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 04 May 2011 06:09:46 +0000

Well, I found this problem only occurs with the Vine Server 3.0 that I installed. The VNC server that is built into Mac OS X 10.5 doesn't have this problem. It does have other problems, which is why I installed Vine Server in the first place.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 04 May 2011 06:29:29 +0000

I found that the Mac OS X sees the "Insert" key as the "Delete" key when using VNC. What this means is that when you press "Insert" key in front of characters, it actually deletes the characters to the right of the caret. This symptom occurs on both the built-in VNC server and the Vine Server 3.0.

This means that I can still delete characters. And if I'm careful about not hitting the "Delete" key, I won't cause the Vine Server to lock up with the question mark symptom.

Another possibility is to run both the built-in VNC server and the Vine Server on different ports. When the Vine Server locks up with the question mark, log in using the built-in VNC server and restart the Vine Server. I think I'll try this solution tonight.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 04 May 2011 06:49:37 +0000

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