intermittently losing keyboard usability

i'm running suse 9.0. my boss installed it with only kde. he later allowed me to install gnome. i used the yast "search" feature to search for "gnome". i checked every package that showed up in the search results (meaning all packages with "gnome" in the name or in the description) and installed them all.

after adding "gnome" to the list shown in the login window, i am now able to use it. everything looks fantastic (haven't seen it in a few versions) and works fantastic, BUT my keyboard cuts out on my intermittently. i can sort of reproduce it by typing in (for example) GEdit, then opening ANY other process and typing in there. when i switch back to my GEdit window, i can't type. Well...... sort of... I can backspace over stuff that i've already typed, but nothing else... as in no other printed characters show up on the screen. In GEdit, I'm just screwed. However, I found a descent workaround for other apps that allow me to launch multiple instances of themselves, like gnome-terminal. If i launch one instance of it and type, the keyboard works properly. Then, if i switch to another process (NOT another instance of gnome-terminal), i'm fine there too. When I switch back to gnome-terminal, usually I cannot type anymore. BUT, if i then launch a second instance of gnome-terminal and type in there a little bit, then switch DIRECTLY back to the first instance of gnome-terminal, i can type again. ....that is, until i try typing in some other process' window again. then i have to rinse & repeat.

i've done a little googling, but i'm not finding this precise symptom mentioned anywhere.

has anyone seen this... or more importantly, know what i can do to fix it? ;-)

NOTE: the desktop manager is still set to "kdm" instead of "gdm." not sure if my boss would be into me changing that, but if it's the problem, tell me, please, and i'll just tell him that it's the only way.


- philip

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