Cursor change into a question mark (?)

I’ve seen this a few times now, when I type the cursor in the remote machine turns into a question mark and I can no longer type.
It is not very consistent, I’ve seen it in iPhoto, Pages but never in Thunderbird and I use that one a lot. I am not even sure if it’s related to the application being used or not.

Any ideas what that could be ?

Are you hitting the “Insert” key on a Windows keyboard?

On the Mac this key is mapped to “Help” and gives you that context sensitive cursor which you then click to get help.

No I am not…
Last night when it happened again I was on using ARD as my client from an Apple laptop…

Interesting – one of the keys you are hitting is causing the “insert” key to be put down. I wonder if it’s a particular Fn- combination on the MacBook.

If you can identify what key it is and let us know keyboard settings you have on Vine Server that would be very helpful to tracking it down.

The kb settings are US and Smart Event Management.

I don’t know what key did it, I will pay attention next time it happens, but it also happened on a PC and the INS key is nowhere near any of the keys I would use…

I am using XP over RealVNC to Vine on Leopard, and the Insert Key locks me up hard with the question mark. I can mouse, and arrow, but cannot type any “content” keys.
It is definitely the Insert key activating the Help. I cannot dispose of this mode via clicking on a help item remotely, and don’t know enough of Macs to fix it on the Mac side – though that is not really helpful since it’s in another room.
The only way I have found to reset this state is to pop open the server dialog, click Reset Server, and reconnect the VNC session. Annoying.

Usually entering “Help” mode can be abandoned by just hitting the escape key. Is that not working?

In my case, no. If I hit ESC the cursor changes back to a normal text cursor, but as soon as I start typing, the question cursor returns and no characters are accepted. Tried this both on TextEdit and IntelliJ IDEA. This behavior remains until the Vine server is restarted.

Could this be related to TextExpander? I noticed it doesn’t work while connected remotely… Since it’s “inserting” text may be it simulates INS key?

I am a Mac newbie, and don’t use TextExpander, so I don’t think that is the problem for me. It is pretty much standard Leopard Server 10.5.0 (still developer release, not upgraded to 10.5.2 yet).

I would definitely encourage you to move off any Dev Releases to at least the shipping version of 10.5. I don’t suspect that is the primary cause of this behavior but it certainly could be causing a lot of problems.