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I have had this problem on many Windows machines since Windows XP, and I have never figured out how to make it go away. It's pretty simple to reproduce for me:

  1. Open MSWord, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird - pretty much any editing application
  2. Create a new document/message
  3. As fast as you can, type hey [space] you [space]
  4. The computer will either Beep, or in the case of MSWord or T-Bird, bring up a modal spell-check window, and when dismissing the dialog, places the cursor in a new position in the document.

Does anyone have any idea what is going on, and how to make this annoying behavior stop?

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I must not type fast enough ... :( – Adrien Aug 19 '10 at 17:49
Have you been using the same keyboard on all of these machines? – Shinrai Aug 19 '10 at 18:50
One machine is a PC with a cheap keyboard. One was an IBM Thinkpad T40. One was a circa 2002 Dell laptop. I've found it odd that it's been the same key combination on all three machines that has done funny things. – Cameron Pope Aug 19 '10 at 19:27
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Sounds to me like in hitting the space key you could also be occasionally hitting the "alt" key, which via alt and some keyboard shortcuts would bring up some weird dialogs or just cause errors in programs that don't have shortcuts that correspond to the keys you are pressing.. I've just tried "accidentally" pressing "alt" then random characters in Thunderturkey and it does exactly what you are describing.

Either that or you have a dodgy ancient keyboard that won't let you type quickly...

Typically the Alt key is the beginning of a keyboard shortcut, that underline you see on a letter in a menu in Windows means "Press alt and this key to get this menu/item."

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I'll swap the keyboard on this PC with my Apple USB keyboard and see what happens. Interesting idea. – Cameron Pope Aug 19 '10 at 19:28
I think it's the cheap wireless keyboard - I put in a nice USB keyboard and I don't have the problem anymore. – Cameron Pope Oct 6 '10 at 16:57

Probably a hardware issue:

Different combinations cause problems on different keyboards. I guess it depends on exactly how the keyboard is wired.

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