Hi all -

I am a new ubuntu user (~4 months) and new to this forum. My ubuntu 10.04 running on an Acer desktop started exhibiting some very pathological behavior this afternoon. I am hoping for some help:

The use of a web browser spontaneously freezes my keyboard as well as the panel along the top of my desktop that gives me direction access to os functions (applications, filesystem, drop down menu to switch users/power off/etc), though the widgets on this panel still respond. Saying the keyboard freezes is a bit misleading, as I also cannot get the ready-blinking-cursor to appear in any text entry fields (e.g. url bars, gchat, terminal)

For the most part, user programs (including the offending web browser) still respond to the mouse. I can close out their windows, drag shortcuts onto docky, etc).

Before this happens, I can use any non-browser programs for as long as I want. Once a browser is opened, I sometimes have 10 mins, sometimes 30 seconds, or anywhere in between, before the failure occurs.

I have tried to trouble shoot by uninstalling and reinstalling the browsers (chromium, firefox) that I use, as well as exploring some others. They all exhibit this same behavior. I have also installed all the latest ubuntu updates.

I don't know what could have caused this. I use this computer to develop webpages in html/css/javascript. The pages are not live, only on my hard drive and this computer is not a server. Today I had been exploring with some jquery animations for the first time when this problem started. But I have stopped using the browsers to examine my own pages and still the failure occurs.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am completely willing to supply more information if it will help find a solution.