Keyboard text - how get basic encoding? Not US-Intl? "%20" not space. Where change after install? ; jor Ubuntu

giovanni_re john_re at
Thu Jul 29 21:09:46 UTC 2010

KUbuntu 10.4 on ~2004 Compaq laptop, using "alternate" installer cd.  In
the USA, probably a USA build type of laptop keyboard.  This is probably
the text mode installer from the debian project, used by the Ubuntu

Is there a way, & if so what is it, to change something, on this already
installed system (ie, without having to do another complete install),
perhaps the "keyboard" type settings, to eliminate the extra characters
that are encoded into text, & the extra characters that must be typed to
get various punctuation?

I've been installing Linuxes for more than 10 years.  I don't know what
has changed, but recently, on the above mentioned laptop, I wasn't able,
with several different install attempts, to get just the regular simple
(ASCII?) text encoding setup.

During the install, it asks something like "Do you want to have the
keyboard detected, or select a type?".  IIRC, I tried both ways, but
couldn't figure out what to do to get the simple text coding.  

The "detect" method asks that I press several keys, like '"', etc.  "Is
there a key labled 'whatever'?" it asks, for about 10 times, often with
non-US English characters - ex, like for various European languages,
that include special accents on the visual character.

I can't recall now the options for "select the kbd style", but one i
recall was like "US-Intl" (I don't recall if that was what i chose or
not).  Maybe there was also a simple "US", but I don't think so.

Anyway, with the current install, I have to type '" ' - {double quote,
space} to get a single double quote character to appear.  If I press the
double quote key twice in a row, I get something like a slightly
different than normal double quote character appearing in the text -
perhaps thinner, or italicized?

And, often a "space" character, entered into a file name for file save
in firefox, will wind up like something like "%20" in the file name.

So, apparently, whatever method I finally did on the setup on this
laptop (done several months ago, so I don't recall the exact steps I
took then), gave me the wrong settings.

So, is there a way to change some parameter somewhere in the system to
tell it the proper keyboard setting to use, so 
1) it isn't necessary to type the extra "space" to get the correct
punctuation characters, &
2) so the extraneous control characters don't show up when merely typing
a simple "space" character between words?

Thanks :)

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