Well something has changed ! I did an update last night and this
morning found that I could no longer get to my desktop using the
technique of waiting for the password to disappear.
Now both my user name and the password are cleared ! However
reinstating them both and pressing enter left me with the desktop
failing to load and then a dark blue screen.
Eventually I got a working desktop on one of the tty's. But only
Kmail and Iceweasel work. The other applications including Synaptic,
that I tried don't.
Not good ! For the uninitiated this means that their machine is