Blank white popup window

What does it mean when an application freezes, and a little white window (about 1" high by 3" wide) containing only a ">" prompt pops up?  No matter what I type into this window, it just takes it and does nothing.  The only thing it seems to hear is a three-finger salute (reboot).

Can anyone tell me (a) what causes this popup, (b) what it means, and (c) what commands it handles (if any).

Thanks

JEH
harlowAsked:
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Steven_KConnect With a Mentor Commented:
it's a debug window caused by your program crash or a keystroke combination(apple-power) in some models or little button on other models. It's called a mini-debugger vs the main debugger which is a program you can load which will tell you much more about current code status. In short it's a programming tool built into the OS but rarely used by anyone else.

If it was gotten to by accident you can type a "g" (sans quotes) and return and it should return you to where you were. If it was caused by a crash sometimes you can return to the OS with one or another of three key combinations:
g ease <return>
-or-
g fin <return>
-or-
g finder <return>

 each of which will try to close the offending application and return to the finder. This rarely works if the problem was caused by a network transfer gone awry or a scsi chain problem. It also works only as well as force-quit on newer systems (it used to be a rom code but since the keyboard has usb access and the rom is loaded in ram it can get locked up like a particular program can.)
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harlowAuthor Commented:
Thanks!
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