Had a problem the other day where the console for some VMs in vSphere wouldn't type the "pipe" symbol properly. It's pretty important when chaining Linux commands together.
I found this great workaround on superuser.com for VirtualBox, but it works in vSphere too:
Hold down Alt and type 1-2-4 on the numeric keypad.
I've used those alt codes before to type indices and the degrees symbol, but not the pipe.