this has never happened to me before:

I can connect with PHP and with JSP (& do updates), but not from unix shell...

from unix shell I do the usual:

mysql -u root p
but before it even prompts me for a password, I get this error:

ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO)
am trying to connect again after about six months, have not had difficulty with this before (again: problem connecting only from unix shell, not from PHP or JSP.. so obviously the server is turned on..;-) this has really never happened to me before....

this is all in my local machine (mac/unix)

would appreciate some suggestions.. thank you..