It was in the late-1970s that the first PC maker IBM prepared proto-type of the current keyboard that faced the problem of frequent hang-up seeking rebooting the system altogether that one developer wrote a shortcut combining the three buttons Control, Alt and Delete in just five minutes.
He nevr realized that the combo would end in a cultural trait online and that too for generations. Even to this day many computer geeks use it when the system gets hung. Why didn’t the IBM developer choose one button instead of three that require both hand on the keyboard?
The pionners admit that it should have been but for some reason it went on to persist the same way. Last October, speaking at Harvard last september, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates admitted that the familiar”Control+Alt+Delete” command was a “mistake.”
“We could’ve had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t want to give us our single button,” Gates said. “It was a mistake.”
Who’s the guy? GeekWire digged into it to reachout to David Bradley, who designed the original IBM PC. Bradley told Geekwire that when 20th anniversary of the IBM PC was going on, his team were trying to “solve a development problem” as the software would often freeze, requiring a reboot.
To answer it, Bradley quickly created a shortcut, using the familiar buttons on the keyboard — Control+Alt+Delete, that too in just five minutes. And the shortcut clicked among the developers so quickly that it became difficult to change the habit of using it often by developers or redirect them to one single button.
“I didn’t realize I was going to create a cultural icon when I did it… I may have invented it, but I think Bill made it famous.”
On his part, Bill Gates said they did “some very clever things but coming to Control+Alt+Delete “was not one of them… When you turn your computer on, you’re going to see some screens and eventually type your password in, you want to have something you do with the keyboard that is signaling to a very low level of the software – actually hard-coded in the hardware – that it really is bringing in the operating system you expect.”
Watch the video below from the YouTube to hear Bill Gates Say: