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(Mental Floss)   Ever wonder what sadistic programming bastard thought "control-alt-delete" was a good idea? His name was David Bradley, and it actually made sense at the time   (mentalfloss.com) divider line 164
    More: Interesting, IBM, Windows USER  
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17923 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jul 2013 at 3:52 PM (51 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-14 12:41:26 PM
Subby assumes it doesn't make sense now.
 
2013-07-14 12:48:30 PM
The first computer command I learned

/and one I still use frequently
 
2013-07-14 12:52:08 PM
Thanks for submitting that, subby.
 
2013-07-14 12:56:46 PM
I remember when 640k was all the memory you could possibly ever need in a personal computer.  And all the porn was in ASCII.
 
2013-07-14 01:05:06 PM
And yet, few of these consumers were aware of Bradley's shortcut quietly lingering in their machines. It wasn't until the early 1990s, when Microsoft's Windows took off, that the shortcut came to prominence.

Um, yeah, that's BS.
 
2013-07-14 01:11:08 PM

LordOfThePings: And yet, few of these consumers were aware of Bradley's shortcut quietly lingering in their machines. It wasn't until the early 1990s, when Microsoft's Windows took off, that the shortcut came to prominence.

Um, yeah, that's BS.


Yea, all the IBM (and other pc) instruction manuals had information on performing a "warm boot".
 
2013-07-14 01:26:54 PM
Story I was told by my dad (we had some of the first home PCs in the 80s, as my dad worked in aerospace and read the writing on the wall) was that the keys were selected purposefully so they wouldn't be pressed on accident. This was in the days before Windows asked you permission twice before doing anything, and one errant keystroke could format your entire computer, with no "are you sure" so you could go "wait wait I didn't mean THAT!"

*reads article*

Well waddya know.

/bonus fact: qwerty keyboards were also designed purposefully because typists were too fast for manual typewriters. Sucks that it's so stuck now we can't roll over to a more efficient lay out.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-07-14 01:27:07 PM
Unfortunately operating systems these days favor soft reset/shutdown. You have to negotiate with the system to convince it to turn off. Or you have to resort to the 5 second power button press and full power up slowness which the reset chord was meant to avoid.

I had a Mac application which popped up two dialog windows at the same time. You couldn't select either or dismiss either, and Macs refuse to shut down while a dialog is active.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-07-14 01:28:46 PM
/bonus fact: qwerty keyboards were also designed purposefully because typists were too fast for manual typewriters. Sucks that it's so stuck now we can't roll over to a more efficient lay out.

Qwerty keyboards are designed to make one handed typing as difficult as possible. They separate frequent letter pairs.
 
2013-07-14 01:39:31 PM
I have given this passing thought before and I gotta say, that is *exactly* what I thought the origin of ctrl alt del would be.
I'll even bet the guy was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, kept a moustache, and had on a pair of glasses with very sturdy frames at the precise moment he settled on the key sequence.
 
2013-07-14 01:45:00 PM
FTFA:  "I have to share the credit," Bradley joked. "I may have invented it, but I think Bill made it famous."
  True dat.
 
2013-07-14 01:48:29 PM

Marcus Aurelius:  And all the porn was in ASCII.


ZAZ:Qwerty keyboards are designed to make one handed typing as difficult as possible.


These two posts belong together.
 
2013-07-14 01:51:25 PM
Meh.  I liked Ctrl-Alt-Del before it went mainstream.  I still prefer Alt-Tab.
 
2013-07-14 02:57:50 PM
Ctl-Alt-Del isn't sadistic -it's cryptic.

Just because it seems obvious to you doesn't mean it's obvious to my 65 year old neighbor lady.

"Do you work with computers?" I've heard it a thousand times. When I go and examine their computers there are two tools: Ctl-Alt-Del and MSCONFIG that tell me everything I need to know.
 
2013-07-14 03:10:16 PM

ZAZ: Unfortunately operating systems these days favor soft reset/shutdown. You have to negotiate with the system to convince it to turn off. Or you have to resort to the 5 second power button press and full power up slowness which the reset chord was meant to avoid.

I had a Mac application which popped up two dialog windows at the same time. You couldn't select either or dismiss either, and Macs refuse to shut down while a dialog is active.


Why is that unfortunate? A hard boot only adds a hardware test to the boot sequence. Do you really need to do that? I would think testing my memory should be a rare thing. If it's that important I'm going to use ECC and have it alert me for failures any way.


I Have servers i support that have 256gb ram and 80 cores. Takes 20+ minutes to boot if i let it do a full post. Needless to say downtime is hard to get and i want to minimize it any way i can. Including any hardware testing i can since i have Tivoli monitoring it any way.
 
2013-07-14 03:10:55 PM
LOL. Never heard it called the "three fingered salute" before. That's pretty good.
 
2013-07-14 03:12:21 PM
I would really like to see the pants-on-head mishaps subby had to go through to reach the conclusion that CTRLAltDel is mysterious and sadistic.
 
2013-07-14 03:33:36 PM
I'm still partial to CTRL-Z
 
2013-07-14 03:45:49 PM
I don't understand the headline, what's so bad about it and why doesn't it make sense these days?
 
2013-07-14 03:48:56 PM

Popcorn Johnny: I don't understand the headline, what's so bad about it and why doesn't it make sense these days?


I guess it's kind of like how we use icons of floppy disks for save buttons, even though there are young computer users who have never used a floppy disk ever.
 
2013-07-14 03:54:47 PM
I don't understand why ctrl-alt-del is sadistic programming.
 
2013-07-14 03:57:51 PM
the first thing I do when turning on my computer is open up TskMngr via ctrl-alt-del

suck it
 
2013-07-14 03:58:46 PM
imgs.mi9.com

avoid the hard boot.
 
2013-07-14 04:01:20 PM
Cool, quick read.

Thanks, Subs.
 
2013-07-14 04:03:29 PM

Shostie: Popcorn Johnny: I don't understand the headline, what's so bad about it and why doesn't it make sense these days?

I guess it's kind of like how we use icons of floppy disks for save buttons, even though there are young computer users who have never used a floppy disk ever.


Y'know, growing up with 5.5" floppies (pinewood derby/oregon trail were staples of my childhood) and later, obviously, 3.5" floppies, I never really even thought about what you just pointed out.
 
2013-07-14 04:04:14 PM
Does this headline not make sense because I'm too old or because it doesn't make sense?
 
2013-07-14 04:04:36 PM
FTA "Because Apple and RadioShack were already selling small stand-alone computers:"

Ahh the usual revisionism. Atari? Commodore?
 
2013-07-14 04:06:50 PM
Peki: ...  bonus fact: qwerty keyboards were also designed purposefully because typists were too fast for manual typewriters. Sucks that it's so stuck now we can't roll over to a more efficient lay out.

Yep, otherwise adjacent typebars would get wedged together.  Bonus bonus fact: all the letters in the word "TYPEWRITER" are on the top row, to make it easier for salespeople to demonstrate by typing said word.
 
2013-07-14 04:08:15 PM
When I worked for a large financial services company in the IT department, they were ultra paranoid about keeping workstations locked when you weren't at your desk. "CTRL ALT DELETE when you leave your seat" was posted all over the building.
 
2013-07-14 04:08:44 PM
[CSB]
I took a class with this guy at NCSU.  It was mostly run by his TAs.  He also opened class with that story.  This was in 1997 or 1998.
[/CSB]

/Thank you
 
2013-07-14 04:08:57 PM

Tchernobog: Shostie: Popcorn Johnny: I don't understand the headline, what's so bad about it and why doesn't it make sense these days?

I guess it's kind of like how we use icons of floppy disks for save buttons, even though there are young computer users who have never used a floppy disk ever.

Y'know, growing up with 5.5" floppies (pinewood derby/oregon trail were staples of my childhood) and later, obviously, 3.5" floppies, I never really even thought about what you just pointed out.


When I was little, I thought a 3.5" disk was a "hard disk", because the case was hard and not floppy like a 5.25" disk.
 
2013-07-14 04:09:01 PM
I also had never heard "three-finger salute".  That's pretty good.


But, I don't use a finger for DEL.
 
2013-07-14 04:09:38 PM
Article's subject is poorly researched and apparently not vey familiar to TFAuthor in the first place.

Soft rebooting existed prior to IBM 5150 development, as did home computers from Atari, Commodore, Osborne, eat al.
 
2013-07-14 04:10:29 PM
Funny the article says CTRL-ALT-DEL was little known until the popularization of Windows.  CTRL-ALT-DEL and MS-DOS went together like calamine lotion and poison ivy.
 
2013-07-14 04:11:42 PM
Bonus bonus fact: all the letters in the word "TYPEWRITER" are on the top row, to make it easier for salespeople to demonstrate by typing said word.

"Yeah, now try typing something other than the word 'typewriter'."

Some 'facts' cannot be killed.
 
2013-07-14 04:12:12 PM

Peki: /bonus fact

endlessly recycled completely false urban legend: qwerty keyboards were also designed purposefully because typists were too fast for manual typewriters. Sucks that it's so stuck now we can't roll over to a more efficient lay out.

Fixed.
 
2013-07-14 04:12:23 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: FTA "Because Apple and RadioShack were already selling small stand-alone computers:"

Ahh the usual revisionism. Atari? Commodore?


Xerox, too.
 
2013-07-14 04:12:24 PM

Shostie: Popcorn Johnny: I don't understand the headline, what's so bad about it and why doesn't it make sense these days?

I guess it's kind of like how we use icons of floppy disks for save buttons, even though there are young computer users who have never used a floppy disk ever.


They didn't make the world, so why should it be made for them?
 
2013-07-14 04:13:29 PM
That was even an answer (question) on jeopardy once.

/Rue the day Trebek
 
2013-07-14 04:14:20 PM
What's sadistic about Ctrl-Alt-Delete?  I mean, yeah, there are some times when there's an unexpected error and you don't really want to quit fapping while you wait for the system to recover. It's not THAT bad, though.
 
2013-07-14 04:14:46 PM

poot_rootbeer: Bonus bonus fact: all the letters in the word "TYPEWRITER" are on the top row, to make it easier for salespeople to demonstrate by typing said word.

"Yeah, now try typing something other than the word 'typewriter'."

Some 'facts' cannot be killed.


That probably wasn't by design, but I'm sure some early salesmen noticed it and used it as, if nothing else, a interesting talking point they could use to connect to the customer.
 
2013-07-14 04:15:40 PM

Relatively Obscure: What's sadistic about Ctrl-Alt-Delete?  I mean, yeah, there are some times when there's an unexpected error and you don't really want to quit fapping while you wait for the system to recover. It's not THAT bad, though.


Because you have to make the strenuous effort to use TWO hands to reboot the computer!!!~~
 
2013-07-14 04:16:06 PM

Peki: Story I was told by my dad (we had some of the first home PCs in the 80s, as my dad worked in aerospace and read the writing on the wall) was that the keys were selected purposefully so they wouldn't be pressed on accident. This was in the days before Windows asked you permission twice before doing anything, and one errant keystroke could format your entire computer, with no "are you sure" so you could go "wait wait I didn't mean THAT!"

*reads article*

Well waddya know.

/bonus fact: qwerty keyboards were also designed purposefully because typists were too fast for manual typewriters. Sucks that it's so stuck now we can't roll over to a more efficient lay out.


It was arrived at through a combination of design and trial-and-error, and the driving forces were to speed up (not slow down) typing and eliminate jams.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qwerty

Any time you run into an "interesting fact" that seems counter-intuitive, you should check it.  It's probably just wrong.
 
2013-07-14 04:20:38 PM

muteidiotsavant: Bonus bonus fact: all the letters in the word "TYPEWRITER" are on the top row, to make it easier for salespeople to demonstrate by typing said word.


If that's  a fact, how would you explain QWERTY going through a decade of evolutionary rearrangements until "typewriter" was on the top row of keys?

In fact, how is that even convenient for a sales person?

Facts usually require a vetting process.
 
2013-07-14 04:22:03 PM
Whoops, dogpile.  Sorry, dude.
 
2013-07-14 04:25:47 PM

ultraholland: the first thing I do when turning on my computer is open up TskMngr via ctrl-alt-del

suck it


Safe yourself a step.  Ctrl+Alt+Esc opens Task Manager directly without going to that other screen.
 
2013-07-14 04:26:49 PM

Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: ultraholland: the first thing I do when turning on my computer is open up TskMngr via ctrl-alt-del

suck it

Safe yourself a step.  Ctrl+Alt+Esc

Ctrl+Shift+Esc opens Task Manager directly without going to that other screen.

/FTFM
 
2013-07-14 04:42:59 PM
Is Subby under the impression that it no longer makes sense?
 
2013-07-14 04:43:24 PM
What's sadistic is that Microsoft co-opted the key combo from rebooting the PC (a last-ditch function that you don't want to do accidentally), to become a mandatory prerequisite for logging in to the PC (a common function that you always do on purpose) -- essentially the opposite of its original function. TFA doesn't explain why they did this.
 
2013-07-14 04:48:04 PM
I saw the tech conference where Bradley said that. Gates was PISSED, because it was (or seemed) an obvious jab at how often Windows PCs bluescreened.
 
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