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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 35
    More: Interesting, IBM, Windows USER  
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17934 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jul 2013 at 3:52 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-14 01:05:06 PM  
6 votes:
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 12:41:26 PM  
5 votes:
Subby assumes it doesn't make sense now.
2013-07-14 07:30:00 PM  
3 votes:

Dadoody: [www.dansdata.com image 850x577]

DO YOU EVEN LIFT BRO?!


This was the sweet one:

az413224.vo.msecnd.net
Clicky keys that depressed about a half inch and it weighted 50 lbs.
2013-07-14 04:26:49 PM  
3 votes:

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 04:16:06 PM  
3 votes:

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.
2013-07-15 09:40:39 AM  
2 votes:
i15.photobucket.com

From:
IBM DOS 1.1 May82 (Big book that came with the IBM PC...)
2013-07-15 12:59:42 AM  
2 votes:

ZAZ: I think CTRL-ALT-DEL was implemented in the keyboard controller chip. It could not be diverted by a malicious program. The key combination generates an interrupt and the low level interrupt handler runs. You know you are getting the real OS and not a trojan.


An original PC has two major chips involved in keyboard processing.  They were both based on the 8051 and the keyboard one would scan the keyboard and send serial clocked data down the line.  On a PC (pre XT) keyboard, pin 3 was a hard reset that was hooked to I think the NMI which couldn't be interrupted at all.  There wasn't any communication back to the those keyboards so things like the shift lock light was controlled entirely by the keyboard.  On the XT keyboard they changed it so that it screwed up the clock and data signal when you pressed ctrl-alt-delete and later keyboards just sent a key code saying that it had been sent.  The 8051 like cpu in the later PCs would look at those signals and then trigger an interrupt line but they were maskable and could be overridden by anything that cared to stick an address in the interrupt vector table.  Modern hardware uses so many shared interrupts (and message interrupts) that who knows what gets to see the signal first but it won't be one of the main cpus.
2013-07-14 10:10:39 PM  
2 votes:

itsaback: Sadistic? No....

Sadistic was:

(A)bort,(R)etry,(F)ail?

/fail was the only one that worked.


A Usenet/BBS staple:

 Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor
Longing for the warmth of bedsheets,
Still I sat there, doing spreadsheets;
Having reached the bottom line,
I took a floppy from the drawer.
Typing with a steady hand, then invoked the SAVE command
But I got a reprimand: it read Abort, Retry, Ignore.
Was this some occult illusion? Some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices Solomon himself had never faced before.
Carefully, I weighed my options.
These three seemed to be the top ones.
Clearly I must now adopt one:
Choose Abort, Retry, Ignore.
With my fingers pale and trembling,
Slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee
Finally I pressed a key--
But on the screen what did I see?
Again: Abort, Retry, Ignore.
I tried to catch the chips off-guard--
I pressed again, but twice as hard.
Luck was just not in the cards.
I saw what I had seen before.
Now I typed in desperation
Trying random combinations
Still there came the incantation:
Choose: Abort, Retry, Ignore.
There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by my own machine accosted
Getting up I turned away and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw an awful sight:
A bold and blinding flash of light--
A lightning bolt had cut the night and shook me to my very core.
I saw the screen collapse and die
"Oh no--my database," I cried
I thought I heard a voice reply,
"You'll see your data Nevermore!"
To this day I do not know
The place to which lost data goes
I bet it goes to heaven where the angels have it stored
But as for productivity, well
I fear that IT goes straight to hell
And that's the tale I have to tell
Your choice: Abort, Retry, Ignore.

/A favorite of mine.
2013-07-14 06:03:27 PM  
2 votes:

Any Pie Left: "print screen"


?? You've never opened Paint and pressed Ctrl-V right after???

/something tells me you didn't know it was essentially a ctrl-c function.
2013-07-14 04:57:15 PM  
2 votes:

nytmare: TFA doesn't explain why they did this.


Windows does this because the CTRL+ALT+DEL interrupt can be trapped by the OS  firstand the OS can prevent  any other application from trapping it. This means that CTRL+ALT+DEL will always cause  Windows to take over, and not, say, some malware designed to  look like a Windows logon screen.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-07-14 04:53:02 PM  
2 votes:
nytmare: 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.

I think CTRL-ALT-DEL was implemented in the keyboard controller chip. It could not be diverted by a malicious program. The key combination generates an interrupt and the low level interrupt handler runs. You know you are getting the real OS and not a trojan.
2013-07-14 04:43:24 PM  
2 votes:
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 04:12:12 PM  
2 votes:

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 04:10:29 PM  
2 votes:
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 01:26:54 PM  
2 votes:
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.
2013-07-14 01:11:08 PM  
2 votes:

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".
2013-07-15 10:16:35 PM  
1 votes:
No keyboard detected

Press F1 to continue
2013-07-14 11:38:45 PM  
1 votes:

JonnyBGoode: I miss the old bootstrap days, when you communicated with the OS directly, not through layers of incomprehensible shells.


It's the last time I ever knew anything about how my computer worked. Oh my, the days of buying a new game or peripheral and taking time to read the manual to reconfigure the autoexec.bat file and the config.sys
2013-07-14 10:35:16 PM  
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: I remember when 640k was all the memory you could possibly ever need in a personal computer.  And all the porn was in ASCII.




(NSWF)
2013-07-14 10:22:30 PM  
1 votes:
Heck, I feel like sharing another bit of computer history...

If you can understand half the references in this, well, you're an old, old hacker.

1992 Steven Weyhrich
(Sung to the tune of "American Pie" by Don McLean)
NOTE: To read these lyrics properly, the phrase "Two-E" refers to the "Apple //e" computer. It wouldn't come out sounding right if I'd put "IIe" in it's place; it might be read as "eye-eye-e".

A long, long time ago,
I can still remember how those programs
Used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance,
That I could make those users dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while.
November breezes made me shiver
With every upload I'd deliver
Bad news on the desktop
I couldn't make the text stop.
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about our faltered pride
But something touched me deep inside
The day
the Two-E
died.
So, bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin' boys drank Mountain Dew and sighed,
Typin' "This'll be the day that I die.
This'll be the day that I die."
Do you know your Apple's core?
Do you have faith in Woz's lore
If the Red Book tells you so?
Do you believe in ROR and ROL
Can BASIC save your mortal soul
And can you tell me why Pascal runs so slow?
Well, I know you love that Lisa hack
'Cause I saw you mousin' in the back
Well, MacWrite was big news
But AppleWorks got great reviews, oooh
I was a twenty-something computer fan
With a loaned assembler and some program plans
But I knew I'd be just an "also-ran"
The day the Two-E died.
I started singin'
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin' boys drank Cola Jolt and sighed,
Typin' "This'll be the day that I die.
This'll be the day that I die."
Now for twelve years we've been on our own
The software comes on my telephone
But that's not how it used to be
When ol' Steve Jobs planned a brand new box
With designs he borrowed from Xerox
And the cash, well it came from you and me
Oh, and while our Woz was looking down
Steve Jobs stole his designer's crown
The III plan was adjourned
No money was returned
And while Wagner wrote "Assembly Lines"
We liked our BASIC programs fine
And most thought ProDOS was divine
The day the Two-E died.
We were singin'
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin' boys drank Dr. Pepper and sighed,
Typin' "This'll be the day that I die.
This'll be the day that I die."
HUFFIN, PUFFIN, move files with MUFFIN
Single drive, lots of disks I'm stuffin'
Eight piles high, and fadin' fast...
With Macs out landing in the grass
The Pirates tried for a forward pass
Moving Two-E to the sidelines, in a cast
Now, the IIc Fair was sweet perfume
And "Forever!" was our marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
'Cause the Mac-heads tried to take the field
Our Apple II's refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the Two-E died?
We started singin'
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin' boys drank Diet Pepsi and sighed,
Typin' "This'll be the day that I die.
This'll be the day that I die."
Ohhh, and there we were all in one place
An online conference lost in space
With no bucks left to start again
So come on, Tom be nimble, Tom be quick
Uncle-DOS made all our Apples tick
'Cause Merlin is the hacker's only friend
Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No one that I could tell
Could break that Sculley's spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Sculley laughing with delight
The day the Two-E died
He was singin'
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin' boys drank lemon tea and sighed,
Typin' "This'll be the day that I die.
This'll be the day that I die."
I met a girl who sang of Blues
And I asked her for some Apple news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went to the computer store
Where I'd seen the Apple years before
But the man there said the Two-E couldn't play
And in the schools the children screamed
The teachers cried and the hackers dreamed
But not a file was open
The disk drives all were broken
And the news mags that I'd liked the most
Softalk, inCider - were all toast
They'd grabbed the last train for the coast
The day
the Two-E
died
And they were singin'
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin' boys drank Snapple soda and cried,
Saying, "This'll be the day that I die.
This'll be the day that I die."
They were singin'
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin' boys drank Snapple soda and cried,
Saying, "This'll be the day that I die.
This'll be
the day
that I die."
2013-07-14 10:06:27 PM  
1 votes:

Mikey1969: You don't want to be asked to save your file or what to call it, how are you going to know what your file is called and where it is located?


Um, that's what we have computers for. They are excellent at storing and retrieving information. Did you know there are tons of temp files being used all the time, and you don't have to name them, or manually save them?

My God, how do the gnomes do it?

Mikey1969: And the OS "screeching to a halt" is not happening,


Um, yes it does. It should just generate a file name with the date and time and some (it can be done, I assure you), and save it somewhere (my God, will this complex issue ever be resolved?) and ask me for a file name when I'm NOT BUSY SHUTTING DOWN THE DAMN COMPUTER.

Mikey1969: just wants you to put your file where you'll find it later.


Again, this isn't a mystery. Computers are very good at storing information, I assure you. The computer is entirely able to save it somewhere it knows itself where it is.

Do you also manually specify the address in RAM for every character you type? How will the gnomes know where it goes!!????!??

OH NO!!!???!!!!

oldcomputers.net

Are you using one of these?????

If so, send me 1980s Ally Sheedy plz.
2013-07-14 09:50:21 PM  
1 votes:

Mikey1969: flaminio: Quantum Apostrophe: Mikey1969: What other kind of icon would make more sense?

A silicon atom with an electron in an excited state? Or maybe Tron-like light pulses going down some PCB traces? Maybe an eye-diagram for a high speed serial link?

"Save" just needs to die as a concept. Documents should always be saved, with proper versioning. No icon needed; problem solved.

If you don't save, how do the documents get saved? Gnomes? How does the file name get set? How does I have 3 or 4 working versions of a graphics file and specify the differences between each without saving? Gnomes again?


Play with Google Docs a little bit. Your questions are all answered there. Google Docs isn't perfect, but it's a big step in the right direction.
2013-07-14 09:39:44 PM  
1 votes:

flaminio: "Save" just needs to die as a concept. Documents should always be saved, with proper versioning. No icon needed; problem solved.


That's what I think too. I'm baffled by the concept of manual saving when you can shuffle megabytes around in a millisecond. Sure, back in the Commodore 64 days, with un-accelerated 1541s, you could brew some tea and maybe bake a tray of cookies while you save a few pages of text. You had to hedge your bets, is the power going to fail or should I save?

I also find it ludicrous that I can open a notepad in windows, type one letter, and have the entire 64 bit OS screech to a halt when I want to shut it down because it asks the asinine question of where to put the file?

Anywhere. How about that?

It's not like any other piece of software these days cares about storage limits.
2013-07-14 08:19:32 PM  
1 votes:

jestme: No but I've wondered what sadistic bastard thought making the number pad upside-down from the number pad on a phone was a good idea, and why they thought the num lock key should go near the numbers but the parentheses shouldn't.


I'd be more curious why the phones are upside down from previous technology. Adding machines (then calculators, then computers) predate touch button phones by quite a bit.
2013-07-14 08:01:48 PM  
1 votes:
No but I've wondered what sadistic bastard thought making the number pad upside-down from the number pad on a phone was a good idea, and why they thought the num lock key should go near the numbers but the parentheses shouldn't.
2013-07-14 07:10:30 PM  
1 votes:
Or, for older Macintosh users, the old Apple+CTRL+Reset
2013-07-14 06:17:01 PM  
1 votes:
Sadistic? No....

Sadistic was:

(A)bort,(R)etry,(F)ail?

/fail was the only one that worked.
2013-07-14 04:20:38 PM  
1 votes:

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 04:14:46 PM  
1 votes:

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 04:11:42 PM  
1 votes:
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 03:48:56 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:12:21 PM  
1 votes:
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 02:57:50 PM  
1 votes:
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.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-07-14 01:27:07 PM  
1 votes:
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.
2013-07-14 12:56:46 PM  
1 votes:
I remember when 640k was all the memory you could possibly ever need in a personal computer.  And all the porn was in ASCII.
 
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