Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • (Image source: Cult of Mac)


  • It's a question that has baffled PC users since the early 1980s: Why the three-finger

  • salute of Control-Alt-Delete to log into programs? Now the man behind the company that created

  • it is coming clean.

  • In a question-and-answer session at Harvard University, Bill Gates was asked about the

  • keyboard shortcut.

  • "Why, when I want to turn on my software and computer, do I need to have three fingers?

  • Control-Alt-Delete. Where is that from?"

  • Gates then stumbled through a fairly technical response before throwing his hands up and

  • settling on: "It was a mistake." (Via Harvard University)

  • According to Gates, the company could have simply gone with a single button but was talked

  • out of it by the keyboard designers at IBM. (Via Sky News)

  • That's not exactly the way IBM designer David Bradley, who created the shortcut in 1981,

  • remembers it, though. In a 2001 forum with CNET, he explained: "I originally intended

  • for it to be what we would now call an Easter egg, just something we were using in development.

  • ... I have to share the credit. I might have invented it, but I think Bill made it famous."

  • Regardless of who was to blame, the three keys were reportedly chosen to keep users

  • from inadvertently triggering a restart of their computerswith the delete button

  • far away from Control and Alt. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Sven)

  • Functionality aside, though, a writer for Slate still thinks the command was a bad idea,

  • nodding to another company that made things a little simpler.

  • "Can you imagine Steve Jobs requiring users to perform such a wonky key command before

  • they could begin to use an Apple device?"

  • During last Saturday's interview, Gates also touched on his philanthropy work with his

  • wife, Melinda; dropping out of Harvard; and even working with Apple in the 1990s, saying:

  • "In the Apple II era, we were kind of friendly competitors. We actually put more people on

  • the Mac than Apple had." (Via CNN)

(Image source: Cult of Mac)

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it

B1 delete shortcut apple harvard keyboard mac

Bill Gates Calls Control-Alt-Delete Shortcut a 'Mistake'

  • 2303 129
    Solomon Wolf posted on 2013/09/27
Video vocabulary