A2 Basic US 1880 Folder Collection
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[Narrator] This is the IBM Personal Computer.
It was the most advanced computing machine ever created.
However, this isn't a story about a computer,
but a story about when a computer stops working,
and the man who created a way to start it all over;
the man who invented Control + Alt + Delete.
(chiming music)
(exciting music)
Let's get into it.
[Dave] Hi, I'm Dr. Dave Bradley,
but you can call me Dr. Dave.
Back in 1980, I worked on the IBM Personal Computer.
My particular job on the IBM PC
was writing the basic input-output system.
(clicking)
[Narrator] Even with an elite team
of engineers and designers, not everything goes smoothly
when you're building a computer.
[Dave] We had programs that ran most of the time,
but when they failed the only way to reset the system
was turn the power off,
(clock ticking) wait a while,
turn the power back on,
and it would go through a very long self test.
But the system might die every five to 10 minutes.
[Narrator] What he needed was a way to shortcut
the restart process. (beeping)
[Dave] One of the things we discussed
was putting a reset button on it.
But if you put it on the system board,
there was a chance that you could hit it by mistake
and all your data gets lost.
(upbeat electronic music)
So what we did was came up with a three-key sequence
that would reset the computer,
and you couldn't hit by mistake.
A single Control key, a single Alt key,
and then, all the way over at the right-hand side,
a single Delete key.
You hit that Control + Alt + Delete,
you're deleting everything that you're working on right now
and starting new.
I was also able to skip over many of the tests,
so instead of taking a minute or two,
it was 10 or 15 seconds.
But it wasn't a big deal at the time.
It was like number 17 on the list of 100 different things I had to fix.
[Narrator] Even though it was built only as a development tool,
programmers began incorporating the feature into their applications.
From there it was released into the wild,
but didn't immediately reach pop culture status.
(bomb whistling) - [Dave] For years
it was no big deal.
And then at the 20th anniversary of the IBM PC,
that's when Control + Alt + Delete
became sort of a cultural icon.
(exploding) (screeching)
It was the simplest and easiest way to fix your problem:
Hit Control + Alt + Delete and start all over.
(tape rewinding)
- [Narrator] Despite all this, Dr. Dave doesn't think much
of this contribution to computing history.
- [Dave] I did lots of things with IBM,
but all everybody remembers is Control + Alt + Delete.
But, I'll take that.
The fame of Control + Alt + Delete
means that I worked on a very successful product,
and I'm very proud of having been able to do that.
(fun instrumental music)
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The History Behind Ctrl+Alt+Del

1880 Folder Collection
Evangeline published on October 25, 2018    B.Y.l translated    Evangeline reviewed
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