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  1. #1
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    bill-gates-admits-control-alt-delete-was-a-mistake

    The video is interesting as well but its close to an hour long.

    http://consumerist.com/2013/09/27/bi...#more-10139038

    Jerry

  2. #2
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    Jerry:
    Can you give us the "Readers Digest" summary: why did he say it was a mistake?
    Dick

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    From the link I gave:
    Kids today might not understand the references to “Ctrl-Alt-Delete,” that lovely, finger-twisting keyboard combination used to reboot or log on to Windows. But in a recent talk, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates explains the rationale behind the unholy trinity and admits that in hindsight, he should have insisted on a single dedicated key.
    Gates explained during a conversation at a Harvard fundraising event that Ctrl-Alt-Delete, which was actually invented by IBM but put into use on Windows, came about because there was the need for a key combination that would be unique.
    “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,” said Gates, “instead of just a funny piece of software that puts up a screen that looks like a log-in screen, and then it listens to your password and then it’s able to do that.”
    He also says they did discuss the option of having a dedicated single button that would avoid the need to play Twister with your fingers, but that IBM keyboard designers didn’t want to go that route.
    “It was a mistake,” confessed Gates about the decision to go with the convoluted key combination.

    Jerry

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    I read the link, but I'm not sure the link makes it clear why Gates thought it was a mistake.

    I think the article muddled two different aspects of Ctrl-Alt-Del. One was the original design of the IBM-PC keyboard with a special, difficult key combo (so it wouldn't be done accidentally) to draw low the CPU's reset line to restart a locked-up CPU. The other notion was the use of that same combo by the designers of Windows to bring up an interim window to logon/logoff, or to launch Task Manager. Those are two different use scenarios for the same key combo.

    Perhaps a listen to the full interview would help clarify the context, but my assumption from just reading the link was that Gates was referring to the reuse of the key combo in Windows for a different purpose than it's original intent.

  5. #5
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    There are so many mistakes that nobody ever admits to, especially in this era. It's nice to know Gates has at least recognized that mistake. Although from what I'm reading I think a single button for that function would be a bigger mistake.

  6. #6
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Tunes View Post
    There are so many mistakes that nobody ever admits to, especially in this era. It's nice to know Gates has at least recognized that mistake. Although from what I'm reading I think a single button for that function would be a bigger mistake.
    To this OLD tech, I can't think of anything worse than just one key to reset the whole dang computer to Zero. Or worse, cause it to shut down.
    Even the one key that can shutdown the PC, the power button, has to be held in for at least 10 seconds to initiate a shutdown.
    That was some improvement, over the power switch that resembled a giant RED Circuit Breaker, on the old IBM PC, XT and AT computers. I always called that the "Big Red Switch". lol

    You could be in the middle of writing the "Great American Novel" when the cat jumps up on the desk and steps on the "Reset" key. I shudder to think of the repercussions of that (mistake).
    Keeping it just complicated enough to avoid accidental operation, was a very smart move on IBM's part.

    In view of the battle between Bill Gates and IBM, I'm not surprised at his remarks.
    Whatever they were....sorry, I don't like long videos.

    Cheers Mates,
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2013-11-02 at 17:03.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

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