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Who Is The Guy Behind CTRL+ALT+DELETE?

January 11, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments


Whenever your laptop freezes up you always hit Control-Alt-Delete, A Software engineer David J. Bradley is the man behind this famous keystroke combo invention.

An Idea of  IBM Engineer

The original idea was simply to reset early PCs without turning them off


David J. Bradley

In 1981, Bradley’s team at IBM, had been looking for a simple way that computer users could “reboot” the personal computer without shutting it off should it freeze or fail unexpectedly.

After a computer was “powered down,” the machine needed a few seconds to “rest” before “powering up” again to avoid damaging the hardware. This way, it could reboot itself on its own time

Bradley has said it only took him a few minutes to come up with the idea, but he thought at the time it would only be used internally, by software developers, technical writers and engineers who needed to restart their machines many times.

Bradley chose the control and alt keys because he needed two shift keys to make the operation work, and he chose the delete key because it was on the opposite side of the keyboard. He didn’t want people to hit control-alt-delete by accident.

Adopted by Microsoft

Microsoft adopted control-alt-delete to help ensure people powered down correctly, then to handle “administrative functions” such as the vital “end task” feature for computer software that crashes or otherwise gets stuck.

Facts to Know

  • Born  1949 in Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Bradley began at IBM after receiving a PhD from Purdue in 1975
  • 1980 Bradley was one of twelve engineers developing the first IBM Personal Computer
  • Bradley was part of a team of 12 engineers known as the “Original 12” responsible for building the IBM Personal Computer.
  • Developer of the original IBM ROM BIOS code
  • The 3 key combination is known as “the three-finger salute,”
  • On January 30, 2004, Bradley retired from IBM.

Bradley Quotes.

I did a lot of other things than Ctrl-Alt-Delete, but I’m famous for that one.”

“I may have invented it, but Bill gates made it famous by applying my formula when ever any Microsoft’s Windows operating system made by him CRASHES, thus I win when ever he looses

His fame and success is achieved each time a PC user fails, and he is the one we should always remember at all times.

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