David Bradley, IBM engineer, and father of the three-finger salute
August 8, 2013 1:54 PM Subscribe
David Bradley is an engineer
, one of the 12 strategists who worked around the clock to hammer out a plan for hardware, software, manufacturing setup and sales strategy
for the first IBM PC from 1980-1981. At that time, Bradley and others were tired of wasting time rebooting the system without powering it down. So, one day he had something like "write keyboard shortcut to reboot system" on list of things to do, and Control-Alt-Delete was created
. Years later, he said "I may have invented it, but I think Bill made it famous
He followed up, noting that was how you had to log in to Windows NT. Bill Gates didn't look any happier at the moment, but in a later interview
(YT), Bradley said Gates wasn't really offended.
In that interview, Bradley noted that this wasn't the first keyboard reset. Michael Donald Wise claims his Sphere 1 had the predecessor to the three finger salute
, including a key combination that was impossible to accidentally hit, as was the case on the original IBM PC keyboard
* Contrl-Alt-Delete on Wikipedia
, which lists some history and similar key combinations on other systems.
* Are they real?
An article on early microcomputer systems makers back in 1975, including a bit on the Sphere, plus a follow-up in 2006, when Michael Wise said Sphere delivered 1,300 units in its short life.
* Over David Bradley's long career with IBM, he did a lot more than write that keyboard shortcut
, including obtaining seven patents. He's retired now, and he gives presentations about the history of the IBM PC