It’s really inspiring when powerful, intelligent and very rich people admit to making mistakes because it helps make the rest of us feel a little better about all of our bad decisions. So when Bill Gates came out saying that he regrets Ctrl+Alt+Delete there was this collective AA-like pat on the back, with the general Internet response being “that thing you did was shitty, but since you owned up to it we’ll forgive you.”
But even though the multi-key combination is so associated with system freezes and misery and general malfunction, defenders have come forward to remind us of its usefulness. In an article in PCWorld titled “Thank you Mr. Gates, CTRL-ALT-DEL was the best mistake to happen to PCs,” Tony Bradley points out that
“…as insecure as some perceive the Windows operating system to be, it could have been a thousand times worse if there were no keyboard interaction required to log on. That physical interaction tells the computer that you want to interface with the Microsoft Windows operating system, and ensures that rogue or spoofed software can’t dupe users into typing usernames and passwords.”
I’ll also step in line to thank Gates for this mistake, if only because those three keys helped define my experience of computing in the 90s, for good and ill.
(image via BusinessInsider)