Ctrl-Alt-Delete Goes Into Retirement

Well, unfortunately, if you’re still using Windows, Ctrl-Alt-Delete’s retirement has been deferred because Microsoft gutted its retirement package, but the keyboard combo’s creator, David Bradley, DID retire last week. Our pal Paul McFedries, keeper of the awesome WordSpy site and daily word e-list, paid tribute by making Ctrl-Alt-Delete the term of the day. In the notes to the term, he writes:

Today’s term was inspired by the recent retirement announcement of David Bradley, who, way back in 1980, programmed the original IBM PC to restart (perform a “warm boot,” as the geeks say) when the user pressed the Ctrl-Alt-Delete key combination. Also known as the “three-fingered salute” and the “Vulcan nerve pinch,” this classic key combo has bailed out untold millions of users when their otherwise unresponsive paperweights, oops, I mean *computers* had frozen solid due to a slight shift in the barometric pressure. It’s a tribute to the resistentialist nature of the computing beast that Ctrl-Alt-Delete remains a part of the Windows operating system to this day.