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"Bob Tallent gave me the confidence to run my own business"


Bill Gates interviewed at Harvard UniversityBill Gates was interviewed by Harvard University last week and he was reminded that he dropped out of Harvard.  The video is at the end of this article.  The interviewer humourously asked him if he had actually finished what would he have become. He then asked him if he had dropped out of Yale or Prinston, would it have been as prestigious.

In the interview he admits that he made a few mistakes.  One of them was hitting the three finger salute combination of “CTRL-ALT-DEL” as a way to log into your computer.  If you've used an old version of the software or use Windows at work then you will have experienced the odd requirement.

To this day the combination still exists in Windows 8, allowing users to lock a machine or access the task manager. While Windows 8 defaults to a new login screen, it's still possible to use the traditional Ctrl-Alt-Del requirement and a number of businesses running on Windows XP and Windows 7 will still use it every day.

David BradleyBasically because when you turn your computer on, you’re going to see some screens and eventually type your password in, you want to have something you do with the keyboard that is signalling 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,” Bill Gates said. “Instead of just a funny piece of software that puts up a screen that looks like your login screen and listens to your password and is able to do that.

”So we could have had a single button, but the guy that wanted to do the IBM keyboard design didn’t want to give us our single button, and so we programmed at a low level... it was a mistake.” At this stage he got laughter from the audience for admitting his mistake.

David Bradley, an engineer who worked on the original IBM PC, invented the combination, which was originally designed to reboot a PC. "I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous,"

Bill also said that it was able to take the IBM character set and do some “interesting things” with it.

'We did some very clever things- the IBM PC character set, usually you have 128 characters like the lower case and upper case but we took the upper ones and put like suit symbols in- we were able to experiment with a lot of stuff but more on the software side and not the hardware,' he said.

He attended Harvard as an undergraduate but didn’t make it to his graduation ceremony on time because he dropped out to start Microsoft. He was eventually awarded an honorary degree nearly three decades later.

 

 

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