[FoRK] A thought on Design and Quality

Jared Rhine jared at wordzoo.com
Wed Oct 7 10:33:55 PDT 2009

On Tuesday 06 October 2009 15:00:04 Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
> But what does it say about Microsoft Windows that General Dynamics felt a
> single Ctl/Alt/Del key was a necessity at the hardware design level...

I don't use Windows, but I stay familiar enough to know that Ctl/Alt/Del's 
utility for end users these days is primarily not in "reboot this machine" but 
rather task manager, switch user, and lock screen.

Regardless of the reboot frequency of various platforms, it seems that the 
"task manager" type of functionality remains useful everywhere.  On every 
platform, including Unixy servers, I need to start such a thing to figure out 
what the hell is sucking up all my RAM or CPU and making the machine sluggish.

I think the button has become more popular (it's on other boxes too) not 
because of Windows reboot frequency, but because Microsoft has moved more 
functionality there.  They've done that because they made a decision that the 
key combination would be one that they never allow applications to capture, as 
a protection against malware; it always goes to the OS.

So more properly, this thread should be a rant against Microsoft security and 
the need for a special key combination protected from malware, not a rant 
against uptime.  The implication I guess is that every *other* key combination 
is a potential threat on a Windows box.

-- Jared

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