Holy cow, I wrote a book!
One of the
differences between standard-mode Windows and
was what happened when you hit Ctrl+Alt+Del.
Since 16-bit Windows applications are co-operatively multi-tasked,
it is easy to determine whether the system is responding,
and if not, it is also easy to
identify the application which is responsible.
In that case, Windows gave
you options to close the non-responsive application, restart the computer,
During this time period,
Steve Ballmer was head of the Systems Division,
and he paid a visit to the Windows team to see what they were up to,
as is the wont of many executives.¹
When they showed him the
he nodded thoughtfully and added,
"This is nice, but I don't like the text of the message.
It doesn't sound right to me."
If you think you can do a better job, then go for it."
some other executive,
Steve took up the challenge,
and a few days later,
he emailed what he thought the
Ctrl+Alt+Del screen should say.
The text he came up with was actually quite good,
and it went into the product pretty much word for word.
Note to journalists: This is the
not the blue screen of death.
Thank you for paying attention.
¹ It occurred to me only as I wrote up this entry that people
took the phrase Right on top of my notepad from the
earlier story literally:
There was a chair, the chair had a notepad on its seat,
Bill sat in the chair (on top of the notepad).
That interpretation never occurred to me.
From the description in the previous paragraph, it was apparent to me
notepad was on a desk, and Bill's choice of seat blocked access to the
notepad. (I.e., the manager would have to reach around Bill to
get the notepad.)
The person telling the story
is not a native English speaker, so there may
have been a preposition translation issue.