There are a lot of features on the computer that we use everyday without ever knowing where they were derived from. So we thought it would be fun to give you a brief history lesson so that you can appreciate even the simplest features on your computer!

Below we’ll walk you through how the cut, copy, and paste commands developed into what we use today, and also tell you the real reason that Ctrl+Alt+Del was invented. Lets jump into the time machine!

–History of Cut/Copy/Paste  (Wikipedia)–

Cut Copy Paste Keyboard Could you imagine using a computer that never let you use the cut, copy, and paste commands? It has become such an essential part of our daily lives that it would be nearly impossible to live without.

Before computers were even born the term “cut and paste” was widely used when editing manuscripts, where people would literally cut something out on paper and paste it on another page. It wasn’t until 1974 that “cut and paste” was used when referring to a editing text on a computer, and it was Larry Tesler from Xerox who made the connection.

In 1981 Apple made “cut and paste” popular with the release of Lisa, which was a computer with a graphical interface. It was Apple who standardized the keyboard shortcuts, which at the time were the modifier key + X for cutting, C for copying, and V for pasting. Microsoft later adopted it into Windows with nearly identical key combinations.

–History of Ctrl+Alt+Del (Wikipedia)–

Ctrl+Alt+Del is well known as the way to shutdown unresponsive applications, restart the computer, and in some instances it is needed to login:

Ctrl Alt Delete Login Windows

Who started the keyboard shortcut that has become a way of life for so many people? David Bradley, a designer of the original IBM PC, implemented it to reboot the computer after programs would hang. He got sick of having to power down the PC, wait a few seconds, and then go through the power up process all over again. Originally the shortcut was Ctrl+Alt+Esc, but he found that those keys could accidentally be pressed with just one hand. By using the Delete key instead of Escape he helped ensure that two hands were needed to perform a reboot.

Max posted a funny video over in the forum of Bradley being interviewed, where he said that “I may have invented [Control-Alt-Delete], but Bill [Gates] made it famous”:

So there you have it. You now know where and why two important pieces of computer history came from. Go tell your friends all about it so that they’ll know what a geek you really are. ;)