RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Dissed even by Bill Gates of all-things-Microsoft, the control+alt+delete function has long been a bane of PC users. Now, it turns out that the so-called “three finger salute” was invented in Florida, not North Carolina.

David Bradley, a longtime but now retired IBMer and resident of the Triangle, confirmed to The News & Observer that the PC boot-up command for Windows was invented while he worked in Florida.

“Turns out the iconic computer reboot command ctrl+alt+delete wasn’t invented in Research Triangle Park as the state advertised,” The N&O’s Craig Jarvis reported Monday. “But its inventor did move to RTP about 15 years later, if that counts.”

Jarvis noted that North Carolina had made the “three-finger salute” part of an advertising campaign launched to help promote the state as a site for the massive Amazon HQ2 project.

The command was orphaned by Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, last year.

“If I could make one small edit, I’d make that a single key,” Gates said last fall at a forum in New York, repeating a claim made as well in 2013.

“We could have had a single button. But the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t want to give us our single button,” Gates said.

Apple Mac users need only one key.

Wikipedia notes that over time the command changed. “Starting with Windows 95, the command invokes a task manager or security related component that facilitates ending a Windows session.”

But it still invokes bad memories. At least North Carolina can choose NOW to not claim it.