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Browse Prior Art Database

Eloge: Niels Ivar Bech, 1920-1975

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129454D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 4 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

ISAAC L. AUERBACH: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Niels Ivar Bech was one of Europe's most creative leaders in the field of electronic digital computers. He originated Danish computer development under the auspices of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences and was first managing director of its subsidiary, Regnecentralen, which was Denmark's (and one of Europe's) first independent designer and builder of electronic computers.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 22% of the total text.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1984 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Eloge: Niels Ivar Bech, 1920-1975

ISAAC L. AUERBACH

  (Image Omitted: © 1984 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Author's Address: Auerbach Publishers Inc., 6560 North Park Drive, Pennsauken, NJ 08109; Isaac L. Auerbach Inc., 455 Righters Mill Road, Narberth, PA 19072. Categories and Subject Descriptors: A.0 [General] -- biographies, N. 1. Bech; K.2 [History of Computing] -- N. I. Bech, hardware, people, software. General Terms: Human Factors. Additional Key Words and Phrases: BESK, DASK, GETR, Regnecentralen (Denmark).

© 1984 AFIPS 0164-1239/040332-334

Eloge: Niels Ivar Bech, 1920-1975

ISAAC L. AUERBACH .00/00)

Niels Ivar Bech was one of Europe's most creative leaders in the field of electronic digital computers. He originated Danish computer development under the auspices of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences and was first managing director of its subsidiary, Regnecentralen, which was Denmark's (and one of Europe's) first independent designer and builder of electronic computers.

Bech was born in 1920 in Lemvig, a small town in the northwestern corner of Jutland, Denmark; his schooling ended with his graduation from Gentofte High School (Statsskole) in 1940. Because he had no further formal education, he was not held in as high esteem as he deserved by some less gifted people who had degrees or were university professors.

During the war years, Bech was a teacher. When Denmark was occupied by the Nazis, he became a runner for the distribution of illegal underground newspapers, and on occasion served on the crews of the small boats that perilously smuggled Danish Jews across the Kattegat to Sweden. After the war, from 1949 to 1957, he worked as a calculator in the Actuarial Department of the Copenhagen Telephone Company (K0benhavns Telefon Aktieselskab, KTA).

The Danish Academy of Technical Sciences established a committee on electronic computing in 1947, and in 1952 the academy obtained free access to the complete design of the computer BESK (Binar Electronisk Sekevens Kalkylator) being built in Stockholm by the Swedish Mathematical Center (Matematikmaskinnamndens Arbetsgrupp). In 1953 the Danish academy founded a nonprofit computer subsidiary, Regnecentralen.

Bech was assigned by KTA to the project and assisted in building DASK (Dansk BESK), a slightly modified copy of BESK, in a concentrated effort by a...