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Anecdotes: Remembering J. Pres Eckert

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129896D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Henry S. Tropp: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Humboldt State University Arcata, Calif.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1995 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Anecdotes: Remembering J. Pres Eckert

Henry S. Tropp

Humboldt State University Arcata, Calif.

There's a story involving John Presper Eckert, who died June 3 (see page 3 of this issue), that his former colleagues are fond of recalling. While building the BINAC in a loft in Philadelphia, the staff of Electronic Control Corporation took turns "pulling all- righters" to complete the construction. They had placed a cot in one bay of the floor to enable the engineers to nap until they were needed again. Eckert was on call one night with a group of other workers and decided to take advantage of a lull in his work to use the cot. His colleagues, once assured of his deep sleep, gently picked up the cot, placed it on the freight elevator, and moved Eckert to the identical location on the floor above, which, apart from the construction of the BINAC, was identical to the floor on which he had fallen asleep. When he woke up he panicked, and as he put it himself, "Where was everybody, and where was the machine?"

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