Dask logo vector
The DASK was the first computer in Denmark. It was commissioned in 1955, designed and constructed by Regnecentralen, and began operation in September 1957. DASK is an acronym for Dansk Aritmetisk Sekvens Kalkulator or Danish Arithmetic Sequence Calculator. Regnecentralen almost didn’t allow the name, as the word dask means “slap” in Danish. In the end however, it was named so as it fit the pattern of the name BESK, the Swedish computer which provided the initial architecture for DASK.
DASK traces its origins to 1947 and a goal set by Akademiet for de Tekniske Videnskaber (Academy for the Technical Sciences or Academy of Applied Sciences), which was to follow the development of the modern computing devices. Initial funding was obtained through the Ministry of Defence (Denmark) as the Danish Military had been given a grant through the Marshall Plan for cipher machines for which the military saw no immediate need.
Originally conceived to be a copy of BESK, the rapid advancement in the field allowed improvements to be made during the development such that in the end, it was not a copy of BESK. The DASK was a one-off design that took place in a villa. The machine became so big that the floor had to be reinforced to support its mass of 3.5 metric tons.
DASK is notable for being the subject of one of the earliest ALGOL implementations, referred to as DASK ALGOL, which counted Jørn Jensen and Peter Naur among its contributors.