Bob Bemer born in 1920 is married to Bettie, a Texas oil woman,
The license on her Mercedes is "ESC KEY". Bob Bemer became
a programmer in early 1949 and did not stop working as one since
Bob Bemer, who helped invent the language used by most of the world's
computers to translate text to numbers: ASCII
Throughout his career, Mr. Bemer had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He helped Hopper create the computer language that he coined COBOL, or Common Business Oriented Language. He helped create the standard measurement of eight bits per byte. Computer users have Mr. Bemer to thank for the backslash character and for the escape sequence, which allows a computer to break from one language and enter another.(5)
In 1971 he first published a warning about the problems that would arise from using two digits instead of four to represent years in computer code; the so called Y2K problem. Unlike some doomsayers, he knew what he was talking about: He was involved in the original effort to create government standards for the computer industry. But as all prophets no one listened and eventually an estimated $122 billion was spent in the United States alone to fix the Y2K problem (6)
1920 Birth of Robert (Bob) Bemer
1940 Bachelor's degree in mathematics at Albion College
1941 Certificate of aeronautical engineering at the Curtiss-Wright Technical Institute in Santa Monica the next year and started to work for aeronautics firm Douglas, as constructor.
1949 Becomes a programmer
1951 He spent time as a machinist, furniture maker and movie-set designer before he was hired as a programmer at RAND Corporation this year.
1952 - 1957 Starts to work for Lockheed, to work on the mathematical analyses of wings and flow profiles.
1957 - 1965 Bemer works at IBM, where he in time became responsible for all programming standards and in this connection co-developed the ASCII standard in 1961.
1958 While doing development work for his Mormon church on the genealogical data collections turning it into the largest genealogical database on earth Bemer recognized the basic problem of two digit years like "45". From this he developed his thoughts and articles for the "Millennium Bug"
1959 Co-developed COBOL to be published in 1960
1961 Co-developed the computer code ASCII
1965 - 1970 Works at Bull in Paris,
1970 - 1974 Organizes at General Electric the software departments after his idea of the "Software Factory".
1971 First published a warning on Y2K, the "Millennium Bug"
1974 - 1990 Works as an independent consultant at Honeywell.
1982 official retirement but keeps on publishing and working from his home office
1997 Founds BMRSoftware (Bob Bemer Software) sells it to BigiSoft, to sell software for the Y2K-Problem.
2004 dies of cancer
2003 Received the IEEE Computer Pioneer Award for his lifetime achievements
|Last Updated on March 8, 2013||For suggestions please mail the editors|
Footnotes & References
|1||Data published with consent of Bob Bemer and personal correspondence with Mr. Bemer.His site www.bobbemer.com is no longer on line as his electronic archive. For archival purposes his entire site is stored in our archives for later reference. (Last access on 27 jun 2004) If ou would like a copy (2.3Mb) please mail us.|
|2||courtesy Bob Bemer|
|3||Bob's picture: Scripps Howard, News Service|
|4||http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/9037238.htm?1c Posted on Tue, Jun. 29, 2004|
|5||washington post, Patricia Sullivan 27 jun 2004|
|6||estimate from IDC, an IT research company|
|7||Detlef Borchers / http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/48569|
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