Norsk Data's history

This is a translation by me, Tore S Bekkedal, of a document available at and written by Johnny Oddene. My comments are in italic. Please notify me of anny errors you might find.
Svart kule On July 7th, the personal company NORDATA - Norwegian Data-Electronics was created by Per Bjørge, Lars Monrad Krohn, Rolf Skår and Terje Mikalsen. The 19th of September, the company goes public. First CEO is Lars Monrad Krohn. Stock capital equals 194.000 NOK. The company rents a few square meters at Norsk Viftefabrikk (Norwegian fan factory) at Bryn in Oslo. The company notes a deficit of 26.000 kroner for the first year in operation - the only red numbers in company history.

Svart kule The company sells 9 NORD-1 machines.

Svart kule The company achieves a revenue of 6.25 millon kroner. Same year the expenses for the staff is 780.000 kroner.
Rød kule Virtual memory architechture on a 16-bit mini; NORD-1.
Gul kule Intel releases their 4004 microprocessor and plays with all of 4 bits.

Rød kule The development of NORD-5 starts, to become NDs first 32-bit computer.

Svart kule Norsk Data Elektronikk gets the current logo. ND rents 850m² in the Økern building. The first NORD system,(Translator's note: Shouldn't this be NORDIC?) consisting of three NORD-1s and a NORD-5, is delivered to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
Blå kule NORD TSS, an operating system for 16-bit minicomputers with timesharing for multiple users and multiple programming languages.

Svart kule A contract with CERN - The European centre for nuclear research - is made.
Rød kule NORD-5, the world's first 32-bit supermini computer.
Blå kule The operating system NORD-1 TSS, Multilingual Time Sharing System, is developed and is percieved at that time as the most advanced operating system in the world.
Gul kule Intel releases their 8-bit 200KHz 8008 microprocessor.

Svart kule Norsk Data-Elektronikk gets a new logo similar the the current one, with the dots. International breakthrough with an order of 24 computer for CERN.
Rød kule Introduction of the NORD-10, based on technology many years ahead of ND's competitors.
Blå kule Introduction of SINTRAN III, a userfriendly operating system for the NORD computers.
Grønn kule The operating system CP/M (Control Program/Monitor) sees the light of day. Shouldn't that be Control Program for Microprocessors?

Svart kule Large NORD-50 order to Meteoroloigical centre in Algeria. By the end of the year there are 140 employees in the company. Concidering moving the company to Kristiansand and negotiations are started with the county.
Blå kule SINTRAN III/VS, a general operationg system for both 16-bits and 32-bits computers. It is the first multiple-mode operating system for real time computing, multilingual, timesharing, and both local and remote batched computing.
Gul kule Intel releases their 8-bit 2MHz 8080 microprocessor and Motorola introduces their 8-bits 6800 microprocessor.
Grønn kule CP/M is released for Intel 8080-based systems.

Svart kule The first NORD-10 systems, intended for purely administrative uses, is delivered to Jonas Øglænd, Kreditkassen,(A large bank) and Norsk Tipping.(The state lottery)
Rød kule NORD-50, the second-generation 32-bit supermini computer.
Blå kule SIBAS, a Codasyl-based multiuser online database system. It is an important tool for administrative purposes and distributed data processing.
Grønn kule Microsoft is started by Bill Gates and Paul Allen as they launch their BASIC interpreter.

Svart kule The company changes name to NORSK DATA A/S. ND wins contracts with NSB (State railway monopoly) over delivery of equipment and development of users for the control of freight trains (GTL)
Gul kule Intel comes out with a new 8-bits 5MHz 8085 microprocessor. Zilog releases their 8-bit 2.5MHz Z80 microprocessor.

Svart kule Great international attention is woken when ND in sharp competition with large American vendors wins the contract to the computer for the F-16 pilot training simulator. This is the largest contract yet in ND's history. The company is awarded the Export award for 1977.

Svart kule Rolf Skår takes over as CEO. ND sets eye on the graphics industry and establishes its own division for this product area, Nortext. The number of employees has reached 400. The NORD-100 computer series changes name to ND-100. The company moves into new offices at Furuset, the first Norsk Data owns themselves.
Gul kule Intel introduces the 4.77MHz 8086 microprocessor and has thus advanced to an amazing 16 bits.

Svart kule Tandberg A/S is bought by ND. The number of employees is rapidly increasing, and they move into new spaces at Skullerud. Breakthrough on the English and Danish markets.
Rød kule ND-100 arrives on the market, a very fast and compact 16-bits minicomputer, and the development of ND-500 is started, a third-generation 32-bit supermini.
Blå kule The text editor ND-NOTIS is launched, an integrated system for word processing and data processing, with the same terminal for all functions.
Gul kule Intel arrives with their quasi-16-bits 4.77MHz 8088 microprocessor. Motorola introduces their first 16-bit 68000 microprocessor.

Svart kule ND buys COMTEC by Nobø Fabrikker A/S. This signals a very strong investment in integrated computer systems for the graphical business, and especially the news paper section. Mobil Exploration Norway Inc. puts 30 Million kroner to ND's disposition for the development of computing equipment. The number of employees has reached 717, but everyone still knows each other!
Grønn kule Tim Berners-Lee created the program ENQUIRE on a Sintran III minicomputer from Norsk Data. with this program you could link between documents, and we here have the start of the World Wide Web. Here you can find the original ENQUIRE manual. Microsoft releases the OS Xenix.

Svart kule The 3rd of July ND is made public on the London Stock Exchange. This signifies an international breakthrough on the financial market. Of the companies 1678 stock holders, 255 are now foreigners. The stock rises in the first year from NOK 55 to NOK 400.
Rød kule ND-500, a third-generation 32-bit supermini computer, with very high performance and security, based on a non-von-Neumann architechture.
Blå kule ACCESS, direct inquiry system allowing case workers to query a DB.
Gul kule IBM releases PC with Intel 8086 microprocessor and 64KB RAM.

Svart kule ND strikes deal with the Dietz family in Germany over the creation of the company Dietz Computer Systeme GmbH inside the CAD/CAM sector. The cooperation is based on making use of the existing sales and service organization of Dietz, while the software, Technovision, is ported to the ND-500 line of computers.
Blå kule COSMOS, a network system allowing sharing of applications and databases in a computer network.
Gul kule Intel introduces a 16-bit 6MHz 80286 microprocessor.
Grønn kule Microsoft releases MS-DOS version 1.1 for IBM's PC.

Svart kule ND's stock is noted on the Stockholm exchange. ND purchases 70% of the stock in Sivildata AB. This Swedish service bureau has a large IBM machine park, which eventually has a direct impact on ND's development of software for communications between these types of machines. ND is given the award Corporation Of The Year 1983 by The corporate review.
Rød kule ND-570/CX (ND-500/2), is the world's fastest general-purpose 32-bits supermini machine. It performed 7.1 million Whetstone instructions pr. second by using an optimizing FORTRAN-77 compiler.
Grønn kule Microsoft releases MS-DOS version 2.0 and a very pre-version of Windows.

Svart kule After the French space travel organization CNES has recommended ND's 32-bit supermini computer for their next five year program, ND can in October sign a large contract with MATRA. This French company will start selling ND products under their own name with marketing rights for the south-European countries.
Gul kule Motorola arrives with a 32-bits 16MHz 68020 microprocessor.
Grønn kule Microsoft releases MS-DOS version 3.0.

Svart kule In West-Germany the integration of the former Dietz corporation with ND completes and the company name is changed to Norsk Data GmbH. ND initiates a cooperative effort with the Electronic Corporation of India, ECIL. For a fee ND will transfer their ND-500 technology to India with the help of ECIL.
Rød kule Introduction of a new ND-100 CPU, ND-120 CX (Delilah) with from 2 to 6 megabytes of onboard memory.
Gul kule Intel finally launch their 32-bits 16MHz 80386DX mikroprocessor.
Grønn kule Microsoft is ready to launch the first version of Windows (1.0).

Svart kule ND purchases an 18% share and secures through agreements control over the Danish system/software shop Data Inform A/S. Further ND buys all the stock for the Norwegian software house Infologic A/S. This company has developed a fourth-generation development tool for commercial application packages.
Svart kule Johnny Oddene starts at Norsk Data Tuesday the 13th of May.

Svart kule In February, ND takes over the company Autocon A/S from Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk A/S. This company specializes in extremely advanced software for surface modelling within CAD/CAM. ND buys the stock majority of Wordplex, one of Englands best known computer companies. In the company there are about 800 employees, and the company has large activities abroad in amongst others Portugal, West-Germany, and Australia. Only home in England is Wordplex making money. The magazine Datamation ranks ND third on a ranking list over results in the computer corporation all over the world, only beaten by Microsoft Corp. and Cray Research. DEC and IBM are way down on the list with points about half of what ND got.
Svart kule ND-5000 (Samson) is released, a fourth-generation 32-bit superminimachine. A new technological leap over the competitors is thus achieved.
Gul kule Motorola is ready with their new 32-bit 68030 microprocessor.

Rød kule The Server 88-project results in two standard configurations; TpServer- and ES-platform.

Svart kule Rolf Skår quits as CEO of Norsk Data 20th of August 1989.
Gul kule Intel is ready with their 32-bit 25MHz 486 microprocessor.

Rød kule ND-5850 (Rallar) is launched, a fifth-generation 32-bit supermini.
Gul kule Motorola announces their 32-bit 25MHz 68040 microprocessor.
Grønn kule Microsoft is ready with Windows 3.0.

Grønn kule MS-DOS version 5.0 is ready for sale from Microsoft.

Gul kule Intel introduces their 32-bit 25/50MHz i486DX2 microprocessor.
Grønn kule Microsoft sells Windows versjon 3.1.

Gul kule Motorola is ready with their 50 and 66MHz PowerPC 601 processors.
Grønn kule Microsoft launches their Nintendo version of Windows (Windows NT).

Gul kule Intel introduces the i486DX4 processor.
Grønn kule Mosaic Communications launches Netscape Navigator version 1.0.

Gul kule Intel announces the Pentium Pro mikroprocessor.
Grønn kule Microsoft releases Windows 95.

Gul kule Intel launches the 200MHz Pentium Pro.
Grønn kule Microsoft announces version 4.0 of Windows Nintendo Technology (NT).


Svart kule Upgrades and delivery of ND-5850 (Rallar)-machines to Norsk Tipping, NSB, Statkraft, Stavanger Aftenblad.


Svart kule New ND-5850 (Rallar) satellite delivered to customer in February.
Blå kule Release of Norsk Data Internet Server (NDIS). So Norsk Data's homepages can be run on a Norsk Data supermini, as it should be.

Svart kule A brilliant and completely correct quote from professor Jens Glad Balchen at NTNU: In spite of bankruptcy after ca. 25 years, ND was one of the largest industrial computer successes the world has ever seen.
Source: Computer World Norge, 16. februar 2001. The link works if you're lucky, but it's in Norwegian.
Svart kule New ND-100 Compact model 12 delivered to an extremely happy customer in August.

Blå kule Release of CLCKSRV, automatic adjustment of time for daylight savings time. Other programs can also do calls to the server to get deviations from GMT, if it's DST, and of course date and time. ( which you can also get with MON CLOCK).

Svart kule Norsk Data has to move out the last remanders from the old headquarters at Skullerud and thus a long Norwegian computing adventure is over. The former owners were completely uninterested and mistreated about everything having to do with Norsk Data in a series of years, and completely lacked the understanding of how important it is to conserve the world's greatest IT story.

Svart kule Hipp hurray!. Long live Norsk Data, Sintran Data preserves the ND story so that it may never be forgotten.

Norsk Data's grunnleggere
Norsk Data's grunnleggere






ND-100 Compact
ND-100 Compact


ND-5000 Compact - Samson
ND-5000 Compact - Samson

ND-5800 CPU - Samson
ND-5000 CPU - Samson

ND-5850 CPU - Rallar
ND-5850 CPU - Rallar


Research and development
Research and Development

ND-500 F16 test site
ND-500 test site for F-16 plane simulator

Backup anlegg for NSB GTI
Disaster backup machines for NSB's GTI system

Drifts maskiner
Obelix, Hades, Rosa and Luring

NORD-10 og NORD-50
NORD-10 og NORD-50 test machines

Se også en firma navn/års oversikt her.
Årsrapporter fra Norsk Data over flere år, samt egne notater
Historien om Norsk Data, over alle grenser - juli 1987 Norsk Data
ND-avisen, i går •  i dag •  i morgen - desember 1987 Norsk Data

This translation last updated Friday April 7th, 2006.
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