A vintage illustration (1992)

This is an illustration I did for Royal Holloway (University of London) in 1992, for their outreach program encouraging more women to study Computer Science. Back then it was just a pen-and-ink black-and-white drawing. If you look closely you’ll see some endearing signs of the times: there’s a floppy disk, VR goggles being used with a (single) glove (cutting edge in the early 90s, and I remember having a go), bulky CRT monitors, lots of cabling, space invaders (OK, so that was already retro by 1992), and sprocket holes on computer paper.

How things have advanced! Now it’s on the web in PNG format (which didn’t come along for another four years), in colour, with transparent pixels, and CSS animation, and you might even be looking at it on a mobile phone. Or even a computer connected to the internet wirelessly, which is something most people already take for granted. Oh, what a sophisiticated digital civilisation we have become!

And yet... and yet. Over two decades later and depressingly society still hasn’t got this right. Wikipedia: women in computing.

See more vintage Beholder nostalgia.

CSS animation lifted from Gabriele Petrioli’s fiddle.