In 1990, I drew thirteen cartoons for the computing industry press. They were never published, so here they are from the Beholder archive. They have no particular artistic merit, but they’re mildly interesting from a nostalgically geeky point of view.
I never wrote anything in ADA myself, but I did look into it because there was some ADA being written at the first place I worked. It looked like it was horrendous to work with. This cartoon contains the embarrassing falsehood that Lovelace was Babbage’s mistress. I don’t know where I got that from — it was almost certainly a rumour I’d read somewhere and never thought to, you know, check — but I encourage anyone nerdy enough to be reading this to urgently acquire a copy of Sydney Padua’s fabulous The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage for a telling of the Lovelace story that is as perfectly wonderful and fascinating as the woman herself deserves.
I named these verbose cartoons “the Need To Know Guide to Programming Languages”. Note that this was nothing to do with Danny O’Brien & Dave Green’s Need to Know (NTK) newsletter, which did not come along for another seven years (and to which I enthusiastically subscribed).
You’re free to use the illustration for anything provided you attribute Beholder as the source (a CC BY 4.0 license).
See more vintage Beholder nostalgia.