1990: Programming languages

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.

11. Forth, Lisp, and Snobol

I’m bluffing a little on this one, because I don’t think I ever wrote any Forth, and certainly never Snobol. I did a woefully small amount of Lisp, which is a shame because Lisp is probably the most interesting place to be in the intersection of mathematics and real programming. But I am a fan of Logo, and my brother has the unusual distinction of having been a PostScript programmer. The “CDR... CADDR” nonsense is about Lisp’s CAR and CDR operations (“Contents of the Address part of Register number” and “Contents of the Decrement part of Register number”).

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.