The Well-Dressed Programmer

Of all the sources that I used to construct The Computer Boys, none was as fun or useful as the industry journal Datamation.  Unlike the more academically oriented journals from the ACM, Datamation was unabashedly industry focused.  It also was much more intimate, honest, and above all, humorous.  Throughout the 1960s it included a series of parodies of pop-culture phenomenon.  Here is one of my favorites, The Well-Dressed Programmer:

Click the image for a much larger version.

12 thoughts on “The Well-Dressed Programmer”

  1. Re : #9d
    Re : Overall
    A great find and something of a hoot. By the way, the short tie isn’t needed. The trick I learned in parochial school was to locate my second and third shirt buttons and tuck my tie inside my shirt between them. Later on I got in the habit of wearing a denim shop apron when doing my soldering.

  2. He seems well equipped, except today’s programmer is usually husky, has a dropbox account in place of the briefcase and not likely to wear the hat. As to the rest of his wardrobe, I can certainly see today’s techies dressing in a similar manner.

  3. I simply loved the way its put down. Ideal for any programmer. Me and my friends loved this image. Keep posting such interesting and cool images which can make all geeks proud 🙂

  4. @Steve, except for the card reader.
    I too remember Datamation fondly for its humor and solid industry info. My favorite cover showed a man at a desk, which held a smoking pile of rubble. The baloon from the guy said, “It’s never done that before.”

    Thanks for the memories.

  5. Show the cover where it’s a “Charles Atlas” bully on the beach cartoon parody, “The insult that made a MANager out of Mac”; I can’t find it anywhere. It was so popular, they even printed a poster of it.

    It had lines like: “That man is the worst nuisance in the ACM!”

    and: “Gosh darn it, I’m tired of running batch mode! Datamation says I can get a demand terminal. What the heck, I got nothing to lose!”

    and: “Wow, what thruput! Those reports won’t be late again!”

    and: “Here’s the report I owe you (as he punches the bully in the face with a fist holding a 132-column printout)

    and the famous last line: “Is that a banana in his pants?” “No, he’s just glad to see her”. The mag got so many complaints by uptight ’65 pre-revolution nerds that in the next issue, they had to explain that it’s a widely-repeated mae west quote.

    I was the only girl programmer in the division then, and I was still in college. I remember being terribly, terribly embarrassed by that Datamation cover, even though I thought it was really, really cool. I couldn’t even walk past where it was on the wall if a man was near!

    But that was when I was a horribly shy geek. Since then, I meditated naked in a cave for 3 years and WISED UP. After that, I’d f*** any man, anywhere, any time. I still would, if I hadn’t turned into an (ugh) OLD PERSON!

    GOD I miss the things I could have done! They say you’re only old when memories are replaced by regrets. By that metric, I’m as old as an Egyptian mummy. I even look like one. (Sigh…)

    -Faith K.

    Guys who worked for G.E.: No, it’s not me. It’s just some crazy old lady with a similar name.

  6. Nathan, you might be interested to know that I drew The Well-dressed Programmer. At the time I was working as a programmer for a think-tank doing work under contract to Air Force Headquarters. Before that, i had worked as a programmer at the “computer lab” at Wayne State University for five years. The new business of computers attracted a lot of smart people. The humor of their culture tended to be satirical comments on the follies we saw in our fellow programmers. I wanted to capture all that humor in one picture.

    You may not be able to see it clearly in the image you have, but the letters S T A H L are embedded in the pattern of the pillow under the programmer’s left elbow.

    The picture hangs in my study today.

    I am delighted that the drawing can still entertain!

    Fred Stahl

    1. Fred — thank you for the comment and the information. I was not aware of the origins of this image, but am very glad to know now. When I blow up the image I can indeed see your name in the pillow. I would love to learn more about your early career as a programmer. I will send an email to your address. In the meantime, thanks again!

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