Early Computer Geek Art

A fnert

This is a fnert. It was drawn, I am told, by an electrician who was working with my father and other engineers at Datamatic Corporation on the Datamatic 1000 computer about 1957. He drew this and other pictures on scrap paper and taped them to a bulletin board. When they were taken down, since no one else wanted them, my father brought them home. The fnert became a fixture in our family, its name being the favored family insult. “Don't be a fnert!” was my father's common warning; it meant something like being deliberately stupid. Of course, we knew plenty of fnerts, all of them outside our own family.

Here are his other productions, examples of geek humor at the dawn of the computer age. He was clearly a clever artist, but a bit weak in his spelling.

Datamatic 1000+1

Woodypeckermatic

Mouse power verses horse power

The Crusader

A Lobsterpillar

Noom from the Moon
Rehtom + Nos

Otulp of Pluto

Redipuj from Jupider

“Sunev” from Venus