Category Archives: t-shirts shutting shop

Back in 2008 I put together some programmer T-shirt designs to raise money for charity. The project was a modest success, selling 99 t-shirts (92 from and 7 from I was hoping it would have done better, but was somewhat hampered by the high price of print-on-demand T-shirts (especially when you have a charity commission on top) and not finding anyone with the time and skills to make up for my lack of design talent. But it has still raised $302.33+£8.94 to be split between worthy charities and (plus a generous donation from microISV stalwart Patrick McKenzie).

The 3 most popular designs were:

  1. C++ programmers T-shirt
  2. engineer’s lament T-shirt
  3. I’m coding T-shirt

Sales have now slowed to a trickle. So I don’t intend to renew the domain and will shut down the shops in the next 7 days to pay out the rest of the commission. If you want to buy one of the t-shirt designs, I suggest you do it now! It would be nice to break 100. If anyone wants the domain I will transfer it for a donation to charity (email me).

Thanks for everyone who helped by sending me T-shirt ideas, linking from their blogs and buying T-shirts. Special thanks to Patrick McKenzie for setting up and hosting the web site and to Jeff Atwood for running some free ads on .

Presents for programmers

It is coming up to that time of year again. You had better start dropping some hints on what you want for Christmas if you don’t want socks again. How about a software themed T-shirt? You can never have too many T-shirts and it means you can go an extra day before you have to do the laundry.

It just so happens that (set up by myself and Patrick McKenzie last year) carries a range of wittily(?) captioned T-shirts for software types of all stripes including: microISVS, C++ programmers, LISP programmers, Mac developers, software engineers, managers and bloggers. Following on from a conversation at ESWC 2009 (with someone who might prefer to remain anonymous) I have just added another design for server programmers:

I know the T-shirts aren’t cheap (print-on-demand is expensive), but I have ordered a couple myself from the European shop and the quality is very good. Also you can customise the t-shirts (e.g. choose a different colour). Best of all the commission on each T-shirt (12.5% for the US shop and £1.50 for the European shop) goes to two very worthy charities:

  • Sightsavers International works to alleviate sight problems around the world. Every year Sightsavers and their partners treat millions of people for potentially blinding conditions. It costs as little as $0.10 to protect someone from river blindness for a year.
  • Jaipur Foot have developed an effective and easy-to-fit prosthetic lower limb that can be produced for a little as $30. The charity has distributed over 300,000 limbs free of charge in 22 countries.

It won’t be a surprise to regular readers that I am going to finish this post with a less than subtle call-to-action.

(STOP PRESS: 15% off everything in the European shop until 29-Nov-2009, use voucher code: NOVEMBERSALE)

T-shirt update

I’ve have just made the first payout of royalties from T-shirt sales. $106.20 of Zazzle royalties were split evenly between Sightsavers and JaipurFoot. Patrick McKenzie has also made a very generous additional donation as he promised on his blog.

Sales dropped off rapidly after Xmas, so I am probably going to leave ticking over until Xmas 2009. Thanks again to everyone that bought T-shirts or helped with the publicity. Special thanks to Patrick for setting up the site on his server.

NB/ You can still buy T-shirts!

programmer-tshirtMany thanks to all the bloggers who linked to my programmer T-shirts for charity project. Patrick McKenzie has very generously donated his time[1] and some space on his server to set-up a dedicated website at If any of you feel like promoting the new website you could put a small ad on the side of your blog (see right) or display the flash panel shown on the new website ( apparently doesn’t allow embedded flash).

The HTML for the ad is:

<table style="text-align:left;width:200px;"
       border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">
      <table style="text-align:left;width:200px;"
             border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2">
          <tr align="center">
              <big><a href="">
              T-shirts for programmers</a></big>
          <tr align="center">
                 <a href="">
                 <img style="border:0 solid;width:172px;height:175px;"
                 alt="programmer t-shirts"
          <tr align="center">
            <td>All proceeds to charity</td>

In WordPress you can just add it as a text widget (Dashboard>Appearance>Widgets).

The source for the flash panel is:

<embed wmode="transparent"
   width="450" height="300" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash">

Even if you just run it for a week or two before Xmas that would be great.

[1]A resource in short supply for a salaryman in Japan. Especially one that commutes in from a rice field and runs his own microISV.

What do you buy a programmer for Christmas?

Easy, a T-shirt. Programmers love T-shirts.

It juuuuust so happens that I have created some T-shirt designs for software developers. Even better, all the commission will be split equally between two very worthy charities: and


sightsaversSightsavers works to alleviate sight problems around the world. Last year Sightsavers and their partners treated more than 23 million people for potentially blinding conditions and restored sight to over 244,000 people. Sightsavers is charity particularly close to my own heart, as I have suffered from eye problems myself. My vision without specs is very poor (-8 dioptres). A few years ago I suffered a detached retina due to a martial arts injury and ended up having emergency cryosurgery on both eyes. The possibilty of losing vision in one eye, let alone both eyes, was a frightening prospect. And yet it only costs:

  • $0.10 to protect someone from river blindness for a year.
  • $10 to pay for eyelid surgery for trachoma.
  • $35 for an adult cataract operation.

jaipurfootI first heard of this charity while watching a TV program Paul Merton in India. This organization pioneered the “Jaipur foot” (also known as the “Jaipur leg”) – an effective and easy-to-fit prosthetic lower limb that can be produced for a little as $30 and is provided for free by the charity. The prosthetic was first developed in the 1960s by an orthopedic surgeon and a sculptor. Since then the charity has provided over 300,000 limbs in 22 countries. In the television program a young boy arrived at the clinic hopping on one leg and left running on two, beaming. It was moving to watch. You can read more in this Time magazine article.

In these gloomy economic times it is easy to forget that there are people much worse off than ourselves. A little money goes a long way with either of these charities. So, how can you help?

Buy a T-shirt

Buy a T-shirt for yourself, your geeky friends, your work colleagues or your employees. Currently there are nine designs available. I have set up separate shops for North America ( and Europe ( to cut down on postage costs and shipping times.

North American shop: (the 12.5% commission included in each T-shirt sale will go to charity)

European shop: (the £1.50 commission included in each T-shirt sale will go to charity)

Design a T-shirt

Got an idea for a design? Add it in a comment below or email it to me. I will do what I can to turn some of the better ideas into T-shirts. You can supply graphics and/or text. I don’t have the artistic skills to turn your idea into graphics, but someone else might have. All commission from your design will go to charity. But your design must be original – no copyright violations please.

Gimme some link love

If you have a software-related blog or frequent a software-related forum, please link to this post and/or the online shops.


My “It works on my machine” machine design predates Jospeh Cooney’s and Jeff Atwood’s by more than 4 years, as proved by this link to the (now sadly defunct) ezine. The profits from those T-shirts went to the Jhai foundation – pioneers of bicycle powered Linux. Ironically I can’t sell this design in the European shop due to a bug in the code.

** Update **

These T-shirts are no longer available. Sorry.