So Long, and Thanks For All the Laughs — Don’t panic! Noted British humorist and Macintosh proponent Douglas Adams died unexpectedly from a heart attack at a gym near his California home last Friday. He was 49 years old. Among his many proclivities (he had built barns, worked as a bodyguard, and played guitar with the rock band Pink Floyd), Adams wrote the classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, which began as a BBC radio serial and also spawned graphic novels, record albums, a play, a computer game, and a television series. Adams had been recently working on a feature film adaptation of Hitchhiker’s for Disney. Although Adams didn’t try to write predictive science fiction, his works engendered a surprising collection of Internet and pop culture terminology (such as the name of AltaVista’s BabelFish translation service), and his fictional Guide – envisioned long before the Web – could be described as a galaxy-wide online collaboration system. Tributes from friends and fans are being collected at Adams’ Web site. [GD]
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