Is the iPad Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”?

I recently read (and retweeted) the tweet above.  It made me think what has been achieved in a relatively short space of time (30 years or so, since computers began to reach the public, initially in only a very rudimentary form), and inspired me to develop those thoughts.

As @dna4ever42‘s tweet quotes Stephen Fry (in the Time magazine article ‘The iPad Launch: Can Steve Jobs Do It Again?‘), Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) likens the iPad to the encyclopedia in Douglas Adams’ brilliant ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘ (the encyclopedia being that guide), written by Adams, a close friend of Fry, in 1979.

It is indeed a shame that Adams, who Fry describes as being the first person in the UK to own an Apple Macintosh computer, isn’t able to see the iPad (Adams died of a heart attack at the age of 49 on 11 May 2001) – one can be fairly sure that he would have been excited by it.

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Is parody the sincerest form of flattery? iPad humor

It is said that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Perhaps even more sincere, is “parody”.

Apple’s new “iPad” tablet computer will be launched tomorrow. There is intense debate, commentary and argument in some circles as to whether the product is a hit or miss. And all of that from (mostly) people who have never seen, let alone touched the ‘multi-touch’ device. Whatever your point of view, it is clear that Apple has developed incredible power to enter people’s lives via its marketing and its cultural values.

Aside from much of the comments, described by some as being from “Apple fanboys” and “Apple haters”, a few videos have appeared on sites like YouTube which aim to capitalize on the excitement and interest in the iPad, by making fun of the device. It would seem that much of this humor is however flattery, not least in its garnering of further attention for the iPad ‘story’ (some of the iPad parody videos have hundred’s of thousands of ‘views’ on YouTube).

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