A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Computers

Ron Cobb is an American cartoonist and concept artist based in Sydney whose credits include Star Wars (1977), Alien (1979), Conan the Barbarian (1982), The Last Starfighter (1984), Back to the Future (1985), The Abyss (1989) and Total Recall (1990).

In this outtake from my interview with him yesterday, we glean an anecdote about his friend Douglas Adams, the author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and renowned Apple advocate:

“Douglas was a great enthusiast about science and humour and satire. I was asked to design an early TV version of Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy that was never made. Douglas didn’t like the BBC version – though I liked it. Douglas and I hit it off immediately. But ultimately the ABC [American Broadcasting network] wanted to Americanise it too much. That was ultimately a disastrous idea and much to my relief it was cancelled.

“I can say I brought Douglas into the world of computers, which he satirized so much in Hitchhiker’s Guide. I said ‘they really are going to be marvelous, extraordinary things!’ I eventually talked him into getting a little Macintosh. He later traveled the world advocating Apple computers and knew far more about computers than I ever did! In his apartment in London he had a whole room stacked with old Macintoshes!”

– Douglas Adams was an Apple user until his death in 2001. Adams was made an “Apple Master”, one of several celebrities (including included John Cleese and Gregory Hines) whom Apple made into spokespeople for its products.

A full interview with Ron Cobb will be published in the December issue of Lumina.

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