My Kindle showed up today, and rather than reading a book or something smart like that, the first thing I did was play Zork.
(The second thing I did was get eaten by a grue!)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. The introduction starts like this: Space, it says, is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the street to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space. Listen … it’s just so big that by comparison, bigness itself looks … and so on.
After a while, the style settles down a bit, and it starts telling you things you actually need to know, like the fact that the fabulously beautiful planet of Bethselamin is now so worried about the cumulative erosion caused by over 10 billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete whilst on the planet is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave. So every time you go to the lavatory there, it’s vitally important to get a receipt.
In the entry in which it talks about dying of asphyxiation 30 seconds after being thrown out of a spaceship, it goes on to say that space being the size it is, the chances of being picked up by another craft within those seconds are two to the power of two hundred and sixty thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine to one against which, by a staggering coincidence, was also the phone number of an Islington flat where Arthur once went to a a very good party, where he ate some very good food, had some very good drinks with some very good friends and met a very nice girl whom he totally failed to get off with.
If only http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth was accurate. I mean everybody knows it should only be two words long.
XKCD missed this in the terms:
“Amazon provides wireless connectivity free of charge to you for certain content shopping and downloading services on your Device. You may be charged a fee for wireless connectivity for your use of other wireless services on your Device, such as Web browsing and downloading of personal files, should you elect to use those services. We will maintain a list of current fees for such services in the Kindle Store.”
No fees are currently listed. The problem is that when they are listed in the store some day, a lot of Kindle users will discover they have racked up a lot of fees without realizing it until the first bill comes.
Doodz, you don’t know the guide by heart yet?
1. Fork Wikipedia.
2. Gather a community of literarily-skilled contributors.
3. Rewrite entries in Douglas Adams style.
Its not really access to wikipedia which makes this close to “the Guide” but access to the internet without a hotspot. Come to think of it, if I want a true H2G2, I would just opt for a netbook. Sony’s P series is perfect for this I think. “drool, drool”
ya back in january I reposted to my blog somthing I observed along time ago.. hmm. sounds alittle like this thread..
so who do I sue.
what was I thinking.. nobody goes to my blog..
deviantart Journal Entry by Kaneda-Jones: Sat Oct 27, 2007, 9:29 PM
THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY SECRET ORIGINS
SNIPIT FROM WIKIPEDIA ENTRY ON SAID BOOK:
“On the Guide’s outdated and typo filled entries (some of which could cause serious injury or death), Adams wrote, “…though it cannot hope to be useful or informative on all matters, it does make the reassuring claim that where it is inaccurate, it is at least definitively inaccurate. In cases of major discrepancy it was always reality that’s got it wrong.”
“The Guide can receive updates to its data base via Sub-Etha. Field researchers (like Ford Prefect) can also use the Guide to edit entries and transmit these back to the publisher.”
MY GOD THE GUIDE IS WIKIPEDIA WITH GALACTIC WIFI!
A swutting good idea #5!
(Pardon my Belgium)
] QUIT ZORK
You quit the Zork.
] READ EBOOK
I don’t see any ebook here.
] RETURN KINDLE
I don’t know how to return the kindle.
Your Kindle battery is dying. It is getting dark. You are likely to be eaten by another grue.
(Not that you could ever call something the H2G2 if it only worked in one country. EH, AMAZON? EH?)
I bet it will even give you access to BabelFish.
Please, before you post XKCD comics, consult isxkcdshittytoday.com. You can save yourself some time and embarrassment.
It would be better for the comic if it showed “DON’T PANIC” in big bold letters instead of “…ITCHHIKER’S GUI..” though it would mean excluding people that haven’t read the book.
Plus I think it would be very reassuring for someone to wake up drunk in a strange city somewhere and see “DON’T PANIC” whenever they look for info.
WOAH. That’s not Infocom Zork. I’ve kind of been looking for the original zork omnibus for awhile- I didn’t realize just how disorienting it would really be!
I put myself on autopilot and just started my usual run, and was confused as to why I started getting lost. And then I find the clay brick and things seemed weird. Then the volcanos and the viewing room…
It’s all new! (Because it’s so friggin’ old!)
You’ve not got, you know, the best case there I’m afraid. If you’d said “the kindle is good because you can browse wikipedia from anywhere and that’s just like the guide” then, totally, utterly allowed to sue.
I’d actually trust the Guide more than Wikipedia – there’s fewer slightly crazy people who put pictures of their penises on the Internet writing for the guide. That’s always made me feel kinda dirty actually reading the site.
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