For who don't know, the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is a BBC radio play, TV series, a book series and, in 2005 a Hollywood movie. For those that haven't yet seen the movie, I can give you some useful advice - DON'T. It was made after the author Douglas Adams tragically died aged just 49 in 2001 and frankly isn't very good. But all other versions most certainly are.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (HHGTTG to those in the know) chronicles the life of Arthur Dent, an unassuming fellow who discovers that his best friend Ford Prefect (he mis-identified the dominant species on earth when choosing a suitably inconspicuous earth-name) is in fact a researcher from another planet for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (HHG). The HHG is a sort of electronic book which holds all information known in the universe. The entry for the Earth says 'Mostly Harmless' but this is 100% longer than the previous edition which said 'Harmless'. (It was heavily edited, much like this blog - probably....) The HHG is said to be popular mostly because it has 'DON'T PANIC' in large friendly letters on the cover. Other prominent characters include the two-headed Zaphod Beeblebrox, his girlfriend Trillian and Marvin the Paranoid Android.
Given that HHGTTG (in the know -see?) was first broadcast as a radio play in 1978, an electronic book containing all known information was remarkably prescient. But then Douglas Adams was not only a creative genius but also a well-known gadget-lover said to like fast cars, cameras and Apple Macs (sounds like a man after my own heart!) Few could have predicted the smartphones, tablets and other mobile computing devices we have today back in 1978. You don't need a brain the size of a planet when you've always got Google with you. Although I hate to think what Marvin would have to say about all those Paris Hilton searches. "Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and all they want me to do is...."
I could have done with a copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide (DON'T PANIC) yesterday morning when Jim Wallace, ARM Director of Home Segment called to remind me of the webinar 'ARM enabling multiple-segment Android -based devices' as I was still drying myself (with my towel!) after my Pilates session. But the subjects of the talk were not paranoid depressive robotic life-forms but instead non-smartphone devices powered by the Google Android operating system. Fortunately it all went off well, although at one point I thought my peril-sensitive sunglasses had activated when several of the questions submitted by attendees disappeared; only later did I find out that someone (who shall remain nameless) marked them as 'answered' when in fact they weren't. Apologies if your question was one of them, but we unanimously nominated that person to follow-up those questions individually by email.
Douglas Adams we miss and remember you. If you missed the webinar, don't worry you can download it for the next year from here. If you missed towel day, well there's always next year. Have you ever noticed everything's connected? And I don't just mean ARM Powered devices either....
Ashley Stevens, Solutions Architect, ARM, helps customers deploy the latest ARM products and technologies to create innovative holistic system solutions. He's been with ARM since 1995 and has a background in SoC design and architecture, working for seven years in ARM design services. Previously he worked for Acorn Computers where the ARM processor was originally developed, Tadpole a maker of Unix laptops, and Marconi. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering from Queen Mary College London.
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