Godspeed From the Galaxy

 
 
By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-05-28 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A sudden death by heart attack earlier this month has taken from us the wit of Douglas Adams, author of the five-volume trilogy ("increasingly inaccurately named," as the subtitle wryly noted on Volume 5) that began with "The Hitchhiker'

A sudden death by heart attack earlier this month has taken from us the wit of Douglas Adams, author of the five-volume trilogy ("increasingly inaccurately named," as the subtitle wryly noted on Volume 5) that began with "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy."

It was Adams who conceived the fictitious Sirius Cybernetics Corp., whose complaint department employed the entire labor force of a medium-size planet and whose products were so hard to use that their buyers felt triumphant at merely getting them to function, thereby overlooking the fact that the products did nothing useful. In other words, as Adams pointed out, their fundamental design flaws were masked by their superficial design flaws.

Then again, maybe he wasnt writing fiction after all. R.I.P., Douglas Adams, and we hope you remembered your towel.

 
 
 
 
Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at salesforce.com, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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