Survey

Anything that doesn't fit elsewhere - doesn't have to be AD related.
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angus
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Re: Survey

Postby angus » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:49 pm

I thought the reason Douglas Adams came up with 42 was because it was the ASCII code for a space

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jont-
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Re: Survey

Postby jont- » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:02 pm

angus wrote:I thought the reason Douglas Adams came up with 42 was because it was the ASCII code for a space

not in any of the usual bases:
Oct Dec Hex Char
040 32 20 SPACE
042 34 22 "
052 42 2A *
102 66 42 B

So depending on whether you're using Octal, decimal or hex, it could be a quote mark, an asterisk or a 'B' character.

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angus
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Re: Survey

Postby angus » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:47 pm

I read or heard somewhere that it was something to do with the character for ASCII code 42 - don't think he was enough of a geek for it to have been EBCDIC. The asterisk would make sense as it often stood for "any value"

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Survey

Postby GTR1400MAN » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:26 pm

Scores of adolescents have posited theories about significance of the number. The actor Stephen Fry claimed to know the true answer, but won't tell, saying he'll take it to his grave. The author himself rather undermined the myriad analyses when he dismissed them all with the simple answer that the choice of the number was a joke.

"The answer to this is very simple," Adams said. "It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base 13, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat on my desk, stared in to the garden and thought 42 will do. I typed it out. End of story."

Source - The Independent 6/2/2011 which contains lots of interesting 42 facts.
Mike Roberts

waremark
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Re: Survey

Postby waremark » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:42 am

I completed it - because I am a law-abiding go along with things sheep like sort of chap.

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Mr Cholmondeley-Warner
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Re: Survey

Postby Mr Cholmondeley-Warner » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:30 am

Baaaaa!
Nick

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angus
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Location: Colchester - Oldest Town, oldest roads

Re: Survey

Postby angus » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:24 pm

angus wrote:I read or heard somewhere that it was something to do with the character for ASCII code 42 - don't think he was enough of a geek for it to have been EBCDIC. The asterisk would make sense as it often stood for "any value"


I found the reference I was looking for:

https://me.me/i/13-the-true-meaning-of- ... e-11698904

It confirms my assertion above, but it doesn't say that Adams ever actually claimed that was why he choose 42

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Survey

Postby GTR1400MAN » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:14 pm

I did some serious digging and found the original definitive answer, not an unqualified quote, but from the man himself back in 1993 on the grandfather of forums, UseNet.

Here it is. alt.fan.douglas-adams
Mike Roberts

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angus
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Re: Survey

Postby angus » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:18 pm

As I said, it doesn't claim that Adams actually said it, only that I'd seen it somewhere and it had (incorrently) lodged itself in my memory. Shame tho' as it would've been better than that it was a random number plucked out of the ether

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Survey

Postby GTR1400MAN » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:38 pm

The numerous theories are much more fun aren't they ... but show that almost anything can be shown to have some relation to a number. This is how superstitions/coincidences gain such great hold on some people.
Mike Roberts


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