I met Douglas Adams on April 10, 2001 in San Francisco, shook his hand and told him I thought he gave a great talk, and that I particularly liked what he had to say about cars. I handed him my business card, he said "Oh, of course!" and laughed, and I told him to get in touch if he liked. I didn't tell him that I'd read at least 7 or 8 of his books, that I reread them all the time, and they never fail to entertain me. I didn't go in to the exhibition hall for his autograph session, because I had other things to do at my conference, his speech was the keynote for a parallel conference on Embedded Systems running at the Moscone center, and I don't want to buy realtime Java chips. I certainly didn't tell him that my first girlfriend bought me all of his books, and autographed them each from a different character... "To the second most cool and froody guy I know. - Z", "My number's in the book - Trillian", or that a later girlfriend left me a Dear John note that said "So Long And Thanks for All the Fish, Love, Sharon"!
Now that he's gone, I'm sad that I didn't do those things, but I'm glad I complimented him. He didn't look really good, but he didn't look particularly unhealthy either. We didn't even know he was going to be at the conference until we got there, or I would have certainly brought books. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to hear him talk, he had a very incisive outlook.
-- Chad Childers
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