Tributes to the tragically departed ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide’ author and premier UK AppleMaster Douglas Adams continue to fill news Web sites and newspapers the world over.

At the recent Macworld Awards ceremony in London, another literary Mac fanatic and noted comic, Stephen Fry told the audience that he believed himself the owner of the third Mac ever purchased in the UK – Douglas Adams had bought the first two.

“He brought wit to science fiction. His ability to connect cosmic ideas with the banal commonplaces of everyday life was unique," Fry pointed out after learning of his friend’s early death.

“Over the past 10 years he concentrated less on writing and more on bridging the cultures of science and the arts in lectures and broadcasts all over the planet: he spread the word of the Internet years before anyone outside the universities and the American defence department had ever heard of it," Fry added.

Mostly harmless "He never had the aggression or single-minded ambition to profit from the dotcom boom, which he regarded with tolerant scepticism.” Said Fry. “His Internet was much more than a flash travel agency or dating service, it was a chance to change the way people thought and advanced. It was part of the mystery of evolution which he discussed endlessly."

In ‘Hitch-Hiker's’, the planet is described as "mostly harmless". Fry said that Adams had once suggested these words as his epitaph. This weekend Fry suggested instead the words of Steve Jobs, Apple CEO: "Insanely great."

Former Monty Python star Terry Jones was also a close friend of Adams: "While the Pythons found humour in anger and being silly, he was the first to find humour in intellectual subjects," he is quoted in The Sunday Times.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "Douglas was a total original: he had a beautiful way of thinking and an incisive mind that went straight to the heart of matters. He had a genius for putting those concepts into words. His books were great works of literature. He was a lovely man, and I loved him."

Loss to the planet Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour said of the music-mad Adams: "He used to keep a right-handed guitar for me at his place, and I used to keep a left-handed guitar for him at my place. He was a big, intelligent man with boundless energy, a good friend and a great loss to the planet."

Ed Victor, Adams's literary agent for 20 years, was devastated by the news: “I feel as if someone has torn a limb off me. Tragic is an overused word, but this really is a tragic loss. He was one of the truly original writers and thinkers of our generation who should have had many years ahead of him. He was not only entertaining, but also stimulating and provoking: he was a unique thinker with a huge audience.”

Science laments In The Guardian, biological guru and author of The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins (Charles Simonyi professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University) writes a "lament" for Adams.

"I have seldom met a more congenial spirit. He was able to poke fun without wounding, and it would not be aimed at individuals but at their absurd ideas," said Dawkins.

"In modern electronic technology, he was a real expert. Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, Apple Computer has lost its most eloquent apologist. And I have lost an irreplaceable intellectual companion and one of the funniest men I ever met," Dawkins concluded in his front-page lament.