"A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have . . . any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with," says the Guide.
The Book "Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy" (HHGTTG for short) was published by Douglas Adams in September of 1979. However, it was first a BBC radio broadcast of 6 episodes broadcast in the spring of 1978.
After the first initial successful radio series more radio episodes were produced and aired in January of 1979. This was even more popular whereupon the BBC created a TV version based on the first 6 radio shows series. Douglas Adams himself appears in the episode "as a man who gives up on modern life and returns to the sea ."
For a complete detailed history see Chris Broadribb's page http://www.geocities.com/spiky_one/towel.html.
The guide has answers to most everything - but not always accurate. The Guide is the PDA to have when traveling the galaxy. Remember: this PDA was created in 1977 or so as an idea by Douglas before there was anything like PDAs in existence! The Guide shown in the BPA flash movie is from the TV series.
The answer to "Life, The Universe, Everything" is 42. Knowing the question helps you understand the answer.
Marvin is in a permanent state of depression - he was version 1.0 of the Cybernetics Corporation for a human personality companion in robots.
Mice run the world. They are really hyper-intelligent pan dimensional beings projected into our universe.
You need lots of salt before being transported.
The sound clips used are from both the Radio Series, and the DVD version of the TV series. Other sound clips are from Star Trek, Bugs Bunny, plus other sounds files collected over the years.