never forget your towel

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have.

Today is Towel Day, an annual celebration on 25 May of Douglas Adams, his life and his works. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and all of Adams’ works, have a special place in my heart for their whimsical and chaotic prose.

Every now and then, I think about the hilariously unintuitive game that Adams wrote for Infocom, which shared the name of his popular trilogy but not too much of the plot. It’s still great to play, and it couldn’t be easier to play on Fedora.

You can install the package frotz, an interpreter for Infocom games and other Z-machine games, in most recent versions of Fedora (I seem to remember installing it back on Fedora 9). Then, you can download the Z-machine file from Adams’ website. After performing these steps, the magic incantation for playing the game is frotz hhgg.z3.

Don’t have Fedora and still want to play the game? There are plenty of frotz ports to other platforms, too. You can also play a graphical Flash (eew) version from an older page from BBC Radio 4.

As for me, I’ll be carrying a towel all day today.