The Macintosh User's Guide to the Galaxy is an adaptation of Douglas Adams' trilogy of sci-fi comedy blockbusters, edited, and come to think of it, mostly written up by Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs was an avid fan of Douglas Adams, partly because he was very hilarious and because he yielded a Somebody Else's Problem field, but mainly because Adams was a Macintosh user and was enough of a hoopy frood to endorse Apple.
Therefore Jobs was very upset to hear of the news of Adams' death, mainly since now he was an avid fan of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy franchise. Besides, not all of the plot was tied together very well at the end of Mostly Harmless.
Therefore Steve Jobs set out to do his own version of the trilogy.
edit The First Book: The Mac User's Guide to the Galaxy (MUGG)
An Earthling, Arthur Phillip Steven Jobs Dent, finds his home will be demolished to make way for a bulldozer to pass by. He narrowly escapes this, albeit temporarily, with the help of his friend Ford iPod Prefect, who gives away free iPods to all the workers.
He then reveals at the local Genius Bar that the Earth will be destroyed in 12 minutes.
They narrowly escape this fate by hitchhiking on the demolisher fleet, which turns out to be a MS-Bob Constructor Fleet. Ford introduces Arthur to the Macintosh User's Guide to the Galaxy, which is a guide popular since 1. it's slightly more expensive (making people think it'll be worth it), and 2. it has the most fanciful eye candy the Universe has ever seen.
Arthur and Ford are captured by a MS-Bob guard (named Rover), and are subjected to torture by Clippit. Then they are thrown off the spaceship, only to be rescued by the starship iWarp, which operates on the new Infinite Reality Distortion Drive.
In fact, the iWarp was stolen at the launching ceremony by Galactic President Zaphod Xserve Beeblebrox, who is now accompanied by Trillian - Tricia McMillan, who Arthur had met at an Apple Store and totally blew it with.
The ship has a paranoid android named iMarvin.
They go to the legendary planet Magrathea, where Arthur meets Slartibartfast and is told the Earth really is a giant computer to calculate a question that goes with 42, and eventually meets up with the rest of the gang, and some mice.
After narrowly avoiding his brain from being dissected by coming up with the question "How many dollars does it cost for an iPod shuffle?", Arthur goes for a shopping spree with the rest of the gang to the Apple Store at the End of the Universe.
edit Excerpt from the First Book
Space, says the introduction to the Mac User's Guide to the Galaxy, is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down to the nearest Macintosh seller but that's just peanuts to space. Listen...
The simple truth is that interstellar distances will not fit into anyone's imagination.
Even light, widely accepted to be the standard for the universal spaceship speed limit, takes eight minutes to travel from the planet Betelgeuse Five to the nearest Apple Store, located somehow in the heart of the star Betelgeuse.
However, the Mac User's Guide to the Galaxy also says that if you hold a lungful of air you can survive in the total vacuum of space for about thirty seconds, and also if you hold a MacBook as well that you can survive for forty-two seconds.
But with space being so mindbogglingly big, it continues, the chances of being picked up within that time are two to the power of two billion seventy-nine million four hundred sixty thousand two hundred seventy nine to one, against.
Curiously enough, 207-946-0279 is the US telephone number of a Springfield flat in which lives the worst poet in the Universe, Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings, originally of Sussex. Arthur had gone to a fancy dress party at the flat, and met a very nice young woman whom he totally blew it with - she'd gone off with a Linux user.
Though the planet Earth, the Springfield flat and the telephone have all now been demolished, this was rather commemorated by the fact that twenty-nine seconds later, Ford and Arthur were, in fact, rescued.
edit The Second Book: The Apple Store at the End of the Universe
Arthur requests tea from the starship iWarp, completely disabling the reality distortion field. When the tea is finally made, it generates a reality distortion field by itself, overpowering iWarp's reality distortion field and sending Zaphod and iMarvin to Ursa Minor Beta.
Zaphod suddenly thinks he should go see Jobsniwoop, the CEO of the Mac User's Guide. He then finds out that he's on an intergalactic cruise in his office. Initially puzzled, Zaphod figures it out, and traces Jobsniwoop down to an artificial universe.
He then proceeds to find out he's actually trying to find out who actually designs the interface of the Mac User's Guide and therefore rules the universe.
Somehow everyone except Jobsniwoop go to the Apple Store at the End of the Universe. Disoriented by the time travel, everyone thinks they're in the afterlife, in no shape for a Apple store, but they figure they can go for a shopping spree.
After buying several Macs at virtually no cost, Arthur wonders where iMarvin is. It turns out iMarvin has been terribly renovated to be the entire Apple Store.
“Which explains the depressing mood, which I've always wondered about...”
The crew steal another starship owned by the biggest, most unalive buyer of Mac computers, which is actually programmed to crash into a sun for a sound test. Everyone except Marvin therefore evacuates using an iTeleport to a random place.
Arthur and Ford end up in prehistoric Earth, and therefore go mad.
Zaphod, Trillian, and another Ford find themeselves next to Jobsniwoop in a shack that belongs to the man who designs the "Aqua" interface - Jonathan Ive, aka the Ruler of the Universe. Eventually it turns out Jobsniwoop stole iWarp to get here AND was the original owner of the starship programmed to head towards a sun, so Zaphod, Trillian and Ford (2) steal iWarp back and run away.
edit Third Book: Life, the Universe, and iPhones
Arthur and Ford find an iMac in the middle of prehistoric Earth. This turns out to be an eddy in the space-time continuum, and the two are transported to the Fifth Avenue Apple Store, where they see Slartibartfast's spaceship, and a group of white robots which seem to appear with an "i" that sounded like an "aieee". The white robots take away the entire Genius Bar. Arthur and Ford decide to hitchhike Slartibartfast's spaceship.
It turns out that the white robots are seeking a way to liberate their planet from a warranty about to expire. For this they seem to need:
- the Fifth Avenue Genius Bar
- the Infinite Reality Distortion Drive
- Arthur's copy of the Mac User's Guide to the Galaxy
- iMarvin's leg
- Jon Ive's Apple Design Award
All of these are collected to release the planet from the warranty, but the lethal part, Arthur now learns, is that this is for a genocidal mission - obliteration of all other life-forms. This was due to an incident of a spaceship that crashed on their planet after years of isolation, which in turn caused xenophobia and the determination for universal obliteration.
Arthur flies; Trillian tries to persuade the elders of the planet Dell, but fails; a robot tries to activate the weapon that will destroy the universe, but the weapon just leaves a very bad dent on the wall.
Arthur time-travels to return the Genius Bar, but then notices a dent on the floor. He manages to throw the Genius Bar at the ground and have it miss, letting it gently levitate above the ground.
edit Fourth Book: So Long, and Thanks for All the Macs
[This was a short book, especially since Steve Jobs didn't like Adams' version very much.]
Ford iPod Prefect's original entry on iTunes was the only thing about Earth on the Macintosh User's Guide to the Galaxy, and that was pretty much edited down to "Lossless," only to be revised to "Mostly lossless." Now Prefect's original entry was restored.
Arthur is dropped off at Earth, restored by the dolphins (who are the second most intelligent species to have lived on Earth), and meets a very nice young woman whom he teaches to fly, and goes to see God's Final Message to His Creation with. They meet a dying iMarvin and Ford in the process, and they find out the message is "I want an iPod video!"
edit Fifth Book: Mostly Lossless
Arthur finds the young woman who he went off with has totally disappeared from the space-time continuum. The Guide is taken over by MS-Bob. The Earth is destroyed. All probabilities of it. And all probabilities of all the main characters happen to have been on there.
Once again, the length of the book can only be due to the fact that Steve Jobs did not like it. Indeed, he could have merged the Fourth and Fifth Books into one, but Steve Jobs did not like that either.
edit Sixth Book: End of the Tape
[Note: Despite End of the Tape being an original book, it actually sounds a lot like Douglas Adams wrote it. It's just the synopsis that sounds like some fan who writes a lot of fan-fiction.]
The book begins with an explanation of the idea of multiverses. It turns out that there are clusters of multiverses called multiverseclusters. Earth, being in a plural zone, existed in all the multiverseclusters. However, MS-Bob did not see how the Earth could exist in multiverses, and therefore had destroyed all probabilities of Earth except one.
This probability is to be referred to as iEarth.
Finally introduced here, much later than in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, is the Babel fish. In addition to the original entry, it is noted for 1. sometimes resulting in quirky unreasonable translations and 2. its ability to navigate (with its carriers) through multiverses.
Here all Babel fish have navigated to iEarth.
Arthur, Trillian, and Ford are rather baffled to find themselves alive. Arthur proceeds to head the gang to the BBC studios, where they find an old model of the SS Heart of Gold. He's heard of Adams' books and radio series, but will he actually reach Milliways? he wonders. And at that very moment, the Heart of Gold arrives, riding in it none other than the second probability of Ford Prefect that was last seen running away with iWarp from the Ruler of the Universe.
Ford takes them to Milliways, which, it turns out, is right next to the Apple Store at the End of the Universe, and Zaphod soon arrives in his iWarp. Slartibartfast arrives as well. iMarvin is working in Milliways, as his warranty has not expired. Meanwhile, the nice young woman who Arthur ran off with and was lost in the space-time continuum is, it turns out, working in Milliways as a waitress; now we know her name, which is Fenchurch. Arthur, Trillian, Ford, Zaphod, Ford, iMarvin, Slartibartfast, Fenchurch all get into Slartibartfast's starship, which is docked to iWarp, and travel back to iEarth.
A quick scan reveals that the planet is actually completely white, and just appears like Earth due to a reality distortion field.
They wait for four minutes, then they wait for one minute.
Finally the grand moment comes, and the ultimate question to the ultimate answer of life, the Universe and everything is revealed via sub-etha transmission:
"What do you get if you google 'the answer to life, the universe and everything'?"
Slartibartfast decides to pursue this "google" since he thinks we'd know a lot more about the purpose of the universe. Everyone else agrees, and they look up the Mac User's Guide to the Galaxy.
“Google is life, the universe and everything... *crackling* *long continuing beep* ”
The Guide seemed to be playing dead.
Slartibartfast is determined to find the Google. After looking up the phone book, they call the President of the planet of Google, which turns out to be a parallel universe variant of Mars.
The Guide is revived, and everyone goes off to find the Mac of Doubt, whatever it exactly is.
edit Seventh Book: The Mac of Doubt
This book is not yet released, and it will be released yesterday.
edit Film adaptation
The film was directed by Peter Jackson - intentionally assigned since Jobs found the Hitchhiker's film to be too short - while this guy was cast in the role of that guy, that guy in the role of this guy, and so on and the like and such.
The Mac User's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy is the longest trilogy, consisting of six books.
The previous record had been held by the original Hitchhiker's trilogy.
The Mac User's Guide to the Galaxy resulted in the world's most massive marketing ploy, iEarth.