My Uncle Steve sent me a link to this Reddit discussion about his domain name. It's pretty darn funny. I've quoted my favorite bits below, but I recommend reading the rest. First my uncle's response (hyperlinks are mine):
Wow, you guys are tough here.
I own 42.com. I bought it in 1995. Diamond.com, business.com, and many others were available then that later sold for more than 10 million dollars, but no, I was (and am) a Douglas Adams fan and bought 42.com instead.
Some trivia about my 42.com domain name: - it was appraised at 3/4 million dollars during the Internet boom (but no offers of cash to me) - Before Douglas Adams died I offered him an email address of his choice at the domain. He replied, declining, saying that much too much had been made of the number 42 (I was disappointed...) - I was and am between uses for that domain, and have no time to develop a HHGTTG web site, so I offered to just redirect it to a friend's site; a guy who taught me to smoke meats decades ago. His present jerky product is worlds better than any jerky I can get elsewhere; its a first rate, honest product sold by a good man. I buy jerky from him myself. - The large price tag that Mr. Beefjerky.com quotes is meant to drive tire kickers away; I was getting tons of 100 dollar offers a month. - I have turned down (within the last year) a solid 6 figure offer, though I am not rich. Its likely you have more money than I.
So hey, how about going a little easier on me? And order some jerky; you won't regret it.
I knew most of that, but I didn't know that he actually communicated with Douglas Adams.
My best idea for that domain name was to make yet another url shortening service. But then competitors came out with only five character domains (tr.im, is.gd, etc.). I bet there's still a few thousand Hitchhiker nerds out there that would use 42.com to shorten urls.