Wayforward Technologies II is the second business venture of entrepreneur Gordon Way in the Douglas Adams book “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” the first Wayforward Technologies having gone bust in the usual way. Basically it is an innovative software manufacturer, which grew out of it’s predecessor which had been in the business of hardware, and wasn’t very good at it. The original company developed a computer named a “Quark,” which apparently is better used as a doorstop or extra large paperweight.

The company has had two major successes. The first was bought up by the Pentagon, it was a program that reversed the usual concept of arranging information logically so that it pointed naturally at the answer (which was usually not the one you wanted), and instead you put in the information and the answer you want and it will organise it so that it points naturally at it. In fact several of the arguments put forward for the Star Wars missile defence program were made using it.

The second, and although less profitable, much more successful, is a program designed by Richard Macduff. Basically it is a literally “all singing, all dancing,” database/spreadsheet program. It can represent any string of numbers as music or graphics. It was great for designing meaningful company logos, although the tunes for British companies tended to be death marches. It did, however do very well in America and Japan, since the tunes it produced were up-beat and bouncy. There is apparently a version 2 coming out, to take advantage of the Apple 2 (this was 1987).

Gordon Way was murdered by an electric monk, and ownership of the company was presumably divided between his sister, Susan, and Richard, who is indecently involved with her.