"Michael Bywater (born 11 May 1953) is a British writer and broadcaster. He was a long-running columnist for The Independent on Sunday, an early futurist for The Observer, spent ten years on the staff of Punch, where he wrote a regular computer column and the anonymous "Bargepole" column, as well as having written regularly for The Times, and been a contributing editor to Cosmopolitan and Woman's Journal. He also regularly writes about high-tech stuff for The Daily Telegraph and a wide variety of technology magazines. He is said to be cultural critic for New Statesman. In 1998 he was part of BBC Radio 4's 5-part political satire programme Cartoons, Lampoons, and Buffoons. He also supervises on the Tragedy paper for a number of Cambridge colleges and, in 2006, was Writer-in-Residence at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He also collaborated with best friend Douglas Adams on three computer games, and Bywater was the inspiration for Adams' Dirk Gently character."