Happy Birthday HAL

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


"Good morning HAL."

HAL 9000 OK, Molly (and many other people think I am strange to have HAL's birthday marked on the calendar. I remember seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey as a child. It must have been in re-release since I can't imagine I sat still for a three hour movie when I was four. I loved the movie. Life in the future when Pan-Am flew to space and computers talked.

And then, lo and behold, the calendar caught up with the movie. The launch date for Discovery 1 is never given, Only that it is transitioning to Jupiter in 2001. HAL on the other hand does have a birthday. When Dave unplugs HAL's memory modules, HAL says what was probably his introductory message:

" Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song."

Hear it for yourself at the 2:54 mark

In the book "2001: A Space Odyssey", HAL's birthday is in 1997. Stanley Kubrick wanted HAL to be an older computer because he wanted a more reliable computer. How was he supposed to know that newer is always better with a computer.

If you would like some cool downloads and to learn more about HAL, try The HAL Project.

Want to work for HAL Labs? Many companies sell T-shirts for your favorite fictional company, like, Last Exit to No Where.