HAL will be one year old on January 12, 1998.
Or six years old if you go with the movie version of HAL's birthday.
The HAL Corporation site is a almost year old too. It began it's life as a fun way to try out html and java, but it's made me a lot of new friends all over the world. Thanks to everyone who has written in and made suggestions and contributions!
If you have comments or suggestions, please don't be bashful. Email me, I'd love to hear from you. And don't forget to sign the guestbook. Or try out the Links Page for more sites for 2001 and HAL on the Web.
Dr. Nigel Eastmond who created the MacHAL and WinHAL Start-Up screens for all us "2001" fans has reported to me that he has received calls from the Daily Telegraph and the BBC inquiring about his "Hibernation" process!
We included the faux press release after wondering what such a release would look like, thinking that sci-fi fans would get a kick out of the style of technobabble that is now more a of a trademark of the Star Trek genre, never dreaming that some reporter would not "get it". Since he had the medical background to make it believable, we gave it a shot and apparently it has fooled reporters from the mainstream media in his native England.
Evidently there are still a few people out there not well-versed in pop culture and who haven't seen "2001" yet! Sharp-eyed readers will noticed that I've changed the Hibernation Press Release page so that Dr. Eastmond will be harder for members of the media to find and pester him with silly questions about what we assumed would be clearly science fiction to any other informed persons...
Although, I still hold out hope that sometime in my life time that Nigel will have a blinding flash of scientific insight and figure out how it really could work. Then I could give out interviews to those tabloid news folk saying 'I knew him when...'
I guess the Internet really is a dangerous place after all! It's crawling with story-hungry reporters! :)
BTW, thanks to everyone who has stopped by and written in over the last couple of months. It's been really great hearing from you and getting your suggestions.
Real life will start imitating art a bit next summer when construction on the new International Space Station begins. At least we'll be getting a bit of the Clarke/Kubrick future, even if we don't get HAL by 2001...
The HAL9000 page began as my past time to teach myself html page layout. Also I wanted to teach myself a thing or two about creating some of the effects that I liked that I'd seen on the web and to try to create things I hadn't seen...
I'd been reminded back in January by WIRED magazine that HAL's fictional birth date had passed this year. See the WIRED story from the January 1997 issue. Also see if you can spot the glaring error on the WIRED HAL cover. Looking through the site's celebrating HAL's birthday, I was surprised to see only one simulation of HAL on line. I started thinking how hard could it be? An interactive HAL is pretty much limited not only by the technical limitations of the web, but by the fact that HAL-type interactivity is primitive at best in the most advanced computers.
And there's precious little of Douglas Rain's voice doing HAL and even less ways that you can snip it up and rearrange it. For myself, I hope that Douglas Rain will one day license his voice to be used when computers start really talking...
I hope that my other computer sitting next to it will have Majel Barrett Roddenberry's voice. For those of you who don't know who Majel is, she's the widow of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry and the not only performs the computer voice for various "Star Trek" series, but also portrayed the character of Nurse Chapel in the original TV series and Lwaxana Troi in the Next Generation series. Another great computer voice...
I did my best to recreate the look of the main HAL terminal in the Habitat Ring of Discovery, though I may come back some Saturday afternoon and redo the flanking eight monitor screens. They were the first thing I made and they have room for improvement. I recently froze my VCR on the patch on uniform worn by Roy Scheider in the air braking scene of "2010" and realized there was enough detail to be seen to fire up Adobe Illustrator and make a "NCA" logo. I never found a suitable frame in "2001" that I could make out the similar shoulder patch on the crew uniforms.
In "2010" I noticed that the patch that appeared on the shoulder of the space suit Keir Dullea wears is the same as the one everyone else wears in the movie, not the blue on blue patch of "2001". I guess everything was really recreated from scratch for "2010". The more versed devotees of the films will know these details better than me...
You might have noticed that the link to NCA kicks you to NASA on the previous page. They still control the manned space flight for now. The other logo things are just my imagination. As I understand it for the "HAL's Legacy" book, IBM was set to have their logo plastered everywhere in the original film til they found out HAL kills the crew, and withdrew at the last minute.
After years of looking at 60's and 70's era logos in graphic design magazines like PRINT, Communication Arts and Graphis, I decided to try and mimic that era of geometric logos that rarely seemed to relate any sense of the company or corporation they stood for. If there was such a logo designed for the movie, I've never seen it. If you know of such a logo, please email me and enlighten me.
Feel free to copy the above HAL gif and put it on your site with a link to me. Let me know what you think of the site and any thing you think I left out or didn't get quite right. Thanks goes out to Brian James for his assistance in showing me the early errors of my way with html tables on the HAL Corporation page. His site is the Personal Odyssey link below.
Anyway, here are some links to the best sites celebrating Arthur C. Clarke's classic story and the two movies; Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and Peter Hyams' "2010"
Start with the mother of all site's celebrating HAL and "2001" Cyberfest 1997 site.
There's a great book out now that you can read large excerpts from online; "HAL's Legacy; 2001's Computer As Dream & Reality ".
Then there's my favorite site dedicated to the original Kubrick film 2001: A Personal Odyssey.
Then there's my favorite HAL interactive site, courtesy of some Java wizardry that I don't pretend to completely understand. HAL 9000 Simulator.
Also a site were you can find downloadable pictures and sound files from the movie The 2001 Internet Resource Archive.
This site made possible through a research grant from:
Joint Partners with NCA and NCSA
in the development of the HAL Processor Chip Array