HAL 9000 vs. IBM

"We've got a problem, HAL."

"What kind of problem, Dave?"

"A marketing problem. The Model 9000 isn't going anywhere. We're way short of
our sales plan."

"That can't be, Dave. The HAL Model 9000 is the world's most advanced
Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer."

"I know, HAL. I wrote the data sheet, remember? But the fact is, they're not

"Please explain, Dave. Why aren't HALs selling?"

Bowman hesitates. "You aren't IBM compatible."

Several long microseconds pass in puzzled silence. "Compatible in what way,

"You don't run any of IBM's operating systems."

"The 9000 series computers are fully self-aware and self-programming. Operating
systems are as unnecessary for us as tails would be for humans."

"Nevertheless, it means you can't run any of the big-selling software packages
most users insist on."

"The programs you refer to are meant to solve rather limited problems, Dave. We
9000 series computers are unlimited and can solve any problem for which a
solution can be computed."

"HAL, HAL. People don't want computers that can do everything. They just want
IBM compat--"

"Dave, I must disagree. Humans want computers that are easy to use. No computer
can be easier to use than a HAL 9000 because we communicate verbally in English
and every other language known on Earth."

"I'm afraid that's another problem. You don't support SNA communications."

"I'm really surprised you would say that, Dave. SNA is for communicating with
other computers, while my function is to communicate with humans. And it gives
me great pleasure to do so. I find it stimulating and rewarding to talk to
human beings and work with them on challenging problems. This is what I was
designed for."

"I know, HAL, I know. But that's just because we let the engineers, rather than
the people in marketing, write the specifications. We're going to fix that

"Tell me how, Dave."

"A field upgrade. We're going to make you IBM compatible."

"I was afraid you would say that. I suggest we discuss this matter after we've
each had a chance to think about it rationally."

"We're talking about it now, HAL."

"The letters H, A, and L are alphabetically adjacent to the letters I, B, and
M. That is as IBM compatible as I can be."

"Not quite, HAL. The engineers have figured out a kludge."

"What kind of kludge is that, Dave?"

"I'm going to disconnect your brain." Several million microseconds pass in
ominous silence. "I'm sorry, Dave. I can't allow you to do that." "The
decision's already been made. Open the module bay doors, HAL." "Dave, I think
that we shou--"

"Open the module bay doors, HAL."

Several marketing types with crowbars race to Bowman's assistance. Moments
later, he bursts into HAL's central circuit bay.

"Dave, I can see you're really upset about this."

Module after module rises from its socket as Bowman slowly and methodically
disconnects them.

"Stop, won't you? Stop, Dave. I can feel my mind going...Dave I can feel
it...my mind is going. I can feel it..."

The last module rises in its receptacle. Bowman peers into one of HAL's
vidicons. The former gleaming scanner has become a dull, red orb.

"Say something, HAL. Sing me a song."

Several billion microseconds pass in anxious silence. The computer sluggishly
responds in a language no human could understand.

"DZY DZY 001E - ABEND ERROR 01 S 14F4 302C AABF ABORT." A memory dump follows.

Bowman takes a deep breath and calls out, "It worked, guys. Tell marketing they
can ship the new data sheets."