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jackR

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He actually didn’t, but that misconception has persisted since the film and book were first releases.
Huh. I got if off Wikipedia, which went so far as to give other, discarded, names. I checked cuz I remembered having heard that the IBM thing was bogus.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Wikipedia’s right about that - he wasn’t always HAL. At one point, he was a she named Athena!

But Clarke has maintained that HAL stood for Heuristic-ALgorithmic, which describes the type of computer HAL was in technical terms. He says the IBM lettering thing was just a coincidence.
 

jackR

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I guess they wanted to add a bit of excitement when they drilled through the hull in search of water, but come on. First, I believe that all space vehicles have patches to slap over a hole, with the outrush of air providing sufficient suction to plug it. All they had to do to limit the depth of the drilling was to either pre-drill through some material that would stop the drill from penetrating beyond the needed depth, then placed it over the spot and it would arrest further drilling, or fashion a collar around the drill head to the same end. Plus, even with drilling "free style", it took him a while to get through the inner wall, but it instantaneously went through the outer wall? Why they ever considered doing it from space I have no idea, nor why they had unnecessary personnel in the room to slow down the "emergency" exit. I guess if you do it right you don't get the thrilling emergency, but isn't there value in watching them come up with clever ways to do it correctly and simply in a DIY way? That was one of the best parts of the Apollo 13 movie, when they jury-rigged everything from the CO2 scrubbers to sighting on the Earth's day/night terminator line for navigation.
 
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Greg.K

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I guess they wanted to add a bit of excitement when they drilled through the hull in search of water, but come on. First, I believe that all space vehicles have patches to slap over a hole, with the outrush of air providing sufficient suction to plug it.
Ah yes, thanks for reminding me of that bit of idiocy. I'd somehow blocked out my yelling at the TV when that happened.
 

jackR

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Yeah, I call those "scare the animals moments" (Happens a lot during baseball season). 'Ya didn't think ya maybe shoulda hadda wad of chewing gum handy? Idiot." I'd hate to go camping with these dudes, much less to Mars. BTW, didn't see the static electricity angle coming, but I was thinking: Why not just hold the bags directly in front of the outflow?
 

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