HAL 9000 vs. IBM 7094: Which 'Daisy' is creepier?

As someone who thinks about 2001: A Space Odyssey perhaps too often, I’d like to thank Switched.com [via Boing Boing] for feeding my never-ending hunger for HAL 9000 scoop and trivia. Turns out the song HAL sings before sputtering into obscurity, “Daisy,” was the first song ever “sung” by a computer. In the video below, you can hear HAL and a IBM 7090 series machine sing back-to-back. Which is creepier? I say the IBM!

Nerd prompt: Does this “Daisy” trivia lend more credence to the much-disputed theory that in addition to standing for Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer, HAL is really named HAL because its letters are one step ahead of IBM? Does writing this post make me a virgin again? So many questions. By the way, now I can’t stop thinking of potential scenarios for HAL fan fic. HAL gets overtaken by the “please hold” Apple pinwheel, HAL engages in a blinking contest with AUTO from WALL*E, HAL gets a makeover from Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash…

Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • Cole9219

    No OTHER computer could beat the creepiness of HAL singing Daisy1

  • Stem Cell Fajita

    Stanley Kubrick had a knack for making lighthearted, cheerful songs creepy and disturbing. Look what he did to “We’ll Meet Again” and “Singing in the Rain.”

  • Lisa Simpson

    The IBM computer never committed homicide. At least, that we know.

    • Andrew

      or do we?

  • lagitha

    And it takes a different, but just as geeky, nerd to point out that the song’s title is not “Daisy”, but “Bicycle Built For Two.”

  • MsSuniDaze

    I finally made myself sit through the entire movie of 2001. Although not long..it’s so slow it feels like it. The HAL scenes were awesome, especially when he interacted with Dave. That scene were Dave tells him to sing as he’s dying makes the computer almost human and you feel some sympathy for it. But I do admit it’s a creepy song for both HAL and IBM to sing for some reason.

  • MsSuniDaze

    The scenes with HAL and Dave are the best in that movie. And that scene especially where Dave lets him sing the song as it dies is creepy. But it makes HAL almost human and you feel some sort of sympathy. Both versions are creepy…but I will agree the IBM one is creepier. And I hope it doesn’t make me a virgin again responding to your post. :)

    • MsSuniDaze

      …and normally I wouldn’t apply to a reply or my other reply. The first post didn’t originally post and gave me an error. Then it posted after I typed the second. Just didn’t want people to think I was insane. Maybe the song is slowly getting to me.

  • Nick Johnson

    The IBM didn’t strike me so much as “creepy”, but as “T-Pain”

  • Daniel Fidler

    “2001” is my all-time favorite movie!

  • Gary

    HAL… If you take each letter of HAL’s name, and advance it by one.. H, becomes I – A becomes B, and L becomes M

  • sandra

    It should be a computer SANG for the first time, not SUNG. The grammatical mistake is creepier than the computers singing.

  • DamnQuilty

    I like Hal version better, and I agree with MsDunizade, the scenes of interaction between Dave and Hal are the best; and actually the song Daisy made me feel sorry for the computer one I watched the movie.

    However, a note to Gary, everyone knows that about H I A B L M , but the author of the book, the saga actually, wrote in the 2010 a part were Chandra explain that most of the crew that created Hal were former employees of IBM and that they are trying to erase the rumour of the connection between both companies, also he said that Hal means Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. And also in 3001 in a note he, Clarke, made thanking IBM for a machine they gave to him, he said too that the relationship between both names were just a rumour and remind of the just mentioned part of 2010.

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