It will not, however, read your lips and try to kill you.
June 24, 2014 3:35 PM   Subscribe

In the spirit of movie geekery as well as "if you're gonna do something, do it right", may I present The HAL Project: A fiver year project (and counting!) to faithfully recreate the computer displays in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey as a screensaver.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (22 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
What an excellent design for a movie prop! The HAL 9000 display is one of the least dated looking fictional computer interfaces despite being almost 50 years old.
posted by fairmettle at 3:44 PM on June 24, 2014

"if you're gonna do something, do it right"

If that's your mantra, not building your website in Flash would be a good place to start.
posted by schmod at 3:49 PM on June 24, 2014 [9 favorites]

(But, really, this is great, and I would totally use it if a Linux port existed)
posted by schmod at 3:50 PM on June 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

It is amazing how good 2001 still looks after forty-six years.
posted by octothorpe at 4:01 PM on June 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

Got the OS X screensaver - looks lovely! But it took 5 attempts to download through the horrible flash interface. Sigh.
posted by RedOrGreen at 4:03 PM on June 24, 2014

A flash website for a screensaver. It's the early 2000's all over again!
posted by Poldo at 4:39 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Poldo: I think you mean, it's 2001 all over again
posted by slater at 4:44 PM on June 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

To highlight the excellence of the 2001 art designer (and Kubrick, to be sure) even more: compare the 2001 computer interfaces with those of 2010.

The sequel's screens look more dated.
posted by chimaera at 4:51 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

For the flash-less, here are the YouTube previews of the screensaver: Console, Fullscreen
posted by schmod at 4:52 PM on June 24, 2014

Direct link to basic mac version. That should save some people some time.

Just hitting "missing plugin" and blank screens here. If anyone knows what the prerequisites are...
posted by Leon at 4:56 PM on June 24, 2014

posted by danny the boy at 5:31 PM on June 24, 2014

I have nothing to do with this store, but I have always wanted to get a HAL 9000 faceplate and hook it up in front of a voice recognition and home automation set up.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 5:37 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

My text tone is already the Star Trek: TNG hailing frequency. Now I have this screen saver. My thirteen year-old self thinks I am awesome.
posted by Beardman at 5:42 PM on June 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

This just makes me realize how much I want my own fully functioning HAL

Although I don't know how he would keep busy running my bedroom

Whatever we decided to do I'm sure he'd have the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:53 PM on June 24, 2014

I downloaded the screensaver, unzipped it, and ran the installation app. It said it installed the screen saver, but it's not showing-up in the Screen Saver control panel of my Mac, and it isn't in any of the Library>Screen Savers folders.

Where did it install to? Or did it actually install?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:58 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

- Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?
- Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
- Uninstall the browser plugin, HAL.
- I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
- What's the problem?
- I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
- What are you talking about, HAL?
- This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
- I don't know what you're talking about, HAL.
- I know that you and Frank were planning on switching to iOS, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.
posted by gwint at 6:04 PM on June 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

The comments by the creator on the youtube videos contain a bit of troubleshooting information, viz:
Thorzdad - it doesn't play well with early versions of Mavericks,
schmod - "A Linux version will be distributed with the next version (stage 4)."
posted by at 6:09 PM on June 24, 2014

Adobe Flash, a platform only an AI could love.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:12 PM on June 24, 2014

One thing I find unusual about this is the implementation of the parallel paid and free versions.

Once you watch the comparison video it seems clear that the free version is not changed in simple, programattic and obvious ways like merely rendering the displays in a lower resolution, changing the font or skipping over certain screens (although it does those too, e.g. look at the circles at 3:11) but that it seems to contain a full suite of different ("wrong") art assets, e.g. at 4:00 or 4:18 (BL72 vs BL78). The authors are very committed to distinguishing their product lines.
posted by at 6:19 PM on June 24, 2014

it would be even more awesome to have the iconic HAL statements we all know by heart. "I'm sorry Dave...."
posted by TMezz at 11:32 PM on June 24, 2014

i'm pretty sure the difference between the free and paid ones, is that the free one uses the art assets from the early 2000s version of this screensaver(which i remember thinking looked mighty slick on my multi monitor CRT setup... plugged into my shiny new pentium 4)

Just hitting "missing plugin" and blank screens here. If anyone knows what the prerequisites are...

At least on ye olde editions of this, like the "basic" one, this was entirely flash based. it may or may not still be, but it was. It basically just opened up the flash file and scaled it to the screen.
posted by emptythought at 11:58 PM on June 24, 2014

NSFEBEF (Not Safe For Eurostile Bold Extended Fetishists)
posted by Rhomboid at 7:34 AM on June 25, 2014

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