RetroRadio DJ HAL

DJ HAL is WFDU’s music automation system. DJ HAL plays your favorite tunes keeping this channel active when there are no DJ Hosts available. WFDU is actively seeking new volunteer hosts to play their favorite music and interested parties should contact WFDU General Manager, Duff Sheffield at 201-692-2806 or <duff@fdu.edu> for an interview.

DJ HAL is our nod to the computer in the famous Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The name HAL is explained below:

Origin of name

Although it is often conjectured that the name HAL was based on a one-letter shift from the name IBM, this has been denied by 2001 director Stanley Kubrick who characterized this idea as: “utter nonsense! [...] I thought that by now every intelligent person knew that H-A-L is derived from Heuristic ALgorithmic".

As is clearly stated in the novel (Chapter 16), HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. However, about once a week some character spots the fact that HAL is one letter ahead of IBM, and promptly assumes that I was taking a crack at the estimable institution ... As it happened, IBM had given us a good deal of help, so we were quite embarrassed by this, and would have changed the name had we spotted the coincidence.

Also, IBM is explicitly mentioned in the film 2001, as are many other real companies. IBM is given fictional credit as being the manufacturer of the Pan Am Clipper's computer, and the IBM logo can be seen in the center of the cockpit's instrument panel. In addition, the IBM logo is shown on the lower arm keypad on Poole's space suit in the scene where he space walks to replace the antenna unit, and may possibly be shown reflected on Bowman's face when he is inside the pod on his way to retrieve the body of Poole (there is speculation as to whether or not the reflection is that of the letters "IBM" or the letters "MGM", the film studio).

Nevertheless, we here at WFDU are proud to have DJ HAL working in a positive manner for us and our listeners!