I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
We all know HAL 9000 from a 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL stood for HAL – Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer.
That’s not the HAL I am talking about. I am talking about HAL\S or Higher Order Algorithmic Language Shuttle. Supposedly this name was given by Ed Copps in honor of Hal Laning of the Instrumentation Lab, who developed the first language compiler anywhere, a system of guidance algorithms, was basically brilliant and was a geeks geek. Seriously, this guy is fascinating, check out J. Halcombe Laning.
HAL was developed at Intermetrics and NASA adopted that language in 1975 for the shuttle. It was used for almost 30 years and it was used to program all the on-board stuff.
The language is designed to allow aerospace-related tasks (such as vector/matrix arithmetic) to be accomplished in a way that is easily understandable by people who have spaceflight knowledge, but may not necessarily have proficiency with computer programming. (Source Wikipedia)
Note: Dan is losing his voice, I’d like to say it’s because of my relentless questioning but actually, it’s a cold. Posts might be short for awhile