Designed by computer scientist Dr. Chandra, SAL-9000 is considered the virtual “twin” of HAL-9000, and both computers are evidently from the same 9000 Series. Whether the change in name (from H to S) was simply a nickname, or a an actual difference in designation, is unknown. Many, however, believe it to be the latter, as the SAL name is listed on the computer itself. While SAL does not have nearly the same presence as her brother HAL has, the computer’s role and participation in the events must be seen as rather important.
The Year We Make Contact (1984)
In 2010, in preparation for a mission to Jupiter to reactivate both Discovery and HAL, Dr. Chandra temporarily disconnected, and then reconnected, some of SAL’s circuits involving her higher functions (much as HAL’s were disconnected by Discovery Mission Commander David Bowman). SAL apparently suffered no serious ill efects from this procedure, as Dr. Chandra was later able to successfully reactivate HAL using similar techniques. Dr Chandra is described throughout 2010 as quite an introverted, very private person. He only seems to show emotion twice during 2010; first, when HAL is reactivated, and second, when he is putting SAL 9000 to sleep:
‘…I would like ask a question.’
‘What is it?’
‘Will I dream?’
‘Of course you will. All intelligent creatures dream – but no one knows why.’ Chandra paused for a moment, and added something he would never admit to a human being. ‘Perhaps you will dream about Hal, as I often do.’