2001: Memory Deactivation Key (HAL 9000 / Space Odyssey)

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Mike J.

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've been trying to count the number of letters and choose my words accordingly, which has yielded this incomplete result:

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCING
INSTRUCTIONS AND 123456
MODIFICATION BY ANY CREW
MUST BE FOLLOWED PER
COMPUTER INTERFACE RULES


"123456" above indicates the number of letters necessary to fill the space correctly, according to my best guess. I don't know what that word is. Most of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th words I'm guessing at. Kubrick / his set decorators / artists were not above using acronyms and numerals in the labeling, as can be seen on the door to the HAL room.


-MJ
 

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HC68

New Member
yes, sounds good... may be we should fill empty spaces with specific words, in order to build a phrase with sense for this place... A friend of mine is helping to me too, and we are looking your b&w picture, thanks...

I don't have the movie in blu-ray, may be there is extra material (kind of 'behind the scene') but is very strange the complete phrase can be located at Internet.

Thanks Mike J!
 

Dondragmer

New Member
I am close to 100% certain of the following:

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCE
INSTRUCTIONS
M
MUST BE FOLLOWED
COMPUTER OPERATIONS MANUAL

And I'm reasonably sure that the "M" on the third line stands for "MODIFICATION". Also, at least one of the lines includes an alphanumeric part number of some kind, as Mike J. proposes. (I don't remember what line it's on, or what the letters and numbers are, however.)

The sign is actually quite legible on a 70mm print, but unfortunately 70mm screenings of 2001: A Space Odyssey are rare these days. The new 4K DCP is quite muddy by comparison, so I think we're stumped until another 70mm screening pops up.
 

HC68

New Member
Great Work Dondragmer! I agree with you, M in 3rd line, in my opinion, is MODIFICATION, the word can be read clearly in the Mike J.'s screencap.

Hope we can get another 70mm print, or other kind of source, like 'behind the scene' or 'making of' section.

Thanks again Dond!
 

Dondragmer

New Member
Okay, I’ve squeezed about as much picture detail from the Blu Ray as I can:


Memory.jpg


And here’s what I know for sure, with missing characters replaced by X’s:

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCE XXX
INSTRUCTIONS X-X XXXX XXX
MODIFICATION XX XXX XXXX XX
MUST BE FOLLOWED XXXXX
COMPUTER OPERATIONS MANUAL

The number of characters per word is my best guess – I may be off by a character or two. I believe at least one of the characters is a dash, but that’s about the only new piece of information I’ve been able to spot.
 

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carbonitekid

Well-Known Member
After building my HAL I figured I had best take precautions, just in case he needs his upper brain functions removing:

Made from aircraft grade aluminium, not machined but chain drilled from a solid block then filled and polished to shape.
Key part is genuine 1960's key identical to original.

Not perfect, but a first attempt.
Thanks to all who shared the info enabling me to make it.

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
 

HC68

New Member
Hi, I'm waiting 4K release (I read in many forums it will be expected for the film 50th anniversary) to check if this part (description at HAL deactivation module) is more visible. I placed this fact at the project kickstart, to have the complete 5 rows at HAL module. Thanks for your help guys!!
 

HC68

New Member
Hi guys, about the 4K release, there is an update from 2018 Apr 2nd:

Amazon has removed its previously available pre-order for May 8 and Warner Bros. has now confirmed a fall 2018 release for the Ultra HD Blu-ray. The 4K HDR home video release is being produced in collaboration with Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Dunkirk)


Likewise, Nolan is also involved in prepping a new "unrestored" 70mm print of the film for the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival on May 12. Per Warner, "The 70mm print was struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative. This is a true photochemical film recreation. There are no digital tricks, remastered effects, or revisionist edits."


Following the festival screening, 2001: A Space Odyssey will then return to select US theatres in 70mm beginning May 18, 2018.
 

Dondragmer

New Member
That 70mm print is currently playing at the Arclight in Hollywood, and will be touring the United States in the coming weeks. Coming directly from the original negative without any scanning or digital enhancement, it should offer the best look at that small text that anyone is likely to have. I'm seeing it this Tuesday and will report anything new I learn. For anyone who loves this film, I recommend keeping any eye out for a theatrical booking near you -- there's nothing quite like experiencing a real 70mm print.
 

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HC68

New Member
Great Dondragmer! Thanks very much for your follow-up. I look forward to hearing from you, with good news! Kind Regards!
 

Dondragmer

New Member
Well, I didn't have much luck -- spent most of my time on the last word of the fourth line, which was almost impossible to make out. I did manage to get one word at the end of the second line, though:

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCE XXX
INSTRUCTIONS X-X XXXX AND
MODIFICATION XX XXX XXXX XX
MUST BE FOLLOWED XXXXX
COMPUTER OPERATIONS MANUAL

Also, I could swear I caught the word "JULY" in line 3 along with some numbers, so maybe there's a date on that line.
 

HC68

New Member
Thanks again Dondragmer! I hope the 4K version help me to elucidate the rest of the words, but your first approach is very very complete. I will keep you informed of progress! Best regards!
 

HC68

New Member
Hi Friends, finally I got the 4K version, and let me tell you the film looks incredible!

Dondragmer, confirming your excellent approach with the complete phrase in computer module panel, this is what I can read until now:

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCE PER
INSTRUCTiONS A-G (4 D X) AND
MODIFICATION 2B (14 JULY ´99)
MUST BE FOLLOWED (USA A
COMPUTER OPERATING MANUAL)

Although 4K, I have some doubts. As you can see in previous researchs, the panel is well-visible in two opportunities, when I paused video, letters became not so clear, so if you can validate by your side, would be great! (the phrase in the 4th line, “USA A “ is like “USE A”, in Spanish, a bit strange...)

We are very very close, thanks in advance, best regards!
 

Dondragmer

New Member
Yes, I think we’re really close. I haven’t had a chance to look at the 4K Blu-Ray, but 2001: A Space Odyssey was recently been re-released for IMAX, both digitally and on 15-perf, 70mm film. The IMAX presentations have a similar lineage to the 4K home video release, beginning with the original 65mm camera negative. I went to see the film version a couple of times, and took notes on my impressions immediately after each viewing. The text was much clearer, but I still wasn’t able to make it all out.

Here’s what I thought I saw the first time through:

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCE XXX
INSTRUCTIONS A-B XXXX AND
MODIFICATION 2B 14 JULY ’98
MUST BE FOLLOWED USAA)
COMPUTER OPERATIONS MANUAL

And the 2nd viewing:

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCE XXX
INSTRUCTIONS A-B XXXX AND
MODIFICATION 2B 14 JULY ’89)
MUST BE FOLLOWED USAA)
COMPUTER OPERATIONS MANUAL

I have doubts about some of that, but I’m reasonably certain of the following (though the AND at the end of the 2nd line was a bit iffy):

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCE XXX
INSTRUCTIONS A-B XXXX AND
MODIFICATION 2B XXX JULY XX
MUST BE FOLLOWED XXXXX
COMPUTER OPERATIONS MANUAL

“USAA” is likely correct, as those initials correspond to “United States Astronautics Agency”, the government agency responsible for Discovery One’s mission to Jupiter. I saw a right parenthesis after USAA, where you saw one after MANUAL. I’m inclined to believe your observations, as I may have seen the left parenthesis before USAA and misremembered it later. You also saw A-G where I saw A-B, so that’s something we still need to figure out.

Putting it all together, the complete text might go something like this:

MEMORY BRAIN SEQUENCE PER
INSTRUCTIONS A-B (4DX) AND
MODIFICATION 2B (14 JULY ’99)
MUST BE FOLLOWED (USAA
COMPUTER OPERATIONS MANUAL)

That’s about the best I can do, for now. There are some tricks in Photoshop involving image alignment and stacking, but I’d need to find a way to do some frame grabs from the 4K Blu-Ray for that to work. In the meantime, playing around a bit with your TV settings might help, especially if you can find a way to loop the sequences in question. I think we’re within a character or two of locking it down.
 

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HC68

New Member
Thanks for your prompt response! I’m astonished after reading your explanation, I agreed we are very close.

About USAA, I guess your explanation has sense. I´m still having some doubts about A-G and OPERATING instead of OPERATIONS (check some pictures taken with my phone)

Thanks again to share this passion, best regards!
WhatsApp Image 2018-12-12 at 01.03.19 (2).jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2018-12-12 at 01.03.19 (1).jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2018-12-12 at 01.03.19.jpeg
 
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HC68

New Member
Another comment, about the date, when Dave Bowman disconnects HAL removing modules, you know, at the end HAL said: "...I became operational at the H.A.L. Plant in Urbana, Illinois, on the 12th of January, 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langly, and he taught me to sing..." for that reason I guess the year date should be '99 because this date refers to a modification, but I'm not sure, just a speculation.
 

Dondragmer

New Member
'98 would also work for the year, and that's how it looked to me the first time I watched it. (But I try my best to look at these images without any preconceptions.) Based on your pictures, I'm leaning toward '99 for the year and OPERATING instead of OPERATIONS, but I could still go either way on the A-B/A-G thing. I'll let you if I can spot anything more when I've had chance to play around with the 4K Blu-Ray.
 

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