I’ve always followed The HAL Project & HAL 9000 Screensaver with great interest since the beginning, and have been running this screensaver on my most used Macs for a long time. Three years ago, developer Joe Mackenzie started work to improve the already great version 2.0 (Stage 2) by redrawing all the animations with maniacal accuracy, and also creating new ones, for what would become version 3.0 (Stage 3). It’s clear that a project of this kind would take some time, and I knew it was worth the wait.
The new HAL 9000 Screensaver (version 3.0) now features more detailed animations than ever before. Each has been redrawn (using an improved curve rendering technique) to optimise image quality. Custom made typefaces have been used to improve accuracy while multiple displays, wide aspect ratios, and all Windows and Mac OS X platforms are now fully supported. There are now also two versions to choose from; full screen animated displays or the animated console.
The previous version of the screensaver is still offered for free, while the new ‘advanced’ version costs $5. If you’re thinking “What? Five bucks for a screensaver?”, think again. Download the older, free version just to see what this is about, then imagine something so much improved. Think of it as a way to acknowledge the passion that went into this project. Of course, for Kubrick fans, this is a must-have.