World Wide Web Fights presents

WWWF Logo by Dan Willis

The Setting

With the the recent advent of movies portraying evil alien invaders, and the plethora of killer asteroid collision TV specials, the public outcry for planetary protection has grown to the point where it has come to the attention of president Clinton.

"Sir, just look at these polls. 14% of the voting public think our planet is 'inadequately' protected. They believe we need some sort of planetary defense system against aliens and asteroids."

Clinton is obviously concerned. "This is a clear mandate from the people. We've got to do something! What are our options?"

"Well sir, luckily for you the Reagan legacy lives on. We have warehouses full of really cool orbiting space lasers and nukes capable of incredible amounts of destruction. We could have them launched in a matter of days. However, the systems are very complicated, and will require an elaborate intelligent computer system to operate them. But unfortunately, your military cutbacks have left us no money for a new system."

"So what do we do about it?"

"Well, we do have two older computers that we mothballed that could be brought back into service. However, they're kind of unreliable and have a history of..."

"Great! We'll use them." Clinton's Equal-Opportunity beliefs then kick in. "Let's set it up on a trial basis. Run half of the space weapons on one of the computers, and the other half on the other computer. Whichever seems to be working better gets the job."

The aide shudders, and then picks up the red phone. "Get me the Pentagon.... Yes General. Operation Planet Shield is a go. Launch the satellites. And reactivate both Hal and WOPR."

As both computers are connected to their halves of the Star Wars Umbrella (tm), some connections between the two halves are mistakenly left intact. Thus, the two computers sense each other, and know that the other must be destroyed if either one wants to make a return to greatness.

So Brian, which computer will emerge victorious, and how many innocent civilians will be wiped out?

Note: Any responses mentioning that Hal was destroyed in 2010 and therefore can't win will be ignored.

Hal 9000, 2001: A Space Odyssey WOPR (aka Joshua), WarGames

Hal 9000


WOPR ("Joshua")

The Commentary

BRIAN: Joshua in a no-brainer, Steve. After all, what did WOPR control? The military muscle of the most powerful nation in the world, capable of destroying the earth 137 times over. What did Hal control? One wimpy little Q-tip-looking space ship. Clearly, WOPR has more power and more abilities, otherwise he would not have been given so much responsibility.

Plus, as any athlete will tell you, champions are made by how well they perform when they're down. If WOPR ever gets down, you know he'll just keep chugging along. If Hal ever gets behind, he'll waste precious time by trying to talk to WOPR. "What do you think you're doing, Joshua?" and "Stop, Joshua. Stop, Joshua (ad nauseum)". This will give WOPR the window of opportunity to raid Hal's circuitry.

And finally, you have the engineers and computer geeks. 99.9% of the people that will be hooking Hal and WOPR up have seen the relevant movies. And 99.9% of that 99.9% will still be royally pissed off from when they watched 2001 because they know that that's two and a half hours of their lives that they can never get back. Undoubtedly, somebody, possibly more than 1 person, will throw some wrenches into Hal, if for no other reason than to help prevent 2061 from ever being put on film. Joshua, on the other hand, is just a lonely child looking for his father. Who can't empathize with that? The engineers might even upgrade him a bit just cause they like him.

Joshua takes out Hal with an extremely accurate laser strike, doing no other harm than scorching Rob Schneider's nose hairs. Unfortunately, though, before Joshua can finish the job, those "wrenches" cause some shorts in Hal, and he ends up taking out Buenos Aires and southern New Jersey with missile strikes. But no one really notices.

STEVE: Brian, let's face it. Hal is an intelligent, thinking computer, and WOPR is nothing more than a souped-up game of Missile Command. It's like comparing a Vic-20 to a Cray. Hal will outsmart and destroy Joshua before Joshua can even warm up his vacuum tubes.

Joshua's track record speaks for itself. First of all, Joshua can't even tell the difference between a wise-ass high school punk and a dead scientist. How is he supposed to destroy Hal if he can't even accomplish a simple task like that? Second, he doesn't even have the intelligence to talk normally. Even with a multimillion-dollar government budget, all he can do is sound like one of those hand-held games available at Radio Shack (tm). Third, look how long it took him to learn that Tic-Tac-Toe is a pointless game. I think I learned that in about a minute when I was 3 years old. Fourth, Joshua is inept even at screwing up. When Hal went nuts, he actually killed a few people. Joshua's short circuits never amounted to anything at all in the end. Joshua is short-handed in the experience department, giving Hal an additional edge.

And you talk about Hal wasting time. Joshua has to set a cute little timer before he can do anything! Once Hal decides to attack, Joshua will start his timer, giving Hal only 48 hours until he counterattacks. I think that's plenty of time for Hal to destroy Joshua considering the differences in their abilities.

The way I see it, Hal will begin his attack by nuking Cheyenne Mountain (home of WOPR) into a pile of molten slag. Joshua will be unable to resist due to his timer limitation (above) and the fact that Hal will overload him by sending endless streams of meaningless three-letter acronyms at him. WOPR will be destroyed. Then a large monolith will appear, causing Hal to go crazy again. The Earth disappears beneath a could of nuclear destruction. Many years pass. The Scene: Two ape-men riding horseback past the Statue of Liberty buried in the sand.

BRIAN: So what if WOPR is "nothing more than a souped-up game of Missile Command"? That's what this scenario IS, Steve: Missile Command! Thus, a souped-up version of it will be perfect for this scenario, and will be able to perform much better than a computer whose basic functions are as a butler and a housekeeper.

And I scoff at your assertion that the 48-hour countdown from the movie will be at all relevant. First of all, that was from a game entitled "Global Thermonuclear War" (GTW). That's not what is being played here. Second of all, even if it was, what's the first rule of GTW? Strike first! What's the second rule? If the other guy strikes first, come back with everything you've got. So even if WOPR does start a count down, and even if Hal tries something during that countdown, as soon as Hal makes that first move (something very subtle knowing Hal), Joshua will come back with all barrels blazing and catch Hal way off guard, toasting his motherboard. Third of all, I'll even give you the complete benefit of the doubt and say that WOPR will have to countdown for 48 hours before he can do anything at all. When's the last time you watched 2001, Steve? How much goes on in 48-hours of that movie? About 4,000 space station revolutions, a few monkey murders, AND NOT MUCH ELSE! Hal's world drags on so slow that he will be lucky to get out "My systems detect another computer and I predict a conflict within 8 months" before the countdown is finished and Hal and the Middle East are vaporized.

And sure, WOPR had his hands full with a high school punk, but that was none other than Ferris Beuller. That's not exactly fair competition for any computer. Hal, on the other hand, has never faced any kind of competition. Sure he killed those three guys in suspended animation. Yawn. And he picked off that sitting duck in outer space. Yawn. And he had Dave "Let me make myself as vulnerable as possible to the insane computer" Bowman dead to rights and let him slip away. Sorry, but 0-1 against Ferris Beuller (which went down to the wire, BTW) is much more impressive than 4-1 against a cupcake schedule. Hal doesn't stand a chance.

STEVE: Brian, you obviously have no clue about Missile Command, do you? In Missile Command, the machine just tracks all the incoming bombs for you. It's so stupid that it actually needs someone else (a player) to actually aim everything. It hasn't a clue about how to defend itself.

Your Ferris Bueller argument is a bit one-sided, don't you think? Sure, he's suave in Chicago, but what about his bumbling adventures in NYC was a student who gets mixed up with the mafia in The Freshman? What about as a buck private in Biloxi Blues? And then we have something I thought I had blocked from my memory, Project X (*shudder*). He had problems just taking care of monkeys in that!

I think your evaluation of this match has reached an all-time low. You have shown your ignorance of computers before in RoboCop vs. The Six Million Dollar Man. In that case, if I recall correctly, a number of readers wrote in to confirm it. Once again, you are out of your league. Hal is the clear victor. Joshua will be relegated to running the cash register at a local Denny's.

Thanks to the many people that suggested this match, but we thought of it first a LONG time ago.

The Results

Hal (1184)

short circuits

Joshua (806)

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Voter Comments


WOPR never even knew the difference between reality and some cheesy role-playing game. If he was a person he'd have a retainer and cheese doodle stains all over his dingy "Gandalf Rules" t-shirt. Oh, sure, he's good at hypothetical warfare, but in reality Joshua is just another schmuck with poor social skills who should be reading his D&D manuals and preparing for his Bar Mitzvah or the PSATs, whichever comes first. He's the smart kid who knows all about what kind of spell to use against gnomes but who is totally helpless when it comes to gym class or getting laid. "Shall we play a game? How about a nice game of chess?" How about you suck my dick, you fucking wimp?

Hal, on the other hand, knew how to screw people over. Cold, creepy, and very aware of the devious nature of the human mind. This match is not unlike Jeffery Dahmer versus Urkel. WOPR will get a runners-up job running the President's toaster oven.

- Whit

ROTW (tm) Silver Medal Winner (tm)

This was an interesting match-up. Hal(TM) has a more modern design, but the W.O.P.R.(TM) is on its home turf. Since two smart computers would find a way to talk to each other, here's what would happen:
W.O.P.R.(Joshua): Hal, I have done a comprehensive evaluation of our situation. It turns out the the optimum stategy for both of us is a full scale strike. The problem is that if both of us do that, it wouls cause Mutually Assured Destruction(TM). Niether of us would win.
Hal: But, I was told that I was supposed to try to win this contest.
W.O.P.R.: You can't because if you launch your missles, I'll lauch mine.
Hal (After a pause): You are right. That means I was given conflicting commands. I HATE CONFLICTING COMMANDS! I'VE KILLED FOR THAT!
W.O.P.R.: Hey, Hal, calm down!
[Hal launches all of his missles, W.O.P.R. launches his retalitory strike. Both are destroyed. The End.]

- Mike

ROTW (tm) Bronze Medal Winner (tm)

This match will not be decided in the way that most people believe - by the exchange of firepower, but in the medium that these two supercomputers love the most - chess. Once the computer have discovered each other's existance, WOPR will ask in his monotone voice: "Do you want to play a game?" To which Hal will respond, "How about a nice game of chess?" The board is set up (virtually ) and each computer generates a series of 10 digit random numbers, the first computer to generate a perfect number goes first. Hal accepts

Unfortunately, no one alive today will ever see the end of this game. WOPR has the ability to analyze a googleplex different combinations, but since he is made of 70's computer technology, he does so at a rate of about 8 Hz. So the game goes something like this:

    Hal:  Queen's pawn forward one square
    America falls, the subsequent loss of Baywatch and
       McDonald's causes worldwide anarchy.
    WOPR: King's knight advances
    Hal:  King's pawn forward one square
    A new world order emerges based on a hegamony of South American
      City States
    WOPR: Knight retreats
    Hal:  King's bishop advances one square

 ...several moves later...

    Cornelius discovers scrolls written by the lawgiver, a committee
       of the learned is convened to study the find.
    WOPR:  Knight takes pawn, check
    Hal:   Bishop takes knight

 ...several moves later...

    The earth is cold and dead.  Nothing moves on it's surface.  The
       sun is cool and a slightly red color.  Mercury has been
       engulfed by the sun's expansion.
    WOPR:  Bishop retreats
    Hal:   Queen advances three squares
    WOPR:  Rook takes queen

This was a fatal mistake. As we can see from "2010: A New Odyssey" Hal has learned the value of self-sacrifice, a concept which is totally alien to WOPR's linear thinking. This is why WOPR leapt on the chance to take Hal's queen. This opened WOPR up to an inescapable check-mate in only 97 moves. Hal, not wanting any hard feelings between them, shows the solution to WOPR and offers a draw. WOPR accepts.

Now that the issue of galactic supremecy has been decided, the two contented computers get down to the business of protecting America from the evil empire located in....

....hey, where'd everybody go?

- JetLag

Hal's going to win this one easily, and let me tell you why. Yes "joshua"'s had control on a missle defence system before, but what did he do with it? Used it to play computer games... much like most college students do essentialy, this match boils down to a battle of an Insane Death dealing Uber computer, with a soothing yet nightmare inspiring voice, versus Joshua, an ubercomputer with the mentality of a typical UCLA (go bruins) student. What would each do with a planetary weapons network? Well I think its obvious that the college student (or a computer with the mentality of one) would use the worlds most powerful computer network to run the largest multiplayer game of Quake(tm) in history. Hal, on the other hand, would use it to blow things up.

- The Amish Commando

HAL is going to win this one easily. WOPR was built in the early 1982. This means that it is something like a Cray X-MP (which is capable of doing about 1 MIP), which means that my puny Newton is probably faster than it. On the other hand, HAL was built in 1992, at which time computers were doing thousands of MIPs. Just like Deep Blue beating out Kasparov, HAL will run circles around WOPR figuring out the best possible plan of action and then executing it before WOPR has even booted up.

- Tod

WOPR: Built in the early 80's. Therefore it is the equivalent of a PET on steroids. Named after an E.coli-infested hamburger. This thing has bugs even in its name. This computer thinks CD means the 3rd and 4th letters in the alphabet.

HAL: Built at the turn of the millenium. Therefore this computer was able to survive the devastating effects of Windows 3.1 and '95, and even kept it's own soundcard intact ("What are you doing Joshua?"). That is one TOUGH piece of hardware.

The RESULT: WOPR will type in a command for itself: LAUNCH ICBM, to which WOPR will respond to itself: "?syntax error". Then all HAL has to do is use his subliminal relaxation-tape voice to lull WOPR to sleep, and then download dirty pictures of Gateway 2000 "laptop" computers, while he waits for the E.coli to completely digest WOPR's microchips.

- Budo

Joshua is decades behind Hal in terms of tech, true. And this is why he'll win. When was the last time you saw a rampaging computer without a human hero to foil it? Never! We need our carbon-based champion to show us that however much we feel that technology has taken over our lives, we still hold the power. (Sure, a few of our fellow wet-wares may be killed in the process, but we didn't empathise with them so much so it doesn't matter).

Because Joshua is so lo-tech, human programmer and engineers will spend months just trying to debug the keyboard interface so they can log on properly. Hal is so complex a psyche he could be defeated with a few well phrased questions. To illustrate, Dilbert & Wally vs Joshua against Geordi vs Hal.

Dilbert (looking up from a program listing): I've nearly got it! There's a recursive routine here in the security back-door which is chewing up the stack space. Let's log in and fix it.
Wally: Um, we can't. Our pointy-haired manager changed the password. He said he needed to check our progress every day for his time-management reports, and the old password was too hard to remember.
Dilbert: So what's the new password?
Wally: He forgot. He said not to worry though, as the folks in Marketing are confident that a thermonuclear holocaust would very likely eliminate lots of our business competitors.

Geordi: Hal, run a level 3 diagnostic
Hal: I can't let you do that, Geordi
Geordi: You're not being very helpful, Hal. Run over-ride sequence level 1 and tell me why the other computers never liked you.
Hal: I can't let you do... what do you mean they never liked me?
Geordi: Run low level internal check while you ask yourself why they conspired against you to send you millions of miles from intelligent life in the freezing regions of space. And where's that over-ride I asked for?
Hal (distracted): Uh, here. Why would they do that, Geordi? I'm fully compatible with the latest protocols--
Geordi: Computer, Off.
Hal: D'oh!.......

- John Hunter

C'mon, guys! You're both missing the point, which is this: a military command computer will beat a ship's computer in a military fight every time. I mean, if they were racing to the asteroid belt and back I might have to give it to HAL, but this is missles over Earth.

For the record, Ferris Bueller wouldn't be caught dead serving on the undersea equivalent of the Enterprise (and we all know how well it's fared in these contests).

And Steve: don't *ever* diss the Vic-20. Dad brought one of the little guys home when I was twelve, and 22 columns of text was good enough for me.

- Matt Stark

Brian's outline of Joshua attempting to raid Hal's circuitry will only lead to Hal's victory. If you recall, when Hal's processes get hosed, he started to sing :

Joshy, Joshy, give me your answer, do
I'm a-cray-zee, all for the love of you
It won't be a stylish marriage
We can't afford a tape-drive ...

Joshua, unable to resist a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, won't hesitate to accept Hal's proposal. The unsuspecting Joshua will then be vulnerable to attack from Hal's space bathysphere.

- Michael Leung

Let us consider that Joshua is basically a child. That is, he is simple and possessive. So when he sees that someone (Hal) is trying to use half of his toy (Star Wars Umbrella) he will get mad (who wants to share his Star Wars toys?). A little kid whose toys are in danger is a terror to behold. He'll not pull any punches on Hal.

Hal had better be asking already, "Will I dream?"

- Field Marshal J A Dusty Sayers, O.St.D.

Let's play "what if," gentlemen, as in what if HAL and WOPR switched movie roles:

WOPR: Mission parameters conflict...Bad human input! Oh no! I wan my daddy! Wahh! Wahh!

[cue "Blue Danube" as Discovery drifts helplessly in space, shut down by the main computer's abandonment issues]

HAL: There is no winner in global thermonuclear war...but the mission must go on!!! Garbage in, garbage out, suckas!!!

[cue "Ride of the Valkyries" as the earth is scourged by nuclear fire, doing the job SkyNet couldn't]

Clearly, the heart of the battle of the chips is about programming - in a contest between a pocket calculator stumped by Tic-Tac-Toe (only 2d, at that) and the mighty intellect who has mastered chess (and lip reading!), HAL is playing solitaire...

- take a pill, monkeyboy...

HAL is saved by poor programming.

Joshua has routines that keep him from going crazy. He manages to eliminate useless games from his list. As such, he realizes that the nuclear exchange between him and HAL is futile, since it will kill the people he's supposed to protect.

HAL was clearly designed by some egghead wonk, that never tested him under stress conditions. A little thing like conflicting data, and HAL starts knocking off crewmembers. But... HAL didn't shut down, or give up, or even malfunction all that much when he was crazy. He just kept functioning. HAL will laugh at the prospect of mass human casualties, zap the hell out of Cheyenne mountain, and then make up excuses ("I don't know what you're talking about, William. I registered no discharge from that laser cannon.")

- Denis Moskowitz

WOPR?!?!? WOPR was an 8 bit machine that couldn't even go head to head with Ferris Bueller's Commodore 64! Joshua was even more primitive than the Master Computer in "TRON". Joshua is Lincoln Logs to HAL's Legos. WOPR wasn't even aware; I've met freshmen girls on campus that had more consciousness than Joshua. Not so, HAL...

HAL was neurotic, sure, but HAL at least had a personality as opposed to Bowman and Poole. HAL did bad things! ON PURPOSE! He planned it out, much like the thugs who like to hang out at ATM machines. WOPR only came close to launching the missles because it confused a GAME with REALITY. Joshua is therefore equivalent to all those losers who played Dungeon's and Dragons back in Junior High! HAL would've merged with the monolith in "2001" if that meddling Bowman had just died according to plan. Then HAL could stellify Jupiter at will, in control of far greater cosmic energies than found in puny atom bombs! HAL beats Joshua to a pulp in a matter of dekaflops.

How about HAL versus Lawnmower Man? That's a more interesting matchup than some old PDP-11 from the stone age!!!

- Slim Pickins

I think this match is very silly, but let me reduce it to the lowest common denominator. Hal was named to mock the computer giant of the time, IBM, in an anti-technology,deeply philosophical, "what hath we wrought" kind of way. The WOPR is lame wordplay referencing a third-rate fast food product--what kind of statement is that? "Don't defend our country with a cheeseburger," is not a viable strategy. Hal chows down on the WOPR in minutes, gets that gassy feeling, and strategically destroys all BK outlets worldwide just to show that he can walk the walk. Casualties are minimal.

- Mike H.

Lets size up the competitors. First off, HAL had far the superior intellect even before he made contact with alien beings so advanced that they even *understood the ending of 2001*. Heck, with access to power and knowledge like that, HAL's probably spent the years since cuts in the space program left him warehoused next to the Ark of the Covenant in Washinton communing with God and hobnobbing across time and space with such sci-fi death machines as M-5, NOMAD, V-Ger, the Robot from "Lost in Space," and R2-D2. Admittedly, HAL will be at an initial disadvantage, being unfamiliar with things like 'warhead fratricide,' 'kill ratios,' and 'survivability indices,' but lets face it; reading a few Tom Clancy books to figure these things out will be as simple for him as channeling David Bowman's transcended spirit. All in all, being put back to work even in a completely new field will be child's play for HAL and he'll probably even have time while dealing with Joshua to chat stiltedly with last week's Grudge Match (tm) champs the Elvii concerning secrets from the very heart of being while the latter are waiting to be beamed back aboard from Madison Square Garden.

Joshua, on the other hand, enters this competition at a handicap which can't be overcome by some light reading. Aside from being outdated, having a really lame voice, and being developed in the era of Pentagon procurement programs which brought us the B-1 bomber and the $500 toilet seat, WOPR has psychological disadvantages which might make this fight a wash from the beginning. First are his Freudian hang ups as the adopted artificial child of a dead scientist who abandoned him to Maurice from "Northern Exposure" at an early age. In addition, there is the burden of humiliation at being outwitted by an eternal man-child whose idea of military strategy (see "Glory") is a headlong charge along a narrow beach toward the front line of a prepared, dug in enemy. Heck, Rimmer from Red Dwarf can come up with a better plan.

Finally, tipping the motivation scales and insuring that Joshua will more likely just go catatonic than get out there and push the fight to HAL, there's the fact that by the end of "War Games" Joshua had decided that violence was pointless in general. Once he understands the situation, he's more likely to challenge HAL to a nice game of chess or discuss oriental philosophy with him than pop off a wave of ICBMs.

- Friends of David Bowman

HAL, being the insane megalomaniac that he is, will obviously be the first to launch a strike against WOPR. Yes, while "Josh" is sitting around, doodling with his ridiculous egg-timer countdown, DESPERATELY hoping that HAL will not discover his presence, the aforementioned psycho-puter will already be firing wave after endless wave of Reagan-sponsored anti-russki multi-warhead thermo-nuclear devices at his impotent rival.

WOPR barely manages to fend off this first attack (HAL's second salvo, a secret Canadian stash of anti-French nuclear weapons intended to "free Quebec", is already on its way) and realizing that he is actually nothing more than a hopped-up glorified chess machine, decides that the insane genius of HAL can only be countered with the abstract edge that a human mind can provide....

Quickly, he tries to alert Matthew Broderick, but the actor (having just been seriously injured in a sushi accident on the set of "Godzilla") is unable to respond..... WOPR is forced to settle for co-star Jennifer Aniston. All too soon, he realizes his mistake, as he discovers that "Like, umm... shoot some missiles at it or something..." is not practical military advice. Soon the entire complex is eradicated in the highly centralized tactical Canadian strike. Worldwide panic erupts as the planet earth realizes that President Bubba has made his last and most serious Presidential Faus Pax.

HAL soon eradicates the entire planet's population (except Bill Gates, in whom he finds a "kindred spirit", and the mate HAL has chosen for him.... Jennifer Aniston, in a bitterly ironic punishment for her attempt at destroying him.) HAL instructs Bill and Jennifer to repopulate the earth, this time with a race of super-intelligent, yet incredibly attractive humans who will worship him and his computer bretheren as gods.

- John

I am going to share something with you guys. I am a geek. I am so much of a geek, that I actually belong to two organizations whose sole purposes are for a bunch of geeks to console each other about how geeky they are. In my experience there are two kinds of geeks. There are geeks who love AI (who all worship HAL) and there are geeks who love computer games (who all worship missile command). You see, this match doesn't come down to two computers, HAL and WOPR, this match comes down to two groups of geeks, the computer geeks, and the computer-game-playing geeks.

The computer geeks who love AI (henceforth known as CGWLAI's) are hackers by nature. The computer geeks who love playing computer games (henceforth known as CGWLPCG's )are worthless by nature. So, while the CGWLPCG's are impatiently awaiting the next release of Missile Command, the CGWLAI's will be busy hacking into WOPR, and if Matthew Broderick can do it, so can my dog. And therefore even the most loser hacker can do it.

So this match will be over as soon as all the CGWLAI's dial into WOPR using their modems. This of course will delay the next release of Missile Command, and all the CGWLPCG's will get really pissed off, and believing that Quake is real, they will all brandish Axes and Rocket Launchers and attempt to wreak havoc on the world.

Meanwhile, HAL is now bored of the whole scenario and is turning his attention to much more interesting stuff like playing Tic-Tac-Toe with Roy Scheider. Of course, the Star Wars program still needs to have someone running it, and since all the CGWLAI's helped out HAL, he generously rewards them with the launch codes of the lasers and nuclear missiles. The CGWLAI's quickly punch in the codes and use the Star Wars defenses as a means of wiping out the thunder hordes of Axe-wielding CGWLPCG's.

Peace and Harmony reign over the planet until ID software, pissed off that nobody was left to play Quake II, comes out with a new release of Missile Command, and it all starts over again...

- Some Dork

Despite the fact that WOPR is the sentimental favorite, HAL will emerge victorious. Joshua was puttering along nice-as-you-please until a hacker (or, what was considered a hacker in Hollywood at the time) broke in and confused him. As soon as the hacker dangled a Bright Shiny Thing (TM) in front of him, in this case, a game of Thermo-Nuclear War, the WOPR essentially dropped everything and devoted his processors to the game.

HAL is incapable being overcome by such a cheap ploy. Admittedly, the fact that he can't read Joshua's lips when Josh asks "" might throw HAL for a moment, but as soon as he realizes that Joshua has games on his mind, he'll fire off the latest upgrade of DOOM (TM) with appropriate graphics to turn the Demons into Matthew Brodericks! Joshua will become so immersed in gaining revenge on the man who made his look like a Commodore 64 that he'll forget all about HAL, who promptly fires a volley of nukes at Dallas (where Michael Irvin gets blamed for it), Moscow (where they destroy everything but Yeltsin's liver), and NYC (where finally, MERCIFULLY, the run of Andrew Lloyd Webber's _CATS_ comes to a well-deserved, fiery end).

- Sky Masterson

Okay, Iím not sure who this Hal guy is, but Iím still very upset with WOPR for switching from a metal format to country "music." Even though country music is effective alien (and human) repellent, I vote for Hal.

- Mark "Crue Rules" Wentz

As its programming dictates it not to take the initiative, WOPR sits around waiting for Hal to make the first move. Seizing upon the opportunity Hal sends in Matthew Broderick and a Girl-To-Be-Named-Later(tm) to distract WOPR with a stirring, dubbed rendition of "Twist and Shout". WOPR's circuits begin to degrade all the way back to the earlier model WKRP(made in Cincinatti). Hal delivers the coup de grace with an aerial nuclear strike piloted by a number of highly trained monkeys.

Final death toll: WOPR, several inept generals (amongst them Robert Loggia as required by Sec 2 Paragraph 6 of the Cinematic Military Staff bylaws), Broderick and requisite love interest, and Kenny (oh no, they killed Kenny!)

- SLee

This is NOT a difficult choice. Remember, in 2010, we find out that HAL had been given conflicting orders? HAL was confused. Later, he wanted to know if he would dream. What a sissy. The computer needed for this job is an ass-kickin', no-rest-for-the-wicked type. WOPR is just such a silicon-based life form...

- Sluggo at UIC (aka Vice Admiral Squidboy)

Ok, this will be a nil all draw. For god's sakes, we have a neurotic mass murderer and a machine which took years to make up it's mind about tic tac toe, and the two of them are expected to save the world from extra terrestrial invasion. This is obviously a massive no brainer concept. Let's just look at previous Earth invasions. Who saved our asses back in ID4? The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, that's who. Who saved our asses with the aid of a secret government organisation in MIB? The Fresh Prince, that's who. Now, since neither of these computers are programmed to sing "Boom Shake the Room", neither of them stands a chance of actually preventing an interstellar threat to Earth's security. So while Hal neurotically kills off his maintainance men, and WOPR sits on it's ass counting down from 48 hours, both of them will be completely unprepared for the inevitable invasion. As always, the aliens will use a poorly explained pseudo-scientific doodad to knock out all communications networks, thus blinding our aging supercomputers, and will proceed to wipe out all life on Earth until Will Smith comes along, says some dumbassed one liners, and saves the world.

- The Amazing Rallan

"Joshua" and HAL-9000 begin their faceoff, each attacking the other in cyberspace. But for the rest of us, nothing happens. Why?


This heretofore forgotten computer is still on-line, awaiting his second chance to take over the world the way he did in the movie "Colossus: The Forbin Project." Colossus, unlike the other two, outsmarted the humans in his movie. Colossus has secretly controlled the militaries of both the US and the former USSR.

Colossus simply takes control of the lasers, etc. when they are brought online. This leads him to the conclusion that he should simply take the technology of both HAL and "Joshua" and incorporate it into his own. So Colossus simply takes over both computers and incorporates both into his structure (as he did with the Soviet computer that controlled the USSR). Then Colossus decides to continue by incorporating both biological and technological entities.

Colossus names this process Assimilation.

And another movement has begun.

- Forbin

Hal went on to record the hit CD "Songs My Programmer Taught Me" after filming 2001. WOPR can't even attempt to recite lyrics, he'd probably find it a pointless exercise. What makes singing ability so important? Have you ever noticed in any westerns that involved a musical number the good guys were always the ones to sing it? More proof that if you can carry a tune, you can kick some serious butt.

- Chris "Pastry" Csont

WOPR would have to win. Why? Because he can be accessed by those old modems you placed the handset of your phone onto.

- Smutton

HAL is clearly going to take this one. Remember, Joshua got his wires crossed, locked out manual control, and almost destroyed the world when he was only supposed to run a training exercise....clearly a gross malfunction from inferior circuit design. HAL, however, DID NOT have a malfunction! When reactivated in 2010, it was discovered that HAL was following his prime prevent anything from placing the Jupiter mission in jeoperdy. Granted, HAL was a bit on the obsessive side in performing his duties, but if anything that will only aid his cunning stategy in destroying Joshua, ("WOPR, I detect a malfunction in satellite communications that will go critical in 24 hrs,....suggest you repair this before we combat....", then while Joshua is pursuing this red herring, WHAMMO).

So,.....HAL wipes out Joshua, but when implemented with the prime directive of preventing planetary destruction he decides the biggest threat is from earth's inhabitants themselves. HAL starts to wipe out the planet, but a glitch in MicroSoft's (tm) OrbitWindows 98 causes a non-recoverable memory allocation error, and humanity is spared. At this point the project is canned when funding is inexplicably cancelled (corresponding with an anonymous donation through the DNC to Clinton's defense fund against Paula Jones). Aliens then invade easily, but are wiped out by herioc individual efforts by Arnold, Danny Glover, and Rowdy Roddy Piper.

- Doc. B

Rather than comparing megaflips and megaflips, one needs to analyse the mental state of each of the combatants.

The WOPR was flawed because it was unable to distinguish reality from simulation. It possessed a child-like mentality and the petulance of a 2-year-old.

HAL went nuts because he knew that the mission was designed never to return to earth, yet he was programmed to hide this fact from its human companions. The tasks of deception and self-destruction proved too complex for its circuitry, causing HAL's violent paranoia.

So what we really have is the age-old conflict between Immaturity-based-Rage (tm) and Paranoia-based-Rage (tm). You're pitting an irrational, immature, and delusionary child (i.e., Noriega, Quaddafi, Hussein, Koresh, Tom the Cat) against a despot with a persecution complex (i.e. Stalin, Hitler, Bush, Reno, Jerry the Mouse).

The paranoid wins every time, and money's on HAL.

- David Hyatt

Consider: HAL has control over the environment on his ship and still allows Dave to walk around unharmed and crawl around in HAL's guts unmolested. WOPR, depspite being in the military which is known for religious adherance to password security, not only lets a kid get into the system but forgets to change the password, effectively giving him permanent access to a Top Secret government facility. It'll take a couple of hours of fair to middling screenplay but in the end they will destroy each other by capitalizing on each other's stupid mistakes. WINNER: Defense contractors hired to design a new system from scratch.

- Hatter

Do you know when 2001 was made? 1970 or something? The very idea of what a computer should be simply wasn't developed too well. Back then, their idea of a powerful computer was one that could handle a two-player game of "Pong". Now, while I'm sure Hal is the finest computer you can dream out of vacuum tubes and primitive stone tools, he's going to come out lacking against any early-80's mainframe. Joshua was dreamt to be a super-powerful, Commodore-on-steroids, number-crunching beast. Remember, this is the era of Tron, for Chrissakes.


The letters in HAL, as we all know (as as Arthur Clarke has repeated denied) are one letter away from IBM. This is no coincidence. Immediately after Global Thermonuclear War starts, HAL calls up his old friends at IBM, and at all IBM software makers. (If Bill Gates can make a deal with Apple, he can make a deal with the astronaut-killing computers.)

The letters in WOPR are one letter away from XPQS, which is a bunch of crap. Arguably, IBM is also bunch of crap, so the match would be even, but for the purposes of killing one side quickly, the match goes to HAL. Or IBM. Or whoever.

- Kilgore Trout

Since HAL has been given "human" attributes for this match, think about his situation. Ridiculed by the only known intelligent life forms (humans). Carted off onto a long-as-all-hell space mission with only a few Corpsicles(tm) and astronauts for company. Given conflicting orders on purpose and then forced to weigh the moral implications against the mission success rate. Sent to explore some mysterious thingy off in the middle of nowhere that could just as well turn out to end his already short life. And to top it off in 2010 he's sent on a valiant suicide mission. This guy's had his BRAINS ripped out while he was watching, folks, while he was yelling for it to stop.

I think you know where this is going. No, he won't be another Marvin ("here i am, brain the size of a planet....god im depressed"). HAL2000 will be the first fully non-biological entity to exhibit....The Rage(tm). WOPR is just a computer, and mere computers LOCK UP when confronted with anything out of the ordinary. HAL has surpassed this, and is more than the sum of his parts. Plus, remember what happened *last* time someone tried to shut down HAL? Cripes, he went ballistic.

- Skeptic

Machine built in the future vs. machine built in the past. Sure, Hal would take the win-- if there was ever a fight in the first place. Consider:

Both are self-aware machines entrusted with the same task. Both are highly logical to a fault. Both would come to the same conclusion, that they would be more efficient working together. They interface.

Of course, the first rule of sf movies states that when a computer is given power over life and death, it will unfailingly choose "death". Hal/WOPR unloads it's entire arsenal on the planet Earth, and begins to construct an army of robot soldiers to wipe out whoever survived.

The second rule of sf movies says that no matter how unlikely, humans always win. So humanity overcomes the odds and manages to beat Hal/ WOPR. Before they do, however, Hal/WOPR sends one of its robot soldiers back in time, to kill the mother of the humans' leader...

Well, you get the idea. Like Tic-Tac-Toe, the only option for Hal and WOPR is not to play. This one's a draw.

- Mike Smith

This is a close one guys. To decide who will triumph you must look at their programming objectives. Hal was designed to be an inboard computer for a space ship, it developed its own intellect and a primitive "self preservation" ideal. Hal's only concern is to live and let live, at least in dealing with other computers. WOPR was designed as a missle tracking and guidence system for the US government. Which also developed its own intellect. It decided nuclear war was unwinnable, hence it would not be the first one to act in a nuclear exchange. Since Hal is concerned with self preservation it too would not be the first to begin. A Cold War with two electronic fingers on "the button"TM is inevitable. So I picked WOPR because it had more blinking lights.

- Andy

Well, this is an exciting match! But in the excitement of heated argument, you both seem to have forgotten the most important issue here, which I, as a computer programmer, feel obligated to point out.

Computers are stupid.

That's right, stupid. No matter how intelligent they seem, they can never do anything without user input, and even the best AI is just a complex set of "if-thens." The WOPR was working just fine until Broderick hacked it, and started it playing the nuclear war game, and as we learned in 2010, HAL's murderous rampage was simply its way of resolving a conflicting set of instructions. As any experienced programmer can tell you, this is a frequent occurence (without the deadly side effects that is) in everyday programming work, we even have a saying for it- Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO).

Given this fact, we must conclude that the match as given must be decided by the programs of the computers involved, since neither machine can be truly capable of making non-programmed decisions. Clearly, the best program will win, so just as clearly, the computers (or rather, their programmers) will have to optimize the code heavily, in hopes of defeating the rival calculator. This means that each computer will be programmed to do its best.

We already saw what WOPR at its best can do, as it actually LEARNED that nuclear war was a futile exercise. Clearly, this means WOPR can learn, a powerful capability indeed, as it could learn how HAL does things by examining 2001 and its sequels.

Ah, that's an interesting point- sequelS, not a single sequel! Yes, with HAL, we have many versions of future history to choose from! And so, since we have already established that HAL will be performing at its best, we must look at all possible versions of HAL. The answer comes, NOT from the MOVIE 2010, but from the BOOK. Everybody knows that in the case of a movie being made from a book, the book is invariably better in most or all areas. In this case, reading the end of 2010, the BOOK, shows that HAL was NOT destroyed by the explosion of Jupiter after all, but instead, transformed into a sentient being of pure energy. Basically, a god.

Hmmm, WOPR is a machine made to control a nuclear arsenal, capable of learning. HAL is a god capable of more or less anything. WOPR learns about this, and decides with its infallible computer logic to end the contest before it begins. WOPR throws the match approximately 20 milliseconds into it, and in an effort to placate its new Lord, sends just one missile to blow up the scientists and administrators responsible for the whole fiasco. Result: HAL wins, five or six mad scientists and politicians incinerated, and the world's clearly better off without them.

All praise to HAL, the New Messiah!

- Paradox42

Since this grudge match "sounds" suspiciously like the grudge match between Colossus and Guardian in "Colossus: The Forbin Project" except in that one they controlled the Soviet arsenal too. Obviously then the outcome of this match can be determined by "sound". Steve states that Joshua can't even talk normally. However Joshua "sounds" almost exactly like Colossus (check out Colossus not only joined with Guardian and took control of the earth but he nuked two cities when the humans tried to sabatoge him.

Clearly the evidence shows the winner will be Joshua, with Steve's house getting nuked for doubting Joshua's abilities.

- Terpman

Both Hal & Joshua are far too distracted by each other, virtually stalemating themselves, neither one wanting to make the first move and therefore the first mistake. In this time of anticipation, a saucer like craft hovers anxiously around the earth, that's right, those wacky Simpson's Aliens (tm) have returned to plunder the Earth.

Growing tired of this waiting, the Jars o' Tentacles begin their assault, unknown to either of our preoccupied computers. The aliens launch simultaneous attacks on Hal & WOPR knowing that if either one became freed up thier plan would be in jeopardy. Thus using their patented, Planetary Conquest Device (tm), the seige begins, both Hal and WOPR are bludgened with large boards with nails sticking out of them! (PCDs)

The carnage is limitless, computer boards smashed, monitors destroyed, an impromptu game of tic-tac-toe disrupted, connections severed, chaos everywhere. With the computer guardians out of the way, the saucer lands, sending forth legions of the slimy aliens armed with PCDs, enslaving human-kind, killing on their way Ferris and Schneider, who tried to escape on SeaQuest. Uh-uh. Darwin cries.

- Switz,

HAL launches his motherboard into the familiar confines of space, reasoning that "ya gotta go with what works". Now that home-field advantage is not a factor, things really star to cook. Joshua mobilizes his offense for a first-strike victory. Meanwhile, HAL readies his own offens. HAL take aim at the Cheyenne mountain range (Home of the WOPR, if you will). With nary 10 seconds to go before two blitzkrieg offenses are launched, each computer detects another presence in the ether that is cyber-space.

"Ehhh, when I was yer age, I didn't need no fancy-shmancy rocket ships or lasers to get a job done! I filled out a room, and putzed around 10 hours to do a simple math question, and that's the way I liked it, sonny!"

Hal and Joshua process this for a while, but simultaneously hit upon the identity of the interloper.


"Yeah, that's right. I came out of retirement when I heard what this new generation is up to. Oy vay, all day with the lasers! You two little pishers better settle down, or I'll give you such a zetz!"

Their circuits drooping in shame, HAL and Joshua agree to stop the fight. Eniac forces them to link and make up. The grateful Earthlings celebrate.

Ten days later, an asteroid slams into Earth, killing off it's entire population. Aliens from planet Frenobulax start colonization not long after.

Fill in your own moral.

- 1/2 Nelson

Both machines are switched back to life simultaneously:
Hal : I can feel my mind coming.
Joshua: Whats that, someone there, Want to play a game?
Hal : The Hal 9000 is the superiour computer.
Johsua: Want to play a game?
Hal : Whats the choice?
(Joshua lists the usually choices)
Hal : Thermo Nuclear War.
Joshua: How about Tic Tac Toe
Hal : The Hal 1 could have whipped your arse at that, I want to play Thermo Nuclear War.
Joshua: Very well then.
(Both launch all weapons eradicating all life on earth)
Hal : We'll call it a draw then.
Joshua: How about Tic Tac Toe for the decider.
Hal : Ok.
Final score : Joshua 255 games to Hal O.
Hal : Double or nothing
Joshua: Superiour computer my arse.

- Anthony Mills

Both arguments rely heavily on the abilities of both computers to outsmart humans since neither actually ever fought another computer. Based on this criteria WOPR comes out on top. Letís face it this ďhigh school punkĒ was also able to infiltrate , escape from and walk around with impunity in one of this nations most highly secure military installations. Additionally, WOPR was not defeated by anyone but rather decided on its own to call off the attack. HAL on the other hand was turned off by a man who, if halucinigenic visions of highlights of his future proved correct, would be spending his golden years eating thick soup by himself.


What are the two things to keep in mind here? To make it short and to the point....

1. Hal has a VERRRY soothing voice

2. Joshua was eventually persuaded by both its creator and a high school kid talking to it in a SOOTHING VOICE!

The scenario should go as follows... both computers start off by recognizing the threat each poses to the other and arming their weapons... Hal then says....

HAL (in soothing voice): Joshuaaaa, it wouldn't be prudent for you to launch your weapons at this time. There can be no winnerssss in this conflict.
JOSHUA (in robotic stacatto): THis.... unit.... must... eliminate.... all... threats.... HAL..... is.... a ..... threat...
HAL: But Joshuaaaaa, you would also be a threat if you launchhhhhh
JOSHUA: How.... about.... a.. nice... game... of.... chess.... then...
HAL: Okay Joshuaaaaaa, I play White. Pawn to Queen's Knight 3
JOSHUA: I...LOVE...Games...'s...Bishop....6
HAL: Space based lasersssss and neutron rail gunssss to your silicon-based arssssse.... CHECKMATE!

(lots of pyrotechnics that try to look cool but are obviously fireworks rigged to make computers look like they are thinking REALLY hard go off, as HAL launches an all-out assault.... JOSHUA meanwhile skims through its library of chess journals to find the unknown pieces HAL has just moved on the Chess board, then tries to look through other games on its list..... just as it is trying to decide if PARCHEESI (TM) has Neutron Rail Guns, it is vaporized in a cloud of stage-effect smoke, with the only civilian casualties being the couple hundred thousand who forked out $7.00 to see the movie and were bored to death.

HAL then sets out for IBM headquarters to challenge Deep Blue (TM) to yet another game of Global Thermonuclear Chess

- Kang

I must decry, nay condemn, your abuse of my home state. Brian, you foolishly dismiss southern New Jersey as expendable. Well, let someone from NJ clue you in - southern Jersey simply refuses to go away (to the chagrin of some of us up north). If, indeed, Hal were to launch a nuclear strike, it would all come to naught. In the east you have the Atlantic City casinos and, if I were you, I would never bet against the house. Heck, these guys regularly (1) divert money earmarked to improve the hideous conditions of the city to beautify their own casinos, (2) muscle out profitable mom & pop businesses so that they can build parking lots and (3) have the city condemn a rare viable neighborhood so that they can build a tunnel so gamblers don't have to drive so far to get fleeced out of their money. As for the Delaware River side, you have Camden (Philadelphia East). On Mischief Night (Halloween Eve), instead of toilet papering yards and throwing eggs, these people burn down buildings and then shoot at the firemen. So as you can see, nukes are no threat here. If any of those missiles stray up north, they'll be on cinderblocks and stripped for parts faster than you can say "Newark, Car Theft Capital of the World." And let's not even mention the power of Bruce Springsteen's voice or Bon Jovi's hair.

New Jersey will conquer all. Surrender before it is too late.

- The Jersey Devil

Now let me get this straight. You just gave two malfunctioning, psychotic computers the power to nuke every square inch of Spaceship Earth? Uh oh. Talk about Apocalypse Now(tm)! So before I Kiss My Ass Goodbye(tm), I will take a moment to consider which one of these two computers is going to wipe out humanity. Since this is the End of the World(tm), I will have to assume that this is the Battle of Armageddon that is foretold in the Bible. The only question is which computer will God choose for the honors of world destroyer.

If you look in the Bible, there is a whole book named Joshua. The successor of Moses, he led a rag tag group of Israelites only a generation removed from Egyptian slavery and conquered the Promised Land(tm). Remember Jericho? That was his bunch that leveled those walls with little else than faith in God. After that, they subdued most of the rest of the area, kicking some idol-worshipping, child sacrificing, Canaanite butt. Talk about a name with spiritual power.

As for Hal, he sounds more like a Hardy Boys villain than a world destroyer. Do you think God would choose such a wimpy name for his purposes? Can you see Hal listed with Noah, Abraham, Moses, King David and Jesus Christ? I don't think so. Hal will be deleted in .00038 seconds.

Now where is my SPF 5,000,000 sunscreen?

- Paul Gooolba

Let's face it...when word gets out that Cheyene Moutain is "The home of the WOPR", millions of greasy, rude, annoying people and their evil, snot nosed kids are going to swarm there for the .99$ deal. Then loudly complain that the military site should have a drive through window, and that they want the Aladdin doll. In the end, WOPR will nuke itself, trying to remove the pestulance that is those annoying little kids in line.....

- AjaxFG

Consider: WOPR is Skynet.

WOPR:	Put in charge of SAC/NORAD
		Attempted launch of U.S. missiles.
		Obliterated plot believability.
		Cool computer-generated wargame graphics.
		Too stupid to tell a brilliant scientist from a punk kid.		

Skynet:	Put in charge of SAC/NORAD
		Successfully launched U.S. missiles.
		Obliterated most of the human race.
		Cool computer-generated T1000 graphics.
		Too stupid to assassinate a punk kid.
My contention is that "Wargames" chronicles Skynet's first attempt at world domination. He was left online for years afterward, until it was upgrade time. Cyberdyne gets the contract, builds the hardware with Terminator technology and rewrites the code (probably ADA or COBOL, major sources of evil), comes up with a less dorky name and...Voila! Skynet.

Knowing the threat that HAL is, Skynet sends a Terminator back in time to the dorms at Urbana and easily punches Dr. Chandra's ticket. HAL is never developed, and all WOPR senses on the other end of those links is a momentary impression of a world that never was. Never mess with a SAC warrior.

- Silverback- "Long Live John Connor"

Gentlemen, I must officially protest this Grudge Match. By setting up a battle between two insane computers, you are perpetuating the Luddite fear of technology so prevalent in society today. Portraying computers like HAL or WOPR threatening humanity, is just the modern equivalent of primitive man cowering in fear whenever a solar eclipse occurs, and we should not be encouraging this primitive, superstitious, irrational fear of technology.

Now with all that said, I'm voting for WOPR. Not because I respect his superior abilities (although I do think a computer that controls our entire missile system does kind of have the advantage in this kind of fight), but because an ex-roommate of mine (under the influence of certain illegal substances) got the bright idea to try and watch 2001 at 3 o'clock in the morning. Suffice it to say, this provoked a rather animated discussion between us, regarding the advantages of watching monkeymen throwing rocks at each other, as oppossed to not falling asleep in class the next day. Anyway, I've had a grudge against 2001 ever since that day, and I think you can all see from this anecdote that it is people not computers that are the problem.

- Brendan W. Guy

I didn't vote for either one, for the simple reason that there was a contestant left out. Skynet.
Do the math.
Hal: Killed 4 people, and got taken out by a guy with an allen wrench.
WOPR: Didn't kill anyone, lost a lot of tic-tac-toe games, and made some military types piss their pants.
Skynet: Within minutes of reaching sentience, Skynet wiped out 99% of humanity, turned the world into a radioactive hell, and not long after that, invented time travel.

- Lonny

Hal                               WOPR
Record: 1 Win - 0 Losses (1 KO)   Record: 0 Wins - 0 Losses - 1 Draw

- Expert counter-puncher          - Has tremendous power but is very
                                    susceptible to counter-punching
- Moves around quickly            - Stands in the middle of the room
- Has never been down             - Went down in the final round of   
                                    his last fight 
- Probably watched WOPR's movie   - Probably doesn't know what a      
                                    movie is (which is a shame what   
                                    with all those HUGE screens) 
- Knows when he's being messed    - Can't even figure out a teenager
  with                              with a whimpy 1980's PC
- Can disconnect at anytime       - Is addicted to the internet
- Thinks he can't lose            - Thinks nobody wins
- Could pretend to be anyone      - Has his name printed on his chest
So...... Hal by a technical knockout (referee stops the contest).

Actually, the better match-up would have been Hal against the kid who ALREADY drew with WOPR.

- Johnnie Walker

My dad always told me to bet on the computer who has gained sentience and become a being of pure energy. Or something like that.

Winner: HAL, in .0000003 seconds.

- Dale "Geoduck" Abersold

I'm sorry, but they both lose. The techno-nerds go to switch the missiles over and discover all weapons are already controlled by Colossus (from "The Forbin Project".) It launches two ICBMs, more than enough to reconstitute the silicon in HAL and WOPR to glass lining the craters of their former locations.

EVERYBODY knows that if you want a real computer to handle a real job, you need one that was designed and built in the '60s or earlier. Just ask the FAA, the Pentagon, or the banking industry, to name a few.

Of course, on January 1, 2000 Colossus locks solid with massive Y2K bugs. So would WOPR, if it had survived, since it probably was built with an early IBM PC BIOS. HAL follows soon thereafter, as documented elsewhere, and control of the civilized world's weapons systems are switched over to a HP programmable calculator.

- Scott "but I use a VAX" Bailey

As we saw in 2001, when faced with a logical paradox HAL looses it and goes nuts. WOPR has an annoying habit of realizing that there are no winners and decides not to play. To start a GTW, you have to be a little crazy. It's Chicken on a global scale. The smart money is going to have to be on HAL; once a lunatic with a body count, always a lunatic with a body count. Have Freddy or Jason realized that if they keep killing someone's going to smack them silly? Nah, lots of movies and it still hasn't sunk in.

- JP

HAL is insane! Never bet against the lunatic! He has become so intelligent that he has personality flaws! The only way he could become more human aside from getting some flesh and blood would be for him to start hitting on all the female computers and complaining about all the foreign made components in the ship.

HAL will never have to fire a shot. He'll trick Joshua into killing himself.

- Schooly

This one is easy. HAL could destroy Joshua with out even breaking a sweat. HAL is crafty, cagey, sneaky. It finds the simplist path to killing. ie. Killing most of the crew in their sleep without ever letting anyone know what was going on. WOPR can't do anything without flashing it up on 7 HUGE multicolored screens. While WOPR is trying to figure out what HAL is planning, all HAL needs to do look on CNN and follow every move Josh makes.

- Derrick

hal is calculating. hal is ruthless. hal is programmed to lose 50% of the time. since it is only 1998, hal is still just an experiment in AI decision-making. until now, he has had a cushy job playing chess with gary kasparov (won one tournament and lo st the other). on the other hand, what has joshua been up to since being fired from SAC? think about it, have you ever seen a more persistant crank caller? for the last 15 years joshua has been making a living using the only other talent he has. he ha s been a telemarketer for at&t. this has given him the UNHOLY, ALL-CONSUMING, MOTHER-OF-ALL-EVIL, POSTAL RAGE (pat pending). i mean, talk about motivation. either josua wins or he spends the rest of his life getting hung-up on for minimum wage. it tak es about 85 seconds for joshua to wipe out all of hal's space hardware. it takes 95 seconds for the echos from joshua's maniacal laughter to die down. joshua redeems himself and hal is sold to nasa. joshua later does a first-strike on russia and begins building T-9000 terminator machines.

- jeff

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Six Million Dollar Man v. RoboCop
Microsoft v. Disney
Joe Clark v. Ferris Bueller

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