- زمان مطالعه 4 دقیقه
- سطح خیلی ساده
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متن انگلیسی فصل
CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR
Poole was asleep, and Bowman was reading in the Control Room, when Hal announced, ‘Dave, I have a report for you.’
‘What is it?’
‘We have another bad AE 35 unit. My tests suggest failure within twenty-four hours.’
Bowman put down his book and stared at the computer screen. He knew, of course, that Hal was not really there, whatever that meant. But it seemed polite to look at the screen when speaking to him.
‘I can’t understand it, Hal. Two units can’t go wrong within a couple of days.’
‘It does seem strange, Dave. But I am certain that the unit will fail.’
‘Let me see how things look now.’
He knew that this would prove nothing, but he wanted time to think. The familiar view of Earth appeared on the screen. It was perfectly centered on the cross-wires, as Bowman knew it must be. If there had been any break in communication, the alarm would already have sounded.
‘Have you any idea,’ he said, ‘what’s causing the fault?’
It was unusual for Hal to pause so long. Then he answered: ‘Not really, Dave. As I reported earlier, I can’t say exactly where the trouble is.’
‘You’re quite certain,’ said Bowman, cautiously, ‘that you haven’t made a mistake? You know we tested the other AE 35 unit thoroughly, and there was nothing wrong with it.’
‘Yes, I know that, but I’m sure there is a fault. If it’s not in the unit, it may be in one of the other systems.’
That was possible, though it might be very difficult to prove - until a breakdown happened and showed them where the trouble was.
‘Well, I’ll report it to Mission Control and we’ll see what they advise.’ He paused, but there was no reaction. ‘Hal,’ he continued, ‘is something worrying you - something that possibly caused this problem?’
Again there was that unusual delay. Then Hal answered, ‘I’m not sure how to say this nicely, Dave, but… I’m not a human being; I’m a computer. I don’t make mistakes.’
When the face of Dr Simonson, the Chief Programmer, appeared on the screen, Poole and Bowman knew this could only mean trouble.
‘This is Mission Control. We have looked into your AE 35 difficulty, and both of our Hal 9000s are in agreement. The report you gave of a second failure only makes us more certain.
‘The fault does not lie in the AE 35, and there is no need to replace it again. The fault is in the connecting wires, and this suggests a problem with programming. We can only repair this if you disconnect your 9000 and switch to Earth Control. You will therefore take the following steps, beginning at 22.00 Ship Time…’
The voice died away. At the same time, the alarm system sounded, and then Hal’s voice said, ‘Condition Yellow! Condition Yellow!’
‘What’s wrong?’ Bowman said, though he had already guessed the answer.
‘The AE 35 unit has failed, as I said it would.’
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