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HAL Apple's Y2K spokesperson

Apple Computer is turning to HAL, the computer from "2001: A Space Odyssey," to announce that the Macintosh is free from the Y2K bug.

Apple Computer is turning to HAL, the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, to announce that the Macintosh is free from the Y2K bug.

HAL will appear as Apple's Y2K Back to Year 2000 Index Pagespokesperson during a 60-second commercial that will air during Sunday's Super Bowl game. In the past, Apple has shown some of its most creative advertising during the annual football game.

"HAL is the perfect spokesperson to address the Y2K issues because he lives in the year 2001 and speaks from experience," Apple acting chief executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. "Plus HAL is the foremost expert on things that can go wrong with computers."

Macintosh computers, the company claims, can handle internally generated dates correctly all the way to the year 29,940 as long as the software running on them manages dates correctly as well.

Apple aired the HAL ad during the Macworld Expo and on its Web site earlier this month. Since then, the computer maker said it had received "thousands of emails" requesting that the ad be shown on national television.

Originally, the commercial was touted as an Internet only ad, but has now gone "mainstream" after being downloaded more than 250,000 times since its debut on January 5.

An estimated 100 million people watch the Super Bowl. Apple's advertising agency is TBWA/Chiat/Day.

HAL first made an appearance in the 1968 science fiction classic as a conflicted computer on board a spaceship that was sent to Jupiter. HAL kills all but one of the crew members during the mission to discover extraterrestrial intelligence.

It also marks the 15th anniversary since Apple's famous homage to George Orwell, the "1984" commercial which introduced the first Macintosh computer. That ad also aired during the Super Bowl and was also produced by Chiat/Day.

Micron Electronics will also be vying to increase their visibility during the Super Bowl--before the game even starts. Micron's new ads, dubbed "Anthem," will be aired several times during the pregame shows leading to the Super Bowl. Like Apple's ad, Micron's ad first debuted on the Internet earlier this year.

"According to the ratings, with the nine times our ad will run before the show even starts, we'll be making 52 million impressions," said Mike Rosenfelt, Micron's Creative Director. "We get the glow from the Super Bowl, and the huge viewing audience, but at a cost that's much more compatible with David's, not Goliath's--purse-strings." he said in a statement.

News.com's Jim Davis contributed to this report.