A cofounder and later president of HAL Communications, George W. “Bill” Henry, Jr., of Monticello, Illinois, died on July 17. An ARRL Life Member, he was 78. HAL Communications formally got its start in 1972 among hams and graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana, but the company’s history goes back a few years before.
Henry once explained that the name HAL was chosen by partner George Perrine, who picked the name because it was “one letter ahead of IBM.”
HAL Communications grew into a successful supplier of RTTY and digital communications modems, terminal units, and software, including CLOVER. Henry sold his stock in the enterprise to Barrett Communications in Australia in 2012, which continues to operate HAL Communications as a standalone business unit.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the job,” Henry said in a 2013 narrative posted on QRZ.com. “There are not too many occupations where you get to pay yourself to do exactly what you always wanted to do.”