HAL - Hardware Abstraction Layer. One of those clever things that automatically start up during boot. I don't know what HAL actually does, but I do notice that the next Ubuntu (10.04 Lucid Lynx) claims as a feature "HAL removal" - see DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.
Hence the questions .. was HAL ever a "good thing"? Why would such a relatively new feature be trashed by a leading distro? What did it do for us anyway?