y2k Folleez

Once upon a time, 1998 to be precise, there was a message forum on the New York Times web site dedicated to discussing what was called The Y2k Bug, and which many supposed might be a problem, come 2000. Join us as we talk about it, always keeping in mind what did happen on Y2k.

Note: No editing has been done, so all the natural typos that happen on an online forum have been preserved.

Message 1

01:47am Apr 30, 1998 EST

By: anomalous

I'd like to have a penny for every EMail sent on January 1, 2000 ... possibly January 2 ... assuming it's a business day. Ideally, the first Wednesday after January 1. Two things will happen: 1) people will want to know if they still have money, 2) people will want to find out how to get it back.



Message 2


07:07am Apr 30, 1998 EST

By: petergsam

Whether it's tobacco, the millennium bug, alien invasion, or black helicopters, America is in a tiff about something. Why does
it seem like everybody out there is mad about something? That there is some super-secret conspiracy going on out there? Why
is everybody so anxious?

The answer: we have nothing else better to do. You see my friends, liberals may have a point in saying that things were easier
back in the Cold War when everything was clear. It was the United States versus the Soviet Union. Democracy versus
Communism. Free Markets versus Command Economy. Evil versus Good . . . oh wait, that's the liberal mentality, let me get it
straight, Good versus Evil.

However, after the evil Ronald Reagan wiped out communism, we have not been able to direct our energy towards anything
truly meaningful. Liberals like to say that conservatives need to create a bad guy in order to justify their positions in
international relations and military spending. Like about most things, liberals are wrong. Instead, we just need something to
focus our attention on. We need something important to do.

Sticking it to BIG tobacco is hardly significant. Getting into a conniption fit over the millennium bug isn't going to do it either -
for what do we do after 2000 comes and we've solved the problem? No my friends, we need to get hysterical about something
else.

Sadly, I have no idea what to get hysterical about. Bill Clinton and his bridge to the 21st century hasn't really amounted to
much. Sure, we can get mad about all his illegal activities, but when he's gone, what are we going to get all worked up about
then?

If you have suggestions, please feel free to e-mail me, because without meaningful hysteria, what am I to do? What are you to
do? What is America to do? What is the world to do? Oh no, I'm starting to get hysterical! Aaaahhhh!



Message 3


10:56am Apr 30, 1998 EST

By: tbriden1

petergsam:

There are many more forums at this site that would be far more appropriate for you to launch into a vague and pointless anti-liberal rant.".



Message 4


11:20am Apr 30, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

I'm less worried about the Y2K computer thing than I was fifteen years ago. I guess that puts me in the minority on both counts.

But I've been to the future -- every system I use had its clock bumped to various dates in 2000 -- and the majority of problems are cosmetic. In other words, the important, elapsed-time calculations are usually correct, and it's the screen display of the resulting data that messes up.

Also, I've seen that our financial institutions handle minor computer glitches every day. People simply get on the phone and iron out what the data should look like, and the files are manually tweaked to fit. So 1/1/2000 and the surrounding dates will just be a major version of that process.

One more thing that hasn't been covered to death: 2000 AD is a leap year. Don't forget to check your programs for that. (Some leap year algorithms are incorrect.)


Message 5


02:41pm Apr 30, 1998 EST

By: zsrdani

The true state of computer power is the FACT that computer systems are ONLY as good as the PEOPLE that use them. The Year 2000 problem will be problem only to people that DO NOT know how to use computer systems.
RLD



Message 6


05:27am May 1, 1998 EST

By: anime43

The reports of how Y2K will erase computer records,
stop elevators, make traffic lights go funny and so
fourth sounds like a load of crap. Unless the traffic
lights and elevators are programmed to respond to what
year it is (I don't know why they would be programmed to
keep track of the year in the first place), and computers
are programmed to automaticly erase records (and the
companies don't keep backups and hard copies), I don't
see much to be worried about. True, the Y2K bug may
cause some problems with record keeping, and slow
things down a bit, but I think reporters are hyping it,
just so they can boost ratings.



Message 7


04:29pm May 1, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

anime43 :

I am sure you have not programmed firmware (duh ?) in the eighties. Many time
controlled appliances keeps track of time with a date component (to handle midnight and
beyond). A lot of such programs written in languages like Fortran, C, BASIC and
Assembler have used two digit years. So, when the time is 9912312359, what follows it
is anybody's guess.

In fact, least of the problems will be in the record keeping industry, where software is
scrutinizable and correctable. More problems will be in Firmware in a range of
appliances from Electric ovens, Elevators, Traffic signals and a whole bunch of
medical equipments (even critical cardiac equipments like pacemakers embedded in
human body). Nobody has a clue as to how to rectify the programs and replace the
chips in these appliances which will beat the number of automotive recalls of the entire
auto industry from the beginning of this century.

If I were you, I would remain home on 1 Jan, 2000 and never travel in a plane or get
admitted in a hospital (if I can help it).



Message 8


04:35pm May 1, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

nhsrikanth 5/1/98 4:29pm

Nobody has a clue as to how to rectify the programs and replace the chips in these appliances which will beat the number of automotive recalls of the entire auto industry from the beginning of this century.

"Nobody has a clue"?? Puh-leeeeze! I hope you're the only one in such awe of the powers of the designers of yesteryear.

The immediate workaround is simply to set the clock back. Do you or I care if a traffic light system thinks it's fourteen years ago?


Message 9


04:44pm May 1, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

(For those of you who may be wondering, 1972 had the same date-to-day-of-week layout as 2000. So set those hardwired devices back to 1972. If 2028 rolls around before they're fixed, set 'em back to 1972 again.)



Message 10


07:16pm May 2, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth

Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

just-john :

Problem is not in correcting the code or changing the date in the internal clock. It is accessing the individual appliances, removing the specific chip and replacing it with a new one or changing the settings in the internal clock. Problem is, no one has got desktop access to these. You have to go to the field and do it and considering the number of such appliances and the budgets of municipalities and hospitals they just can't afford the kind of man-power to do it.

Take your puh-leeze and stuff it up ....



Message 11


04:32pm May 3, 1998 EST

By: anime43

nhsrikanth-

:: in fact, least of the problems will be in
:: the record keeping industry, where software
:: is scrutinizable and correctable. More problems
:: will be in Firmware in a range of appliances
:: from Electric ovens, Elevators, Traffic signals
:: and a whole bunch of medical equipments (even
:: critical cardiac equipments like pacemakers
:: embedded in human body).

Why would a pacemaker need to keep track of the year? It's
simply a device that monitors, regulates, and sends signals to
the heart. I don't think anyone would make a pacemaker that
is designed to automaticly shut down at some specified time.


Message 12


10:26am May 4, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

just-john and anime43 :

If you don't understand firmware software, I haven't the time and interest to educate you. If you think everything will work like clock work on 1 Jan, 2000, GOOD LUCK...



Message 13


10:41am May 4, 1998 EST

By: just_john

(pre-post-postmodern)

nhsrikanth 5/4/98 10:26am

If you don't understand firmware software, I haven't the time and interest to educate you. If you think everything will work like clock work on 1 Jan, 2000, GOOD LUCK...

In other words, you don't know enough to be able to back up your assertions in the face of intelligent questioning.

And, since you're going to be huddling in your cave for that day, how 'bout forwarding us your New Year's party invitations? (If you get any.)



Message 14


10:56am May 4, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

just-john:

I have been on firmwares more than five years and don't have to prove anything to anybody. If you think I am an ignorant moron, so be it.

I have no time to educate a somewhat layman anime43 or the willingness to counter a hostile and repulsive just-john.

BYE.



Message 15


11:14am May 4, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

OK, I will just put in this one post for anime43.

I agree with your question why a pace maker needs a date. Same question applies to a
whole lot of appliances I've mentioned. The problem is not debating if dates are needed
but in understanding that dates were used for convenient timing functions by a whole
lot of firmware programmers who thought they would never live to see (or at least
work in the same company) 2000. Note that, there were many conscientious
programmers who avoided dates and went for clock cycles to write timing functions.
But there were many reckless programmers who used the date where it was really not
necessary.

Part of my company business is in handling corrections of firmware for many reputed
appliance company and don't be surprised even if your electric shaver (which may
have about 2000 lines of C++ code) flunks on 1 Jan, 2000 - if you happen to have
bought it a couple of years back.



Message 16


11:33am May 4, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

nhsrikanth 5/4/98 11:14am

So, you're claiming that there's somebody to synchronize each and every shaver's clock to wall clock date/time as it marches off the production line, as opposed to having it default to some arbitraty date?

I find that rather hard to believe.

And without such synchronization, it just means each such device has an artificially limited life span, NOT that they'll all fail at once.

(Tho the "all fail at once" scare tactic is great for job security, eh?)



Message 17


12:09pm May 4, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

just-john :

When something is in a production line things are automatic and mostly managed by robotic machines. What is incredible about synchronizing the time (nobody needs to set jumpers or twist knobs). When things were coming out of shop floor the date could have been set to 1 Jan, 1901 for all you care. BUT WERE THEY ? The logical choice was the then date and time (may be stupid in retrospect). And tell me, where you find a switch in your oven (even the microwave ones) that you can use to change its date (you can change time in microwaves) ? You can change the date only by changing or re-programming the clock chip. For a normal user that amounts to, If it flunks throw it away or file a claim with the manufacturer. That is about it.

I have more than thirty people in *my company* and Y2K is a small pie (only done for our existing customers). It is a small fry for us or may be we are small fries in the Y2K ocean. I don't have to whip up any paronia to get business (a whole lot of MIS gurus are doing a heck of a good job, though a bit late). When you finally decide to get a job (other than beta testing NYT forums) may be you can contact me. I will look at your resume without prejudice.



Message 18

01:11pm May 4, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

nhsrikanth 5/4/98 12:09pm

When something is in a production line things are automatic and mostly managed by robotic machines.

Wow! What hi-tech termonology! My ears may start bleeding.

What is incredible about synchronizing the time

Because that task has to be planned ahead of time, and somebody in design would ask "Why are we bothering to set a system clock? That's just one more thing Quality Assurance can ding us on if it doesn't work right."

When you finally decide to get a job (other than beta testing NYT forums) may be you can contact me. I will look at your resume without prejudice.

You probably can't afford me. As a rule, I don't talk about my job online -- that's one of the reasons I use this handle -- but suffice it to say I've already spent plenty of time in 2000 and 2001.



Message 19

01:37pm May 4, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

just-john:

Use some ear drops.

If only people were that diligent in design, we would'nt be talking about Y2K bug on the first place. QA may not catch it because it will work fine until 1999.

Affordability is more a question of whether you are worth it.



Message 20


01:38pm May 4, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

Well, it is kind of getting monotonous. If all you are interested is in trading barbs you can find posters of like interest in the Clinton forums.

BYE (This time it is final).



Message 21


01:41pm May 4, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

nhsrikanth 5/4/98 1:34pm

QA may not catch it because it will work fine until 1999.

If part of the manufacturing process includes setting the time, then any good QA shop will check if the time has been set correctly. The people designing the manufacturing process, in a sensible effort to reduce the number of possible failure points that QA can spot, will ask why the heck anybody needs to set a clock on a shaver.



Message 22


12:58pm May 8, 1998 EST

By: noflik

The whole thing would be amusing if it weren't so serious.
It underlies the whole attitude of the human race towards the future.
Live for today, your paycheck, and don't worry about the future.
Now our collective chickens are coming home to roost.

The absurdity of a system that ever allowed two digits for a year
implies that at best, the captains of industry can't think beyond
99 years (or even 5 as some Microsoft products that are vulnerable were only written a few years ago) , and the fact that both government and the private sector permitted such reasoning and paid for it says volumes about out attitude towards future. generations.

The same attitude explains global warming, deforestation, and every other aspect of lack of foresight.


Message 23


01:17pm May 8, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

Just-john :

I will oblige you just once more.

You are talking about an "ideal" QA as against actual QA - we have come across a whole bunch of defective appliances and no "argument" of yours can beat the "reality" I have encountered.

You are in the QA testing a electric shaver. What would you do ? You sample a few, press the on button, test it against variety of simulated beard surfaces, make sure it gives a smooth shave, neither damages the "face" nor is damaged itself, run it for a length of time, drop it on the floor et. al. (durability test) and finally pass the batch if its meets the specified tolerance. Where in the hell would you, a QA person, get the opportunity to open up the piece, analyze the circuitry and reset the date ? You may not even know there is a clock chip inside the shaver. So, a design error that was made can and will escape QA unless it causes a visible defect at the time of QA. That is the whole problem with firm ware.

In an ideal world of software development there would not be a Y2K bug but Designers and Testers are human too (noflik hits the nail on the head).



Message 24

02:04pm May 8, 1998 EST

By: jstoran

I'm having some difficulty understanding the purpose of discussing the millennium bug in a forum like this. If participants can't get beyond debating the existence of the problem, then the forum serves only to further alienate the generalized individual with specialized skills. Those who recognize the diffuse and, therefore, intractable nature of the Y2K bug can't communicate their perspective to people outside the bug resolution sphere.

Take, for example, the back and forth between NHRIKANTH and JUST JOHN concerning the effect of 1/1/2000 on an electric razor. NH says an imbedded timing chip may disrupt the razor's functionality. JJ says that a quality assurance entity within the razor company would prevent such a faulty razor from leaving the plant.

What JJ needs to realize is that someone like NH is the quality assurance entity, that the razor company must expend resources that might have been applied elsewhere to retain NH, and that there are a million razors that went to market before NH got there. Those razors will have to be replaced at cost to somebody. And if it isn't razors, then its automobiles; if not automobiles, then its mutual fund trading accounts.

I guess my point is that correcting the Y2K bug will eat tons of money, resources that might have saved or invested for future return. I think a more interesting discussion is whether or not resources spent on bug correction are a deadweight societal loss. Are doomsayers neglecting the potential return of correcting the bug e.g. human capital gains?



Message 25


02:10pm May 8, 1998 EST

By: just_john

(pre-post-postmodern)


I will oblige you just once more.

Oh, gee. You come in and start by insulting the people already here, and then promise several times to leave. No wonder I love you so much.

You are in the QA testing a electric shaver.

No, I'm in the QA testing the production line process for manufacturing an electric shaver. Big difference. I see step N: "Set clock". I either make sure that a process is in place to verify that the clock has been set, or I save the company some cash by realizing the setting of the clock is not needed.



Message 26


02:30pm May 8, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

jstoran 5/8/98 2:04pm

As far as fixing software goes, I bet I'm not telling you anything new when I say that both off-the-shelf software makers and service providers with their own development shops are constantly changing their products. (For example, the forum software we're using right now.) In these environments, folding in Y2K fixes is not a difficult or wildly time-consuming thing.

Finding the bugs and then later verifying that they've been fixed -- those are the bigger challenges.

But then again, I'm not one of the doomsayers. In my view, the first few months of 2000 AD will feel like half the business you deal with have re-arranged their office furniture and temporary misplaced some files.



Message 27


02:39pm May 8, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

just-john:

You can argue all you want, but,

We have come across a
whole bunch of defective appliances (from some reputed manufacturers) and no "argument" of yours can beat the "reality"
we have encountered and experienced.


Message 28


04:00pm May 8, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

nhsrikanth 5/8/98 2:39pm

Let's see... First you claim they'll break on 1/1/2000, but then you say:

When things were coming out of shop floor the date could have been set to 1 Jan, 1901 for all you care. BUT WERE THEY ?

That's the difference between two unique situations -- if the clocks aren't in synch, then each product has the same interval to the problematic internal date. If not, the problem date is a specific wall-clock date. That makes a huge difference in how to deal with the problem.

In the first scenario, since the possible problem happens over a span of wall-clock time, you might save money in repairs with those products built modularly enough to permit a board swap. Take the board bearing the problem chip and ship it off to have the chip replaced. But meanwhile, you replace the board with one whose chip has already been replaced. (If the product's out of warranty, you can make some money doing this as a third-party operation.)

That's a whole lot different from having to cope with the whole product line screwing up at the same time, which is why knowing how (or if) the clocks were set in the first place is important.

So if you're in such a vital place in the operation, why don't you know? You have access to the manufacturer, right? The manufacturer knows how they make things, right? You should be able to say, one way or the other. And they should be able to shape their public information and/or recall operations accordingly.

If the chip maker isn't willing to fess up to the manufacturer, that's another matter. If it's a real case of that sort of perfidy, then you're obligated to aim your boldfaced type in the direction of someone who needs to know -- somebody specific.



Message 29


04:11pm May 8, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

just-john:

What is your point ?

Is it that the ALL appliances won't fail in the mid-night of 31-DEC-1999 ? Agreed. But most stand a chance of failing in the vicinity of 1-JAN-2000 and if you think of the failure rate as a normal (bell) curve, the peak will be around 1-JAN-2000.

My advice was, "it is better to be safe than sorry". Don't want to take it ? Of course, It is a free world.


Message 30


04:33pm May 8, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

nhsrikanth 5/8/98 4:11pm

Is it that the ALL appliances won't fail in the mid-night of 31-DEC-1999 ? Agreed.

(Of course, I assume you mean "ALL appliances afflicted with this chip problem." (Most of my major appliances were made in the sixties and seventies, or in the mid-to-late nineties. The ones from the eighties broke already. Hmmmm.))

and if you think of the failure rate as a normal (bell) curve,

For the individual products that weren't synchronized at birth, the failure would tend to parallel the rate of production.

But anyway, the notion of an increase in failures around a specific point in time is psychologically a lot different from a mass failure within a one day period. I've had months where three appliances died, and I've survived. Stuff breaks. (Especially stuff manufactured in the eighties, it seems. I hadn't realized the eighties bit until I gave it some thought in the past few days. Pow! One VCR after another! Perhaps none of the products in question will even survive to experience a Y2K screwup?)

So, is anybody going to publish a list of the doomed products?


Message 31


05:55am May 9, 1998 EST

By: tkight

for more information on this topic I have foundthese sites useful:http://www.year2000.com (especially the newspaperarticle links)http://www.garynorth.com (possible worst case scenarios)http://www.y2kchaos.com (just what it says) there are many more, but that's a good start



Message 32


06:06am May 11, 1998 EST

By: mjhale3

tkight:

Just subscribed to NYT and since I'm just learning about Y2K in depth (unfortunately), I appreciated your low-key, but powerful, introduction of some VERY informative sites (after scanning the somewhat pedantic dialogue here over whose microwave oven or shaver will or won't work!)

Give me a break! The 'experts' are already online reporting that we will no DOUBT be without POWER -- so who cares about an appliance! And it won't be for just a day (a month? a year?) A generator might not be a bad option, guys--and while we're at it, might be a good idea to stock up on some cornflakes and powdered milk -- don't know what we'll do for water though. At least not in the 'city'.

There are some pret-ty knowledgeable people out there who are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst -- apparently it could be a LOT worse than anyone has imagined.



Message 33


01:37pm May 11, 1998 EST

By: jstoran

When economists speak of the costs of resolving the Y2K bug, to what exactly are they referring? I've heard quotes of $300 billion, $500 billion, 5% GDP, and approximately equal to the Asian financial market fall out. Are these figures representative of costs incurred by firms and gov't agencies in their efforts to resolve the bug? Or are they estimations of losses due to system failures as a result of the bug? Or are they a combination of the two?



Message 34

09:06am May 12, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

mjhale3 5/11/98 6:06am

Give me a break! The 'experts' are already online reporting that we will no DOUBT be without POWER

Well, putting "experts" within quotation marks is a good start.

Do you think the power industry isn't checking their stuff, to see if there are any built-in problems, and to correct these problems ahead of time? Why not call your power company directly and ask them about their readiness?

The people who are panicking are professional panickers. The people in the trenches working on solutions make for less sensational reading, but sensationalism isn't their job.



Message 35


08:13pm May 12, 1998 EST

By: jstoran

"What does the Y2K bug say about our increasing reliance on technology?"

Looking at this question, I realize why this forum has so few participants. Indeed, contemporary society is utterly dependent on technology. It consumes goods and services at levels attainable only with the automation and efficiency allowed by current technology. So what? Are we anymore dependent on computers than the earliest humans on fire, than stone-agers on the wheel?
Technological advance is inevitable and unstoppable. It is to be expected that some percentage of computer systems and electric gadgetry will fail on 1/1/00. To analogize, a rain extinguishes those cook fires that were not covered. The world will incur a sizeable, but one-time charge to sort out the mess. Then, it will be business as usual. Humans are just too darn crafty for it to be anyway else.



Message 36


02:13pm May 13, 1998 EST

By: nebula666

SAVE A LOT OF TIME AND MONEY. When the clock ticks to 2000 tick it up to 2001 and we'll all just pretend the y2k was a great year and move on!


Message 37


05:46pm May 13, 1998 EST

By: clocktower1

Buy a Mac and stop worrying.



Message 38


01:53am May 14, 1998 EST

By: davidpell

Anyone who thinks Computer People are smart should consider the lack of forethought that created this topic. And the greed of CEOs like Gates et al that perhaps knowingly encouraged this built in flaw knowing it would further require their services.



Message 39


08:09am May 14, 1998 EST

By: wend5

It may seem incomprehensible to the public but the y2k problem just happened. It was not greed, or Machevialian cunning, mostly it was just management ignorance. You say how could anyone be that stupid. Simple. The priority of the day in most companies is to resolve current issues. That is how you survive as an executive. How could they possibly understand that a two digit date could be the biggest computer virus of all time? They couldn't given their focus and background.

It is clear from comments here and elsewhere that some still do not believe y2k to be the ultimate show stopper. We still have 19 months to ameliorate the most critical consequences of this problem.



Message 40


12:01pm May 14, 1998 EST

By: iaxguy

wend5 5/14/98 8:09am

Y2K can't be much of a problem. Steven Speilberg hasn't made a movie about it.



Message 41


12:48pm May 14, 1998 EST

By: just_john

(pre-post-postmodern)


It is clear from comments here and elsewhere that some still do not believe y2k to be the ultimate show stopper. We still have 19 months to ameliorate the most critical consequences of this problem.

And that's in addition to the years we spent on it before the press finally understood it and made it a trendy story.



Message 42


01:49pm May 14, 1998 EST

By: msilverton


Michael Silverton

UNKNOWN YEAR 2000 UNKNOWNS

SMART Letter #6


 
  SMART Letter #6 - May 10, 1998 
  For Friends and Enemies of the Stupid Network 
  Copyright 1998 by David S. Isenberg 
  This document may be redistributed provided that  
  the 11 lines containing this notice accompany it. 
  isen@isen.com -- http://www.isen.com/ -- 1-888-isen-com 
  It takes SMART people to design a Stupid Network 

UNKNOWN YEAR 2000 UNKNOWNS

The Viagra economy of 1998 makes it easy to ignore the Year 2000
Problem. Yet there is reason to surmise that we have passed the
point of no return -- that we are likely to have serious systems
failures as we transition to the Year 2000.
How serious? We don't know.

Some of these are likely to be of the expected,
first order variety -- bank screw-ups, supply chain problems,
air traffic control delays, etc. -- but we might also experience
emergent, higher-order unravelings, with consequences that could
be economic, social, medical, geopolitical.

On the other hand, we might *not* experience such emergent,
society-shaking consequences -- and I *hope* not -- but contingency
thinking today beats being surprised and unprepared tomorrow.

Complex adaptive systems - such as ecologies or markets - rarely
progress in a smooth linear fashion for long. The space folds. If there are too many rabbits, suddenly coyotes appear. Virulent strains of disease course through populations, decimating their host until resistant individuals meet weaker strains of disease to establish a new dynamic balance. Markets feed on their own enthusiasm, bubble and burst, then "correct" and regain temporary, perhaps illusory stability.

Yet we have progressed, apparently smoothly, from a world of isolated
8 kilobyte machines to a gigalink society, a network of pervasively
networked networks, whose methods and meanings are emerging faster
than we can discover them - let alone understand their implications.

Moore's Law was a wild card. Nobody planned how the individually
hand-crafted computer programs of the 1970s would acrete to form the
Just-in-Time Economy that supports today's industrialized world.
We who wrote Fortran in that era are surprised that our morsels of
kludgey code, painstakingly crafted to use expensive memory with utmost efficiency, would still be running today.

ONCE PERVASIVE PRACTICES ARE NOW OBSOLETE

The Year 2000 Problem is born of well understood, widely accepted, once omnipresent programming practices that were established when memory was expensive. (Remember how we named a variable D instead of DAY, or S rather than SUM, to save memory? I do.)

Memory got cheap, but the code we wrote is still running.
Thus, the Y2K problem is widely sown in older code.
Often it appears in mutated, hard to recognize patterns. Or in
systems that are three miles under the ocean or 300 miles out in space.

EASY TO IGNORE

It is easy to overlook, ignore, and minimize the disruptive potential
of the Y2K Problem. I was reminded how easy Y2K is to deny when the
May 4, 1998 issue of the new, otherwise technologically savvy webzine,
The Industry Standard (http://www.industrystandard.net/) scoffed that
Y2K was being over-hyped by greedy, scare-mongering consultants.

Why so easy? A few reasons. In isolation, it is supremely boring
whether the year is a 2-digit or 4-digit field. And nobody likes to
dwell on bad news, especially in good times. And facts about Y2K, when you can find them, are either boring and technical, or overly dramatized and, indeed, over-hyped. And good observations on the emergent, systemic nature of the problem are difficult to find. And sometimes known facts are actively suppressed by good people who fear litigation.

So here are some observations:

Observation #1: PEOPLE WHO KNOW MORE BECOME



Message 43


02:07pm May 14, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)


Observation #1: PEOPLE WHO KNOW MORE BECOME

Gee, that's a very spiritual message of transcendence you're hinting at there, but don't forget, knowledge is not wisdom (just as information isn't knowledge.)



Message 44


09:56am May 15, 1998 EST

By: tbriden1

just_john:

I didn't know you were a Zappa fan.



Message 45


10:11am May 15, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

tbriden1 5/15/98 9:56am

I am -- I even have a tape of me covering "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" -- but I'm not sure what I paraphrased originated with him.



Message 46

12:19pm May 15, 1998 EST

By: tbriden1

for just_john and anyone else who's wondering:

"Information is not knowledge,
Knowledge is not wisdom,
Wisdom is not truth,
Truth is not beauty,
Beauty is not love,
Love is not music,
Music is the best...."

- Frank Zappa (from the song "Packard Goose" - Joe's Garage Act III - 1979)

Whether these words originated somewhere else, I don't know.

Sorry for the waste of bandwidth, folks, but then again this forum is pretty dead, anyway.



Message 47


10:05pm May 20, 1998 EST

By: bbbbo

The year 2000 will be less determined by the failure of technology
than by the deteministic nature of man. I think we are all indulging
in magical thinking that will prove to be more destructive than any
two-bit computer chip, or whatever number of bits the chip happens to
consist of. For example it is inevitable that there will be, from my point of view, a morbid push to a 10,000 dow with all the accompanying
hoopla. This will ultimately prove to be more devastating to our economy than the faultering computer systems. We already survive major screw-ups in this area everyday. A number of companies like ATT are
engaging in de-techology, limited though it may be at this time, because of the waste and arrogance inherent in some of these applications.
Perhaps in the end if the computers do fail, it won't be so much the
fault of the computer as the underlying wish of humanity to come up
with a convincing argument to finally purge it from the face of the earth.
As we once again sing, "Let the good times roll".
Tell me, is anyone more boring than Bill Gates? That's it, I've had it, I'm switching to the Yankee game. This is driving me mad!



Message 48


10:49am May 21, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

The failed satellite (bringing down the Pagers) should have given a taste of what could be in store on Year 2000.



Message 49


11:00am May 21, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

nhsrikanth 5/21/98 10:49am

Yikes. We agree on something.

Note how the business and social worlds rose to work around the problem.



Message 50


11:44am May 21, 1998 EST

By: tbriden1

"The failed satellite (bringing down the Pagers) should have given a taste of what could be in store on Year 2000. "

And yet, we all still survived, in fact, it didn't bother me one bit. So much for Armageddon.



Message 51


03:38pm May 26, 1998 EST

By: stan_smith

just-john,

You are,

(a) Really dumb

(b) Trial Lawyer

(c) Both

Choose one.



Message 52


03:48pm May 26, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

stan_smith 5/26/98 3:38pm

How informative!

(Hmmm.. Is this billable?)


Message 53


01:10am May 29, 1998 EST

By: gravedigga1

da millenium is commin dats when its time fo da new Wu Order
Grab yo steel its gonna get nasty



Message 54


05:40pm May 29, 1998 EST

By: houlihan

Are the 13 Chinese Nukes Y2K Compliant?

You know, those 13 Communist China nuclear-tipped ICBM's that are aimed at the U.S.

Our own DoD is urgently reviewing the software systems that manage our launch-capable nuclear ICBM's, but are you confident about the Chinese efforts with their 18 missiles, 13 of which are targeted at America's children, minorities, women, and other vulnerable groups?



Message 55


12:11am May 30, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

Ask just-john.


Message 56


03:24am May 30, 1998 EST

By: Janicecbw

In reference to the New York Times editorial of May 28, 1998 ("The Millennium Bug"), they should be reminded that, almost exactly ten years ago, they ran an article (May 7, 1988) entitled: "For Computers, the Year 2000 May Prove a Bit Traumatic," by Barnaby J. Feder.

How can they now say that "...no one saw the millennium coming until it was just this close? [which is the last line of their editorial]"

Mark I. Wolk, CPA ASA
130 Seventh Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222



Message 57


02:29pm Jun 3, 1998 EST

By: loxahatchee

It's too late for full remediation now and time for a fallback position.

See http://2000.jbaworld.com/harlan/smcp.htm

Not wonderful, but perhaps the best we can do at this late date.

Harlan Smith



Message 58


05:30pm Jun 3, 1998 EST

By: bhopk1

A number of promising techniques for fixing the date fields have been developed. Many cannot cope within the complexity of large legacy systems. Wholesale reengineering is needed and few techniques work for that.

One technique that seems to work better than most (if not all) others in a legacy system is applied by a subsidiary of the Zitel Company. It has been adopted for the National Institutes for Health by Frank Carlucci's company Federal Data Corp. NIH is one of the federal agencies with a good info system track record. Can anyone recommend any services besides Zitel?

If old systems are not to be reengineered but, instead, new systems are to replace them, we will face a different sort of difficulty.
New systems rarely produce exactly the same results as the big old system: customer bills will change in inexplicable ways, product and service deliveries may differ, new management reports won't be comparable with old reports, archive data may be totally lost, etc. Customers won't be happy, managers will be at sea and the regulators will be stirred up. The year 2000 will probably force us to tolerate such disruption because the alternative will be a stop to day-to-day business in general.

Maybe this is too alarmist, but a little planning (a food and water stockpile, portable radio, etc., just like earthquake preparation) won't hurt and it might help a lot. History never exactly repeats itself, so this millenium will be different from the last one. It may still be a hum-dinger.



Message 59


05:48am Jun 5, 1998 EST

By: jabaram

If Y2K becomes a media sensation like El Nino, we can be sure that the general public will be scared out of their wits and panic. There are solutions out there, but solutions won't make the media establishments any money. I bet none of them would cover a small software company with a fast, inexpensive and reliable Y2K Cobol solution even if they were giving a demo away!
The company in question is called NetVital. The product is called
Year2000.exe, and they have an excellent white paper as well as a
fully functional demo for download at
http://www.netvital.com/products/2000_index.html/



Message 60


11:52am Jun 5, 1998 EST

By: guest

jabaram....forget media hype...forget year2000.exe PC's don't run banks, utilities, and the DoD. Contingency planning is a must consider for both individuals and communities. How many days can your public water works operate under emergency power?? Tg



Message 61


12:02pm Jun 5, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

guest 6/5/98 11:52am

.. and banks and public utilities and other infrastructure institutions are quietly working on (or have already solved) the problem. The reason you don't hear the people in the trenches talking about this much is that they're contractually required to let their public information departments do the talking.



Message 62

02:47pm Jun 5, 1998 EST

By: mjbinnc

A friend's wife is terribly distraught because she thinks civilization will crumble and we will have to grow our own food or die. I figure that most of us would die. I can't grow weeds. But apparently many people are deathly afraid of some sort of Y2K disaster. Personally I don't think so.

Have you heard of any of these catastrophes?



Message 63


02:56pm Jun 5, 1998 EST

By: just_john

(pre-post-postmodern)

mjbinnc 6/5/98 2:47pm

There are some whose panic is based upon a fear of "The Millenium" that predated public discussion of this computer thing. They're talking literally Biblical stuff -- Antichrist(s), Second Comings, etc.

There's a "Talk-2000" discussion list and Web site (I wish I had the URL handy, because "talk" and "2000" are such common things to search on.) Anyway, they act as a clearinghouse for a lot of Millenium stories, including discussions of that happened around 1000 AD.



Message 64


05:39pm Jun 7, 1998 EST

By: edwardo5

One of the governments biggest and most susceptible agency's, the IRS missed a golden opportunity to solve two problems. The year 2000 and the complex IRS code. If we had any compentent leadership in this country, they should of considered a simpler tax code along with purchasing all new computers. Then starting January 1st. 1999 all tax returns could of went on the new computers. With a simplified tax code, the programing would of been minimum. Not with government thinking though. They spent $6 billion trying to upgrade the current monstrosity,and acheived nothing.The IRS lost $20 billion from fraud when they came out with the rapid refund, because they had no way to verify the return. All the $millions/billions spent by the IRS/government to solve 2000 in the current tax code is lost money.
If they would of bought new computers and programed them with a simpler tax code, billinos of $ could of been saved. Just leave the unresolved stuff on the existing system.
The current approach is what you get when your not spending your money and you can't be fired.Congress shows absoulty no leadership.


Message 65


12:02pm Jun 9, 1998 EST

By: kotsu

The Y2K scare is the biggest hoax of the decade.



Message 66


02:17pm Jun 9, 1998 EST

By: linux5

Not only is it the biggest hoax of the decade, but why are we still using twenty year old systems to run our lives? COBOL has been a DEAD language for years because of its obfuscated code. Why do so many places still run old programs designed under it? This also presents a good case for the open source code people (like me ;). If the sources were available, conversion would be a simple matter. I personally think this is a good time to start getting up to date software.



Message 67


03:49pm Jun 9, 1998 EST

By: aguerrero

Is the 2k year the last year of the XX century or the first one of XXI?

My opinion is that the first statement is the correct; there wasn't any year "0", the first year of the first millenium was the year "1", so, the year 2000 is just the last to complete the second millenium.

Is this correct? Many people arround the world is happy waiting for year 2000 as the new millenium; for me, they're whrong.

Alex, Costa Rica



Message 68


04:24pm Jun 9, 1998 EST

By: tawasson

linux5:

Not only is it the biggest hoax of the decade, but why are we still using twenty year old systems to run our lives? COBOL has been a DEAD language for years

Back around the early 1980s, the IRS had replace their computer systems. All code was written in assembly on Burroughs or Sperry machines. The decision was to purchase new machines of the same manufacturer, and recode all programs. A major Japanese company (Hitachi?) submitted the best bid. But since the nonsense called "Buy American" was so entrenched, the IRS purchased Sperry computers (before Unisys was created). The IRS's own consultants said that the Sperry equipment would require a additional 50% of the original purchase. The consultants were correct.

So the IRS started reprogramming. The rule was that all new code must work exactly as the old machine coded programs did (any doubt as to why a Year 2000 problem would continue?). This was an easy decision for management who did not come from where the work gets done. All machine code programmers were retaught a new high level language - COBOL.

Of course we know that COBOL requires more memory and creates larger programs. No problem. The IRS management solved that problem by purchasing more hardware from Sperry. No matter that Cobol was a terrible language to build new programs with in 1980s. The IRS proceded on.

85% of all problems are directly traceable to top management. The standard procedure is to enter 100 returns in a batch job. That was how the old programs ran. If the program discovered any errors in any of those 100 returns, then all 100 returns were rejected - a human had to study the pile of 100 to locate the failure - a typo or a taxpayer created problem.

As returns backed up, management then blamed employees. Many returns were discovered in the dumpsters - one way to report that all forms were being processed on schedule. This way the real source of the problem - top management - could not attack employees for the problems.

With top management this myopic, you then want them to plan for a Year 2000 problem? Wherever the Year 2000 problem occurs, the top management should be fired for incompetance. That is why the problem exists in isolated situations. If top management rewrites all their code in COBOL, then you know where the enemy of the operation is entrenched - probably with big salaries because they have Masters of Business Degrees.



Message 69


04:43pm Jun 12, 1998 EST

By: barryspatz

Hoax or Hype? Check out www.garynorth.com That is the center of the
cyclone on the web for info on Y2K. Also, new book by Jason Kelly called Y2K-It Already is too late. just came out. Hoax or Hype,
Fact or fiction? I don't know, but if I have to trust the government,
I am getting increasingly worried about it, and only 560+ days to go.



Message 70


08:58pm Jun 12, 1998 EST

By: rpontier

I can't believe there is nothing in today's NY Times about the
Senate hearings on y2k and the power grid! This probem could be
one of the largest we'll ever face in our life time and its not on
the front page; its not even burried in the back pages.
What's going on? RAP



Message 71


09:23pm Jun 12, 1998 EST

By: iceman99

From beyond the grave: "Turning and turning in the widening gyre
the falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center
cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
Surely some revelation or fix is at hand.....
The Irish poet Yeats recognized it a half century ago and gave
us this foreboding vision.
The y2k will yield to the 666!!



Message 72


03:57pm Jun 13, 1998 EST

By: hifries

Ya heard it from this old Georgia boy! They ain't gonna be able to "Fix It " without Bill Gates hep ! I can hardly wait for Janet Reno to call him 4 "HEP" -- Y'all come, Heah .-LOL



Message 73


10:33pm Jun 13, 1998 EST

By: vandelay

The year 2000 bug is a programming problem nothing else. It is not the end of the world and it is not a vast conspiracy. Unfortunatly solving it is one of the dullest things one can do with a computer and so to get good programmers to work on it companies will have to pay them a lot of money.



Message 74

03:14am Jun 15, 1998 EST

By: _____-

aguerrero 6/9/98 3:49pm

In computer programing the digits start with zero. Ten digits
are 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. The zero is indeed a digit and the first
item of ten items. How can zero be the last item in a decimal
based counting system? Are you a republican?

hifries 6/13/98 3:57pm
What in the hell does bill gates have to with y2k? What does
gates have to do with desktop computers real time clocks?
With the clocks in imbedded systems?
What does gates have to do with a motherboards cmos bios?
All gates does is refine other people's software. I don't doubt
that you are from georgia, you people elected newt gingrich.



Message 75


01:17pm Jun 15, 1998 EST

By: aguerrero

to woosleyPaddington: the one who started his or her life in year cero of his or her own calendar, the one who after living 12 months was just cero years old. I was talking in general, or the life is limited to computer programing? In that case lets talk about year 11010000. No I'm not republican, are you?



Message 76


02:14pm Jun 15, 1998 EST

By: mr206


Brooklyn Girl

Don't forget that sometimes mere pc users cause their own Y2K gliches. Before the turn, make sure that yourselves and any employees or employers you might have check their spreadsheets and databases to make sure that the dates in them are specified with 4 digits (e.g. dd/mm/yyyy) or if they are not, that it won't cause any problems. Simple example, does your access database tell you when to send Birthday Cards? If your Windows clock flips to 2000 and your database says that a card should be sent in January of 1900, your life will be affected! Check it out.


Message 77


05:37pm Jun 16, 1998 EST

By: howiehedd


>Ya heard it from this old Georgia boy! They ain't gonna be able to "Fix It " without Bill Gates hep ! I can hardly wait for Janet Reno to call him 4 "HEP" -- Y'all come, Heah .-LOL<<

Bill knows the answer is to BUY MACINTOSH maybe thats one reason Office 98 has been available for Mac for a few months, but the Winblows version isn't even on the radar screen. Maybe even Bill doesn't expect Winblows to last past 2K

> All gates does is refine other people's software.<<

What dictionary defines "refining" as stealing ideas and implementing them in a buggy and inefficient fashion?



Message 78

09:20am Jun 17, 1998 EST

By: bobcohen

The y2k phenomenon scares.

I recently watched CSPAN on presentation
at American Enterprise Institute.

Senator Robert Bennett of
Utah and others' speeches are quite alarmist.

I am aware of
what Gary North is doomsdayly
saying. He is advocating survivalist stuff.

Ed Yardeni, respected Wall Street
prognosticator, predicts recession at a minimum.

Supposedly the Asian
countries aren't doing much.

The interconnectedness or interdependencies of systems makes nearly everything
vulnerable.

TIME Magazine has a relatively upbeat anti-fear of y2k
article. But TIME writes the U.S. govt--most of its
agencies--is the least
prepared.

A scenario from TIME is that at the stroke of
midnite, some computers would be over-rode.

TIME says utility companies are particularly adaptive.

For me, TIME is not as persuasive as is Gary North.

Y2k ought to become an openly discussed public issue.
Maximal attention is warranted.



Message 79


01:36am Jun 19, 1998 EST

By: billofrights

The very fact that this forum is so-far so-small, seems to be proof that the mainstream media isn't giving it doesn't want to talk about it .....or they don't realize the far-reaching implications. Yes, Gary North's website is the best.<www.garynorth.com>. vandelay, though he y2k bug may not have been a NWO conspiacy(though I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it as such), you can bet your boots that they will surley take full advantage of it. This is no small problem.



Message 80


06:16pm Jun 19, 1998 EST

By: silverbear

Dear Folks

If you want to see upwards of a hundred postings a day go to comp.software.year-2000 and misc.survivalism. Please note that there are lot of highly caffeinated opinions there but the more I read the more I concede that something big will probably happen in 2000.

Gene Kimzey



Message 81


01:36am Jun 21, 1998 EST

By: leizi

The Y2k problem is a fake problem, it is a conspiracy of computer
industry and programming professionals to create fear in this contry
and the world so that they can get extra investment and employment
and boost their income.

The truth is, most of system's working does not depend on which year
they are in, and most systems aren't entirely automated now anyway
(at least with human supervision), the only major system that is affected is the bank and financial system because these depends on interest rates. However, the banks computer system is actually constantly changing, there are actually not so many old hardware and
software in use anyway. So the only thing need to be changed is
the data, but changing them is not difficult.

Don't be scared, the world will live on.



Message 82


07:30pm Jun 21, 1998 EST

By: vandelay

The only organization in serious year 2000 trouble is the IRS and that may not be a bad thing.



Message 83

03:11am Jun 22, 1998 EST

By: yog_sogoth

bobcohen 6/17/98 9:20am

I saw that show on c-span2. It was absurd. Some nutso right wing
republican senator prediciting the end of the known galaxy, if the
senate didn't approve a plan of letting a vast migration of indian
and pakastani programmers flood the market, working for one-third
the wages of US programmers to fix the end of the universe y2k
bug. These guys will do anything to lower wages of american
workers and make more profit. The american enterprise institute
is the equivalent of a right wing advocacy group. This is the most
overblown non-crisis is world history. The only problem is with some 4 and 8bit imbeded chips that might shut down if they periodically
test themselves for recent diagnostics and decide that they haven't
been checked for 99 years. How many power grids depend on a 4bit chip?
If they do, you should find out the company who uses them, march the
managers outside, blindfold them..............



Message 84


11:21am Jun 24, 1998 EST

By: bobcohen

Each of us could name dozens of problems and potential
problems about various phenomena.

If one truly contemplates all of
one's fears, one would feel ennui, helplessness & hopelessness,
and post pessimistic scenarios on nytimes forum.

The sky is eventually going to fall. Eventually a deliberate
or errant act of war or terrorism will occur.

Eventually a
natural astronomical, climatological, biological, ecological,
geological
et cetera catasrophe(s) is inevitable.

New viruses and mutating bugs aren't going away: Flu,
Mad Cow, ebola, AIDS, hepatitis, e coli, et cetera ad morte tout
le monde fini.
Everybody dies in the end.

Speilberg movie could be made about any of above, including
destruction of Florida from fires. Harrisson Ford &
Helen Hunt won't be there
to save us in real life, however.

Why can't they rig instant above-ground piping or many hoses, pump H2O
from the ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and massively
spray the wild
fires?

Wait: there's a point to this:
Jay Barbary on MSNBC says the fires are Mother Nature's
way to deal with the ecological balance, like the Yellowstone fires
rationale of a coupla years ago, which appears to have
proven-out.

Is there any comparative assertion to be made about the
ominous y2k?

There have got to be some side effect benefits.

Re: Excuse for importing of more Pakistini and
Indian programmers.

I would not deny y2k provides a convenient reason, though cannot thus
slough-off y2k. The Bennett speech seemed to me to be
prudent, moderate, convincing, reasonable, responsible,
in the public interest, and in good faith--as were the
other speakers.

Easy Prediction: There will be many more people posting to nyt forum topic about y2k.
The headlines are not yet bold enuff, and the public is still
relatively uninformed.



Message 85


04:32pm Jun 25, 1998 EST

By: sammyd6

I recently had the opportunity to ask a high level programer and cryptologist at a large Connecticut insurance company if this whole Y2K thing wasn't being blown out of proportion by the paranoid, technophobic, general public and crisis-hungry media.

Her reply was "Long before the stroke of midnight I'll have all my assets in cash and diamonds".....spooky.

Sam Dushkin



Message 86


02:48am Jun 26, 1998 EST

By: yog_sogoth

sammyd6 6/25/98 4:32pm

About a week before the millenium change, withdraw cash from your atm,
if you live in the north get a kerosene heater with fuel for about
a week or so, and most importantly GET ALL of your prescription
medicine refilled. DO NOT wait until the last day. It also wouldn't
be a bad idea to stock up on two weeks worth of groceries. If your
local pharmacy and/or supermarket doesn't experience problems (which is very unlikely), it won't make any difference, but if they DO, it
might save you a lot of misery.



Message 87


11:42am Jun 27, 1998 EST

By: bobcohen

I now bring to your attention an opinion article that was in the editorial pages of the WALL STREET JOURNAL
a week or so ago by a Mr. Bernstein. He says
that puter-savy terrorists may
opportunistically saboutage & wreak havoc deliberately:
The downfall of civilization by-way-of insidious viruses
and traps. Programmers whom despise whatever they may despise
might be fowling (fouling?) even as I write this paranoiac
note.

The Millenium could become a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.
There are fanatics & nuts, religious & secular, who have varied
scores to settle.

Tragically:
Mankind is the Balkans Peoples. Revengefulness
and neo-barbarianism can be meted-out via labor-saving
contraptions. Ahhh. Perhaps neo-Luddite programmers a la the Unibomber
... .



Message 88


01:38am Jun 28, 1998 EST

By: casper974

Big Bad Bug......... The Y2K bug is mean. And ugly. And one mother of a problem.Do this do that and what have you got? Jan. 1 2000 will tell the story(if there's one to tell). Oh what a mess!!!...... Help me Mr. Wizard,help me Mr. Wizard........"


Message 89


10:28am Jun 28, 1998 EST

By: vandelay

Somehow this year 2000 bug has played into the hands of all kinds of assorted nuts, none of whom knows anything about computers or computer programming. The fear simply plays into their preconceived fears paranoia and hatred.



Message 90


04:34pm Jun 28, 1998 EST

By: just_john

(pre-post-postmodern)

vandelay 6/28/98 10:28am

... and meanwhile, the people actually working on the problem (such as it is) are prevented from talking publicly about the specifics by their companies' non-disclosure agreements ...



Message 91


10:41pm Jun 29, 1998 EST

By: casper974

You don't have to be a computer programmer to be able to discuss the Y2K bug.Research the various websites pertaining to this issue and you'll soon see that there are many concerned people.Nobody really knows the end result ramifications of this bug but you can bet that its starting to become a top priority issue in the business world.Its too bad this bug wasn't disposed of years ago because now with this looming sense of urgency it just makes the future seem a bit more complicated.



Message 92

08:26am Jun 30, 1998 EST

By: charlesmhoppel

Even had we not invented computers we would still have the Y2K problem (although we would not call it that). Because I am in the business I have begun to notice all of the other places this "bug" has been embedded in our lives. I just filled out the NJ required health insurance form which has no place for 4 digit years even in the birthdays (which of course have extended across the 1900 boundary since insurance forms were invented). This one, at least, is not the fault of us programmers - just normal bureaucrats "saving" paper. Of course I can force the NJ form by writting "1983" real tiny in the space for the year of my son's birth. Equivalent programming tricks which are being applied today will work just about as well.



Message 93


11:06am Jun 30, 1998 EST

By: rguidry3

The most frightening thing about the Y2K bug is that it has the potential to infiltrate into nearly every aspect of our daily lives, damaging every industry in our world from shipping to electrical power generation.

The fact is, our world has become so technology reliant that we have built ourself into a corner. If the technology fails, then there is no plan B. Every industry is reliant on another industry to provide needed resources. For example, the electric power industry is reliant on the rail and shipping industries to provide shipments of coal and other natural resources for energy production. Due to Just-In-Time thinking, most power generating stations only have a few weeks worth of needed supplies on hand. On the other hand, the rail and shipping insdustries rely on the electrical power they receive to power their scheduling systems and their warehouse inventory control systems. If one industry fails, the dominoes will begin to fall.

The GM strike is a perfect example of how Y2K may affect businesses on a global scale. The walkout in Flint, MI, has affected all but 3 (last I heard) production facilities in Northern America - 2 in Nashville and 1 in Canada, putting close to 300,000 GM employees out of work.

The potential for the impact of Y2K is tremendous.

Randy Guidry

Managing Editor, Y2K News Magazine

randy@y2knews.com

http://www.y2knews.com



Message 94


10:58am Jul 1, 1998 EST

By: jlcaruso1

There is a cure for the 2000 bug. It is called "2000 Compliance Pro!"
I recently found out about a small company in Florida who has developed this piece of software which not only fixes the software problem but the hardware problem too. Visit thier web site www.computer-people.com! They have entire page dedicated to telling how the software works and how much it costs!


Message 95


11:35am Jul 1, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

jlcaruso1 7/1/98 10:58am

Well, gosh! I guess we can close the forum and replace it with that announcement!



Message 96


11:44am Jul 1, 1998 EST

By: nfgaida

If everyone panics, withdraws their money, and holes up, we are going to have a real big mess. But if we stop thinking about ourselves, and make a consious effort to help, we won't have a hard time at all. However, I doubt that most people will bother to help anyone else. This is because human nature is greedy and selfcentered. We are not going to live in the same world after 2000. Hopefully it will still be livable, but most likely, the world will be reduced to a chaos that it will not rise from for quite some time.

nfgaida@csbsju.edu



Message 97


02:25pm Jul 1, 1998 EST

By: tbriden1

"We are not going to live in the same world after 2000. Hopefully it will still be livable, but most likely, the world will be reduced to a chaos that it will not rise from for quite some time."

Y2K - potentially damaging technological problem OR convenient platform on which to project crackpot fin-de-siecle Doomday predictions? You decide.



Message 98


02:32pm Jul 1, 1998 EST

By: cuchulane

After much studying of the Y2K problem from a wide variety of sources I am quite convinced we are headed for drastic difficulties ahead. But unlike most people who believe that in the face of this dilemma all the worst aspects of society will instantly come to the surface and humankind will turn in on itself and self-destruct, I tend to believe that our society and other societies will pull together to persevere. For every catastrophy, disaster, plague, war, crises and hardship to have befallen societies, those same societies have shown the ability to pull together and rise above it. Life goes on, often changed for the better after such an event. My only wish is that public awareness would be greatly increased now to lessen the psychological impact later.



Message 99

02:46pm Jul 1, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

tbriden1 7/1/98 2:25pm

Perhaps a public weaned on a steady diet of disaster movies craves an opportunity to panic on a really grand scale?



Message 100


03:46pm Jul 1, 1998 EST

By: dhz157

Does anyone know which *embedded* systems might be affected in the office or home? Refrigerators? Microwaves? Telephones? Are there any steps the average consumer can take to minimize the problem?



Message 101


06:18pm Jul 1, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

Regarding microprocessors and firmware -- or, as nhsrikanth so quaintly terms it, "firmwares" -- what was bothering me at the back of my mind has finally made its way to the front.

The Y2k problem is only a problem when we consider the date in decimal. Processors don't naturally do that -- they think of the date as a number of ticks from an arbitrary point in time (which varies, depending on manufacturer). This is kept internally, and not in decimal -- 1:00 1/1/2000 probably takes up exactly the same room as 1:00 12/31/1999.

(To get a look at something similar, check out MS Excel's way of storing timestamps. You can do this by changing the format of a field that has a calculated date to "General.")

The Y2k problem doesn't happen except when expressing the date in decimal, so if there's no reason to do that (as with electric shavers and half the other stuff nhsrikanth was going on about), there's NO Y2K PROBLEM WITH THAT DEVICE.

And for microprocessors with limited memory, converting to decimal would be the LAST thing a programmer would do, if she didn't have to. If something requires a real-world interval to be expressed, the programmer figures out the number of ticks in that interval and hard codes it in.

(And by the way, nhsrikanth has yet to come up with that list of specific products he/she thinks will fail.)



Message 102


07:46pm Jul 1, 1998 EST

By: nfiertel

There is no Millennium bug where I reside...a Mac world does not have such stupidities nor the expenses of updating antique applications and computers. Why in the world the business community fell for lousy technology is beyond me...or is it? Maybe it is because they misinterpreted ease of use for a lack of sophistication? Alas, for your businesses as mine is up and running and will be without additional expenses due to Y2K. Go Macintosh and really use a computer for what it is intended...productivity.



Message 103


01:44am Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: engro

The y2k bug will not bring the apocalypse, as expessed in may of the posts. It will most likely affect banks and government agencies more than anything else. Social Security might not get checks out on time. Your bank might produce a blank statement. How many of us have had their clock or calendar incorrect on their PC? many I'm sure.



Message 104


02:31am Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: scott953

scoobie-we recently went through a major storm here in the midwest, cutting power to everyone in the area. although some stores closed, many stayed open recording sales with pen and paper. this is not the answer to the problem, but an example that the quest for profit will always find a way. life goes on without computers, maybe just not as easily.



Message 105


04:18am Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: oneumann

The Y2K PC bug is pure speculation in relation to stand alone personal computing. I agreed it will be critical for accounting purposes, mortgages and loans.

At the present time when I am typing this message, my PC clock shows 12:03 AM of January 1st, 2000 and it still running ! ! !

Hasta la vista,

Otto Neumann - Canada



Message 106


08:15am Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

oneumann 7/2/98 4:18am

Yup, a friend became a lot less paranoid about it when I sent him email from April of 2000.



Message 107


10:40am Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: cuchulane

Some people seem to be confusing the desktop computer world with the larger computers that actually run our society. Most of these large antiquated systems were developed decades before Mac's or PC's.Any PC manufactured after 1996 is Y2K compliant. But the 1.5 million computers the Department of Defense, or those used by the FAA, or the utility companies, the phone companies, the major corporations, are not PC's and are not Y2K compliant. If you do not believe it, look at the General Accounting Office website of the Federal government to see the current state of the Y2K situation. Even the government says it looks bleak and are making contingency plans for when their systems shut down. The same goes for state governments. The official Massachusettes Y2K government website estimates less than 40% of their systems will be operational on 1-1-00. If there is no problem, why are large corporations spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to fix it? These corporations have never been known to throw away money needlessly, they are convinced of the necessity. The FAA is considering grounding all flights the 1st week of 2000. A recent news article showed that 3M corp had their main computer system freeze up when they tried to enter their material orders up through 2000. The prove is out there for the public to see, not just on the "extremists" sites but on the government sites, the utilities and business reporting sites. Check "http://pw2.netcom.com/~helliott/00.htm" the Mother of All Y2K Link Centers for links to all these sites. Do not be lulled into thinking your desktop computer is indicative of the world at large. And check with General Motors to see if they can go back to working by pen and paper.



Message 108


10:56am Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

cuchulane 7/2/98 10:40am

That's a far cry from claiming that electric shavers and heart pacemakers will all seize up on 1/1/2000, as some people are doing.

A recent news article showed that 3M corp had their main computer system freeze up when they tried to enter their material orders up through 2000.

... and you'll note that 3M is still in business. They found a glitch, they fixed it, they moved on ...



Message 109


01:56pm Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: turrentb

Having worked on year 2000 assessment and testing for the last 2 years, some things must be noted:
(1) Not all PCs after 1996 can be guaranteed compliant. Compaq only guarantees its PCs after Oct. 1997. For most people, the problem with a PC BIOS may only require that the clock is reset after 1/1/2000.

(2) Year 2000 problems may exist in ANY program. For example, older versions of some spreadsheets (Lotus 1-2-3) interpret a 2 digit year as 19xx. Thus a spreadsheet with date calculations can be wrong. This can also apply to a MAC (though the MAC OS is OK).

(3) Embedded chips with problems are most likely to cause problems with manufacturing and infrastructure (utilities) if not identified and corrected in time.

The problem is bigger than most people think.



Message 110


02:02pm Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)


Year 2000 problems may exist in ANY program.

No, only in programs that do something involving dates. Or can you provide a counterexample?


Message 111


02:54pm Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: corp2000

Good day to you,

My organization has been researching the global business implications of the
Year 2000 for the past two years. We have now completed infra-structures studies
in eight major cities including New York, where we started the first
User Group back in Nov 1996.

For information on how the Year 2000 crisis could impact our community
please refer to www.corp2000.com/urbanville.htm

Kind regards

Martyn Emery
President
Corporation 2000 & New York 2000



Message 112

03:08pm Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: kbrittin

#100

Regarding embedded processors and consumers, I recommend the article "Embedded Chips - Dispelling Some Myths" in the May/June 1998 issue of The Year 2000 Journal. This article discusses a process of assessing risk pertaining to embedded systems. This publication is available online at www.y2kjournal.com - this particular issue is not yet posted online (as of July 2, 1998).

For folks intending to purchase products such as PCs, software, and other products that use processors, I recommend checking prospective vendor's internet sites for relevant year 2000 "readiness" indormation as a starting point. Look for a vendor's definition of year 2000 "compliance" or "readiness" as there is no U.S. standard definition. Both computer hardware and software may have date issues.
The site www.nstl.com has a download for testing PC (so-called IBM compatable) hardware and a white paper explaining the date issues and risks in performing date tests. Microsoft has also published warnings on the risks of advancing dates on PCs.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has posted vendors' responses regarding medical equipment to their site at www.fda.gov. (Then search "year 2000"). Note that the FDA "cannot and does not make any independent assurances or
guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this data."

In general, consumers need to educate themselves on the issues. The site http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov/mks/yr2000/y2khome.htm has links to many relevant internet sites. There is a lot for consumers to learn to reduce their year 2000 date risks.



Message 113


06:47pm Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: mahlmda

Hey!!! Good Afternoon. Glad to make your acquaintance,electronically
speaking. Our dependence on electronic "gadgets" is here to stay and it will become more pervasive as we zoom past the year 2000.



Message 114


08:54pm Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: illinilfl

Why wouldn't a universally agreeded upon arbitrary letter or number work ? 20L1...



Message 115


08:57pm Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: cuchulane


>>... and you'll note that 3M is still in business. They found a glitch, they fixed it, they moved on ...<<<<

Who said they fixed it? While the company is not out of business yet, they also had to rush out and hire dozens of IT people they hadn't known they needed and had to cancel the order inputs. This was just the first glitch to pop up, what about when all the others surface. And this is happening to many more companies now also, according to Business Weekly, Fortune Magazine, Investor Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and other trade magazines. It is starting to snowball and there simply are not enough IT people to go around. Please check the URL site in my previous post for a directory of these magazine articles.



Message 116


09:56pm Jul 2, 1998 EST

By: putnam1c

how good is zitel's y2k solution?



Message 117


01:19am Jul 3, 1998 EST

By: casper974

GM has 2 billion lines of code and 100,000 suppliers that must be 100% compliant by 01/01/2000. Is this feasible?



Message 118


06:07am Jul 3, 1998 EST

By: corp2000

RE: For GM it's not just Y2k compliance.
It is worth noting that the year 2000 will lead to one of the greatest
wealth and market transfer periods since the industrial revolution.
GM will be hit by the fact that during periods of systemic failure,
such as those experience in the Canadian ice storms auto sells slump.

Perhaps the year 2000 will herald the age of the industrial devolution
where smaller knowledge based units will thrive.

Kind regards

Martyn Emery
Corporation 2000



Message 119


11:56am Jul 3, 1998 EST

By: cuchulane

Just a note to people who advance their system clock past 2000 to see if it is compliant. This is not an accurate indicator...your BIOS chips must coordinate the date with your system clock. To do an actual test, set your system clock to Dec 31, 1999 11:57 PM, then completely shut down your system. Wait about 5 minutes then restart your system. Your BIOS chip will coordinate the time with the system and the BIOS will now think it's past the 2000 date. WARNING - on non-compliant systems you could develop major problems. Do a system backup first! Also on all systems be prepared for lots of warning windows from applications telling you this or that has expired. When you reset your clock they should disappear. Most but not all 1996 and later systems should be OK.



Message 120

07:50pm Jul 3, 1998 EST

By: sharpeagle

someone made the suggestion:
Why wouldn't a universally agreeded upon arbitrary letter or number work ? 20L1...

While this is a nice idea it will not work. Most computers store the
2 digit year as a number not a character and it will not work. It is
like putting a square plug in a round hole. The computer can not store
it unless the year is converted to a alphanumeric field which will
work but then you will have to do some creative subtraction to find
the difference in someone's age. 20L1 - 1945 would come out strange
unless you say if the year is L1 replace it with 00 and do the subtraction. Still would have to be reprogrammed either way. It should
be changed the correct way which is to store the year as 2000.



Message 121


10:32pm Jul 3, 1998 EST

By: cuchulane

OK, I just found out that the before mentioned method of date checking may not reveal a true BIOS problem. There is a definitive BIOS checking program that can be downloaded for free from www.rightime.com. In case you are wondering if it will always read a failure in order to sell their corrective program, my system passed the two tests it ran. (whew!)



Message 122


10:34am Jul 5, 1998 EST

By: koivulaw2000

Seems there is a lot of cheap "talk" about the obvious perils of Y2K, yet so few are doing any real individual "planning" to confront what many now agree is the inevitable collapse of the stock market by late 1999, probable widespread electrical blackouts, massive bank runs, and that is just for starters. Wait 'til 50 million welfare & Social Security checks fail to arrive -- then you will have a serious societal meltdown which will make the Great Depression look like a time of Great Prosperity in comparison.

To those rare and prescient few who want to begin their own serious contingency planning, we may be able to help each other. I am currently constructing my own Y2K Sanctuary on 1 of my 2 contiguous 35 acre parcels set in the most serene, secluded and beautiful area of the southern Colorado Rockies. The property functions perfectly on solar & wind power although traditional electric power is readily available. The property adjoins more than 2,000,000+ acres of federal land, including the San Isabel National Forest, the Sangre de Cristo National Wilderness Area and the Greenhorn National Wilderness Area. It is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains about 90 miles north of Taos, New Mexico and 80 miles southwest of Colorado Springs. Wildlife proliferates, including elk, mule deer, wild turkey, eagles & lots of hummingbirds. Aspen trees are everywhere, water is cold & clear, sun shines 320+ days of the year and gardening is good.

I am looking to sell my other 35 acre parcel to a well educated and prudent individual or family that is very "Y2K Aware" and who would make a good steward of this land as well as a good neighbor thru Y2K & Beyond. I can forward to you by email a detailed 6 page informational letter as well as color photos if your email system can handle "attachments".

Serious inquiries only. Please contact me at:

koivulaw@mci2000.com

This may well save your Life . . .



Message 123


11:15am Jul 5, 1998 EST

By: mark517

This forum caught my eye because I have been performing consulting work for the past nine months to "fix" the Y2K problem. FWIW, I have recently come to the realization that most, if not all, of our efforts (nobody but us COBOL dinosaurs here...) is a case of too little, too late. The two major corporations (insurance and banking) that I was working for are beginning to (internally) panic -- i.e., many executive-level clients are beginning to snap at employees and raise their voices, argue very loudly (almost hysterically) in meetings, and point fingers at everyone in sight... As well they should! Not only their jobs but also their companies are part of the "dominoe chain" in danger of total or partial collapse.

Me? I am considering moving my family back to the mid-west and working for my Uncle on the farm.


Message 124


01:17pm Jul 5, 1998 EST

By: dbbishop

It appears many have been reading Gary North. Not to appear superficially naive, but has anyone considered the ability of the human spirit to perservere through advirsity?
So what if the world's computers crash? Did civilization not exist prior to 1953? Maybe some opportunists can cash in on the "mop-up",
but I fail to see how the Human Species will crash along with their networks...



Message 125


04:23pm Jul 5, 1998 EST

By: dchristi2000

Of course we'll survive--the problem is that economic downturn, if not slowed, tends to bring on more economic downturn, which leads to depression. The *spirit* may survive, but some of us aren't looking forward to losing those creature comforts we love so much...for instance, who knows if I will have the extra cash to spend on an ISP so I can communcate with others without having to know their phone number first? I'm not expecting an apocalypse, but there is certainly room in society now for things to get much, much worse than they are now. And, considering the recent riots in South Asia and the less recent riots in California, it's possible that anything could happen when we find we need someone to blame.



Message 126


05:29pm Jul 5, 1998 EST

By: ekn_43

WE WILL SURVIVE OF COURSE!

We survived the depression and WWII (most of us) and we will survive the Y2k bug. But it's my guess that it will be an experience that we will not cherish.



Message 127


05:39pm Jul 5, 1998 EST

By: jbrit1

EZ 2 see the roots of Y2K

Question: How is it that 5 or 10 years ago the world's managers were
unable to foresee a huge risk to their operations when virtually every
entry level programmer in their employ understood it perfectly.

As Winston Churchill's once said after a major disaster:

"I ought to have known, my advisors ought to have known, and I ought
to have been told and I ought to have asked."

Anyone who seeks understanding of how we could find ourselves in a
situation where countless computers in the world could malfunction
simultaneously need go no farther than the morning's Dilbert cartoon.

The depiction of the relationship of the manager and his technical
staff is a quite accurate description of - if not the world of today -
certainly the world of management from the 50's to the 80's when the
old COBOL programs were being written.

Back then there was probably not one senior manager in a thousand who
could have grasped this problem if it was explained to him and it is
even less likely that any of his programmers would have wanted to
explain it, - or been able to if they did. Back then it was the common
lament that we could never get programmers to document their programs
for love or money. They just refused. So programmers in the next
cubicle let alone managers in the upstairs offices were usually
clueless about what was going on within those programs, for dates or
anything else.

Having been involved in several large attempts to reconcile systems
and programs across department lines I well remember how difficult it
was when everyone programmed in COBOL for fellow programmers to figure
out some program written the next cubicle.

That was why it was normal for programmers to be on call 24 hours a
day and to rush in in the middle of the night when one of their
routines hung up. Nobody else had a clue as to how to fix someone
else's program. Why do you think that the first employees to stop
wearing ties were programmers, they always had management over a
barrel and they knew it. I even knew of situations where programmers
literally punched out a boss and got away with it. Management was
always afraid of programmers and management ignorance was the primary
way they maintained their freedom. It is not well understood that
computer shops are the last bastions of absolute freedom in large
corporations and maybe the world, because management never ever really
knew what those employees were were actually doing all day long.

So for decades we have allowed a situation to develop where the daily
performance and design of key operational management functions and the
duties of some of their key staff are essentially incomprehensible and
unknowable to top staff. A recent study showed only a small percent of
top management even could explain what a modem does. How could they
possibly understand the problems within the coding of programs. The
problem was never really that Y2K was a problem far, far, off in the
distant future so they overlooked it. Managers worry all the time
about problems far off in the future. It is commonplace for senior
management to plan for and carefully calculate for risks and for
opportunities 5, 10 or 20 years out into the future. In fact these
future value/risk calculations are the basis of all investment
decisions and of course insurance and actuarial science itself.

We are simply going to reap the fruits of 40 years of management
incompetence.

Well, here are a few insights and recommendations.

1. On the magic hour, the problem may not just be computers that
crash, - everyone will be on guard for blank screens and error
messages, - but rather computers that don't. Many computers will have
serious Y2K problems but just keep on working and simply pass their
badly computed data to other systems that depend on them for an input.

Computers with Y2K problems today that create anecdotes



Message 128


05:40pm Jul 5, 1998 EST

By: cuchulane

To dbbishop:
civilization certainly did exist before 1953 and will afterwards also, but we could be talking a shift more to the level of 1853 if the utilities are as much in danger as even some conservative sources estimate. While civilization will go on, you must be able to imagine the upheaval process as being dramatic in turning society back 100 years in one night. I have read Dr Norths website but also every other available Y2K website I could to have as balanced a view as possible. I must say that the information in "official" sites such as the General Accounting Office of the federal government and my own state's site (Ma.) are starting to become as alarming as Gary North's. The same goes for "respectable" sites such as CNN, ABC, NYTimes, etc. At first many of the news stories were of the line of "could Y2K be as bad as..." or "Some analysts warn of..." but lately more stories are appearing in the mainstream media of actual failures of systems and dire results of industry testing. I started following this issue quite awhile ago with a skeptical view towards the "crackpot gloom & doom" crowd. Now I have a hand pump on my well, bought a wood burning cookstove, and am storing food. To follow the mainstream press clippings related to Y2K for yourself, got to http://www.year2000.com/articles/NFarticles.html



Message 129


09:36pm Jul 5, 1998 EST

By: f12345

foerch-0930PM 5July98-I'm sure a good part of my audience is much better educated than I am but this whole Y2K problem is just a natural for the old go-sub routines we used back when we programmed in basic. First we write one common routine to correct the problem. Then we go over all our programs and throw in a go-sub every time a date is mentioned. Isn't there some merit in that?



Message 130


02:28am Jul 6, 1998 EST

By: gmpierce

f12345

It would be nice if it were that easy. In the real world the statement might look like 'calculate (date2 - date1) * principal * rate'. Where do you put the gosub?

Even if it worked, someone would still have to go through all of the program code to figure out which lines need to be changed -- and that of course, is the essense of the problem.

In theory, you could write a computer program to examine each program and determine what lines have to be changed. In practice, I could come up with a couple of dozen coding tricks that programmers used to save memory and time back in the bad old days. Any of these tricks would deceive the program that is searching for problems.

Some old programming languages had built in limits on how large a particular piece of a program could be. In rare cases, ANY change to the program might make it non-functional. Unfortunately, one non-functional program can make a system of 200 programs useless.

However you look at it it's a mess. A good programmer can find any number of interesting and challenging projects that pay anywhere from 60 to 120 dollars per hour.

It takes a lot more than this to motivate those who still have the skills. Hardly anyone wants to work on a tedious, boring conversion project.



Message 131


01:01pm Jul 6, 1998 EST

By: nilent

jbrit1 7/5/98 5:39pm

Excellent analysis. I agree with you as far as you go.

I would take it a few steps deeper...Why is it that we have an economic/legal/political system that reward$ people mightily for doing things that engender short term profits at the expense of loooong term efficiency/benefits? ...that rewards people for "creating" little fiefdoms of "expertise" thay can leverage into dollars or power? ...that punishes people for caring about the future, or for seeing a more wholistic perspective that goes beyond their personal career, or department, or ("heaven" forbid) their

company or
nation???

I invite your responses to the above questions.

I have my own answers (and they go far beyond blaming programmers, or even "management") but they go against the grain of what most people "want to hear", and am reluctant to waste my cyber-"breath". <g>

Ciao



Message 132


01:08pm Jul 6, 1998 EST

By: illinilfl

Ref. Sharpeagle # 120 ( #114 ) Some " creative subtraction " may be necessary. I agree with you about fixing the hardware properly , but a software solution for obsolite systems before they are phased out or repaired is a task that should be presented to the pros that "designed in " this " obsolescence " I assume after everything Crashes we can revive The Pony express and start over.



Message 133


07:10am Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: rjb156b

Question? Y2K Problem:

Can a programmer"Upgrade" the existing Software in the CPs to:
"READ THE LAST TWO DIGITS OF DATES TO FOUR DIGITS OF DATES"? If not, Why?

Regards, RJ



Message 134

12:53pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: marky1b

The great irony in the Y2K problem is that countries that are the least reliant on technology have the least exposure to whatever doomsday scenario may develop.

When one stops to think that power generation, transportation, food production, etc., etc., may be gravely affected, s/he may ask: when did this "infiltration" of computers into the most minute aspects of our existence occur? If this rug is suddenly pulled out from under us, what will happen?



Message 135


01:07pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

Well, it is a long time since I visited this forum and the activity level seems to have picked up.

Just-john:

I don't know what is it I promised you that I did not deliver (if you just asked me a question and expected an answer, tough luck, it is my prerogative to answer).

I don't know how a person who projects to be "intelligent" could be so bone headed. You keep harping about the "right way" to have designed firmware and expect everyone to have followed that way. It is the same as expecting every COBOL programmer to have used 4 digits year on the first place. All that I am saying is, my field experience indicate that numerous firmware (that go into appliances) were not programmed the right way. If you choose not to believe, be my guest. I and my company are under various non-disclosure agreements that prohibit me from naming any manufacturer/make/model of potentially defective appliances.



Message 136


01:17pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)


All that I am saying is, my field experience indicate that numerous firmware (that go into appliances) were not programmed the right way.

But to have a Y2k "bug" in anything that doesn't translate internal timestamp formats into decimal text isn't just bad programming -- it's deliberate sabotage.


Message 137


01:19pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

Just-John:

May be you can go to court with that argument when your appliance fails.



Message 138


01:53pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: pduer

I am part of a Y2K team, and I have been reading these posts with interest. I agree with those who say the Y2K problem is not much of a technical challenge. The real challenge is to the management staff. The deadline can't be moved, and in an industry where over half the projects are delivered late, that's a real problem. Moreover, nearly every company in the world (at least, those that use computers) has the same deadline, so they're all trying to hire the same people at the same time. There aren't enough good people to go around (now there's a truism for you), so costs go sky high. Finally, if the program crashes (or worse, pumps out bad data that looks good), someone is going to sue you - the legal costs are predicted to be more than than the conversion costs! If there ever was a disincentive to move into management, this must be it.



Message 139


02:19pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: evanmoore

As the lead member of our Y2K team, I have to comment on this. From my perspective, it is more a matter of tracking down the paper-trail to prove that current software, firmware or hardware is or is not comliant that is the real labor eater. Once you have determined compliancy, it is usually a simple matter to make a decision. In our company, for instance, minimum necessity to bring us into compliance will be just under $10,000 for the hardware, software and firmware--but almost double that number in the labor costs to determine what needed to be done. So, for $30,000 we know that we're safe. But, is the customer we connect to investing this amount to make sure they are safe? Are our suppliers investing enough to verify that they are safe? Is our ISP making sure that they are safe?

I think the Y2K issue leads quickly into a licensing question as well as warranty and support questions. Personally, I believe that if you purchase a license to use a company's software, that holds them liable to guarantee that the product will perform properly until the license is no longer active. In the future, I'm sure you will see licensing which is only valid for X years. We already see support handled in this way.

Let me point out one thing to mull over--the only people who are screaming that this Y2K issue is of such tantamount importance are those who make the big bucks consulting with governments and companies to "verify compliance". The only people who scream about it are those who are making a living based upon everyone's paranoia. Yes, there will be some bumps. No, society as we know it will not come to a crashing halt.

Next time you see "chicken-little" screaming about the "Millenium Bug", ask yourself what that person does for a living. If they make money fixing the problem they're complaining about, then take what they say not with a grain of salt--rather, use the whole salt-shaker.



Message 140

03:07pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: bonno19

As a student in a Y2K COBOL programming course, I am very converned at the lack of Y2K training facilities available. By the time the governments decide that there is a real problem, their efforts at subsidizing programmer training will come too late. To my knowledge, there are only three colleges in all of Canada providing specific Y2K training today, and one or two private institutions, with little or no govt subsidies. While I might benefit from the Y2K problem in the short term as a programmer, I think that there is a real concern that the situation will turn into a full-blown crisis of global proportions, and people and governments had better wake up fast. In the long run, we will all be losers.



Message 141


04:22pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: zanzibar2

From a writer's perspective -- what a smashing conclusion to this millennium to have everything simply wind down and stop -- with aboriginal people being the least impacted by the Y2K bug. It's back to the caves, folks! Anyone got some budget class links for B&B's among the non-digital tribes starting 12/31/99 to at least 11:59 PM on 01/01/2000???


Message 142


08:21pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: casper974

It has come to my understanding that a lot of people don't really care about the Y2k bug.They feel that statements from their banks reassuring them that every thing is under control is proof enough.They feel that just because they've recently been issued a credit card with a 2000 expiry date that every thing is being blown out of proportion.They feel that the hydro companies couldn't afford to lose great deals of money due to a blackout and are not going to let that happen.I call this surface knowlege.The deeper you go into Y2k the more knowledge you will acquire.But the the problem with this is that you might not like this type of knowledge.Some of it tastes sweet but most of it has an uncertain questionable taste that may leave you a bit nauseous.And the remaining parts, well, keep a barf bag handy.Sure ,I can see that the centrifical force of their thinking relating to their perception of the world and their world is not one to be easily swayed.Nobody likes to be told that their future might be taking an unexpected detour to which they have no control over.But the truth is that Y2k will first give us warning signs beginning Jan.1/1999.Some computer programs interpret 99 or 9/99 or 9/9/99 to execute the command to delete files,end the program,return to start of program or mean infinity.Should be interesting.Then on April 1/99 New York State begins programming for fiscal 2000 along with the IRS doing the same on July 1/99.On Aug.22/99 the GPS satellite system will rollback its tracking programs to 1980.The magnitude of the problems this will cause is unknown and still hotly debated.In conclusion,all I can say is that time will tell whether Y2k is just an overblown,overhyped computer problem or that you should get ready to fasten your seatbelt.



Message 143


08:29pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: cuchulane


>>Next time you see "chicken-little" screaming about the "Millenium Bug", ask yourself what that person does for a living. If they make money fixing the problem they're complaining about, then take what they say not with a grain of salt--rather, use the whole salt-shaker.<<<

This was my original thoughts on Y2K also, that it was an exploitation scheme by analysts and programmers. As I read more and more reports, though, the "chicken-littles" started to become high ranking CEO's, engineers, critical systems operators, utility heads, defense department heads, high ranking military personelle, respected analysts, respected scientists, the GAO, entire foreign governments, our own senate and house members, top level engineers from such corporations as the major car companies, heads of national and international banking, etc... soon enough those warning of the dire consequences of Y2K stopped sounding like the proverbial "chicken-little" and those denying the tantamount importance of Y2K started sounding more like the proverbial "ostrich with it's head in the sand."



Message 144


11:39pm Jul 7, 1998 EST

By: jhorne1b

In a society that touts itself as being so technologically advanced, it is interesting to note:

1. How IGNORANT people (even those presumably technically knowledgeable) are about the extent of the remediation effort required or how extensive the damage will be. Reading the 10K reports for May 1998 for Exxon, Amoco, and other major refineries, along with Sprint doesn�t give any reassurance. They all admit to possible major disruptions, especially because of third party software.

2. Utter chaos reigns in most software production environments. Software is often produced under factory-like conditions with the dictum of get it out the door to beat the competitor. Patches are afterthoughts. My experiences doing technical documentation are riddled with disaster scenarios. For example, AT&T canned its $26 million ASOS OA&M program upon which Pacific Bell of California was to depend because of this mentality. Professional staff fled Cary, NC�s Advanced Software Construction Center in 1996 because of the blow-up. AMEX�s Information Processing Center in Phoenix, AZ in 1996 was constantly getting junk user manuals because of an outright refusal on the part of management to pay attention to documentation standards. One of their economic "solutions" was to cram six operations managers and documentation staff into a 13 x 26 foot room. In another job I, knowing little about programming, crashed Nortel�s DMS-100 switch GUI TWICE just by dinking on the keyboard. Ask these organizations whether they will guarantee Y2K compliance.

3. There is very little long range planning in this country, and we fail to learn from our mistakes. Witness the oil/gas crisis of 1974 with no current energy policy. We saw the Y2K problem long ago and in enough time to start remediation, as evidenced by the Social Security Administrations efforts to implement fixes.

4. Never once have I seen ANY software package shipped on time or without serious defects. I am aware of UNIX bugs that allow a complete stranger to get super user status by appropriate buffer overloads. One software trouble report at a major computer manufacture rated this as a medium problem with an admission that the problem could not be resolved.

These are situations in a normal production environment. Add the stress of mandatory Y2K deadline and the lack of immediate profit incentive, plus the CYA syndrome of managers, does one seriously expect that all of even the MAJOR pieces of this huge interdependent system will interoperate without utter collapse? Neural network and automata theorists might argue that enough erratically acting nodes of such a large net as is the computer network we have today could create very chaotic interactions within the system. With 80-90% of the net running satisfactorily, even a 10% breakdown could wreak havoc. Note the downed nuclear reactor (ONE node) a week or so ago that caused the whole power grid in the midwest to switch to a rationing mode. Everyone was advised to conserve power. Remember the West in 1996? The East Coast power grid in 1965? All were automata-type problems.

...and I havent even talked about embedded chips.

If youd like to communicate with me, I am reachable at: jhorne1@cris.com.

My website is http://www.concentric.net/~jhorne1.

Enjoy now peoples while you�re fat.

Jeremy Horne, Ph.D.



Message 145


03:14am Jul 8, 1998 EST

By: howdydoodie

jhorne1b 7/7/98 11:39pm

Chris, you think unix is bad, windows NT servers have holes the
size of wyoming in their root. It would be so damn easy to get into
a windows nt server that it isn't even worth the effort.
Whatever happens, one thing that is absolutely undenial - there
WILL definitely be a severe recession caused by y2k, not to mention
a flurry of lawsuits - "Your software was supposed to prevent this"
etc. If any embedded chips have self-diagnosis software, they WILL
shut down. Personally I don't really care - I will withdraw ALL
of my money from the banks way before Dec 31, 1999, and also
plan to stock up on kerosene and get my prescriptions refilled.



Message 146


08:50am Jul 8, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

nhsrikanth 7/7/98 1:07pm

When you first showed up here, you said:

More problems will be in Firmware in a range of appliances from Electric ovens, Elevators, Traffic signals and a whole bunch of medical equipments (even critical cardiac equipments like pacemakers embedded in human body). Nobody has a clue as to how to rectify the programs

In other words, you pretty much said you know of a direct and specific threat to human life.

And now you say:

I and my company are under various non-disclosure agreements that prohibit me from naming any manufacturer/make/model of potentially defective appliances.

Well, there are things known as whistleblower laws for just such a situation (among others), where you know of direct and specific threats to human life and a non-disclosure agreement prevents you from revealing it. (Of course, anybody who's not morally tonedeaf would speak up, regardless of legal repercussions.)

So if you're not forthcoming about these threats to life, that's contemptible. If on the other hand, you were just puffing up the problem to make yourself sound important, that's contemptible.



Message 147


08:51am Jul 8, 1998 EST

By: rjb156b

After reading the "posted messages the past few day., I have come up with this: "Why not make a law stating that you can not fix the Y2K bug, that way the "Hackers" will have the problem solved by Friday."
Might just be time to:"Stop and smell the flowers".

What say ye?



Message 148


09:36am Jul 8, 1998 EST

By: jwplant

While we in the USA have the Y2K bug to worry about, Europeans have
another situation of epic proportions--conversion to the Euro over the next four years. It seems that this distraction will have the effect of slowing down their progress on fixing Y2K problems, making the world-wide situation even more troubling in these global times of ours.

Any comments or hard information to share on this aspect of the situation?

Jon (jplant@artech-house.com)



Message 149

09:43am Jul 8, 1998 EST

By: just_john


(pre-post-postmodern)

jwplant 7/8/98 9:36am

I'd say offhand that combining the Y2k fixes with the new currency symbol implementation makes for a smaller project than doing them separately.

(Speaking of which, what character is the Euro symbol replacing? I vote for the smiley face.)



Message 150


10:42am Jul 8, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth

Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

Just-john:

Nice attempt to lay a guilt trip on me. I am old enough to fall for that. I did not create the problem. I and my company do our best in minimizing the problem (for those who pay, of course). I have provided warnings to the extent I can based on my experience. Fvck your talks about morality and I care a damn for your contempt. If you find my efforts inadequate go sell cookies for boy scouts.



Message 151


11:20am Jul 8, 1998 EST

By: jonbeath


ErisX Web Design

You think maybe rjb is on to something? <G>


Message 152


11:48am Jul 8, 1998 EST

By: cuchulane


>>>I'd say offhand that combining the Y2k fixes with the new currency symbol implementation makes for a smaller project than doing them
separately.<<<<<

The idea of introducing the euro now when europe and the rest of the world is so far behind in their approach to the Y2K fixes is ludicrous and highlites the lack of understanding of the problem in most countries. The euro will also drag down Y2K efforts in this country as our financial institutions will have to do euro conversions to do business with europe.
As far as addressing both problems at once as a time saver, it's a matter of what is critical and what isn't. Triage is the latest buzz word in businesses as they realize they won't have time to address all of their Y2K issues, so think of these two problems in a medical triage sense. A man comes into an emergency room needing immediate open heart surgery (Y2K) and has a painful but not life threatening ulcer (euro). The triage staff is not going to say, "Well, let's do both surgeries simultaneously to save time." They are going to fix the heart to keep him alive, then address the ulcer. Unfortunately, most european countries are more concerned with the ulcer than the heart failure, and this is typical of the shortsightedness that created this mess in the first place.



Message 153


12:00pm Jul 8, 1998 EST

By: nhsrikanth


Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

The nature of Euro and Y2K are different in nature.

  • Y2K needs a technical fix while Euro is a business issue.
  • Euro's impact is mostly restricted to finance industry. Even there, If your company deals entirely in USD (even foreign investments) then you don't have to worry much about Euro.
  • You can contain Euro issue by controlling your input data and modifying systems in a phased manner (the systems will not come to a halt overnight).
  • Euro has a fixed exchange rate (which is already announced) with the original currencies. Most data vendors have already implemented this option.
  • Euro is more of an logistic headache to the countries switching to Euro than to the US.

    Message 154


    03:01pm Jul 8, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    And to what degree should we consider that every epoch to face a major change in dating convention has not had it's equivalent of doomsday predictions? The "Millenium Bug" fits nicely into this schemata.

    Recession? Bah. The only recession that might be caused is from the paranoids who drain the economy of their funds to "save themselves" and thereby create a self-fulfilling prophecy. It happened in the seventies with the "gas shortage".

    You really think that your cash money will have any value if your dire predictions are realized? What is paper? You better buy gold and silver. Lots of it. And just before you do, I'm going to load up on it so I can sell it to you at a tidy profit and buy it from you dirt cheap in January of 2000 when we hit our little bump, rearrange the cargo in our lives and move on.

    And I stand by my comment about "chicken-littles". I have seen few competent IS professionals predicting anything catestrophic--and those I HAVE seen making these predictions are the CEOs and Directors of organizations severely in need of the influx of cash that believers in this paranoia will funnel in their direction out of nothing more than fear.

    We have nothing to fear except fear itself.

    It was true then--it is true now.



    Message 155

    03:47am Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: ronald_raygun

    nhsrikanth 7/8/98 10:42am

    He does have a point. It is literally impossible for elevators
    that have any microprocessors to become a safety hazard with the millenium
    bug - they have a resident program of fail/pass. The elevators may not
    move on black saturday but they sure as hell won't lock up. The same
    is true for cardiac equipment. Your nondisclosure story sounds like
    a lot of hot air. Explain how an imbedded chip will fail. It won't,
    the real time clock in the chip might and it is really important
    whether the clock is for self-diagnosis or just a counter. The story
    about the cardiac equipment is equally absurd.



    Message 156


    03:50am Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: ronald_raygun

    evanmoore 7/8/98 3:01pm

    "I have seen few
    competent IS professionals predicting anything catestrophic" - You are right there. It is damn near impossible to find any IS
    professionals who are competent. Some yuppie with an mba who knows
    how to flip a computer on/off switch is your source of confidence.
    God help us.



    Message 157


    07:57am Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: jmkochbny

    Y2K & Euro: Why not do as single project?

    A posting above by Just_John suggests that it might be cheaper to do the Y2K and euro currency projects at once instead of as two separate projects. I've heard that cannot work because compliance testing can only be univariate in order to be certain. Simultaneous changes confound the testing process. Furthermore, the date fields and the amount or currency fields are wholly distinct in most programs and may arise in the code in quite different contexts. It would be hectic to fiddle with both at the same time. Better to change one item, prove compliance, and then proceed to the other.

    At least, this is what I hear. These same voices are skeptical of Europeans who boast otherwise. Does anyone know of organizations or firms that are attacking both problems in a parallel and simultaneous fashion? What is the experience?



    Message 158


    09:37am Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    Following is a link to an Australian Newspaper called "The Age" describing Australia's 4 largest banks and their conversion to the euro and Y2K compliance efforts. Note that the banks describe the euro conversion as both a business and technical issue.
    http://www.theage.com.au/daily/980709/bus/bus4.html



    Message 159


    10:06am Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: nashville7

    The y2k problem can be solved. The proper method is simply being overlooked



    Message 160


    10:25am Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: nhsrikanth


    Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

    ronald_raygun:

    This is getting repetitious. I have mentioned how some firmware were written using date and time (where time alone could have been used) and this may cause problems. I have told (to the extent I can) about what I have observed in the area of firmware. If you don't want to believe it it is your right.

    I am under no obligation to discus any contractual issues between my company and my clients in this forum. If you don't want to take my word for it (the non-disclosure agreement) I don't have anything more to discuss. If you think it is "hot air", so be it.

    Finally, I don't have to answer anyone who can't request it in a polite manner. If you use your insulting tone this will be the last you will hear from me.


    Message 161


    10:26am Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    Here is a link to one of the best discussions I have read yet on the effect of Y2K on embedded systems. It explains why some elevators will not have a problem, and why some will, etc....
    http://www.bluemarble.net/~storageu/y2k-a152.htm



    Message 162


    01:13pm Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: jbrit1

    This is a continuation (part 2) of the post below which was an
    overview of the Y2K problem - it continues with some recommendations

    jbrit1 - 05:39pm Jul 5, 1998 EST (#127 of 161)

    EZ 2 see the roots of Y2K (part 2)

    Insights and recommendations.

    1. On the magic hour the problem may not just be computers that crash,
    -everyone will be on guard for blank screens and error messages, - but
    rather computers that don't. Many computers will have serious Y2K
    problems but just keep on working and simply pass their badly computed
    data to other systems that depend on them for an input.

    Computers with Y2K problems today that create anecdotes like
    generating kindergarten notices to 105 year old people, or depositing
    100 years of interest to accounts, are not crashing - their bad
    calculations are simply being passed along and mindlessly acted upon
    by other computers down the line.

    2. As the millennium approaches the whole problem will get a lot of
    play and the press will be eager to run apocalyptic stories from the
    Y2K testing snafus that will invariably affect operational systems. If
    folks think about it at all it ill first be in relation to their bank
    accounts. If they start worrying about banking systems they may well
    try to take their money out of banks whether Y2K compliant or not,
    well before the year 2000. So bank runs may well occur in the run up
    before 1/1/2000.

    3. Some systems that are perfectly Y2K compliant may well be brought
    down by systems to which they are not electronically or physically
    interconnected. For example A nuclear power plant and other facilities
    that present potential safety hazards for the public must have a
    functioning 911 and emergency rescue service available locally or else
    be forced to shut down. A computer problem in a fire department or
    ambulance service for example, could force the closing of a power
    plant in the same city.

    4. Something should be done about the reluctance of suppliers to
    furnish Y2K data because of fear of lawsuits. Maximum exchange and
    disclosure of information between the makers and users of chips,
    programs, and devices is the minimum we should expect from everybody.
    Information flow is now being restricted due to potential liability
    concerns and this should be addressed by our lawmakers right away. The
    people who made the hundreds of millions of control valves with
    embedded chips (one power plant may have thousands in a single
    facility) need to begin exchanging information with their customers
    instead of stonewalling them for fear of future liability as they are
    now too often doing.

    Suggestions for priorities in addressing this problem

    1. Failsafe communication systems for public safety and emergency
    rescue need to be established .

    2. Special attention should go to insuring that chemical, biological
    and nuclear weapons facilities worldwide are safe.

    3. We should identify locations like Egypt and the American Southwest
    where tens of millions of people depend on electric power for the
    pumping of water for irrigation or drinking.

    4. Seed supplies for farmers that depend on hybrid strains which must
    be reordered each year need to be stockpiled.

    5. With the poor grasp of this problem by managers and decision makers
    top elected officials and our "thought leaders" should get the urgency
    of this message across to all managers everywhere.


    Message 163


    08:04pm Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: sandradianne

    Hello.I think we have always relied on technology of theday. Wheels,wings,Nikes....so ya just can't tell methat Mr. Gates (that Seattle babe) is going let hisever flush minions down by not trotting out the pan-acea ...oh say about April 1999s.evans@netchannel.co.uk



    Message 164


    08:22pm Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    So what's going to happen in the third quarter of 1999?Are big "compliant" banks and businesses going to issue statements like,"...and therefore to protect our customers from any negative disruptions which may be detrimental to their concerns as well as ours ,we have taken the following measures due to our review of overseas clients which we feel are not compliant with our business standards.As of Jan.1/2000 we will no longer participate in any business transactions with clients from Russia, the Ukraine,all middle eastern contries,Africa and Venezuela.Our weekly review may upgrade or downgrade this list.If and when our reviewers are satisfied that they meet or exceed our compliant standards,then they shall be brought back into our business fold.Thank you and have a pleasant day."



    Message 165


    08:49pm Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: tawasson

    bonno19 in 140:

    As a student in a Y2K COBOL programming course, I am very converned at the lack of Y2K training facilities available.

    Real programmers, at least those seeking Masters Degree, cannot earn credit for taking a programming course. Programming is so trivial that you are expected to learn it on your own or elsewhere. Teaching for Year 2000 compliance is even more trivial. Lack of this background implies gross lack of experience. bonno19's conclusions so lack knowledge and experience that he even cites need for Year2000 training. Fortunately some Y2000 team members have put Year2000 into perspective.

    evanmoore in 139:

    The only people who scream about it are those who are making a living based upon everyone's paranoia.

    From other parts of his post, evanmoore comes from where the work gets done; whereas most doom-sayers display no technical experience. For example, another's silly post declares the worst for self-diagnostic embedded processors. Most embedded processors performing the most simplistic tasks, such as gasoline engines or elevators, do not and must not include the complexity of dates. Embedded processors simply operate as if today is another day and this week is another week. Keeping track of dates means complex, unnecessary code and unnecessary real-time date/time chips.

    Ask the Year2000 hypster about this. He probably cannot even name the very common part numbers of Date/Time Real Time clock chips. No knowledge. No experience. Lots of fear of Year 2000.

    pduer in 138:

    The real challenge is to the management staff.

    pduer also demonstrates in his post that he comes from where the work gets done. pduer also cites no major Year2000 threat.

    Which brings us back to bonno19 whose experience is education in programming an obsolete language. bonno19 fears Year2000 collapse. Yet the most serious Y2000 threats are found in those obsolete Cobol programmed machines. Even worse, these machines continue because poor management from multiple generations fear new technology. Year2000 problems are directly traceable to poor management. Some sites are so poor that documentation was not even protected.

    casper974 in 142:

    On Aug.22/99 the GPS satellite system will rollback its tracking programs to 1980..

    More unsubstanciated rumor. The Year2000 hype - somebody heard the worst case, hyped rumor by some Action News source. OK. Name the source. Furthermore, name a single computer in your home subject to Year 2000 failure. You cannot. Yet most households contain 50 computers of various types - from timer switches, microwaves, TV, clock radio, and many within the car. Where is this Year 2000 problem? Where business school indoctrinated management has been in power too long - their solution is cost controls. Year 2000 should identify these rotten logs - and we will all prosper when the bad management is exposed.

    Some fear electric grid collapse. However I previously worked with computers that operate the mid-west grid. These computers were routinely removed from the system - and the system continued unabated. The computers only adjust in cases of major failure such as an overload. Most systems protect themselves anyway and are also easily restored by manual labor. No software for these systems was date sensitive. These computers were only concerned with what is happening now. But the hype of the illiterate continues the Year 2000 scare because they don't come from where the work gets done.



    Message 166


    10:16pm Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: peacedog1

    Hello,

    I'm sending out a series of links to Year 2000 information
    on the World Wide Web. Some of the information in these
    links is quite worrisome to me and some of it is encouraging.
    I am concerned that, IMHO, while individual organizations
    may be working on Y2K solutions, the larger picture of the
    functioning of our government and infrastructure (or not) is
    just beginning to dawn in people's minds.

    Many persons and companies with whom I have talked appear
    to have little to no awareness of what could/might happen in the
    world, in terms of possible changes in our way of life, as
    we approach the millemmium. I hope the worse predictions
    do not come to pass, but as a writer, counselor, citizen and
    a parent, I am deeply concerned that we find out the truth about
    our state of preparedness for the Y2K unfolding. Acting on
    our awareness of the truth is the only way we can move
    forward, IMHO. Hiding truth will result in fear and panic,
    and the longer the truth is hidden, the worse the fear
    and panic will eventually be because time will be even
    shorter then than it is now.

    Many people do not surf the World Wide Web easily or they
    get lost when trying to find the links to Y2K sites. I hope
    my list will help people find what I feel is vital information
    from which government officials and citizens can make informed,
    enlightened decisions before time pressures cause people to
    behave irrationally, out of fear.

    I personally believe that awareness, truth, genuineness,
    and honesty are the keys to dealing with any issue, including
    Y2K. Awareness is the key to creative solutions to problems
    in my experience. Awareness is the key to cooperation rather
    than to the emergence of fear, a fear which then becomes
    undirected toward positive outcomes. I believe we must
    transform any fear we might feel into positive, mobilizing energy,
    and we must empower ourselves to solve, or prepare workable
    contingencies for, the Y2K unfolding of events. This date is
    coming whether we are aware or not. I hope we choose to
    be aware.

    Many people who are knowledgeable about the many
    aspects of Y2K (and links to their sites are included)
    suggest that cooperation as a society is necessary
    RIGHT NOW to avert, or plan for, any disruptions
    to our way of life as the Y2K countdown moves inexorably
    forward. Some raise grave concerns about the functioning
    of the utilities, tranportation, the government at all levels,
    and the food supply.

    From my reading, I've seen newly-realized concerns about embedded microprocessors (chips) in computers and all types of machines and electronics (which may or may not trip, malfunction, or shut down as Y2K approaches). Some sites will demonstrate how the populace is already quietly planning for a life of unknown duration without utilities , and one site reports orders of "Meals Ready to Eat"
    (MREs) are already back-logged to November, 1998.

    Some writers suggest problems will begin to emerge presently
    and will escalate during 1999. Please read the attached
    web sites, if you so choose, and make your own determination
    of the information contained in them.

    If you feel concerned, please try to raise awareness in others and
    feel free to pass this list of sites along.

    Best Regards,

    PeaceDog

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the
    world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead

    ============Begin Y2K Awarness Project Web Site List================

    Y2K Awarness Project Web Site List

    Good series of five articles:
    http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Economy/Predictions/jpeter9826.htm

    An Open Letter to State Legislators:
    http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/DSA/VP/vp9825.htm

    Great weekly Y2K tips:
    http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Tip/Lord/

    The Cassandra Preparedness Project:
    http://millennia-bcs.com/nfcass.htm#top
    http://www.karinya.com/surboks.htm
    http://millennia-bcs.com/
    http://mi



    Message 167


    10:18pm Jul 9, 1998 EST

    By: peacedog1

    Y2K Awarness Project Web Site List

    Good series of five articles:
    http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Economy/Predictions/jpeter9826.htm

    An Open Letter to State Legislators:
    http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/DSA/VP/vp9825.htm

    Great weekly Y2K tips:
    http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Tip/Lord/

    The Cassandra Preparedness Project:
    http://millennia-bcs.com/nfcass.htm#top
    http://www.karinya.com/surboks.htm
    http://millennia-bcs.com/
    http://millennia-bcs.com/prep.htm#fa
    http://millennia-bcs.com/casframe.htm

    Yourdons's Time Bomb 2000 Book
    http://support.intel.com/support/year2000/assess.htm

    Y2K Effects on Core Infrastructures:
    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/roleigh_martin/
    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/roleigh_martin/y2journ.htm

    News Articles and Daily Updated Press Clips:
    http://www.year2000.com/y2karticles.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/reference/millennium-index.html
    http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/y2k/TWB19980527S0001
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/
    http://www.examiner.com/

    Survival Guide:
    http://www.SurviveY2K.com/About_The_Book.html

    List of possibly effected systems:
    http://www.uiowa.edu/~team2000/otheritems.html

    Eight myths about the "Millemium Bug"
    http://www.cnet.com/Content/Features/Dlife/Millbug/ss09.html

    A great personal "to do" list for Y2K:
    http://www.uiowa.edu/~team2000/millenniumtodos.htm

    Government Services Administration Master Site:
    http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov/mks/yr2000/y2karts.htm
    http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov/mks/yr2000/y2khome.htm

    Electrical Utilities and Power and Y2K:
    http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Computech/Issues/mrtn9809iv.htm
    http://www.euy2k.com
    http://www.accsyst.com/writers/note.htm
    http://www.nrdc.org/nrdc/nrdc/nrdcpro/utilprof/utilitys.html

    General and Excellent Y2K Awareness:
    http://www.y2kttimebomb.com

    http://www.year2000.com/

    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/roleigh_martin/y2klinks.htm

    http://www.yardeni.com/
    http://www.yardeni.com/y2kbook.html#B1.1
    http://www.yardeni.com/y2kbook.html

    http://www.csis.org/
    http://www.csis.org/html/y2klinks.html
    http://www.csis.org/html/y2ktran.html

    http://www.y2knews.com/

    The "Mother of all Links" for Y2K:
    http://pw2.netcom.com/~helliott/00.htm

    Federal Reserve Board on Y2K:
    http://www.bog.frb.fed.us/y2k/
    http://www.bog.frb.fed.us/y2k/frbcdc.htm#keysite

    Congressional Research Study
    http://www.SurviveY2K.com/CRS_Study.html

    Another site of sites with survival links:
    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/roleigh_martin/y2klinks.htm

    More Emergency Prep:
    http://www.beprepared.com/Support/company.html
    http://www.millennium-ark.net/News_Files/Hollys.html
    http://www.baproducts.com/emerprep.htm

    Supplies:
    http://theepicenter.com/bookvdo.html#epmw
    http://www.baproducts.com/seeds.htm
    http://www.baproducts.com/readyres.htm
    http://www.baproducts.com/baygen.htm
    http://survivalcenter.com/foodstor.html

    MRE Availability and Sites:
    http://www.geoduck.com/epicenter/order.cgi
    http://theepicenter.com/bookvdo.html#epmw

    Money/Time Site:
    http://www.pathfinder.com/money/y2k/index.html
    http://www.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/1998/dom/980615/technology_apoca...

    Food Storage Sites:
    http://waltonfeed.com/self/default.htm
    http://survivalcenter.com/foodstor.html

    Y2K and Your PC:
    http://support.intel.com/support/year2000/assess.htm
    http://www.nstl.com/



    Message 168


    07:27am Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: neucom

    peacedog1 7/9/98 10:16pm
    The first problem with the Y2K problem is that it encourages 100 line messages in forums. Why don't we simply roll the calendar back to 1900? Wouldn't that solve it all?



    Message 169


    08:37am Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: tbriden1

    neucom:

    "Why don't we simply roll the calendar back to 1900? Wouldn't that solve it all?"

    Actually, you've just described the PROBLEM.


    Message 170


    08:59am Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: tbriden1

    jbrit1:

    If [people] start worrying about banking systems they may well try to take their money out of banks whether Y2K compliant or not, well before the year 2000. So bank runs may well occur in the run up before 1/1/2000.

    No programmer on earth can code his way around that. If there are bank runs, it will be due to apocalyptic fear-mongering more than any real threat. Everyone I've ever talked to in the banking industry assures me that banks have always kept manual procedures in place in the event of computer failures.

    A nuclear power plant and other facilities that present potential safety hazards for the public must have a functioning 911 and emergency rescue service available locally or else be forced to shut down. A computer problem in a fire department or ambulance service for example, could force the closing of a power plant in the same city.

    And how long do you think people are going to sit around with no power due to a mere regulation?

    Yes, there will be some problems. But I'm coming to the conclusion that the most serious threat will be the reaction of folks who seem to be in dire need of a millennial end-of-the-world scenario. Hey, is that a comet?


    Message 171


    09:40am Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    OK, so one thing we know for sure is there is no shortage of information available on Y2K to anyone who wants to learn about it. There is alot of very good information and alot of very bad information but that's for each person to decide. Now that public awareness is growing, though, it would seem foolish for anyone who cares for the well-being of their family or themselves not to at least research the situation and come to their own conclusions. It would also seem foolish not to take elementary precautions to insure you have adequate shelter, heat, water, and food no matter what happens. Even if Y2K disaster scenarios don't come about, I know I'm prepared for any extended power outages. Last winter the ice storms in New England knocked out power to towns around me for up to several weeks. That time I was just lucky. Basic preparation is simply prudent. My neighbor asked me the other day "What are you going to do if you make all these preparations and nothing happens?" "Be thankful nothing went wrong and be happy that I'm prepared for anything" I replied, then asked him "What are you going to do if Y2K does happen?" Of course he had no answer. If the meteorologists predicted a 50% chance of your town being devastated by hurricanes, would you do nothing to protect your family?
    As far as the people claiming that the only alarmists warning of dire Y2K consequences are the ones profiting from it, that is simply not true. Federal government and state government reports are some of the most dire of them all. But again, read for yourself and decide.



    Message 172


    09:53am Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: nhsrikanth

    Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

    cuchulane :

    You echo my sentiments. An old saying goes, "It is better to be with an umbrella when it does'nt rain than to be without it when it does" and of course the snappy "better safe than sorry".



    Message 173


    11:22am Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    Tawasson has it right. The issue is only an issue because those in the halls of power are shortsighted enough to say that if it doesn't affect this quarter's statement, then it doesn't effect them. When we first raised Y2K issues to our management staff 2 years ago, their statement was, "Okay, then we'll switch over to a new program in December of 1999. Now, go away, you pesky little IS department." There was no allowance for testing. No interest in evaluating different paths. No talk of examining what could and what could not be kept online.

    I'll admit to one good thing about the doomsday predictions: It has caught management's attention and made them realize that if this problem is really as big as the elusive "they" claim--then management's inaction will ultimately be responsible. (Also, if you're in an IS department, good paper trails are a necessity, so we keep very detailed records of exactly WHO told us it was nothing to worry about and they would take the responsibility for any problems.)

    There is a high amount of fear, confusion, misunderstanding, false alarms--people who don't understand the problem running around screaming that the sky is falling. What is the best way to counter this? Research it yourself. Don't quote CNN--heck, if they can screw up a story about nerve gas usage in Viet-Nam (which they've had 25 years to study and examine), can you trust them with this? Don't quote newpapers and hearsay--research it yourself. Every major manufacturer has information on Y2K issues on their web-site--or you can call their customer service number and they'll fax it to you--don't have a fax? Ask them to send it to you. Educate yourself.

    And to the poor idiot who thinks that the government should "subsidize" your education on this issue... Get off your lard encrusted hiney and put your nose in a book or a web-site. It is not the government's job to make sure you learn what you should already know--it is YOUR job. (And why are you programming in a language that should have been phased out of existance over a decade ago anyway? No one I know of speaks Ancient Sanskrit or Latin or Koine Greek. Get with the program. Visual Basic, SQL, Oracle, C++, heck, even Pascal. Sheesh.) Why should my tax dollars pay for your idiocy? If you can't learn it like the rest of us, then call McDonald's--I'm sure they need help flipping burgers.

    For those of you looking for a real solution, let me suggest the following course of action:

    1) Identify every piece of hardware, software or firmware you use.
    2) Determine if each piece has date/time functions.
    3) Those devices which do utilize date/time functions will need to be researched. (This can be as simple as calling your burgler alarm service and asking for a letter--or checking the manufacturer's web-site for tests already conducted.)
    4) Any device which does use date/time functions should be tested--regardless of assurances. (You can check around for some competent testing methods.)
    5) Any device/program which fails the testing (or is otherwise found to be non-compliant) should be recommended for replacement.
    6) Get someone higher than you in management to sign off on your compiled report. In other words, if you have determined that it will cost $10,000 to replace all non-compliant devices, show that to whoever is in charge and have him/her sign it.
    7) Once the decision comes down the pike, begin implementations immediately. Don't wait. Get compliant TODAY.
    8) Once you are compliant, you must absolutely control every new device or program brought into contact with your systems. Be a "Network Nazi". (I have such an iron glove on our internal networks that if you stuck a lump of coal in my hand, in two weeks you'd have a diamond.)

    That's a start. It is an ongoing process. It is never "over". You will be facing problems daily from here until 2010.

    (On a side note--you will discover through your testing that your licensing is no



    Message 174


    11:28am Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    (On a side note--you will discover through your testing that your licensing is not up to par. You might as well start compiling a list of this information as well. You should be aware of all pieces of software, firmware and hardware when you are finished with your audit--it is a small thing to also determine how many copies of each you possess and how many licenses you have.)

    If you have a small enough network, you may even be able to sniff out the copies of Network Quake II that "accidently" got loaded into your server... (So THAT'S what's happening to my bandwidth at 3:30 every afternoon....)



    Message 175

    12:59pm Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: jonbeath


    ErisX Web Design

    To those of you ragging on the guy learning COBOL:

    What the Sam Hill is your damage? In case you hadn't noticed, there are a lot of computers still running code that was written in it or FORTRAN. I believe the term is "legacy code". (Speaking of which, I've been told by several people with many years experience in IT that there's a real need for programmers to fix Y2K-noncompliant FORTRAN code as well.) Is that his fault? I think not. What should we do about those? Either the code has to be fixed, or it has to be ported (and fixed in the process) or replaced. And what about all those legacy databases? In either case... Seems to me, IMHO, that you're too busy trying to look down your nose at him to recognize that he's actively trying to do something about the problem.


    Message 176


    01:05pm Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: russelln

    Is Windows 98 Year2000 compliant?



    Message 177


    01:07pm Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: nhsrikanth

    Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

    Nah, unless it is Windows 1998...



    Message 178


    01:55pm Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: howiehedd


    >Is Windows 98 Year2000 compliant? <<

    Probably so, after all it is a clone of Macintosh OS 8



    Message 179

    03:11pm Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    jonbeath: Perhaps you're right. I took offense to his lousy views about the government giving a welfare type handout and formulated a generic opinion. There is a need for programmers to fix the legacy code--but in my experience, it has often been easier, faster and more efficient to simply replace that legacy code with something better than to even attempt the fix.

    Windows98 is (according to Microsoft) Y2K compliant. If you have Windows95 or 3.1, you need a patch to make it compliant. (Regardless of what MS says about 95 or 3.1, it does need the patch.)

    I won't even comment about Windows being "a clone of Macintosh OS 8"--especially since I run Mac OS 8 and they neither look alike, nor function alike. I will admit that Windows does look remarkably similar to the beta version of Apple's "NeXT"--however, I don't know who's knocking off of whom since Windows95 has been out for 2 1/2 years and NeXT is still in Beta (and recently rumored to have been scrapped).

    You know, we rag about the big companies failing to share their Y2K info with us--why don't we show them how it's done and swap research. Anyone game?



    Message 180


    03:12pm Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, Macintosh OS is Y2K since version 6.0.4--anything prior, however, has problems.



    Message 181


    09:23pm Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: tawasson

    jonbeath in 175:

    To those of you ragging on the guy learning COBOL: ... Seems to me, IMHO, that you're too busy trying to look down your nose at him to recognize that he's actively trying to do something about the problem.

    You missed a fundamental point. Why are his bosses so myopic as to be nursing obsolete technology for generations. 85% of all problems are directly traceable to top management. The 'guy learning COBOL' has a problem in that he does not have enough experience to recognize this fundamental point. Therefore he fears Year 2000. His mistake is to hype the fears of Year 2000 rather than cite the hypocracy and myopia of his current or future bosses. Top management are the reason for a Year 2000 problem. And they are the reason why there exists a market educating people in obsolete technology.

    It is not a personal attack on someone being educated in COBOL. It is an attack on those who have propagated obsolete technologies usually in the name of cost controls. Year 2000 complications only highlight how short sighted a minor number of companies have been. Where Year 2000 software glitches exist, you can damn well bet that there are other similar problems not hyped but just as destructive.

    I am reminded of the Challenger. Everyone heard of the O rings. How many heard of the hundreds of other problems, all just as serious that also went unsolved until 7 astronauts were finally killed? Why did the Space Shuttles not fly for 2 years? There were hundreds of other problems that required immediate correction. Year 2000 is the hype that masks many other long ignored problems in some corporations. Cobol is simply an icon of those problems. Year 2000 is, at best, a minor symptom of the real problem.


    Message 182


    09:44pm Jul 10, 1998 EST

    By: jbrit1

    A theme running through many Y2K threads is, "All the doomsayers are just consultants who make money off scaring folks about Y2K - you have to consider the bias of the source when you hear these crazy warnings and predictions".

    Well of course this is very good advice.

    But consider the the converse. If someone who dismisses Y2K warnings as overblown and hysterical is partially responsible in some way for our lack of preparedness - through sins of commission or omission, then isn't he just as unreliable a source because of his personal bias.

    I think Camus said, "No man can condemn himself."



    Message 183


    10:05am Jul 11, 1998 EST

    By: casper974


    .......TAWASSON PROVOKES,"NAME THE SOURCE".........NEWS AT 11.....

    (#165 of 182)

    More unsubstanciated rumor. The Year2000 hype - somebody heard the worst case, hyped rumor by some Action News source. OK. Name the source.

    Tawasson that statement is nothing more than a cheap speculative opinion laced with a bully attitude.Unsubstanciated rumor?How about JAN.1/2000? Just another day? Now thats an unsubstanciated rumor.For every substanciated rumor concerning that date theres always another one to unsubstanciate it.Its like a war and the victor will only be revealed at that time.

    Ask the Year2000 hypster about this. He probably cannot even name the very common part numbers of Date/Time Real Time clock chips. No knowledge. No experience. Lots of fear of Year 2000.

    But the hype of the illiterate continues the Year 2000 scare because they don't come from where the work gets done.

    Tawasson, the impression I get from these statements is that according to you if someone doesn't have a wall full of framed computer course graduation certificates or isn't gainfully employed in some computer field,then they have no business commenting on Y2K. All they'll do is scare people.In your world I'm sure you'd have these people delegated to "assume their position",a.k.a."The Stepford Wives" syndrome("Isn't life wonderful in our compliant world?,I'm grateful everythings compliant,I just love using my compliant vaccuum cleaner,won't you stay for a cup of coffee brewed from my compliant coffee maker?........)

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>Furthermore, name a single computer in your home subject
    to Year 2000 failure. You cannot. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    My video camera,my VCR,security alarm system,my PC. Small potatoes.Come Jan.1/2000 my main concern would be going to my bank intent on withdrawing $500 and and having my bank manager say to me,"Sorry Casper but due to our computer data snafu we don't have any record confirming you have an account with us.We can't give you any funds but we'll investigate this further.But you'll have to take a complaint number.Here let me help you.Your number is 4,622.Thank You,... next!!" Another concern would be arriving at work only to have my boss say,"Sorry Casper but we've got some serious supplier glitches on our hands.Effective immediately you're indefinitely laid off.We'll call you when to come back.If you don't hear from us in a month,forget us.That'll mean that we've gone belly up!"Lastly come Jan.1/2000 if I ask my wife to make me some eggs for breakfast,I hope she won't say,"Sure Honey,but I need more heat to fry them.Can you throw another 2x4 in the oil drum to bump up these flames?"

    One GPS
    "source"......http://garynorth.entrewave.com/mirrors/gn/GND_RecordView .cfm?RecordlD=32



    Message 184


    10:58pm Jul 11, 1998 EST

    By: tawasson

    casper974 in 183:

    "Sorry Casper but due to our computer data snafu we don't have any record confirming you have an account with us.We can't give you any funds but we'll investigate this further.But you'll have to take a complaint number.Here let me help you.Your number is 4,622.Thank You,... next!!"


    Sorry Casper but we've got some serious supplier glitches on our hands.Effective immediately you're indefinitely laid off.

    Please go read post 181. Then you will understand what is meant when I say "So why have you been doing business with them? Clearly this is not the first time they screwed you."

    As for your PC, if you are using any Microsoft OS or most of the others, then you have no Year 2000 problem.


    Message 185


    10:21am Jul 12, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane


    >>As for your PC, if you are using any Microsoft OS or most of the others, then you have no Year 2000 problem.<<<

    According to documentation published by Microsoft, they have not completed testing of all of their operating systems yet, and some versions of windows NT are suspect. Older versions of MSDOS will not be tested.
    As far as a PC goes, it's the time set in the BIOS chip that will cause the problems, not the system clock used by the operating system. While you can change the system clock to read any date effectively, there are many BIOS chips that can't and after powering down and rebooting the non-compliant BIOS chips can cause problems. Two free testing programs are available... one at www.rightime.com, and another from the Small Business Administration (sorry, I don't have the link readily available.)
    As for who's fault this is, whether programmers or top management, or IT or IS departments... who cares at this juction? That issue can be settled when the dust clears and will in the long run most likely improve the way institutions operate, but for now all that matters is doing the best repair and prevention possible and making at least the basic preparations for potential problems.



    Message 186


    11:54pm Jul 12, 1998 EST

    By: rjrobinson1

    A very important message buried in the Y2k issue is that management MUST be held to a higher standard by the technical community henceforth. I was one who failed to insist that we reprogram and re-design our software as we upgraded computers time after time (though I did go to the brink several times). Now the old ways, which were in those years good ways, have nipped us good. Old software is worse than old haardware, though not so apparent.



    Message 187


    08:25am Jul 13, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    rjrobinson1 7/12/98 11:54pm

    management MUST be held to a higher standard by the technical community henceforth.

    How? By strategic bombing with Dilbert clippings?

    Seriously, how?



    Message 188


    07:50pm Jul 13, 1998 EST

    By: tawasson

    cuchulane in 185:

    According to documentation published by Microsoft, they have not completed testing of all of their operating systems yet, and some versions of windows NT are suspect.

    To put that into perspective - if the OS is supporting a real time system, then there may be a remote problem. MS has not yet put their stamp of approval on all software. But for us common users, there is no problem.

    In PCs, the standard real time clock is the Motorola MC146818 and second sourced by others. Properly designed, this chip has no Year 2000 problem. Many free programs test and demonstrate this. However, some major BIOS manufacturers were suppose to raise a flag in CMOS when 2000 occured. Many did not. No problem. Every MS OS and many other major OSes note this failure and adjust accordingly. If your machine is off when Year 2000 occurs, the MS OS may ask you to reneter the date. No problem.

    However if you are running a real time system, this might, only maybe, might be a problem. MS will not say A-OK until they are 100% sure. The common user has no problem. Yet the Year 2000 hypsters are negligent when they don't understand this. That is probably why they fear so loudly. Someone even thinks his VCR will stop working because of Year 2000. Maybe, but then that is what happens when you buy off the back of a truck.


    Message 189


    09:17pm Jul 13, 1998 EST

    By: ramunasm


    Y2K Question

    It seems to me that if a many computer/software combination are not Y2K ready, there should already be examples of actual cases of date miscalculations. For example, mortgage, loans, long term investments, time payment coupons, calendar programs, astronomical and NASA object position predictions of orbiting objects: all of these and many others rely on computations done covering the years 1998 well into the 2000's. How come we only hear of the doomsday scenarios, but never of real cases related to the topics above? Certainly, some of these should have already occurred.



    Message 190


    08:34am Jul 14, 1998 EST

    By: tbriden1

    ramunasm:

    Good point.

    What you're not taking into account, though, is the fact that SOMETHING has to destroy the world on 1/1/2000 and the Y2K bug is the best candidate so far. Hey, even Pat Robertson is getting on the bandwagon!



    Message 191


    11:33am Jul 14, 1998 EST

    By: cdsmith1

    ramunasm,

    Perhaps those scientists and financial analysts making such calculations use programs that have a mmddyyyy format for dates.


    Message 192


    11:37am Jul 14, 1998 EST

    By: groderick

    The Sunday NYTimes had a frontpage article on the Y2K test the NYSE was to run Monday, July 13th at 09h30. So far I've found no mention of the results in the press and I am curious whether those on the forum can shed some light on hte subject.



    Message 193


    12:16pm Jul 14, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    ramunasm:

    quite a few instances have already appeared, such as:

    PCMH Biomedical Dept. ventilators fail when set for year 2000

    National Health Service computers wiping out records for operations scheduled after 2000

    One supermarket chain had it's card scanners freeze up everytime it scanned credit cards with expiration dates past 2000

    AMC Theater chains reject credit cards with 00 exp. dates.

    Computers in a large retail food chain strated rejecting canned goods with exp dates past 2000 as being almost 100 years old.

    CACI reports Submarine Fire Control Systems for ICBM's went into fail-safe mode when year 2000 date was entered and couldn't be operated.

    General Motors factory floor robots "froze and stopped operations" when set to year 2000.

    Chrysler corp reported "lots of surprises" when they set plant to year 2000, including the security system refusing to allow anyone in or out.

    3M corp had their computer system freeze up when material purchase orders where entered extending past year 2000.

    Both BankBoston of New England and CityBank of New York had started encountering computer problems regarding records and computations extending past 2000. BankBoston reported encountering considerable problems as far back as 1994, which "helped us get an earlier jump on resolving the problem.

    The Social Security Administration encountered Year 2000 problems long ago which is why they are ahead of the pack in the Federal Government.

    The Mass state government and the Ma State Registry of Motor Vehicles have already reported problems related to year 2000.

    There are quite a few more incidents available on a plethora of websites if you wish to research them.
    Also, many of the problems related to year 2000 will possibly occur with systems when they are actually at the date. Programmable Logic Controllers are especially suspect.
    Someone also stated earlier that elevators will not be susceptible to Y2K problems since they operate on a simple "on-off" premise. In fact elevators in most large buildings run through a "black-box" device which is date sensitive and that will automatically shut down elevators for routine maintenance after a certain time expires (though not in the middle of operations - no one will be stranded between floors). Testing on several elevator systems have already shown this to be a problem, as the control system thought the elevator was 100 years overdue for servicing.


    Message 194


    12:18pm Jul 14, 1998 EST

    By: ajoel

    Go the the usa today site -- two articles on the Wall Street test results == so far, so good. Don't know why NYT hasn't posted an ariticle....



    Message 195


    03:33pm Jul 14, 1998 EST

    By: adamsd9

    What the Y2K bug says about our increasing reliance on technology is that we are concerned with the present over the future. What was a good business decision at the time on cutting costs by saving data storage space has come back to haunt us. We (humans) have done this time and again with our natural environment. Why would do anything different with the artifical environments we create?

    Let us hope we start to learn from our short-sighted judgements.

    Mr.D.



    Message 196


    04:44pm Jul 14, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    Okay, to those of you seriously interested in SOLVING this issue instead of simply chatting about it, send me an e-mail and we'll start sharing information about systems we have tested and how they respond to the tests.

    This invitation is for serious IS professionals only.

    evanmoore@aol.com


    Message 197


    11:15pm Jul 14, 1998 EST

    By: tawasson

    groderick in 192:

    The Sunday NYTimes had a front page article on the Y2K test the NYSE was to run Monday, July 13th at 09h30 ... I've found no mention of the results in the press ...

    Of course not. Little problems were encountered in the first day of testing. Therefore it is not newsworthy. The whole Y2000 event is a classic example of old men in robes chanting "The world will end tomorrow". The first time these hypsters did this, it was news worthy simply because everyone fears the future. When everyone has knowledge, then those hypsters will quickly disguise themselves as normal people.

    cuchulane in 193 noted how completely this presumed problem has been investigated. They actually found some problems (gasp). Many problems are the same old credit card programs probably originally written in COBOL and not updated. Notice how most problems concentrate in a few industries.

    rjrobinson1 in 186 has come from where the work gets done. He doesn't post "end of the earth" hype. But he does note why some companies will have Year 2000 problems. Note that 85% of all problems are directly traceable to top management. In his case, management was made of brick - thick brick.

    But the important lesson on 1 Jan 2000 is - So many people have little knowledge and yet will preach great fears. There are many ways to cry fire in the theater. Year2000 is just the latest version. If you did not see past those hypster, then write me. I have a bridge for sale.



    Message 198

    11:39pm Jul 14, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    Ed Yardeni the renowned economist was at the June 2 conference of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and said this:

    Today, Asia is toast. In the year 2000, Asia will be burnt toast. In Asia, they have a year 1998 problem. Most companies have a 90-day business plan of how they're going to stay in business for the next 90
    days. They are doing this month by month over in Asia. They have totally been distracted and resourced away from dealing with the year
    2000 problem.

    What's he talking about? He's an economist not a computer expert nor is he from where the work gets done.He scares me.No knowledge in computer programming and he has the gall to say that?What does he really mean?I think its an inside tip for market players.And I think its in code.I think I've figured it out.

    IF Asia=Toast then Asia+Y2K=Burnt Toast

    IF INVESTMENTS=NULL then goto EXIT else

    LIQUIDATE=A.S.A.P.

    Now I'd like to get into the problem of SOLVING this issue of Y2K.Some people and or institutions have had the audacity to attempt to rectify Y2K behind the scenes away from the public.I wonder if they ever heard the United Way slogan:Caring is Sharing.

    Recently the FDIC reiterated that banks are strictly prohibited from publicly revealing any information on their Year 2000 assessment rating.This info is hush-hush.Don't you think that with time running out and with such an important issue at hand that we should throw out this exclusive pompous puffery and join the human race?Together we stand,divided we fall.



    Message 199


    03:53am Jul 15, 1998 EST

    By: jmoosman

    tawasson in 197 has gotten it right. Millenial hysterias always reflect everyday fear and ignorance, nothing new about that.

    Just like religious delusions revolve around sexuality, death and suffering.

    People are afraid of change and look for a way to draw a picture their fears, that's the 2000 bug in a nutshell. The real threat is minimal, the percieved threat is enormous and the vultures are gathering in big, big flocks.



    Message 200


    09:49am Jul 15, 1998 EST

    By: eugenefalik

    There IS NO Y2K "bug."

    There IS, of course, a massive problem as a result of just plain dumb design decisions. There are many companies that aren't doing any Y2K remediation of their own programs - they don't need it; they had competent management involved in the design. Back in the early 1980s, the companies that I worked at recognized that large systems have 20-30 year lifetimes, and insisted on storing dates as 4 characters, or as binary numbers (which support even more digits).

    I say, make the old management teams (or the current CEOs who were in charge when the dumb decisions were made), pay out of their own pockets. Corporate management shouldn't be allowed to play "heads I win, tails you loose."

    Again, it's no bug. It was deliberate design cheating.



    Message 201


    12:00pm Jul 15, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    "End-of-the-worlders" will be with us... well, until the end of the world. And doom and gloom hypsters certainly can have a field day with such a grand event as the end of a millenium. It's unfortunate that the very nature of the Y2K issue is tied to the millenium, because not only does it play into the hands of these types of folk, but it also gives anyone an excuse to dismiss any kind of dire warnings out of hand. Anyone issuing warnings of the potential for disaster related to Y2K can be written off as a crackpot or an opportunist hypster because the streets are full of them.
    In researching the Y2K situation, I've always kept my grains of salt readily at hand and my skeptisism meter set to high. I always check the positions, titles, and bios of the authors or the originators and weigh in to account what they stand to profit from what they are saying. Because of this I do reject much of what I come across. On the other hand, there is a growing amount of evidence, from what I consider reliable sources, that has convinced me that at the very least it is prudent to take precautions to insure the well being of my family as much as is possible.
    It would seem unwise to "throw out the baby with the bathwater" by rejecting any urgent warnings related to Y2K because of all the millenial crackpots running loose. You may have to strain to hear them through the din of madness, but there are responsible people in positions to know who are issuing some important warnings related to Y2K.



    Message 202


    01:00pm Jul 15, 1998 EST

    By: eugenefalik

    There IS NO Y2K "bug."

    There IS, of course, a massive problem as a result of just plain dumb design decisions. There are many companies that aren't doing any Y2K remediation of their own programs - they don't need it; they had competent management involved in the design. Back in the early 1980s, the companies that I worked at recognized that large systems have 20-30 year lifetimes, and insisted on storing dates as 4 characters, or as binary numbers (which support even more digits).

    I say, make the old management teams (or the current CEOs who were in charge when the dumb decisions were made), pay out of their own pockets. Corporate management shouldn't be allowed to play "heads I win, tails you loose."

    Again, it's no bug. It was deliberate design cheating.



    Message 204

    02:44pm Jul 15, 1998 EST

    By: dbmertz

    You know, there are two extremes in this situation: the doomsayers, who you guys have been trashing lately (and rightly so) and then those who deny that there is any problem. You have to be careful in that just because hundreds of crackpots say something is going to happen, you automatically believe that it WON'T happen. Sometimes, usually unkown to them, they are more right than they themselves would want to believe! Do I think the 2000 bug will destroy our technical society? No. Do I believe that there is a very real, critical situation here that has to be dealt with, now? YES!
    I would also like to respond to eugenefalik, who blames the shortsightedness of previous managers for the problem. In one aspect, your right, we wouldn't have this problem if ALL of the early system administrators had the forsight to prepare for this event. However, I would caution you on being too critical. In this day and age, with the rapid changes occuring in IT, the ability to predict and prepare for any number of problems that may occurr, even in the next month, is a tall order in itself. In short, who knows how many "bugs" in the coming years will be blamed on the "shortsightedness" of people like you and me?



    Message 205


    05:58pm Jul 15, 1998 EST

    By: scott1006

    The wisest thing I've read in this forum was by casper974 "together we stand, divided we fall." Our opinions don't matter. What's to come is what's to come. There is no sense in looking for someone to blame. For those who pray--this is the time to kick into higher gear. We need to work together and help eachother prepare for whatever it is that will befall us all. God bless us all!


    Message 206


    07:51pm Jul 15, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    Just a note on the Wall Street testing. Realize that the report of things going well so far only refers to the test setup. The first day of testing was set up as Dec 29th. I believe the roll over date of the test will be Thursday at midnight. I, for one, hope the tests go well. It will at least (and at most) confirm that some repair methods are working.



    Message 207


    10:01pm Jul 15, 1998 EST

    By: mgg7pnkj

    Has anyone thought of how much money we saved by using the two digit year in all the earlier systems? Remember when 4k was a hugh amount of very expensive memory? Some people think that the money we saved by using the 2 digit year will turn out to be just about equal to what we'll have to spend to correct the y2k problem.



    Message 208


    11:21pm Jul 15, 1998 EST

    By: li'l abner


    This is a test to see how much material can be fitted into the "Second line of information" In order to gauge this, one just keeps typing. Also, <i> I would like to see if the formatting commands work.</i> I also wont to know if one can copy material from the notepad into this window.

    American managers are notorious for being unwilling to plan beyond a fiscal year. That's because they live or die by the bottom line in the annual financial report. Consequently, they have very little interest in the long-term health of the corporation.



    Message 209


    05:49am Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: huckfinn2

    I'm pretty new to this whole computer thing as I only purchased one this year for the first time. I can see where there can be a big problem due to the lack of foresight on some peoples parts or intentional design flaws to generate more sales as the century comes to a close. From a personal standpoint, I intend to have personal printed records readily available in case it does happen. All bank statements, loan agreements, insurance policies, revolving accounts, etc. etc. Just as a a matter of having a place to start (for records) in the event that the large companies and corporations that effect our lives loose their databases or records. I think that the market will be flooded with upgrades and new equipment from now to 2000 and that the real winners will be the various computer and related companies. They kind of have us by the ba*ls, so to speak. No offense ladies and gentlemen.



    Message 210


    05:50am Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: huckfinn2

    Actually, I am more worried about the computers that are used in various National Defense systems more than anything. Hope we don't get caught with our pants down.



    Message 211


    09:05am Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: cdsmith1

    huckfinn2,

    Yours is a very good concern. I also wonder about the large databases of classified documents and scientific research information
    that might be harmed by the y2k problem.



    Message 212

    09:11am Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    From today's Wall Street Journal:

    Even as most companies are aggressively grappling with potential software glitches when the year turns 2000, many companies and government agencies in Thailand are sitting pretty. It turns out they use the Buddhist calendar, which is already at year 2541.



    Message 213


    09:32am Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane


    >>>>Even as most companies are aggressively grappling with potential software glitches
    when the year turns 2000, many companies and
    government agencies in Thailand are sitting
    pretty. It turns out they use the Buddhist
    calendar, which is already at year 2541.<<<<<

    Good thing none of their Programmable Logic Controllers, System Control Devices, main frame BIOS, Black Box controllers, etc. are foreign made, huh? Or that they don't have to interact with any foreign banks, financial institutions, or companies, eh? Oh, they do? Ooops, guess they're not sitting as pretty as they think.



    Message 214


    10:13am Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: rshowalter


    Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

    People acting in technical groups must make decisions, and some of them will be mistakes. The year 2000 bug is such a mistake. It is being much discussed, resources are being mobilized, and people are trying to fix it. The efforts to fix have been fairly readily mobilized, expensive as they are, because the problem is easily understood, and understood by a broad public, not just specialists.

    "Bugs" that are not understood can be quite as damaging. If one thinks one sees such a bug, getting a hearing can be hard going. In the PI IN THE SKY forum in MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE, I've been discussing such a bug extensively. (#871-#872) , and also suggesting that these New York Times forums can make our society safer, clearer, and better-checked, because they offer both intellectual sophistication and a substantial right to speak. In the section hotkeyed above, I include this:

      "If one grants that measurement is BEYOND the axioms of pure mathematics, one can draw conclusions from experimental mathematics.
      " From those conclusions, it follows that an oversight was made in the formulation of the calculus in the 1690's, and that the mistake has been propagating through our mathematical physics ever since.
      Often the mistake is inconsequential, but sometimes it matters. It matters in medicine. It matters in mathematics itself, especially around the body of problems behind the "crisis of analysis." It matters in computational fluids, and other engineering fields where couplings must be attended to. It matters in theoretical (and practical) physics. ......... Professor Steve Kline and I have found, in mathematical physics, something that might be compared to

    "the mother of all computer bugs."
      "For three hundred years, the bug has propagated. Are we wrong? We've worked hard trying to get the work checked.

    I've worked on this problem, with a member of the National Academy of Engineering right beside me until his recent death, for almost a decade. It hasn't been easy to get a hearing.

    Before something can be "checkable" it has to be "thinkable."

    We've faced a paradigm impasse. These forums are good for paradigm clarification.

  • ****

    Here's a question for this forum. A person says

    "A BIG MISTAKE HAS BEEN MADE".

    The subject is serious. Yet the message is unwelcome. How easy is it to ignore both message and messenger, for the wrong reasons?

    In a world where mistakes do happen, that question seems serious to me.



    Message 215


    11:45am Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: scottf

    "Help us kill the Bug to the 21st Century?"

    Times reporter John Broder in "Clinton sees computer bug as major test" (7/15/19 98) wrote that
    this was the President's first addressing of the potential crisis.

    Actually, he addressed it at the M.I.T. graduation a few weeks ago.

    "I want you to know that we are also working to address the threat to our prosperity posed by the
    Year 2000 Bug. I tried and tried to find out what the class hack project was for the Class of '98 and
    I failed. But I did learn that in the year 2000, the graduating class is proposing to roll all of our
    computers back by 100 years. And I am determined to thwart you. I will do my best." (Laughter.)
    -- White House Transcript

    Scott Feldmeyer, covering this in Milwaukee, unlike the Journal Sentinel



    Message 216


    02:38pm Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: boneszcat

    I've also heard there is a year 2030(?) Unix bug, that so far, no one is worrying about. Sound familiar?



    Message 217


    03:42pm Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: mjafar

    boneszcat 7/16/98 2:38pm

    Unix measures time in seconds since 71.
    By the year 2038, 64 bits will not be
    enough to hold that large a number. I
    am sure with Y2K behind us, we will
    solve that problem well in advance.

    Y2K wasn't taken seriously until 1995 by
    a majority of people. And for the past
    3 decades people who were programming
    were aware that their programs would not
    work when the century turned. "I won't
    be around" attitude then has created
    this problem where programmers have to
    fix programs written by others. ie
    Someelse is cleaning your mess and you are
    cleaning someone else's mess



    Message 218

    08:45pm Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: bbbbo

    mjafar has made an interesting and accurate reference
    to the problem from a programming point of view.

    In most companies the ethos has always been get the
    job done as quickly as possible. It makes the
    programmer look good as well as his supervisor.

    One of the obvious ways to have cut corners in the
    past was to bypass the additional overhead of having
    to create special routines, enlarge record lengths, by
    changing a 2-digit year to a four-digit.

    The irony is that many of the same programmers who were
    responsible for these oversights are currently being
    hired by companies to correct the problem. And they
    are getting paid well to do it.

    My suspicion is that much of the technology in this
    country is guided by a similar orientation toward
    getting the job done; that is, worry about how well
    done later!

    We are rewarded most by fulfilling the objective of getting
    the job done on time. Consideration of quality is a distant second.



    Message 219


    09:13pm Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: tbriden1

    mjafar & bbbbo:

    Y2K was not caused by lazy programmers. It is no more difficult to handle a four-digit year than a two-digit one. It was simply a matter that storage and memory were very expensive in the old days and in 1974, it just didn't make much sense to use all the extra resouces needed to handle four-digit years. The older operating systems didn't even use four-digit years internally, therefore allocating four bytes for the year in a program would be virtually worthless anyway. Few people suspected that so many of these old mainframe systems would be still be with us now.



    Message 220


    11:10pm Jul 16, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    Y2K HUMOUR

    Seems like a lot of feathers are getting ruffled.Lets all take one step back and slowly breathe deeply in and out 10 times. Today is wonderful and tomorrow will be too.I offer a break in the seriousness to present a humourous side to Y2K.

    Recently a team of ultra-ambitious,overzealous,near-genius computer specialists decided to get together to test(in secret)various items that could be subject to Y2K calamities.They agreed that in order do a thorough job that they should test virtually every mechanism known to man.

    A certain Mr.E.M.Pyrite,head of the team,e-mailed me a copy of their preliminary findings.

    We began our first tests on 4 models of common household vaccuum cleaners.After a series of exhaustive,labour intense tests we concluded that on the whole the common household vaccuum cleaner is DEFINITELY Y2K COMPLIANT.We also noted in our report that our testing facilities are now as clean as a whistle.


    Next we tested the average household coffeemaker.After rolling the clock forward on the coffeemaker we analyzed the various changes if any this would produce.After careful test comparisons we unanimously agreed that since throughout the tests the coffee tasted the same,no one should have any problems with their coffeemaker come the year 2000.



    Message 221


    03:42am Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: mcjoseph

    Is it true that the use of two-digit dates stems largely from the textbook, "The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer," by Wilkes, et. al. Cambridge University Press, 1951?



    Message 222


    10:21am Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: bucko5

    The most basic reason I can thin of goes much further back than mainframes. The earliest computers in the 40's were hardwired for certain operation. To do date computations with say, the last 2 digits, you would need a circuit wired for digits. When you go to 4 digits it doesn't increase the complexity by a factor of 2, it increases it by a factor of 4. Once the precedent was set, it stuck with us.

    I might be wrong, but I'm guessing.


    Message 223


    11:16am Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: ramunasm

    bucko5 7/17/98 10:21am states:

    The most basic reason I can thin of goes much further back than mainframes. The earliest computers in the 40's were hardwired for certain operation. To do date computations with say, the last 2 digits,
    you would need a circuit wired for digits. When you go to 4 digits it doesn't increase the complexity
    by a factor of 2, it increases it by a factor of 4. Once the precedent was set, it stuck with us.

    I might be wrong, but I'm guessing.

    I'm not sure if you are totally right or wrong, but at our PC meeting last night the old timers told me that the Hollerith card had only 80 columns. One of the guys said that he approached his boss about the potential benefits of going to a 4 digit date and his boss said the card space is too precious to do that no matter how beneficial that may be in the future.



    Message 224

    11:24am Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    ramunasm 7/17/98 11:16am

    You're on the right track. Space was precious back then. Anybody here -- since we all have enough horsepower to run web browsers -- has a machine with more memory than most mainframes of the fifties and sixties. More memory by an order of magnitude, at least.



    Message 225


    11:35am Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: chicano1b

    I think that we are a society which depends a lot of computers, so everytime we are going to have problems with the information
    manage, especialy about time. The most difficult problem to solve
    is how can we measure one variable which is infinite with finite
    tools?.
    On my point of view, we have to look for another way to measure
    time if we don't want to have more problems like Y2K and the 2030.



    Message 226


    11:40am Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: nhsrikanth


    Optimism pays, so do Pessimists

    ramunasm 7/17/98 11:16am

    and not to mention the reluctance to make data entry operators enter two more characters every time they entered dates...



    Message 227

    11:58am Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: rookcrook

    Aside: I heard some talk about a Dow Jones Index 10,000 problem. Has anyone else heard about this?



    Message 228


    12:53pm Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: jonbeath


    rookcrook

    :

    I've heard the same thing. Supposedly, if the Dow cracks 10K, the whole stock exchange system will go belly-up. Can anyone contribute anything that will substantiate this? (Or put it definitively to rest?)



    Message 229


    12:53pm Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: hisbutler

    About Y2K, a comment if I may.

    It's a sticky wicket, which will haunt us one day.

    The uncertainties being presented by so called experts,

    Run the gamut of disaster to minor computer spurts.

    The problem which exists in my humble mind,

    Is will we still be able in 2,000 to be kind.

    Or will we be so preoccupied with Y2K,

    Rendering ourselves inop on that fateful day?

    Jack Butler



    Message 230


    02:10pm Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: jonbeath


    ErisX Web Design

    Look, I honestly don't know about the Dow 10K+ thing, and, not having any funds to invest in the stock market, I really don't care. But it would have been nice to get a serious and informed answer to my question instead of being quipped at.



    Message 231

    03:15pm Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane


    >>>As if anybody would believe a refutation, in this panic-prone atmosphere?<<<<

    So many things in life are a matter of perspective. While you see an atmosphere of panic, many others are astounded at the general public indifference to the Y2K problem. As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.



    Message 232


    04:32pm Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    If anyone would like some GOOD news about Y2k, there is a nice letter to Alan Simpson explaining why the railroads will not be crippled by Y2K. Here is the link:

    http://www.comlinks.com/guestbook/guestbook.html

    scroll down a bit to the letters area.



    Message 233


    04:40pm Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: jonbeath


    ErisX Web Design

    I said, "serious and informed answer": what I meant was, "Why do some people apparently think this will be a problem?" and "Why isn't it a problem?" Perhaps I should have used the qualifier "informational". I don't doubt what you're saying, just_john, and I'm not trying to start a tussle here -- as a matter of fact, I have read and enjoyed your posts (and often agreed with them) in a number of conversations here at the NYT Forums. I was just hoping for a little more background, that's all, because I'm pretty ignorant of the situation regarding the Dow. Thanks.


    Message 234


    05:43pm Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    My battle front with the Y2K issue is almost concluded. My company is 81.3% compliant. That is, 81.3% of the software, firmware and hardware tested revealed no problems until the year 2010--some even longer.

    The remainder includes 11.4% of our systems already scheduled to be phased out before the Y2K. Only 1 system will have to be reprogrammed--and, of all things, it's on a Macintosh (which is supposed to be compliant till virtually eternity). However, the in-house programmer chose not to use the system toolbox for date/time functions and wrote in his own funky timekeeping routine.

    By December 1, 1998, we will be 100% compliant. We store all our financial and customer records both electronically and on paper. We also maintain monthly backups of our system for 5 years.

    In a worst case scenario, we will lose 12 hours worth of information. But, since those 12 hours happen over the weekend, when no one is working here--it is a moot point.

    My contacts with our vendors, our suppliers and our customers have shown me that the bulk of companies are not rushing to doomsday--but are, instead, taking the careful, methodical steps to verifying they will be compliant in time. I know of no company, with which we have contact, who are behind schedule.

    How's that for a dose of reality? I have a lot more fear of being struck with an asteroid or earthquake than I do of Y2K.



    Message 235

    08:18pm Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: akira10

    Today's rekference to the Y2K program minor or major problems is actually a fear that the
    higher powers & the key-holders to heaven's gate and the rest of the people and the like who hold
    all sacred, have not finally returned the favor of the inhumanity of those who strive for a better life>
    Simply put it is my humble opinion that the classic phrase:"Oh! the humanity" & "Have no fear, the
    shadow knows!" have finally reached a stage where the rocket pace of science fiction NASA
    missions to Mars can also be seen to have a relegious Christmas spirit in the joys of collecting an
    ode to peace in the churchstate fashion that propeled todays days of reason from the schisims
    between all the things of the spirit and Mankinds' endowments!

    Marc Raymond Wolsky AMEN
    & from those of us at NASA's VoyagerDuece & Premiere
    PEACE and GOODWILL to all the nations of the Earth and the Heavens


    Message 236


    10:02pm Jul 17, 1998 EST

    By: tonyconca

    I posted a message on the ZDNET site conducted by Alfred Poor. I asked how yr2000 would effect "home" computers. A Ms Katie Powell sent me to the following address, on the web, to download a program that will tell if a home computer is yr2000 compliant. The address is:

    http://www.nstl.com/html/ymark 2000.html

    By using this small program I found that my computer IS compliant.
    Tony Conca.



    Message 237


    12:48am Jul 18, 1998 EST

    By: xnykx


    The Finnish Fantom

    I'd like to know a bit more about where we've come from on the Y2K phenomeneon.

    Clearly, all programmers worth any salt at all knew what they were doing in 1990 or earlier (they ask a lot more obtuse questions than 'is this thing supposed to stop running in 1999?' on a very regular, professional basis)

    So does anyone know of any 'non-conspiracy' type literature -- books or mags -- which really goes back and traces this (non)development?

    As a dyed-in-the-wool last-minute type myself I'd like to know a little bit more about how we got to this 'panic position' when there was certainly nothing secret about the coming problem -- and as I can well imagine, there were 10's and 100's of lower echelon programmers asking 'hey, do you realize ----?' (mind you, this group of 'hey' people is, of course, a miniscule % of all those who noticed but could care less as long as the coming six-pack or cafe latte was to be paid for by the weekly pay check. -- yes, six-pack and cafe latte people seem to have equal social responsibility indices as long as they get to wet their lips at required intervals with their chosen beverage.)

    So a pointer to 'further literature' would be most appreciated.

    (PBS had a good program, today, by the way -- see --
    wwww.sciencefriday.com)



    Message 238


    04:18am Jul 18, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    3 POSSIBLE SCENARIOS FOR JAN.7/2000 11:32 a.m.

    SCENARIO #1 Jan.7/2000 11:32 a.m.

    "I knew it,I knew it,I knew it!Those doomsayers were full of it,up to here!Here we are on the 7th and everythings the same!I knew those fools were trying to suck everybody in, those lazy,trying to make a buck out of scaring people! I'd like to see there faces now....hope they stay in the
    hills!"

    SCENARIO # 2 Jan.7/2000 11:32 a.m.

    "Honey, get a load of this telephone bill!It says we owe for last month,$3,000,428.16 .Ha!Ha!Ha!I just called them up and they said they'd send out the correct bill this afternoon.I think I'm gonna frame this one!A couple of intermittent power outages out west but nothing serious.They said on TV they'd have them all fixed by the end of today.This y2k bug is really not that big a deal!"

    SCENARIO # 3 Jan.7/2000 11:32 a.m.

    "Honey,this no hydro for a week is getting on my nerves!We're running out of food and we can't get away from here!Someone siphoned the gas out of our van last night!(sound of glass breaking)(whispers)Sssshhhh!!! Someones breaking in our house!!Honey,grab the kids and hide in the basement!"(grabs a hammer and hides behind door)



    Message 239

    07:54am Jul 18, 1998 EST

    By: pronoun

    An on-line html calendar for year 2000 may be found at
    "http://www.chesco.com/~nicks/year2000.html".
    Yes, the year 2000 is a leap year.



    Message 240


    01:23pm Jul 18, 1998 EST

    By: xnykx


    The Finnish Fantom

    Thought 2000 was a special year when the leap year was to be skipped??



    Message 241


    03:10pm Jul 18, 1998 EST

    By: tunibu

    I have an old SPARCstation IPC running the old SunOS 4.1.3. It fits nicely on a book shelf and runs a lot of good UNIX software. However, the OS does not understand dates beyond 1999, so I called Sun Microsystems to find out how much they charged for the Y2K patch (all other patches for this OS can be downloaded for free, but NOT the Y2K patch.) The information I got may be a warning to many people and businesses trying to address the Y2K bug: the Y2K patch for Sun's old OS costs $695, which is considerably more than the $450 price for Sun's latest version of the full OS! Sounds like a Y2K ripoff? I think it does.

    P.S. I'd rather not upgrade to the new operating system right now because I don't have the time to recompile and test my applications.



    Message 242


    03:59pm Jul 18, 1998 EST

    By: tbriden1

    xnykx:

    The rule:

    All years divisble by four are leap years,

    EXCEPT for years divisible by 100 which are NOT leap years,

    UNLESS the year is divisble by 400, in which case it would be a leap year.

    1800 and 1900 were not leap years, but 2000 will be.



    Message 243


    11:04pm Jul 18, 1998 EST

    By: lisa41

    God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board. --Mark Twain

    Tonyconca

    I tried the website you posted but it came up as an error.



    Message 244


    12:54am Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: cmosca

    As a non-jargonspeak (albeit computer literate in the tool's multitude of uses, but not its nuances), I would be beholden to anyone who could discuss the ramifications of the coming "debacle" in terms a common user could understand. While I can foresee some of the problems, many of the people I know who are simply pull-down-window friendly are looking at the 2K problem as another bogus "film-at-11" hype news story. If anyone would care to elaborate, we all would benefit. Thanks.



    Message 245

    01:27am Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    I have been conversing with Novell regarding their lack of support for Netware version 4.10. Novell Netware 4.10 is NOT compliant. You must upgrade to 4.11 for compliance--no patches available.

    I have gone round and round with Novell on this issue--they want $1995 for the upgrade and $695 for my SFTIII 4.10 to 4.11 upgrade.

    Heck, for that price, I'm buying WindowsNT (already compliant out of the box) and converting over.

    Novell has priced themselves right out of my business. Y2K patches should be free and (although it grates my free-market views to say this) there should be a law passed requiring Y2K patches to be freely distributed or the company required to upgrade the software published--this should be for all software published after 1995.

    For the same number of users and the same processes, WindowsNT 4.0 will cost me $800. Let's see... $800 vs. $2700... Hmmm... Boy, that's a toughie... Maybe I should check with my accounting manager to see what he thinks... :::Eyeroll:::



    Message 246


    02:35am Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: cmosca

    I was not being trite... can anyone discuss this in non-hysterical terms for computer users who don't have time to read and re-read every user-group headline? What exactly is going to happen ... is the penguin on top of my computer going to spontaneously blow up on January 1, 2000? I am a pc user who has been a Mac sys-admin for years ... when reformatting/reloading a Mac, we've frequently had the date change to 2004 with no consequence. We just reset the clock. How are the consequences different on a pc?



    Message 247


    02:44am Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: cuny123

    Macintosh, Macintosh and Macintosh-- they will ALL work sweetly into the year 2040 (since they first came out in the early 80's they have been programmed to handle up to the date 2040!)

    When will all you PC suckers, I mean users, see the light?



    Message 248


    10:44am Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    cmosca:

    There are so many different issues (or non-issues in the opinion of some) related to Y2K and computers, programmable logic controllers, system controllers, etc., etc., etc., that they could not possibly be covered adequately in a posting forum. However, there are so many websites regarding the issue besides user-groups that the amount of information good or bad is astounding. Here's a few of the most informative:

    Y2K News Magazine - The World's Leading News Magazine for the Year 2000 Millennium Bug Problem
    http://www.y2knews.com/

    Mother of All Year 2000 (Y2K) Link Centers
    http://pw2.netcom.com/~helliott/00.htm

    The Year 2000 Information Center - Year 2000 Press Clippings
    http://www.year2000.com/articles/NFarticles.html

    2k-Times(tm) Home Page - Year 2000 Newspaper
    http://www.bluemarble.net/~storageu/y2k.

    Also check the government links for The General Accounting Office and The Office of Management and Budget. Also your state government probably has a link. Check The Mother Of All Y2K Link Center listed above.

    To both cmosca and cuny123. If the potential problems related to Y2K come to fruition, desktop computers will be the least affected group of computers and also the most inconsequential. And if gloating Mac users find themselves without power, they will be in the same boat as everyone else.



    Message 249

    11:39am Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: xnykx


    The Finnish Fantom

    evanmoore

    This is one of those cases where the suit-crazy US works:

    A class-action suit should be brought against Novell!

    ++

    tbriden

    I know those leap year rules -- but had thought year 2000 was still one level of exception down.

    Maybe they changed their mind when someone noticed most of the calendars were already planned and/or printed?



    Message 250

    12:01pm Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: scottf

    Leap Year 1900 vs. 2000

    As Matt Wald explained, 1900 was NOT a leap year.
    (Ask the Pope why.)

    So when 2/29/2000 comes around, a computer thinking it is
    1900 won't understand that date.

    Scott Feldmeyer
    -----------------
    NY Times archives

    February 9, 1998, Monday

    Leap Day 2000 Might Pose Big Problems for Some Computers' Software
    Computers that survive New Year's Day 2000 by pretending it is 1900 may function fine -- but only
    for 59 days. In a new twist on the so-called year 2000 problem, experts say, Feb. 29 will offer new
    opportunities for computers to fail. As is now wide ...

    Section: Business/Financial Desk
    625 words
    By MATTHEW L. WALD



    Message 251

    03:37pm Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: jedidood

    Re: cuny123 7/19/98 2:44am

    Sure, we'll see the light.....just as soon as you Macintosh idiots (excuse me, I meant users) develop a real user base and software that can compete with what we have on our IBM-PCs. But there is another forum for this argument, so I digress.

    Thanks for all the information on the leap-year situation to whoever first posted it, something else fun to anticipate. I personaly have begun to regard the Y2K problem largely as a hype that will not greatly affect me. My files and programs are protected and it should be interesting, if not entertaining, to watch the federal government in the coming months. The prospect of having to do real work must be quite frightening for them. And if they fail, it is something we as a people will have to deal with, not some strange event singularly attacking me. And I can deal with that.

    ~hugh



    Message 252


    04:58pm Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: xnykx


    The Finnish Fantom

    I'm running a bookshop in Finland with that country's biggest selection of computer books --

    There has been literature for at least 2 years from normal publishers on this Y2K 'problem' and it was written about profusely before that in many magazines like Byte, PC Mag, etc.

    Has anyone got any good sources (non-conspiratory please) of info why this problem is only being widely recognized now?

    We've got a sign up -- 'thank God for the last minute -- otherwise nothing would get done'

    But this whole thing can't just be simple procrastination, can it?



    Message 253


    07:23pm Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    cuny123 writes:

    Macintosh, Macintosh and Macintosh-- they will ALL work sweetly into the year 2040 (since they first came out in the early 80's they have been programmed to handle up to the date 2040!)


    When will all you PC suckers, I mean users, see the light?

    I'm sorry, dude, you're wrong. Dead wrong. You need to peruse Apple's own web-site a little more often.

    ONLY if you are using system 6.0.4 or better is your SYSTEM SOFTWARE on a Macintosh safe for Y2K. ONLY if your application uses the system toolbox for date/time stamps is it safe for Y2K.

    Claris--now owned again by Apple--has a program called "FileMaker Pro". Unfortunately, you MUST be using 3.0 or better in order to have Y2K compliance--2.0 and 2.1 are NOT COMPLIANT.

    So, Cuny, your statements are innacurate. You need to learn to research before you jump in and state Macintosh's will handle the dates to "the year 2040". Especially since they only handle it to the year 2038; September 2038, I believe.



    Message 254


    07:26pm Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    xnykx writes (regarding Novell's "upgrade charge" to a Y2K compliant version of Netware at almost $2,700.00):

    This is one of those cases where the suit-crazy US works:


    A class-action suit should be brought against Novell!

    Trust me, if you bring suit, I'll join in and I can pretty well guarantee that there are over 30 of my associates who will join with us...



    Message 255


    10:01pm Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: 727273

    Evanmore wrote:

    ONLY if you are using system 6.0.4 or better is your SYSTEM SOFTWARE on a Macintosh safe for Y2K. ONLY if your application uses the system toolbox for date/time stamps is it safe for Y2K.

    Well, the number of users who are using a system version earlier than 6.0.4 is likely to be a pretty small number, and it is very unlikely that what's on those machines is mission critical, even in the classroom. I count at least 6 system version releases since then, up through 8.1. The majority of Macs in use today won't even run systems earlier than 7.0.

    Claris--now owned again by Apple--has a program called "FileMaker Pro". Unfortunately, you MUST be using 3.0 or better in order to have Y2K compliance--2.0 and 2.1 are NOT COMPLIANT.

    Claris, always owned by Apple, is now called FileMaker Inc. Again, the current version of FileMaker Pro is 4-something. Versions 2.0 & 2.1 were obsolete quite a while ago.

    As for the Mac and 2038/2040: Here's what the Apple Y2K page has to say...

    The original date and time utilities (introduced with the original Macintosh 128K computer in 1984) used a long
    word to store seconds, starting at January 1, 1904. This
    approach allows the correct representation of dates up to
    6:28:15 A.M. on February 6, 2040.


    The current date and time utilities, documented in Inside Macintosh: Operating System Utilities, use a 64-bit
    signed value, which covers dates from 30,081 B.C. to
    29,940 A.D.



    Message 256


    11:07pm Jul 19, 1998 EST

    By: cblythsr

    If I were inclined to believe in a conspiracy theory, I would surmise that the government's lacksidaisical approach to a solution would be the means to give Americans a kick in the pocketbook and in our unique manner of life. Should our government records and currency somehow fail us, our government could readjust the value of the dollar, temporarily suspend the constitutional guarantees, declare martial law, remove all traces of self-government and states rights, and fall prey to a government totally submissive to the European Union's rules of conduct for member nations. Such a disruptive thing could happen to the last truly free peoples in the world if I believed in a conspiracy theory.


    Message 257


    01:46am Jul 20, 1998 EST

    By: xnykx


    The Finnish Fantom

    cblythsr

    I've just spent the last 3.5 weeks driving 10,400 miles listening to absolute idiots and demagogues like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Reagan lambasting 'government' at every turn.

    Am totally turned off by that approach but anyhow I am really wondering why the GOVERNMENT is being brought into this question AT ALL really.

    The USA has supposedly had the finest brains and research capabilities in computer development in the world (in private!!!!! companies -- MS, Sun, Oracle, IBM, etc. etc.) So my question is -- and continues to be -- where were these people the last 2-3 years when even the simplest mass publishers have had books out there on the Y2K 'problem' for several years and more esoteric sources have been talking about it for at least 5 years!!!!!

    What gives?

    evanmore

    I am not a Novell user so can't participate but even though I have listened carefully to programs on PBS etc. from people doubting the liability aspect of the Y2K, it would certainly seem that Novell cannot stonewall to that degree. It may not be possible to sue them for consequences, etc. but it surely would seem reasonable to pressure them to put things right NOW at reasonable (!) cost if they do have those solutions. Get on the phone!!! NOW!!!!!


    Message 258


    10:03am Jul 20, 1998 EST

    By: mjafar

    jonathanlynch 7/20/98 9:54am

    You don't have to go that far. One of the
    more popular methods of implementing the Y2k fix
    uses the "cutoff year" method, where the
    century is 20 if the year is less than
    95(arbitrary number) or else it is 19. So
    the fixes that are being made are good
    for less than a 100 years.



    Message 259


    01:10pm Jul 20, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    727273 writes:

    The majority of Macs in use today won't even run systems earlier than 7.0.

    I hate to tell you this, buddy, but we have 8 Macs running "mission critical software" that are all using system 6.

    727273 writes:

    the current version of FileMaker Pro is 4-something. Versions 2.0 & 2.1 were obsolete quite a while ago.

    The current version of FileMaker Pro is 4.0. Obsolete or not, our company uses 2.0 and 2.1. All workstations have 2.0 or 2.1 and only 3 of our users even have version 3.0. Why upgrade if you don't have a need? Regardless of whether you say it's "obsolete" or not, it works.

    I was addressing the mistaken belief that Apple computers, software and systems "have always been Y2K compliant". They have been MORE compliant, to be sure. They have addressed the problems more directly--but they are not 100% compliant. And to claim that they are 100% compliant is sheer fallacy.

    And, again, regardless of whether you think that System 6 or FileMaker Pro 2.0 or 2.1 are "obsolete"--they are still being used, they are still being used by businesses, and they are still being used in "mission critical" operations.

    So an uninformed statement to the general public saying that "Apple is 100% compatible, don't worry about it" is incorrect and anyone who bases their choices upon this information is going have a nasty surprise waiting for them on January 3rd, 2000 (the first Monday of the year 2000).



    Message 260


    05:02pm Jul 20, 1998 EST

    By: bharshaw

    Re: 252, in the govt. agency I used to work for the problem was recognized reasonably early (2-3 years ago) and most of the work of fixing the COBOL programs ( :-( )we ran has been done. Based on the latest overall GAO report the agency was perhaps the best in the department. Bottomline--people vary greatly in how fast they recognized the problem, and it doesn't become a public issue until there's a critical mass of reports.

    In the final issue of Byte, an article observed that Boeing had run into the problem several years ago, as part of making the point that the problem is not a stroke of midnight, Dec. 31, 1999 problem. Depending on the application, problems may occur earlier or later. (Like the Fed. Govt. fiscal year 2000 starts Oct. 1, 1999.) We can also worry about the year 10000 problem--anyone want to bet that we don't have programs still running then?



    Message 261


    06:53pm Jul 20, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    bharshaw, I'll take that bet!

    You give me $20 today and in the year 10,000, I'll have one of my decendents pay a decendent of your choice $200 if there are no programs running then that are now. :::Smiles:::



    Message 262


    03:00am Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    Notice of Clarification

    I would like to clarify my previous letter(#238).I did not intend to give the impression that any one of those scenarios will occur.It was my intent to portray the mindset of three factions and their visualization regarding Y2K.

    Scenario #1 was meant to represent the faction which feels that Y2K is a hoax.Scenario #2 was meant to represent the faction which feels that Y2K is real but controllable.Scenario #3 was meant to represent the faction which feels that Y2K is cataclysmic.Sorry about any misunderstandings.


    Message 263


    06:28am Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: flaviandrea

    Does anybody have considered whether Lithium Batteries are Y2K compliant ?



    Message 264


    10:53am Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: tabbycat4


    I personaly have begun to regard the Y2K problem largely as a hype that will not greatly affect me. My files and programs are
    protected and it should be interesting, if not entertaining, to watch the
    federal government in the coming months. The prospect of having to do
    real work must be quite frightening for them. And if they fail, it is
    something we as a people will have to deal with, not some strange event
    singularly attacking me. And I can deal with that.

    hugh, This really isn't about pc's, or banks, or even the government. What scares the stuffing out of people is the possiblity of the power grid failing. I too could be fairly complacent otherwise. If you're prepared to live for an extended period without any power (or water, or grocery stores) at all, then the next question is: Are your neighbors?



    Message 265


    11:45am Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore


    Does anybody have considered whether Lithium Batteries are Y2K compliant ?

    In recent tests it was determined that lithium batteries are, indeed, compliant. However, due to certain restrictions in their labor agreements, top economists believe that they will strike, causing picket lines of small, handheld devices and individual computer components. Although many scoff at this prediction, the head of the Independent Division Indicators Of Technology (IDIOT) used strong words to indicate that this was a distinct possiblity.

    On a more serious note: Lithium batteries do not have any kind of encoding that handles date/time functions--they merely supply the power FOR the chips that hold this information. You don't have to worry about the batteries--only the chips they power.



    Message 266

    04:29pm Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: tware

    I came in late, though notice that somewhere, sometime, someone must have said something apocalyptic. As a professional dealing with this issue from both technical and legal angles on a daily basis, I must say that it does the public no good what-so-ever to incite hysteria. The bug most certainly will affect everyone in some form or another, but it's not like the blood will be as deep as a horse's bridle. Christ isn't going to come floating down out of the heavens on a white horse with a thousand angels to carry away the faithful because some geek saved some precious harddrive space thirty years ago.

    Of greatest concern, re. the Y2K, is indeed the power grid, as it will affect nearly everyone on the North American continent equally, be they in Los Angeles, Quebec or Cutbank, Montana. And it will indeed affect everything from the food supply (supermarkets) to drinking water. But it's no reason to arm yourself to the teeth and prepare to kill off anybody that hasn't so prepared. No reason to load up your Urban Assault Vehicle (aka today's icon of affluence, the Sport Utility) with guns and ammo and a few bags of groceries and head for the mountains. For the vast majority, that would be far more dangerous than sitting at home and toughing it out.

    However, I think that of far greater concern are those who would, based on their ignorance and fear, or private agenda, manipulate this into something much larger than it is. Fundamentalist Christians, for example, who believe, in the name of god, it to be their Manifest Destiny to bring about the end of the world so Christ will come floating down out of the heavens on a white horse with a thousand angels to carry away the faithful. My People have had some experience with Christian Manifest Destiny. Translate Rape, Murder, Pillage - translate Genocide - in the name of god.

    Is the Y2K a hoax? No.

    Will it get fixed? Yes, eventually.

    Will the world be 100% prepared, will the Y2K be 100% fixed at Day 365, 1999? No. There are critical systems, and then there are non-critical systems. Critical systems, the power grid, municipal water supplys, health care, banking and telecommunications, are the focus of today's efforts. Non-critical systems, the automated food scanners at the supermarket, can wait. Unless of course people have forgotten how to add. Too bad.

    I went on a survivalist kick twenty years ago, when Reagan was into his "Evil Empire" kick. My kids were born in the High Cascades in a (sort of) Hippie Bus loaded with a ten year supply of food, clothing, guns and ammunition, and mapped routes from anywhere in the states of Oregon and Washington to predetermined campsites as close to the glaciers as possible. Guess what? The Commies didn't nuke us, the world didn't come to an end. And it isn't going to happen now. A hundred years ago Fundamentalist Christians were predicting, much as they are now, Christ floating down out of the heavens on a white horse with a thousand angels to carry away the faithful. Didn't happen, did it?

    There is no reason to turn this in Apocolypse Now, I have some experience with that Apocalypse. If Day 15, or Day 30, 2000 rolls around and the supermarket selves are empty, don't run to the hills. Because aside from the fact that I am already here, feeding my family, you'll starve here quicker than you will in the city.

    And, of course, if you are sitting at your PC pounding out end-of-world hysterical Y2K nonsense on the 52nd floor in some building in downtown NYC, have you ever heard of self-fulfilling prophesy?



    Message 267

    06:10pm Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    tware writes:

    if you are sitting at your PC pounding out end-of-world hysterical Y2K nonsense on the 52nd floor in some building in downtown NYC, have you ever heard of self-fulfilling prophesy?

    Preach it brother! Amen! Glory be! Hallelujah!

    :::laughs::: End of the millenium jitters are all around us. Global warming. Pollution. War. Nuclear weapons. Christ's 2nd coming. And don't forget ... the Millenium bug! (Sounds like a flesh eating bacteria out to get us, doesn't it?) Ohhhh... that reminds me... AIDS, Ebola, Hanta fever...

    Is it wrong to loot the home of a fear-monger when they head to the hills and leave their doors wide open?



    Message 268


    07:00pm Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: mikem90

    I suspect that the problem is not as bad as hyped.
    How many of us work for 8 hours non stop. When the problems pop
    up, there are enough people around to handle them one at a time.

    I suspect that there will be some problems, but the interested
    parties will be able to deal with them or lose their jobs.



    Message 269


    07:57pm Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: jedidood


    hugh, This really isn't about pc's, or banks, or even the government. What scares the stuffing out of people is the possiblity of the power grid failing. I too could be fairly complacent otherwise. If you're prepared to live for an extended period without any power (or water, or grocery stores) at all, then the next question is: Are your neighbors?

    Power: not a major possibility as all that is likely to happen is that the billing may be screwed up. While this could be a problem, it is certainly an obvious one.
    Also, given the fact that the power company would presumably be that target of hundreds of thousands of lawsuits I have faith they will fix the problem if it
    exists. But from my (limited) knowlege of the way power companies operate and my (not so limited) knowlage of computer programing I highly doubt we will be
    without power.

    Water: Same as the power company, I would expect that the most that would happpen would be billing errors. See argument for Power.

    Grocery Stores: Ridiculous. Explain how, other than *possibly* through the shipping networks which I believe are probably supervised by a human, a grocery
    store is going to be affected? Ohh, wait, I forgot that maybe the alarm clock of the store manager might not be year 2000 compliant and he/she might not wake
    up in time to open the store. Ohh, never mind, grocery stores usually open 24 hours.

    It largely ignorence that scares the population, be informed about that which you are speaking.

    ~hugh



    Message 270


    08:41pm Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: jms1236

    What's the issue with NetWare 4.10???


    Message 271


    09:45pm Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: ramunasm


    Victim of Y2K

    A few days ago I personally became affected by the Y2K bug, but not in a way that everyone is talking about.

    I decided to test my computer for compatibility and set th clock to Dec 31, 1999 23:55 and turned it off. Some 10 minutes later, I booted and everything at first seemed normal. I checked my productivity software, compilers, spreadsheets, and the date and time were all fine.

    I lost all of my files in Norton's Erase Protect Directory.

    So if you do this test, turn EP off.



    Message 272

    11:29pm Jul 21, 1998 EST

    By: cmosca

    Pardon the awful repetition of the pun, but "Amen," tware. I have just about had enough about judgmental, demanding, vindictive gods for one lifetime. And more than enough about the nonsense involved in staving off their wrath. Next species that comes along should invent a kindler, gentler god ... and deliver it to their kind in Ireland and the Mideast first.

    mikem90 ... we'd all like to believe that the incompetent shall lose their jobs ... but they're equally fired and promoted based on office politics, and we all know it. It is arrogant ignorance to count on anyone but yourself to look after your self-interests (and your computer). Murphy's Law is usually right: people will rise to their level of incompetence. (Murphy just didn't factor in the insipid in-law in a family-run firm who would actually be rewarded in spite of that incompetence!)



    Message 273


    12:12am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: dixieflatline

    Peter H. Lewis' comments on the Y2K bug in his article, "Exterminating the 2000 Bug From Home Systems," were generally accurate and well taken, however, he does commit one glaring and potentially horrific error. He states,

    "Windows 98 is fully Y2K compliant, Windows 95 mostly compliant. Microsoft has posted a Year 2000 compliance guide on its Web site."

    While these OSes may be compliant with "issues" in MS's view, this should not be construed to mean, as Mr. Lewis does, that they are truly Y2K compliant. As William Ulrich noted in his June 22 column in Computerworld,

    "Finding out now that Windows NT and Windows 95, according to Microsoft's Web site are compliant 'with issues' further demonstrates that research into the matter is dragging."

    The crux of Ulrich's commentary is that MS has been tardy, to say the very least, with regards to its Y2K preparations and there are no guarantees that any of their products are fully compliant. To support this notion, I suggest that you look closely at MS's marketing campaign for Win 98. There is no mention of Y2K compliancy. Moreover, if you look carefully on the Win 98 package, you will see no mention of its compliancy. Would a company with as much marketing savvy as MS miss an opportunity like this to hype its product? Or are they, perhaps, avoiding future litigation by not making an undisguised claim that they can't, in fact, support?

    Products that are fully Y2K compliant, such as IBM's PC DOS 2000, carry the "ITAA 2000 Certified" seal, which was conspicously absent on the MS web site included in Mr. Lewis' column. Win 98 doesn't carry this seal on its packaging either. I would respectfully submit that an independent panel is much better at judging whether a product is Y2K compliant (or not) than accepting the word of the manufacturer, particularly when that manufacturer's reputation for honesty in business dealings has the questions associated with it that Microsoft's currently has.

    In future, I would encourage Mr. Lewis not to take MS at face value so facily, lest he lead his readers astray.

    regards,

    Pete Grubbs

    Contributing Editor

    OS/2 e-Zine!,


    Message 274


    03:12am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: kroberton

    Regardless of what we are hearing, the fundamental truths remain
    the same: Live debt free, you only own what is completely paid for;
    Order your life in a way that is pleasing to God; Understand that
    the national debt does effect you; And, diversify your income as well
    as your talents. This is good advice in any situation, "follow it
    and benifit in any economy or world crisis, ignor it and suffer reglardless of the times."



    Message 275


    09:05am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: jim1bets

    Here's the deal on Y2K. I'm watching c-span
    and some US senator is telling a bunch of
    reporters that if Y2K were tommorrow the power
    grid would go down, but not to worry;we have 17
    months. Translation:Worry.

    There's all these embedded chips in pumps and
    stuff. Seems nobody knows where they are and
    when you find them it's hard know if they're the
    good ones or the bad ones. Six per cent are bad.

    On a scale of 1 - 10 I judge the senators worry
    factor to be a 7. Don't worry be happy

    Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts



    Message 276


    09:17am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    jim1bets 7/22/98 9:05am

    There's all these embedded chips in pumps and stuff.

    And WHY would a chip in a pump have reason to display the year in decimal format? If it doesn't, it doesn't have a Y2k problem.



    Message 277


    09:25am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: mjafar


    FYI to those suffering from "I wont be affected" syndrome.

    Recently a car rental company, refused
    to rent to certain customers, whose
    credit cards were pronounced invalid
    by the company's computers. Apparently
    the expiry date on the cards was 00.
    And the software whiz decided to have
    an additional check to validate the cards.
    Just imagine how important it may have
    been for some customers to get that car.

    Moral of the story : What I do in MO, may
    adversely affect you in Idaho.
    We are all connected and wont know
    until something breaks down. Getting a million dollar utility bill
    is not the only kind of Y2K problem. There
    could be life and death scenarios too.



    Message 278

    09:30am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: tabbycat4


    Grocery Stores: Ridiculous. Explain how, other than *possibly* through the shipping networks which I believe are probably supervised by a
    human, a grocery store is going to be affected? Ohh, wait, I forgot that
    maybe the alarm clock of the store manager might not be year 2000
    compliant and he/she might not wake up in time to open the store. Ohh,
    never mind, grocery stores usually open 24 hours.

    I don't have the source for this, but I just read yesterday that, when they computerized railroad switches throughout the country, they removed all the old manual switches. This incredible no-brainer means that, if there are non-compliant chips in the new switch mechanisms -- and no one will say for sure that there aren't -- there will be no way to regulate train traffic at all. No manual back-up, no train movement. No trains, no trucks, no groceries. On the plus side, horses may suddenly be very valuable.



    Message 279


    09:52am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    Novell is holding us for ransom. Other companies offer free patches to fix current systems, or free upgrades to new systems that allow for Y2K compliance. But not Novell, oh no. With Novell, if you have 4.10, you're stuck. You have to pay a minimum of $2000 to get the necessary upgrade so your system doesn't glitch on you.

    That's highway robbery. It is coercion. "Your system won't work in a year and a half--unless you give us $2000" (more if you have more user licenses). And if you have SFT III, tack on another $700 just for that.

    Bottom line: If I want to make my network safe for Y2K I either pay the highway robbers (Novell), migrate to a more inexpensive network--and thereby suffer other problems--or I take Novell to court and sue them.

    There should be a great precedent. The government is sensitized to this kind of activity. It would be a great "example" case for the rest of the industry. And, you know, with the responses I've received from my inquiries, I'm FAR from alone. Novell could be the case that makes Y2K history. Their inability to service the needs of their consumers is tantamount to breaking a warrantee or a license agreement.

    A nice class-action law-suit sounds good right about now--and unless Novell changes their tune, I think it's high time to start the process. I've already called our legal department to examine the issue. Watch the news, folks. When you see Novell hauled into court, you heard it here first!



    Message 280


    09:53am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    tabbycat4 7/22/98 9:30am

    if there are non-compliant chips in the new switch mechanisms

    Where does a railway switch display the year in decimal? Again, for those who came in late, the Y2k "bug" only kicks in when a timestamp is converted into decimal and the year isn't given enough digits. If a date conversion isn't involved, there's no Y2k bug.



    Message 281


    09:56am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    evanmoore 7/22/98 9:52am

    Is there such thing as a Novell Users Group?



    Message 282

    10:09am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: mjafar

    just_john 7/22/98 9:53am

    Y2K bug is more virulent where there is
    comparison of dates, irrespective of
    conversion.



    Message 283


    10:19am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: just_john

    (pre-post-postmodern)

    mjafar 7/22/98 10:09am

    Y2K bug is more virulent where there is comparison of dates, irrespective of conversion.

    Oh? Tell me how calculations of binary timestamps care about 1/1/2000 over any other date that might be happening.

    For instance, here's three numbers from Excel. One translates to today, one translates to 1/1/2000, and one is another date:

    • 35998
    • 36526
    • 43832

    You'll note that they're all the same number of digits, and they all take the same amount of space in storage.



    Message 284


    10:31am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane


    >>And WHY would a chip in a pump have reason to display the year in decimal format? If it doesn't, it doesn't have a Y2k problem. <<<<

    This is a true statement and points up a general misunderstanding about embedded chips. Chips mounted in devices to complete a simple "on-off" function don't care about dates and will not be affected. But if you follow the chain up farther you get to the real culprits. The chips in process control units that send out the instructions are. They operate plant processess from manufacturing to security, to inventory control and manipulation, based wholly on dates. For example, an elevator contains chips that receive the instruction to go up or down, close the doors, etc. These do not utilize dates, they simply receive instructions. However, the elevator system is controlled by a process control box that tells elevators to complete current operation, then shut down and issue an automated service call. These systems are date sensitive and Y2K vulnerable.Chips in Hair dryers,cars, microwave ovens, etc. don't use dates to control anything.Chips in hospital ventilators, automated infusion pumps, etc. do. It is estimated that perhaps only 1% of embedded chips may have a problem, but 1% of tens of billions is still alot of chips and they have to be located before they can be replaced.

    >>>Power: not a major possibility as all that is likely to happen is that the billing may be screwed up. While this could be a problem, it is certainly an
    obvious one. Also, given the fact that the power company would
    presumably be that target of hundreds of thousands of lawsuits I have faith
    they will fix the problem if it exists. But from my (limited) knowlege of the
    way power companies operate and my (not so limited) knowlage of
    computer programing I highly doubt we will be without power. <<<<<

    The senator in charge of gov't Y2K research disagrees:

    >Washington, DC (July 15) - Speaking before a noontime gathering of journalists at the National Press Club , Senator Bob Bennett
    (R-Utah) said, "I believe the power grid will work."

    >>Bennett: "I expect we will have brownouts and regional blackouts, and in
    some areas of the country there will be power failures. But the power
    grid as a whole will not go down."

    Bennett is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on the
    Year 2000 Computer Problem. The committee published a recent
    survey on Y2k preparedness at the largest utilities in the U.S.<<<

    For a clearer understanding of the effect of embedded chips on the electric companies, go to:
    http://www.euy2k.com/embedded.htm
    And www.euy2k.com in general for a clearer understanding of the electric utilities.

    >>>>Grocery Stores: Ridiculous. Explain how, other than *possibly* through the shipping networks which I believe are probably supervised by a
    human, a grocery store is going to be affected? <<<<

    OK... how about starting with the inventory systems and computers. Go from there to the systems that check expiration dates. Some of these systems have already reported failures. Then go to the cash registers, which are date sensitive and integrated with the inventory control and purchasing system. Then proceed to the ATM and credit card readers, some of which are already rejecting cards with exp. dates past 2000. Then go on to the security system, most of which are date stamped.
    Also, the supermarkets are linked to large central warehouses that can have their own sets of problems. And as long as you mentioned shipping, most major trucking firms are now linked to the Global Positioning Satellite which has it's own unique set of problems coming up.
    In fact I contacted the largest supermarket chain



    Message 285


    10:37am Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    cuchulane 7/22/98 10:31am

    Chips mounted in devices to complete a simple "on-off" function don't care about dates and will not be affected. But if you follow the chain up farther you get to the real culprits. The chips in process control units that send out the instructions are.

    Right. So it's not an army of malfunctioning chips all around, but the command-and-control units running the army. These units are a lot easier to test and fix than the "army" is, and they're more likely to have overrides built in.



    Message 286


    02:13pm Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: tbriden1

    "OK... how about starting with the inventory systems and computers."

    When they go down, everything will disappear from the store shelf.

    "Go from there to the systems that check expiration dates."

    All of a sudden, all goods in stock will actually become 99 years old.

    "Then go to the cash registers, which are date sensitive and integrated with the inventory control and purchasing system."

    And without that system, the supermarket will have no choice but to refuse to sell you anything.

    "Then go on to the security system, most of which are date stamped."

    Watch out for the looters!

    "And as long as you mentioned shipping, most major trucking firms are now linked to the Global Positioning Satellite which has it's own unique set of problems coming up. "

    Yeah, think of all those truck drivers who will be irretrievably lost on our nation's highways when the GPS systems go down. Now all of the food that they're shipping will rot in the trailers because there is no way to deliver that food without the GPS system.



    Message 287


    02:29pm Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane


    >>Right. So it's not an army of malfunctioning chips all around, but the command-and-control units running the army. These units are a lot easier
    to test and fix than the "army" is, and they're more likely to have overrides
    built in. <<<<

    Right again, although the overrides are questionable, since if this particular issue wasn't considered no override would have been put in place. The whole purpose of a controller is defeated if you put in instructions to operate no matter what.
    The problem is not insurmountable from a technical standpoint, but from a mobilization standpoint. With so little time left there are still an amazing amount of people and businesses that still regard Y2K as a non-issue and a hoax. Even the large corporations got a very late start for all of the various reasons stated in previous posts.
    You are correct in thinking that the embedded chip problem is overblown (toasters, coffee makers, shavers?!?) but if the real chip issues continue to be ignored on the level they are, the result will still be calamity for many US businesses and the economy.



    Message 288


    02:49pm Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: augustm

    Is there any talk about a software scheme that monitors systems for "obvious" errors (such as a million dollar jump in a monthly insurance policy) and automatically corrects it? Perhaps we don't have to clear out every buried bug. Instead we let the early errors occur, but put in a patch that fixes things at the very end.

    And once we do have all the buried bugs fixed, are we going to be compatible with the year 2100 and on???


    Message 289


    03:06pm Jul 22, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    tbriden1:

    consider the following:

    Items will not disappear when inventory systems go down, but they also will not be restocked. Do you think any retailer will continue to bring in truckloads of merchandise with no way to account for it? And if you think the local HumongoMart is going to do their inventory with pen and pad, think again.

    Will items become instantly old? No, but instances have already occured of shipment handling systems ordering pallets of new items to be destroyed as old (and they were, too). Even if a clever human steps in, do you think the markets will run the legal risk of selling items that can't be verified as good to sell? Look on a package of many items for the date code...here's one...N4413110...here's another...44SA3...and another...0546GB...I asked the grocery manager about these codes and how to read them. They do not represent julian dates or anything else, they are mfgr codes read only by the computer. Are all food producers prepared to switch to real dates?

    Will supermarkets refuse to sell without their cash registers? Ever see a modern day clerk try to make change without a register? Do you really think the HumongoMart is going to handle thousands of customers a day with pen and paper? People are already turning blue in the face if they have to wait 10 minutes in line...how about an hour or so?

    You really think stores will stay open 24 hrs a day, or post guards, or not worry about breakins without a security system? Hmmm...those lovely huge plate glass windows and no security system.

    I am less worried about the trucking than any other factor, and most likely they will find a way to operate without the GPS (if the GPS is even a problem). The only worry here is that the introduction of any technology tend to "dumbify" people to the point where reversing to older methods becomes extremely difficult.

    Consider this. The super huge supermarkets are a direct result of computerization. Towns used to have several small markets spread throughout because of the manpower required to operate a market. Now, markets ten times the size operate with the same amount of staff or less. Take away the computerized inventory, ordering, stocking, cashout, reigisters, and assorted systems and the huge markets come screeching to a halt. They will simply be understaffed and ill trained to function.


    Message 290


    05:36pm Jul 26, 1998 EST

    By: LCoats8955

    Clinton's first idea in resonse to the y2k bug is to shield busnesses from legal liability if they "try" to fix it. What is this this but an incentive to not try very hard?



    Message 291


    07:38pm Jul 26, 1998 EST

    By: jonbeath

    ErisX Web Design

    LCoats,

    That depends on how rigorously "try" is defined in this instance. A "tight" definition would provide for a reasonable benefit of a doubt. A "loose" one would be carte-blanche to sit back and do nothing.



    Message 292


    12:43pm Jul 27, 1998 EST

    By: scottf

    Y2K SECTION OF STORIES

    Today St. Paul Press has a handy compendium of
    stories plus links to company annual reports on
    what they are doing.

    http://www.pioneerplanet.com/tech/

    Tech Features
    Updated: Week of Monday, July 27, 1998 3:44 a.m.

    Don't get bugged by Y2K problem

    Nobody knows yet what will happen when the year
    2000 hits and some computers think it's 1900 because of a software flaw. But government and usinesses are working hard to make sure the millennium bug doesn't get out of the gate.

    STORY INDEX
    ________
    PCs should be fine

    Author predicts "utter chaos"

    Insurance firms ready to sidestep bug costs

    Bug has some preparing for meltdown

    Fixes look complex, time consuming

    Additional links on the Y2K issue

    What some companies say about the millennium bug

    Water Cooler: Are you prepared?



    Message 293


    09:21pm Jul 27, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    Yes it does seem that Y2K is getting more and more press.I guess its good to make everyone(especially businesses)aware.More awareness will help in tackling the problem.



    Message 294


    07:51am Jul 28, 1998 EST

    By: dnoha

    Though I'm already in the camp that believes Y2K will be a major disaster, I'm looking for an answer to a question. Anyone, feel free to help.

    I'm thinking of embedded systems here. For something date sensitive to fail on 1/1/2000, it must fit the following criteria:

    1. It must not handle 1/1/2000 properly.

    2. Improper date handling must cause a problem.

    3. The device must be set to the correct date to fail at that time.

    4. To have the current date, it must either get a current date from some other timekeeping source, or:

    5. It must have an onboard battery to keep the date itself, or:

    6. It must have the date maintained by never losing power.

    Follow? If it has a material Y2K problem, it won't cause a problem when Y2K rolls around unless it is set to the current real time. In order to be so set, it must be able to store or calculate the time persistently, implying access to some power source, or must get a proper time from some other time source.

    Though I've worked as a programmer for 20 years, I don't understand how this is likely to work in the real world, having never written code for, or engineered an embedded system.

    If these devices have onboard clocks, backed up by persistent access to power (perhaps batteries), and no easy interface access to change them, I can see they'll be a problem. But it seems more likely to me that an embedded system which relys on dates either gets time from a higher level system easier to change, or has long since quit maintaining the correct time anyway. This appears more likely if the device is older, as it either has dead batteries or has suffered some loss of power over its lifetime, thus resetting its clock and putting it out of sync with realtime.

    Anyone out there know how to respond to these questions about embedded systems?


    Message 295


    09:38am Jul 28, 1998 EST

    By: princesa2

    A friend of mine is working on this matter here in South America. She's handling it on two levels: simple programs to which she needs to go back and change the year thing to include 4 and not 2 digits. That process is, as I've said, simple. Now, the second level, has to do with more complex programs, larger ones, which process dates. For example, she's got to deal with a program that handles loans: due dates, interests for not paying on time, etc. That's quite a problem, I believe. And that's just one example. My friend has more than 1000 programs to "correct".

    The thing is, as she's explained it to me, IBM and others are selling "automatic" solutions, but due to the sensitive issue (what if it bypasses some important info), computer people prefer to do this manually first. Let's see what happens as the year 2000 gets even closer.



    Message 296


    09:44am Jul 28, 1998 EST

    By: coon_b

    Sure there will be some problems with Y2K
    on some mianframes and some really old PCs.
    But reality has got to set in some time. We
    don't need to rewrite the code in all of these
    systems. There are new and better programs out
    there that don't have a Y2K issue and come with
    translators to import the old data into them.
    I believe this issue will be resolved at the
    comptroller level. Chicken little didn't have a
    computer and he was able/unable to as effectively
    predict end of the world as he new it. Naysayers
    are always with us, and it is good to be aware of a
    possible problem, but we are not going to crash and
    burn over this issue. If for no other reason than
    that too much money is at stake, and those in the
    drivers seats aren't going to let it get away.



    Message 297


    10:06pm Jul 28, 1998 EST

    By: alegria3

    Too much of what I read about Y2K smells like media hype at its worst!! Where can one go to find an objective appraisal of the problem. Not simply the earth is falling from some one with no real knowlege of computors or someone trying to make a killing on Y2K.



    Message 298


    02:03am Jul 29, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE

    I get the impression that Y2K is like the tale The Tortoise And The Hare.Substitute the tortoise with the "millenium bug" and the hare with "big business".Also substitute the the finish line with " the year 2000".

    The tortoise and the hare decided to have a race.The hare figured he could run circles around the tortoise and that the race was really a big joke.During the race the hare felt so confident about winning the race that he decided he could afford to take a nap.He was far ahead and figured the tortoise was way too slow to catch up to him.

    The tortoise chugged along.When the hare awoke from dreamland he realized that the tortoise had passed him and was nearing the finish line.The hare jumped up and put himself into overdrive.He ran as fast as he could but you know how that story ended, don't you?



    Message 299


    07:36am Jul 29, 1998 EST

    By: onyxcavepark

    With Deputy Transporation secy Mortimer Downey mentioning that transit and traffic could be all by stalled by the Y2K-- what do you think is happening to the TRAVEL and TOURISM industries???

    Without any truly BIG businesses "in charge" of this very large commercial wedge of the business dollar-- and absolutely nobody is trying to make an educated forcast on what this is going to do to those employers, employees, and investors---- it should go without saying that usually in this world, advertising contracts are already on the "mahogany" for signatures for that exact time frame-- 2000

    Please discuss. Thanks. M. Schmidt



    Message 300


    12:22pm Jul 29, 1998 EST

    By: scottf

    Wisconsin's governor warns

    7/28/19 98 Mlwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Madison -- Warning of a potential "disaster" in only 17 months, Gov. Tommy Thompson said
    Monday he will
    create a panel to help local governments and private businesses work through serious
    economic and safety threats
    posed by the year 2000 computer problem.

    "I am very fearful," Thompson said...
    he has talked to many business people and government officials.

    "They don't seem to be really worried; in fact, they're not really being involved in it."

    If government officials and business executives do not take the problem seriously, computers
    in state government
    might be tested and ready for the problem but a "disaster" could still happen if federal and
    local government
    computers aren't also ready, the governor said.



    Message 301


    06:33pm Jul 29, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    Can anyone confirm positive or negative information regarding an embedded clock chip within a large number of Chevrolet speed-control processors that is supposedly NOT compliant?

    A friend of mine told me a horror story about it--but I can't find any information to either confirm his facts or shoot him down.

    According to this info, after Jan 1, 2000, the speed control will set itself to 99 mph any time it is activated and can only be stopped by turning off the engine.

    I think it's bull, personally, but I'd like more info about this.



    Message 302


    08:57am Jul 30, 1998 EST

    By: tabbycat4


    According to this info, after Jan 1, 2000, the speed control will set itself to 99 mph any time it is activated and can only be stopped by turning off
    the engine.

    That's either the funniest urban legend I've heard in ages, or the most wonderfully perverse poetic justice that technology could invent. Either way, I love it.



    Message 303


    09:07am Jul 30, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    evanmoore 7/29/98 6:33pm

    What was it, ten? fifteen? years ago that Cadillac had ads touting their engine's microprocessor that would decide how many cylinders to use -- 2, 4 or 6 -- depending on the needs of the driving moment.

    My immediate thought was, "That's the first thing that'll break."

    I have an electronic keyboard instrument, an Emax, that permits one to program how to interpret different pressure on the keys. Normally, it's programmed to emulate a piano -- the harder you hit the key, the louder the sound. To really drive a musician insane, you can program it to do the reverse -- just tap the key and POW! To get soft sounds, you have to pound it.

    When they first installed badge locks around here, they got one reversed. You'd rub your badge on the plate, and if you were authorized, the door locked you out for five seconds.

    Ah, computers!



    Message 304


    10:28am Jul 30, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    TRAVEL AND TOURISM AND Y2K

    This letter is directed to M. Schmidt.Your concern is obvious in your posting.Mr.Downey's assertion is tinged with some heavy duty "What in the hell is he talking about?!!",ponderings.Still,his message is dipped in vagueness.

    "Transit and traffic could be all by stalled by the Y2K"."Could" means maybe."All" is definitely a big word for three letters. "Stalled by the Y2K",carries a perplexing tone.Stalled as in it will be rectified? Stalled to be rectified with what time frame? One day,one week.....one year?

    Anyways,the bottom line is that you should be aware that Y2K should be taken seriously.The nicest spin I can put on it is that Travel and Tourism + Y2K is not a profitable combination.

    Corporate America would like you to think that since Y2K climaxes Jan.1/2000,and because of its problems,winter-based Travel and Tourism might end up with a "lost season".Summer-based Travel and Tourism should fare much better given the fact that the "mess gets cleaned up".



    Message 305


    01:32pm Jul 30, 1998 EST

    By: bharshaw

    dnoha - 07:51am Jul 28, 1998 EST (#294 of 304)

    Re: Embedded systems--I too wish someone knowledgeable would explain. I can't understand why most embedded systems would care about the year--why does a Cadillac need to know what year it is or an elevator?



    Message 306


    02:28pm Jul 30, 1998 EST

    By: gdgrimm

    bharshaw 7/30/98 1:32pm

    why does a Cadillac need to know what year it is...

    It doesn't. But if it knew what state you were in, it could automatically increase your cruise control speed when you entered Montana! ;-)



    Message 307


    07:02pm Jul 30, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane


    >>>I can't understand why most embedded systems would care about the year--why does a Cadillac need to know what year it is or an
    elevator?<<<<

    The vast majority of embedded chips don't care what date it is. Many embedded system controls for automated processess do, though. I seriously doubt a cadillac will have any date problems, but an automated elevator system certainly could. Most are controlled by "black-box" devices that shut the elevators down after a certain time has expired for a mandatory service call. These black boxes may or may not be integrated with overall building controls and time systems that control doors, security systems, and fire alarms, sprinkler systems and such which are keyed to certain operations or inspections based on dates. When one of the larger Chrysler Corp plants tested their building systems by forwarding the clock, the doors locked and wouldn't let anyone in or out, among "other nasty surprises" to quote a Chrysler executive.

    Another problem found with embedded chips is many engineers used "all-purpose" chips in some applications that search for date routines even if they are not useful in the application. They lose the date when turned off and recover where they left off when restarted. One chip engineer feels this may cause "Y2K surprises" for years after Y2K.


    Message 308


    09:23am Jul 31, 1998 EST

    By: fet96b

    Wasn't the Aztec calendar supposed to run out in 2000?



    Message 309


    09:25am Jul 31, 1998 EST

    By: just_john

    (pre-post-postmodern)

    fet96b 7/31/98 9:23am

    The Mayan calendar expired a couple years ago. Haven't you noticed that all your Mayan friends have stopped aging?



    Message 310


    01:07pm Aug 1, 1998 EST

    By: scottf

    FORD on car chips

    Here is what Ford says about its computer chips:

    Ford Motor Co. - 10K - March 18, 1998

    An issue affecting Ford and most other companies is whether computer
    systems and applications will recognize and process the
    year 2000 and beyond. Ford has a central office to coordinate the
    identification, evaluation and implementation of changes to
    systems and applications to achieve compliance with the year 2000
    date conversion. The Company is in the process of
    assessing and implementing necessary changes for all areas of the
    Company's business which could be impacted; these include
    such areas as business computer systems, technical infrastructure,
    dealership systems, plant floor equipment, building
    infrastructure, end-user computing, affiliates, suppliers and
    vehicle components.

    The Company has investigated the impact of the year 2000 issue on
    its vehicle components and does not anticipate any effect
    on the operational safety or performance of its vehicles. The
    electronic functionality of such components generally is based on
    engine cycles or the time elapsed since the vehicle was started, not any particular date.
    -----------------------
    While the Company will continue to
    investigate its vehicle components, at present it does not
    anticipate any significant exposure related to the year 2000 issue for
    its
    current or future products.



    Message 311


    03:52pm Aug 1, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore


    Wasn't the Aztec calendar supposed to run out in 2000?

    Depends on what dating convention you use. The most reliable dating convention indicates that on December 24th, 2011, the end of "the fifth world" takes place and followed by the emergence of the "sixth world".

    The Egyptian calender ended in 1950. The Aztec calender in 2011. We already have "end of the millenium jitters". Now we have the Y2K issue.

    Then there are those people who think that Jesus will come back in the year 2000--of course, if they realized that the Julian calender began when Jesus was 6 years old, they would realize that if we are actually dating our calendar from His birth that the year is 2004. So, all these numerological means of trying to make God fit our particular view of the universe make me just bust a gut laughing at their idiocy.

    "It's the end of the world as we know it... I feel fine."



    Message 312


    09:29pm Aug 1, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    I still find it an unfortunate fact that the Y2K problem is by it's very nature linked to the end of the millenium. If a computer problem of such magnitude had been linked to a more arbitrary date, I can't help but think many people would be less dismissive of it as something from the realm of crackpots.



    Message 313


    12:29am Aug 2, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    FORD'S IDEA SHINES

    I'm glad to see that Ford's is getting quite involved in its realization of Y2K .They seem to grasp the problem and are determined to do their part.



    Message 314


    07:40pm Aug 2, 1998 EST

    By: ramunasm


    The Y2K problem is not linked to the millenium.

    cuchulane 8/1/98 9:29pm, the problem is linked to going from year 99 to year 00 with nowhere to carry the 1. It is a century thing, not a millenium thing. If we had computers a century ago, probably people would have had a problem in going from 1899 to 1900 if they only kept the tens and ones of the year.


    Message 315


    08:46am Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    ramunasm:

    I understand the computing aspect of the problem, but the fact is we didn't have computers in 1899, so now the problem is linked to the millenial change. That was exactly my point. The problem in actuality has nothing to do with the millenium, but because of the timing of it anyone who acknowledges there is a Y2K problem is dismissed as some sort of millenial, apocalyptic crackpot.



    Message 316


    09:40am Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: tabbycat4


    I can't understand why most embedded systems would care about the year--why does a Cadillac need to know what year it is or an
    elevator?

    Apparently a lot of devices that have no need to know the date (cars, micro-waves, etc.) have chips in them that are in fact date-sensitive. Those chips were used simply because they were available and, having been mass-produced, inexpensive. You wanted appliances that were reasonably priced, didn't you...?



    Message 317


    09:44am Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    tabbycat4 8/3/98 9:40am

    Apparently a lot of devices that have no need to know the date (cars, micro-waves, etc.) have chips in them that are in fact date-sensitive.

    "Apparently" = "rumor has it"


    Message 318


    10:00am Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: tabbycat4


    "Apparently" = "rumor has it"

    I'll dig up the source if I can. Probably read it on usenet (comp.software.year-2000) which is where all the really good rumors are. If you haven't been yet, it's worth a visit at least for entertainment value if nothing else ("Come for the signal, stay for the noise").

    Regarding the extent of y2k disruptions, this much is certain: We'll all find out together, after it's too late to prepare.



    Message 319


    10:53am Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: gdgrimm

    tabbycat4 8/3/98 9:40am

    Apparently a lot of devices that have no need to know the date (cars, micro-waves, etc.) have chips in them that are in fact date-sensitive.

    Yes, I do think you should look up that source. As an electrical engineer, I've never heard of a chip (or any other piece of hardware) being date sensitive. As a hobby programmer, I know of plenty of software that is date sensitive, but never hardware.



    Message 320


    11:02am Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    gdgrimm 8/3/98 10:53am

    Plus, it would have to keep its date through power-ups and power-downs.

    And if it is to participate in some grand 1/1/2000 outage, somebody somewhere will have had to set its clock to wall clock time.



    Message 321


    11:11am Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: j_taylor

    I think the Y2K issue points to a deeper problem with way the world has haphazardly implemented new technology. Consider that your Desktop PC; it's reasonably new (say the last 10 to 12 years. It may or may not have the bug, but in most cases you can get by because nothing life or business threatening exists solely on it. At least it shouldn't. Now look at the systems that do contain the important data like financial records or air traffic control systems. These systems more that likely have the bug, and in the case of the ATC system, that's probably the smallest problem. Such systems are old, vacuum tub old, and were never intended to be used as long as they have. That they still run is due to a number of factors; they were probably overbuilt for the time since it used to be you had to build things like you'd never get your hands on it again. Parts were expensive, and repairs or upgrades were so time consuming that avoiding down time was a critical situation. Today, down time usually entails telling people to log off for a few minutes while the servers are rebooted or switched. Parts are cheap and easily replaced so downtime of more than a couple of days is usually a system wide upgrade, or a major system failure.
    It seems that once these systems were in place, working fairly stably, people grew accustomed to using them and left them alone. In the short term, this is fine, but what happened is people didn't remember that the system they were using was built with an operational life of maybe a decade, maybe two before it would be replaced by newer more efficient systems. Perhaps it was the fear of downtime coupled with having to learn a new system that caused these systems to be left to plod along until the hardware, firmware or software finally gave out.
    Cars, refigerators, washing machines all went through their useful lives and were replaced, and new computer systems were introduced which didn't replace the old ones.
    Had these legacy systems been kept up with the trailing edge of technology, this problem could have been avoided long ago, probably at a much lower cost than the backwards engineering being done to keep them going today.
    Some might argue that they can't afford to replace their old systems. I contend that we can't afford not to; there is simply too much at stake.



    Message 322


    01:09pm Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: ccoxcomb

    I'm sorry, I just have to quarrel with j taylor's characterization of the current Y2K problem as an example of "haphazardly implemented new technology." In fact, the notion in the general public that the Y2K problem is truly a bug is to a certain extent indicative of where the misunderstanding arises.

    Granted, as j taylor points out, in the halycon past, when many of us programmed mainframes in sneakers and t-shirts, parts were very expensive indeed. Notably, computer memory was expensive. The IBM mainframes of the late 60's and early 70's only had 128K main memory (what we call the RAM now) ... no self-respecting PC jockey would be caught dead with a Tinker Toy memory like that now. The mini computers where I spent years writing assembler letter-of-credit programs for some of the biggest banks in this country only had 48K of RAM. We were forced, therefore, to keep our programs small and tightly written. This produced at least two 'features' in our software: (a) we used the most concise date structures we could think of, and (b) we would attempt to make every routine do what it was supposed to do in the absolutely most efficient manner. The former produced not only 6-digit dates, but also numeric dates such as the number of days since 1/1/1900, which only needs 5-digits (or 2 bytes). And a variety of other novel ways of determining a date. The latter resulted (sometimes) in tightly written, almost incomprehensible code. (For those who have seen how difficult it can get to read code written in C, check out APL.) Once this code was modified and enhanced several times over the decades, it became even more difficult to understand.

    To make these systems work into the next century, therefore, often extremely complicated and obtuse code has to be read and understood, and from that exotic date tracking mechanisms must be identified and 'corrected' to work properly. This is obviously not an easy job, but it is one that most organizations in the world have been trying to address for a very long time already. In any case, we are certainly NOT talking about a bug, in the classical sense anyway, but an improvement over earlier techniques, an improvement that is made that much easier by having gobs of RAM available now. Although it is a big job, it is not an especially difficult one, and most companies are well on their way to completion already.

    Thus, j taylor's opining a slipshod world, as depicted by the Y2K problem, is a misguided understanding of what was done and why. In addition, IMHO, the scope and danger to the planet of the Y2K problem has been severely overstated, mostly by people who either don't really understand the problem well, or by people who have a Chicken Little attitude that the world is about to end anyway, and this is just the first step.



    Message 323


    02:35pm Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    ITS ALMOST FIXED

    Although it is a big job, it is not an especially difficult one, and most companies are well on their way to
    completion already.

    Relax,everyone,Y2K is just about snuffed out!

    . In addition, IMHO, the scope and danger to the planet of the Y2K
    problem has been severely overstated, mostly by people who either
    don't really understand the problem well, or by people who have a
    Chicken Little attitude that the world is about to end anyway, and this is
    just the first step.

    (message to Joe Citizen)

    Are you a Cobol programmer? Are you an expert on embedded chips? Well then,you're not qualified to comment on the severity of Y2K.It seems that the problem has been severely overstated.If you get anything in the mail about Y2K,treat it as junk mail and throw it out.Most companies are nearing Y2K completion and since you're not computer litterate don't worry about Y2K.Its not a big deal.



    Message 324


    03:00pm Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: jedidood

    Re: ccoxcomb 8/3/98 1:09pm

    To make these systems work into the next century, therefore, often extremely complicated and obtuse code has to be read and understood, and from that exotic date tracking mechanisms must be identified and 'corrected' to work properly. This is obviously not an easy job, but it is one that most organizations in the world have been trying to address for a very long time already.

    Actually, in some cases the "correction" is not all hard. In many cases it is possible to write a few lines of code that effectively give you an extra few years of leeway. In simple terms, what you do is tell the computer, all dates from 50-99 have a 1900 prefix, all dates from 00-49 are in the 2000 prefix. You have thus allowed for an extra 50 years of leeway (so we all get to have fun with the 2050 problem!). This proccess works very well with short term systems. In the case of long term systems, such as records on people, we may have problems. For example, say the Social Security Administration hires a programer who does what I have outlined above. All of a sudden, Joe Shmoe, birthdate 6/9/45, will not be born (according to the files) for another 46 years. Which sucks. So in the case of systems that track long term dates, this is a bad idea. In these long-term systems we need to go back and change all the dates to four digit.

    I personally am much more concerned about embedded chips that may not have had consistant power supplies. We may have date failures in the years after 2000 and some of these may be quite annoying.

    Regarding my personal credibility (this comment is directed at casper974 so I don't get a flame) I am a general computer expert with several years programing experience in BASIC, Pascal, C, C+, and Visual Basic. No COBOL (lucky for me) but I do understand the mechanics behind it.



    Message 325


    03:16pm Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: the_doc_man

    I don't worry as much about Y2K in the USA as I do in overseas markets. We have for the past several years seen that our economy is truly becoming more global each day. Witness the recent Asian economy troubles and their effects on USA markets. The real problem will be that even if the USA succeeds in totally fixing Y2K in time, the rest of the world probably will not. In isolationist times, it would be possible to take a rather local, "so what" attitude. That isn't so realistic any more.

    I have read several articles regarding the lack of qualified programmers in other nations. It is difficult to imagine the dearth of support which has been reported until I look at the incredible number of foreign workers here to "learn" programming - and who end up applying for citizenship before their green cards run out. Our success in the USA has created an imbalance in computing services even though corporate America has not consciously tried to cause that imbalance. (Or maybe they have but that is not the point I address here, since I cannot corroborate it.) That "brain drain" cannot help the countries from whom those brains were drained.

    As early as the 1960's, I recall news articles saying that computers of the day had made it impossible for governments to survive without them because they did the work of more clerks than existed among the population. I do not wish this fate on anyone, but it would not be outside of the realm of probability to imagine a government toppling as a result. The chain of events would start with a government unable to meet the demand of services, followed by civil unrest and outright rebellion. Yes, it is an extremist idea, and I am sure not everyone will agree, but the world is already unstable in many places anyway. It is not hard for me to believe that Y2K might be that straw that finally breaks the camel's back for some emerging nations.

    Whether you believe Y2K is serious or not for yourself, I don't know. But I personally believe it is as serious a threat, world-wide, as we could possibly face short of incoming asteroids or emerging plagues. The world-wide economy disruption will reverberate for years to come.



    Message 326


    03:30pm Aug 3, 1998 EST

    By: nharmon

    One aspect of the Y2K problem that I haven't seen extensively discussed is the role it can play as a real-life model demonstrating the interrelationships between different critical infrastructures (telecommunications, energy, transportation, finance, emergency response, and continuation of government) and their vulnerability to outside cyber attack (sophisticated hacking).

    The government has conducted several investigations into the vulnerability of U.S. critical infrastructure (i.e. - the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection) which found that, in theory, there exists a considerable risk of cyber attack against these critical infrastructures. Several DoD exercises (Eligible Receiver, Evident Surprise, etc.) have, on a limited basis, demonstrated actual vulnerabilities, but no one is willing to allow an extensive, real life attack against these infrastructures in order to determine their level of exposure. Would a domino effect occur if the telephone network ceased to function, leading to the loss of the electric power grid, switching errors on the nation's railroads, or substantial disruption of global financial transactions. Would these effects be long-term or short-term? The bottom line is that no one really knows how inter-reliant our critical infrastructures have become or what impact the disruption of one infrastructure would have on others.

    The Y2K bug has the potential of exposing the extent of this inter-relationship and dependence. Even if it is a totally unintentional event, the outcome could reveal quite a bit about our interconnected world. Breaking one link in the chain could cause everything to collapse (the Y2K doomsayers) or demonstrate the reliability and redundency of our multipath networks (the Y2K naysayers). Regardless of the outcome, it should show us a lot about our vulnerability to a sophisticated cyber attack. No one is pleased that we are faced with the Y2K problem, but we might as well look for the silver lining and try to exploit it.



    Message 327


    02:07am Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: ccoxcomb

    To casper974 ...

    Apparently, you weren't reading my previous post too carefully. Let me reiterate, "although it is a big job, it is not an especially difficult one." I never said that there wasn't a lot of work to be done, what I said was that it can be done, is being done, and will be done in time. Most highly critical systems (e.g. military, banking, brokerage, etc.) are "well on their way to completion." Before you mis-construe that phrase as well, that does not mean that these organizations have forty-five more minutes of work, and then we're all planning on putting our feet up for a year and a half. There are millions upon millions of lines of code to inspect and (possibly) alter. At the 'standard' rate of $1.10 per line of code, hundreds of millions of dollars in company profits will be eaten up in fixing these problems, and many organizations will not even begin testing their updated code until late this or early next year.

    What I said, again, is that the problem is overstated ... there is a significant portion of the population, both in and out of systems, who are portraying the situation as a tsunami on the horizon, ready to sweep us all into the Stone Age again. It just ain't so.

    "Are you a Cobol programmer? Are you an expert on embedded chips? Well then, you're not qualified to comment on the severity of Y2K."

    Well, yes, I am a COBOL programmer, but thank you for playing the game. I have also programmed in BASIC, Fortran, PL/I, C, and the aforementioned assembler at various points of my career. I've used database languages (but I swear I didn't enjoy it). I've done software testing, and even tried a stint at quality assurance (very brief, and I truly hated it ... my apologies to those who love it). In addition, after twenty years of doing this for a living, I have somehow acquired a few friends and acquaintances who have a bit of knowledge about other aspects in the industry, including embedded chips. Therefore, I believe that I am qualified to comment on the severity of Y2K, particularly those portions that I have seen first-hand or even created myself. And I will say again, the problem is a big one, and there is much yet to be done, but it is not the end of the world, as many people would have us believe.

    And (finally), to return to my original point, to hold it up as an example of lax standards in our society, as j taylor did, is ludicrous.



    Message 328


    03:15am Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    MOTHER AND SON HAVING DISCUSSION ON Y2K

    MOTHER:OK Junior,time for bed,let me tuck you in......
    SON:Mommy,have you ever heard of the millenium bug?
    MOTHER:Junior,what are you talking about?
    SON:Well, little Jimmy at school told me about this millenium bug and I looked it up on Dad's computer.
    MOTHER:Yes,I know a little bit about it.We got a brouchure in the mail from our bank about it telling us that they are just about done fixing the millenium bug.
    SON:Even the embedded chips?
    MOTHER:The embedded what?...........chips?..........Well Junior,I'm sure they're taking care of those too.The president has assured us that they're hard at work on it.
    SON:You mean Mr.Clinton,the guy with the girlfriend problems?
    MOTHER:(laughs)Now,now Junior,the president is a very smart man and he has a lot of smart people working on this millenium bug.
    SON:I read on the computer that we might not have any 'lectricity.
    MOTHER:Oh no son,these smart people will make sure everything works just fine.
    SON:Well I read that some faraway countries might not have 'lectricity either.
    MOTHER:Well,I'm sure they'll work it out.
    SON:Well,if their 'lectricity goes out,won't all the ice cream in their fridges melt?
    MOTHER:Well,I guess it could.
    SON:Where would they get more ice cream?
    MOTHER:Well I'm sure someone would help them out.
    SON:Maybe their next door neighbour country?
    MOTHER:Yes,I don't see why not.
    SON:What if they won't give them any ice cream?
    MOTHER:Well I'm sure they would agree to give them some ice cream.
    SON:If they don't,maybe they'll fight over it,kinda like Grandpa did in Vietnam.
    MOTHER:No,they'll work it out.
    SON:(stands in bed,saluting)General,I've sent the troops in to retreive the ice cream....If you don't hear from us in 0400 hrs., send in the heavy artillery.....and if that don't work....send in Duke Nuk'em.........
    MOTHER:(laughing,pulls son down)Bedtime soldier,now Junior,I want you to stop thinking about the millenium bug and those......what did you call them..........embedded.....chips?Start thinking about taco chips.Tomorrow I'm taking you out to a restaurant for lunch.And guess what we're having for dessert?........ Yep.......ICE CREAM!!!



    Message 329


    10:05am Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: ccoxcomb

    casper974 ...

    You are certainly free to believe that no one knows what they are doing in this world except you, and that people in the computer industry who have been working on these problems for years are (choose all that apply) (a) the most incompetent of all, (b) deluding themselves, or (c) lying. I am just one of many people who created some of the problems (due largely to memory constraints and the confidence that none of my software would be used twenty years later), and who have been working on the problems lately.

    Believe what you like ... the Y2K apocalypse, the Easter Bunny, honest politicians, whatever you like. And you can deride my responses if you want, since simply assuming I've never done any of this work didn't wash. Put all your money in gold, build a cabin in the mountains, and wait out the inevitable end. I don't really care what you do.

    And by the way, several of the words in your last post were not spelled correctly, including "millennium." I suspect that the Y2K 'bug' has infiltrated your machine quicker than most. Feel free to blame that on me.



    Message 330


    10:55am Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: tabbycat4


    Believe what you like ... the Y2K apocalypse, the Easter Bunny, honest politicians, whatever you like. And you can deride my responses if you
    want, since simply assuming I've never done any of this work didn't wash.
    Put all your money in gold, build a cabin in the mountains, and wait out
    the inevitable end. I don't really care what you do.

    The feeling's mutual. Anyway, if all the techies on the web talked like you, I most likely wouldn't be nervous. But you're very much in the minority, one that seems to be shrinking all the time. Check out the latest Y2K essay on the "Intellectual Capital" web site. Last month, they posted a fairly "pollyanna" essay, & the response was very mixed. This month's equally pollyanna-ish essay is met with almost overwhelming disapproval, by people whose credentials sound much like yours. If four out of five techie-geeks urge me to "run for the hills," am I going to listen to number five...?


    Message 331


    11:00am Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)


    If four out of five techie-geeks urge me to "run for the hills," am I going to listen to number five...?

    Which of the five have steady jobs, and which are trying to drum up business?



    Message 332


    11:24am Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    Once any society moves from an agrarian state to an industrialized one, the first effect is that the members of that society no longer control the means to survive. This will inevitably cause an underlying anxiety when we realize that our very lives are dependent on the effeciency of technology. This is even acceptable to people when they can still grasp the basics of that technology, such as water wheels or steam engines. Once technology moves well beyond the point of common understanding, though, the society is dependent on the abilities and instructions of "techno-druids". As with the druids of old, the people turn to them for explanations of unexplained phenomena and dark clouds on the horizon.

    Well, we can all see the clouds and feel the tremors, and the techno-druids admit there is a disturbance in the heavens. Now the problem that causes great unrest and discomfort among the people is that all the techno-druids are either in disagreement over the problem, or are keeping to themselves for fear of legal repercussions, or are throwing their hands up and saying that there is no way to interpret the entrails. One techno-druid says "I have prayed to the god COBOL for over two decades and he says that while we have much work to do, we will be fine." The another says "Well, I have prayed to the god COBOL for over two decades, and while we are working hard to hold off his wrath, we will not make it in time and must prepare for hardships." Still others say "We have served in the various IT temples of electricity, water, manufacturing,finance, etc., and none of us agree." And yet others huddle together and whisper to each other "If we speak to the people, our merchant masters will behead us."

    So the people in the society are left to their own devices. Some will conclude that it's best to keep faith in the techno-druids and the gods of Technology. Some will keep faith, but also make some preparations. Some will altogether turn their backs on Technology and the techno-druids and return to a simpler life of self-sufficiency. But one thing is sure. Unless the techno-druids can give honest, clear, concise and uniformed answers, they can't blame the people for making their own choices and not "keeping the faith".



    Message 333


    11:30am Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: gdgrimm

    cuchulane 8/4/98 11:24am

    Nicely stated.



    Message 334


    11:43am Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    There is a story in yesterdays LA Times reagarding testing done in one plant that revealed Y2K problems in microchips that had no obvious date functions:

    http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/CUTTING/lat_y2k0803.htm



    Message 335


    12:05pm Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: stheller

    I am a computer programmer with 30 years of experience. I have a regular job and am not trying to drum up consulting business. I am reasonably convinced that Y2K will cause the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI), and am preparing for that eventuality.



    Message 336


    12:05pm Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: evanmoore

    When you're listening to the "4 out of 5 techies"--make sure you know which ones are trying to sell you the ticket on the bus that takes you to the hills. Yes, the hills may be a safe place--but if the flood waters only rise 6 inches instead of 500 feet, won't you feel pretty silly to have spent so much on transportation when a few sandbags could have solved the problem?

    Anyone who claims the Y2K compliance issue is anything more than a bump in the road has a MAJOR stake in separating you from your money so they can "fix" a very minor problem at a very high cost.

    Most companies' IS departments can handle it without any significant problems.


    Message 337


    12:15pm Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: gdgrimm

    cuchulane 8/4/98 11:43am

    The story doesn't go into enough technical detail to explain what was really wrong. There is a SIGNIFICANT difference between "no obvious date functions", and "no date functions". Also, considering how well (NOT) software is tracked in my company that writes it, I wonder about how well a refinery would track it.



    Message 338


    02:06pm Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: the_doc_man

    Regarding evanmoore's comments (12:05PM 08 AUG 1998) - I have no services to sell, Evan. I am a 20-year+ professional with at least half-a-dozen assembly languages and a dozen higher-level languages under my belt, plus college-level computing beyond the 20+ years of salaried work. My background includes real-time industrial computing, personnel databases, and systems administration. I have programmed machines as varied as an IBM 1620, some laboratory and industrial systems, various PC-compatibles, and both VAX and Alpha super-minis. I have worked for private industry and for the U.S. government.

    The Y2K problem is all too frequently misunderstood. Maybe I can clear it up a little. Here are the key points to consider:

    1) How hard is it to fix an instance of a Y2K bug? Usually, quite easy. Maybe in isolated cases, five minutes. Sometimes, for the more pervasive cases, it will take hours or days. But such bugs are always fixable by reasonably competent programmers.

    2) How do you know if you have a Y2K bug? Well, really, some are easy to spot, others are not so easy. You will find out if you have such a bug sometime in the year 2000. If you are lucky and can afford to wait that long to fix Y2K before it bites you. See, for example, the article referenced by cuchulane at 11:43 08 AUG 1998 for an example of an unexpected "gotcha." Or, you could try to find all the places you need to fix, which leads to...

    3) How hard is it to find a Y2K bug?

    It is easy to find database fields, COBOL picture clauses or database definitions, and other items where 2 digits are allocated to variables which are named YEAR, YR, or variations on that theme. It is even relatively easy to find places where a date function stores its output into a datum with only 2 digits for the year field. But some year references aren't named so clearly. And many of them depend on computations which only indirectly reference a year datum, perhaps through a long chain of calculations. So the search software won't catch all of those cases. And of course, if you modify something but don't fix the myriad number of things which use that same something, you haven't fixed the bug yet.

    In the 60's, 70's, and into the 80's, it was not merely "clever" but absolutely NECESSARY to squeeze every last drop (uhh, BIT?) out of your computer. Resources were insanely expensive and your boss would either laugh at you or fire you if you said you had to buy more memory. So programmers did their darnedest to write elegantly compact (translation: incomprehensible) code on incredibly short schedules which did not allow for some of the nicer amenities (translation: documentation) to be included.

    Therefore, DON'T expect to pick up your handly little programming reference guide to your software and expect it to list for you every time a date-based variable is referenced. DO be prepared to run the compiler, assembler, and/or linker with the cross-reference option turned on and slowly, methodically trace back all references to that obscure date field. DO be prepared to suffer eyestrain and headaches. The former will come from reading computer print too much. The latter will come from the late hours you spend doing that much reading.

    If it weren't that software is so labor-intensive, nobody would care. But like it or not, we are stuck with it. Y2K is NOT hard to fix. It is hard to FIND. And THAT is the real problem that the long-term professionals worry about. That is the problem which will cause too many countries to have troubles with Y2K. And that is why some of us warn to expect trouble for several years after 01 JAN 2000.



    Message 339


    02:23pm Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: ccoxcomb

    To be fair, the problem very much depends on the industry you are in. The military is in good shape because they have been planning for all sorts of apocalypses (apocalypsia?) for quite some time, and some of those plans extend beyond the use of nuclear weapons and into the next century. Similarly, many financial institutions are in good shape at this point, if for no other reason than they have been using next century dates for quite some time (e.g. your mortgage payments). That in no way means any of these companies are prepared yet, let alone other 'industries' like the US government ... I did read, after all, that the IRS was scheduled to complete its Y2K conversion by 2002. The story may be apocryphal, however.

    I agree with the question raised by just john. There are those of us, in the industry, who have been working at getting things into shape and who are not concerned ... at least, we are confident about our own systems and the ones with which we interface. Apparently, we are one in five. There are others (such as stheller, I assume), also in the industry, who are concerned about their own systems, or some interfacing systems or the systems in their business area in general. Let's say for the moment that this is another one of the five. However, there are also people in the industry who don't really know how things are going, but who know enough about systems to be scared about how bad things could be. Let's say that's another one in five. I am fairly confident that the remaining two in five are "trying to drum up business, in just john's words, given the obscene salaries and consulting rates being paid for Y2K conversions, the extremely short timeframe left in which to accomplish the changes, and the ridiculous fees being charged by Y2K 'visionaries' who have seen an audience and are here to capture every dollar from this audience that it possibly can.

    Perhaps, if I'd been a COBOL programmer for twenty years, I would be trumpeting the Y2K problem as well. I could have made and still be making a LOT of money shopping my services around.

    The breakdown I gave is obviously not scientific. The industry is so vast at this point, that it would be very difficult to reliably assign risk percentages anyway; but it seems clear that only a portion of all the critical systems in the world are at any real risk, and many of those, IMHO, can be corrected into the next millennium without dire results. Non-critical systems can either be junked and replaced, or fixed when we get around to them. In addition, I believe that only a subset, perhaps a small subset at that, of the frightening predictions about the Y2K problem are believable. Telling which those are is very difficult indeed.


    Message 340


    04:26pm Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: tabbycat4


    When you're listening to the "4 out of 5 techies"--make sure you know which ones are trying to sell you the ticket on the bus that takes you to the
    hills. Yes, the hills may be a safe place--but if the flood waters only rise 6
    inches instead of 500 feet, won't you feel pretty silly to have spent so
    much on transportation when a few sandbags could have solved the
    problem?

    They're actually not trying to sell me anything. I neither own a company nor control the computers where I do work. I've never even met these people except on the Net, where most of them aren't attempting to sell anything to anyone, but merely exchanging info (on boards such as this one, or on Usenet, software.comp.year-2000). Paul Milne, the most articulate & entertaining of the serious alarmists, has never pitched me anything that I can recall. As for over-sandbagging: So what? Surely it's infinitely preferable to have a year's supply of food, water & ammo, & not need it, than to need it (to stay alive, remember?) & not have it. As long as the techno-druids say that there's a problem but either can't or won't agree on its seriousness, I'm inclined to heed the ones who are taking measures to protect their families.


    Message 341


    04:45pm Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    tabbycat4 8/4/98 4:26pm

    As long as the techno-druids say that there's a problem but either can't or won't agree on its seriousness

    That's because the ones who know have to rely on their companies' public relations offices to share the specifics with the outside world.


    Message 342


    06:41pm Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: stheller

    ccoxcomb 8/4/98 2:23pm

    There are others (such as stheller, I assume), also in the industry, who are concerned about their own systems, or some interfacing systems or the systems in their business area in general.

    No, actually I'm most concerned about three major areas:

    1. Banking
    2. Telecommunications
    3. Utilities (power, water, sewer, etc.)

    If any of these goes down for any length of time (and I believe they will), we're looking at the end of Western civilization as we know it.



    Message 343

    11:10pm Aug 4, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    I've just spent a good amount of time reading through this thread.
    I'm the "Technologist" for a small Macintosh oriented Design type agency, and I'm not particularly worried about the behavior of our computer systems after 01/01/00. Our agency contracts to large companies to study various aspects of society and human behavior and how these things relate to their brand positions in the marketplace.

    I've also spent 7 years of my adult life living in Communes and engaging in various psycho/social experiments. I also enjoy the study of history, particularly ancient Rome and early U.S. history.

    I mention these things to establish that although I do not write COBOL or understand the nature of Assembly Language, I'm not a total tech illiterate. But, more importantly, I think I have a little insight into how human beings are programmed.

    There seem to be a lot of threads on this thread, or maybe more accurately, waves, regarding specifics in computer programming or imbedded systems, etc. People seem to enjoy waving their swagger sticks at each other and brandishing their knowledge of their particular fields. There also seem to be a few occasional one-shot doom and gloom comments with very little response.

    There doesn't, however, seem to be much in the way of actual discussion about how society as a whole, and individuals will weather this particular storm.

    Based on the cursory research that I've done in the past year or so, it is my opinon that Western Civilization as we know it will cease to exist in early 2000. My negative fantasy is to be in Times Square when the ball drops and the lights go out. Of course, I won't actually be there, because I'm moving my (extended) family to a small, fairly unknown Caribbean island next summer.

    As far as I'm concerned, it all comes down to NO ELECTRICITY!!!
    For a long time. A real long time. It doesn't matter what my computers are doing wrong, because they won't get any power. And without power, we won't be able to manufacture all the chips we need to replace the old ones in the embedded systems at the public utilities, Etc.

    In the study of history, it becomes obvious that all societies evolve and change over time, and some end abruptly. Major Civilizations tend to crash harder than smaller societies. Our society and it's members have become so slow and thick, that when an abrupt change occurs, most people and organizations will not be able to adapt.

    I'm sorry to say it, but in that cold winter (pray it's a mild one) people will freeze and starve.

    Anyway, I would hope that people on this thread would be willing to talk to each other and other people that they know in a clear, rational way to try to figure out how to ease this blow, and to try to determine what kind of society we will live in after the smoke clears.

    In conclusion, "Sorry, a System Error Occurred. Restart."


    Message 344


    09:09am Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: tabbycat4


    There doesn't, however, seem to be much in the way of actual discussion about how society as a whole, and individuals will weather this particular
    storm.


    ... it is my opinon that Western Civilization as we know it will cease to exist in
    early 2000. ... I won't actually be there, because
    I'm moving my (extended) family to a small, fairly unknown Caribbean
    island next summer.

    Thank you for putting your finger on it: Those who truly believe in the inevitability of meltdown are indeed running for the hills. I have no problem with that -- I hope you & your familiy are safe -- but then, what are we left to talk about? If civilization is really doomed, then talking about the future is just so much deck-chair re-arranging on the Titanic. If I choose not to run off to the Caribbean (I have elderly parents & no children), do I simply resign myself to the fact that I will probably die a nasty death within two years from now? (Or is there room on that island/lifeboat for a few more...)



    Message 345

    09:19am Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    My family has had a place in the Adirondaks for decades. I went there for July 4, 1976, fearing terrorist insurgency.

    Where will I be on midnight between 12/31/1999 and 1/1/2000? I'll probably be working, thanks to you panicking bastards and the fear you're inflicting on gullible executives. Add that to the wo-onderful opportunity to hear this crap for the next year and a half, and you might begin to understand my building rage.

    If there is any time in our lifetimes for public nudity and fornication in the streets (where climate permits), it's 1/1/2000. But me? I get to be on the phone. "No, boss, everything's still working. Our months of testing were correct. Gosh, that sounds like a fun party ..."



    Message 346

    09:56am Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: ccoxcomb

    stheller ...

    Of course, I cannot say with certainty about every company, but my entire career has been spent in banking and brokerage systems. I've sat through umpteen meetings about what changes are required, both within the companies I worked for and in industry groups such as the Y2K committee of the SIA. I've had direct contact with a few of the biggest banks in Japan and the bigger banks in the US with my systems. From what I have seen, and in talking with friends and associates in the industry, the financial industry is not at any great risk. Only a small portion are at or near completion yet, but all are solidly on schedule to be re-worked, tested, and in operation, Y2K compliant, well before 1/1/00. Friends and acquaintances in other fields within systems have told me pretty much the same story, including telecomms. (I don't know anyone working in utilities, unfortunately.) While there are likely to be some sort of problems, the computer industry as I've been associated with it has always been aimed at overkill in its designs, which is why some twenty-year-old systems run at all.

    As I said before, if the critical systems work, which it seems sure they will from my experience and contacts, then the world is in no danger. Still, the work load is large ... during one SIA Y2K meeting a year and a half ago, the representative for one major brokerage said that they had 75 million lines of code to inspect and were only just starting. In addition, at that $1.10 per line of code estimate, it would cost the brokerage about $82.5 million to make sure the code is Y2K compliant. Senior management was telling him to do it in $8 million. But that was a year and a half ago, and if the 'hype' about the coming end of the world as we know it has accomplished anything, it has awakened some pointy-haired bosses who don't know beans about systems to the very real difficulties involved in solving the Y2K problem. My point is that the discussion of Y2K upgrades, and even the re-education of senior management, has been going on for years.

    Still ... if someone wants to head for the hills (or the Caribbean), so long, farewell. It would be nice if you stayed behind in a more constructive role, but like just john I'm still going to be sitting here, coding my butt off on whatever they give me. We are already Y2K compliant at my job. The EMU is the problem of choice at the moment.

    Apparently, though, some of my twenty-year-old code may still be in operation at Chase Manhattan Bank ... just my small part in bringing down civilization. :c)



    Message 347


    10:38am Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    Heading for the hills, or the Caribbean, doesn't mean that "the world" will end, or that by being in the hills, one is not still a member of society...

    I live in a not so great section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and I try to imagine what it will be like living there in January if there is no electricity, gas or water. If the social security and paychecks stop coming and food distribution network breaks down and people try to burn their furniture for warmth, there will naturally be problems.

    Extrapolate that to a national or international level, and then try to imagine where it goes.

    One of the problems with our society as it is currently configured, is that we have come to a place where "Economy" is more important than "People." All resources are geared towards growing "Economy" and most "People", other than a few the masters and celebrities, are viewed as cogs in the machinery of "Economy."

    So, what happens when that system error occurrs? The most frightening aspect of all this is that noone knows. But if you look at the way "Economy" is configured for growth, I think it is fairly obvious that a major disruption will have long lasting effects. How will "People" handle that disruption? Many, not too eloquently, I'm afraid.

    Anyone here remember the Crash of '29?
    I don't.
    I do know, however, that it took twenty years and a world war for the effects to be worked through. Also, a larger percentage of people at the time were able to fend for themselves. My Grandparents and members of their families lived nearby and had gardens and raised chickens and traded with other people in the area for other neccessities. I don't think there are many people in Williamsburg Brooklyn or the Upper West Side or Baltimore or Oakland or Tokyo who will have the resources or skills to live that way if there is a major disruption for six months. And that is precisely what could turn the disruption into disaster.

    So what happens after that? Is "Economy" as we know it still relevant? Do petite dictators take over swaths of chaos? Do pockets of socialism grow where people band together? Will empire sized nation states be able to maintain control when communication networks don't work? What about individuals today? What sorts of preparations should people be making to protect themselves? Does anyone even really care, or have we forgotten how to deal with each other as "People?"



    Message 348


    11:10am Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    pshannon 8/5/98 10:38am

    and I try to imagine what it will be like living there in January if there is no electricity, gas or water.

    Why stop there? Why not throw in the Sun vanishing and the world wandering off into space? If you must indulge in fantasies, why not do it up right?

    Each of those systems predates computers and has gone through all sorts of problems and is still going. Remember the Great Blackout of 1965? I do. Was there mass rioting? Hardly.

    Again, all these panic stories assume that the world runs a lot smoother than it actually does, so we're unable to cope with anything unexpected (as if Y2k is unexpected..) Heck, the air traffic controllers have lost track of Air Force One TWICE within the past two months.

    The systems of our world are kludged together with baling twine and duct tape. What keeps them running is constant oversight by experienced people who deal with major screwups DAILY. Think George Kennedy in the Airport movies, multiplied by millions. 1/1/2000 will be a breeze, compared to, say, a water main break or an earthquake.

    ccoxcomb 8/5/98 9:56am

    but like just john I'm still going to be sitting here, coding my butt off on whatever they give me.

    I expect to be sitting here, with nothing to do, with just time, resentment and a pile of email addresses ...



    Message 349


    11:26am Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    The Sun is not going to disappear and an asteroid the size of Texas is not going to ram into the earth (we assume). The point is not to indulge in fantasies, but to try to anticipate reality.
    We all know that many major systems are held together with spit and elbow grease, and that there are many hard working people such as yourselves working long hours to rectify the problem. One major aspect of this problem seems to be that when the proverbial poop hits the air conditioning unit, there won't be enough skilled and dedicated people to get it all sorted out in a timely manner.

    So, since there is a definate time limit here, what happens after that time limit? As a student of human nature it's the reactions of people that I'm more concerned with than the technical details. Unfortunately, people have become isolated from each other socially and emotionally, and since we get many more "impressions" through the media, etc. of killing and theft and mayhem than we do of cooperation and concern and sharing, how do you think the majority of people are going to react if they have to actually figure out how to "survive"?



    Message 350


    11:57am Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: gdgrimm

    pshannon 8/5/98 11:26am

    As a student of human nature it's the reactions of people that I'm more concerned with than the technical details. Unfortunately, people have become isolated from each other socially and emotionally, and since we get many more "impressions" through the media, etc. of killing and theft and mayhem than we do of cooperation and concern and sharing, how do you think the majority of people are going to react if they have to actually figure out how to "survive"?

    Why do you think people's reactions will be so horrible? Can you give some examples of how mass chaos broke out due to times of trouble? Someone mentioned that the NY blackout had little significant impact. When hurricanes hit the coasts, you don't see huge human on human slaughter. Doing the first few days after the OK City bombing, when it was perceived as being caused by Arab terrorists, how many people spent their time killing/maiming Arabs compared to those who volunteered to remove rubble and care for the victims families. Where do you get this notion that in times of trouble people won't try to help each other, but will destroy each other instead? Why do you think people will react differently to this? Do you have any examples? Or are you just tossing out fantasies?

    And don't bring up race riots, and such. When humans feel they are being oppressed and put-down by other humans, they can, indeed, turn ugly. But Y2K is being more perceived as a "natural disaster" than it is being perceived as one group putting down another. Your example of people's negative reaction to armageddon needs to be of the "natural disaster" type.


    Message 351


    12:46pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    I believe that people's reactions will be different than during previous blackouts, bombings, race riots, and natural disasters because of the scale of difficulty that this problem MAY present.
    My neighbors and I have never been without gas and electricity and food distribution for a month. And that's entirely possible. Poor people who are cold and hungry and don't know their neighbors aren't likely to be all that helpful toward each other when they haven't gotten a paycheck in two months because their company closed because it's clients couldn't pay their bills and the stock market dropped to 3000 and they get two hours of electricity a day. I think that by early March, it's gonna get ugly. And there won't be disaster relief workers rushing to large swaths of North America, Europe and Asia.

    As far as examples of people trying to destroy one another:
    (and remember, all of these things happen in order to control resources)

    Kosovo, Albania, Croatia, Rawanda, the Middle East, Tajikisatan, Korea, Vietnam, Sudan, Ethiopia, World War One, World War Two, Tibet, The Civil War, The Civil Rights Movement, Much of the "History" of the western hemisphere, Rome, Carthage, Troy, bla,bla,bla.

    True, most of these and other examples of "War" that we could probably come up with are usually caused by "Political" situations, But aren't most human interactions on large and small scales political?

    I know that I personally don't really want to spend the next year talking about "doomsday" scenarios, but rather "post-doomsday" possibilities. I think it's the good in people that will get SOME of us through it all (as well as raw survival insticts). But how does that happen? Through communication and information sharing? Through anticipation and planning? Unfortunately, because of the lack of accountability in our society, there is no coordinated effort to inform people and plan for the future. In fact, from what I see, in many aspects of society the coordinated effort is geared more towards keeping people from wanting to be informed. (sell more disaster movie tickets that way!)



    Message 352


    12:49pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    pshannon 8/5/98 12:46pm

    My neighbors and I have never been without gas and electricity and food distribution for a month. And that's entirely possible.

    It's possible tomorrow. But in the context of this subject, it's ridiculous and irresponsible.



    Message 353


    12:53pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    I'm sorry, I don't understand...
    In the context of WHAT subject, WHAT in particular is ridiculous and irresponsible?



    Message 354


    01:00pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    pshannon 8/5/98 12:53pm

    Claiming that it's likely that there will be month-long outages of all utilities after 1/1/2000 is irresponsible.



    Message 355


    01:33pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    From what I've read at websites like:

    http://www.euy2k.com/

    http://www.co-intelligence.org/y2k_breakthrough.html

    http://www.year2000.com/cgi-bin/y2k/year2000.cgi

    as well as media articles and books by ed yourdan and others, (go ahead, tell me that they're just trying up their billing rates and ad pages, I can take it!) it seems to me that the irresponsibility comes in people and organizations denying that major system shutdowns are POSSIBLE. Of course "Responsibility" in this day and age has taken on a new flavor. "Responsibility" these days is more likely to mean protecting a company's stock price and next quarter earnings than to solve bizzare problems that will affect "consumers." Yes, saying these things too loudly in polite society could cause a run on the banks, etc, but NOT saying these things is just as likely to be harmful.

    Question: is this forum meant to be specifically technical?


    Message 356


    01:35pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: tbriden1

    pshannon:

    I suppose the stock market could drop 5000 points within the next month for reasons totally unrelated to Y2K, and maybe or maybe not the kind of chaos you envision would ensue. Same thing if some renegade country launches a nuclear miisile at us, or if an asteroid strikes the earth. Whether or not you wish to live your life in fear of events over which you have no control is your own personal choice.

    But you're still way off base on Y2K. Society and computer networks are similar. They aren't like hierarchies where if one important piece fails, everything down the line fails. They are replete with redundancies where if one piece fails, there is someone or something else available to replace it. Perhaps SOME supermarkets will not be able to deliver food, or SOME power plants will shut down, etc. etc., but not ALL. The ones that don't fail will still be there to take up the slack, and I predict those will be in the majority. The assertion that there will be this huge domino effect causing everyone's power, water and gas services to disappear is a fantasy.

    Y2K is a real problem for companies who rely on huge computer systems, particularly old mainframes. But I still maintain that those that assert that the average citizen should be hiding behind his one-year stockpile of canned food and clutching a shotgun on New Years 2000, are engaging in nothing more than garden apocalyptic fear-mongering, a la Heaven's Gate.



    Message 357


    01:38pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    pshannon 8/5/98 1:33pm

    it seems to me that the irresponsibility comes in people and organizations denying that major system shutdowns are POSSIBLE.

    A "shutdown" and a month-long outage are several orders of magnitude apart.

    Go shout "fire" in a crowded theater.



    Message 358


    01:46pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: gdgrimm

    pshannon 8/5/98 12:46pm

    My neighbors and I have never been without gas and electricity and food distribution for a month. And that's entirely possible.

    I'll let just_john and others refute your "possible" claim, and just stick with the social reaction side, which is what you said you were most interested in.

    Can you give an example of a time when the above happened for a month and great social unrest occurred? How about for a week? How about for a year? Can you give an example of a society that ever melted itself down due to a disaster that impacted all of them equally?

    Growing up on the farm in Iowa, we were at times completed isolated for a week or so due to snowstorms. A few years ago, the floods were so bad that entire towns and cities became complete islands for a week or so at a time. Did Europe revert to the Stone Age when the Bubonic Plague swept through it? What did the people of Berlin do when the Soviet Uniun blockaded it? Did they start slaughtering each other in anarchistic chaos, or did they tough it out and wait for whatever meager supplies they were able to get?

    I'm still waiting for an example supporting your fear that people will turn against each other when confronted with a large common obstacle.

    Kosovo, Albania, Croatia, Rawanda, the Middle East, Tajikisatan, Korea, Vietnam, Sudan, Ethiopia, World War One, World War Two, Tibet, The Civil War, The Civil Rights Movement, Much of the "History" of the western hemisphere, Rome, Carthage, Troy, bla,bla,bla.

    True, most of these and other examples of "War" that we could probably come up with are usually caused by "Political" situations, But aren't most human interactions on large and small scales political?

    Unless you can go into more detail, from what I know, these are all examples of political and ethnic quarrels, where one group feels that another group is the cause of their problem(s). As I mentioned in my first post on this thread, this isn't how people view Y2K. Any Y2K fall-out will affect everybody with similar impact, much like a major earthquake or volcanic eruption.

    As to your question about "politics", no, most human interactions are NOT political. Unless you want to redefine "politics", I spend most of my time doing routine day-to-day tasks and pursuing goals that have nothing to do with politics. Only when I have some free time, do I end up discussing it with others, or taking any political action.



    Message 359

    01:52pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    gdgrimm 8/5/98 1:46pm

    And regarding natural disasters and their aftermaths, one hears the phrase "pull together" used so frequently to describe what communities do that perhaps it doesn't sink in anymore.

    Look at the aftermaths of hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Look at England in the Blitz.



    Message 360


    01:59pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    There seems to be plenty of willingness to compare the pessimists view (I'm one of them, and I'm a normally genial and optimistic person) of the y2k POSSIBILITIES with adrenaline rushing entertainment from popular culture. I maintain, however that what we're talking about here is a known problem with unknown results. From my cursory and unprofessional research and understanding of the way our society is structured, I believe that our civilization AS IT IS NOW CONFIGURED will cease to exist, and something else will take it's place. It's happened before.

    Did I say that there would be a month long outage? Actually I think it will be more like a year. And if I was in a crowded theatre and a fire broke out, I would indeed try to inform the other people in the theatre and try to get out before I was overcome by smoke. I certainly wouldn't yell FIRE if I was convinced there was none, and I don't think I am now.



    Message 361


    02:14pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: just_john


    (pre-post-postmodern)

    pshannon 8/5/98 1:59pm

    Did I say that there would be a month long outage? Actually I think it will be more like a year.

    (To the rest of the congregation:) And you know what's REALLY frustrating? After another year and a half of having to refute this nonsense, come the first week of January and we're all still here, will we hear any apologies?

    Sometimes I really regret having a conscience, because otherwise I could collect such a good list of people to run scams on.



    Message 362


    02:38pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: gdgrimm

    pshannon 8/5/98 1:59pm

    From my cursory and unprofessional research and understanding of the way our society is structured, I believe that our civilization AS IT IS NOW CONFIGURED will cease to exist, and something else will take it's place. It's happened before.

    Well, that's exactly what I'm asking about. WHEN has it happened before?!?



    Message 363

    03:01pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    I can't give examples of this kind of social unrest happening in the past, because this is a completely new set of circumstances! A post-agrarian, post-industrial, technological society with millions of people working at service jobs has never existed before. And with the level of technological dependency that we are experiencing now, there is no way to tell how people will react if they don't get their hydrocarbons. I suppose that people living in rural Iowa will probably be better off than people in urban hives. They're closer to where the food grows, and probably a little more civil towards each other.

    As far as examples of social reactions in the past, I personally don't think they apply to this situation. I think that what we will experience will be more like the inverse of the sacking of Rome. The hordes from the cities fanning out through the countryside in search of food. (Cambodia in the 70's?) The former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union are recent examples of societies that were reconfigured suddenly, Yugoslavia is riddled with ethnic cleansing and Russia is practically run by the gangsters. As far as societies completely eliminated at the hands of other human beings? What about Native Americans?

    Also keep in mind with examples from the past that many of those occurred in homogenous societies not too far removed from a village tradition. That ain't the case in the Washington-Boston Corridor, San Francisco to Tijuana, big swaths of Europe, the Middle East and other "Centers of Modern Civilization." Where I live in New York City, the ethnic and class tensions are not too far under the surface.

    As an aside, just_john, you seem to be rather vocal in this forum, so if you could give me a little bit of background about yourself, it would help me to understand your position. If you could point me in the right direction toward credible sources that could convince me that this will only be a minor problem, I would also appreciate that.



    Message 364


    03:01pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: jedidood

    Re: pshannon 8/5/98 1:59pm

    Did I say that there would be a month long outage? Actually I think it will be more like a year.

    You would be an idiot. Do you not realize that power companies, grocery stores, all the utilities you seem to think will be out of commission for a year are owned by corporations. Now, back to Econ 101, but corporations want to make money! And the measures they will go to to make sure that they have a steady check coming in should never be underestimated. I would predict a day outage at absolute most. And that is pushing it. Go learn about the problem, then come talk.

    ~hugh



    Message 365


    03:11pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: jedidood

    Re: pshannon 8/5/98 3:01pm

    I realize this was directed toward just_john, but I will answer it too.

    If you could point me in the right direction toward credible sources that could convince me that this will only be a minor problem, I would also appreciate that.

    Learn to program (start with PASCAL, then maybe learn BASIC, and COBOL too. These won't help you in the real world because they are almost never used anymore). Then learn all you can about economics so you will understand what companies will do in the event of a crisis like this. Don't study anything before, say, 1935, because the country didn't really have a nationwide power grid. Learn specificly about the Second World War and the measures taken by the private sector to insure life would continue as close to normal as possible. Also, forget any ideas you have of international disaster, because it isn't going to happen. Also, you might learn exactly how the power grid works, how the telephone company works, etc.

    There ya go,
    ~hugh



    Message 366


    03:44pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    Actually, I am familiar with the basics of history and capitalism, and that is precisely why I believe this is a huge problem. There are other forces at play inside the modern corporation besides the profit motive. They include "Accountability and Responsibility." These are two areas in which the corporate organism and the individuals inside of it are sadly lacking. Most corporations will do much more to make sure the public has a good impression of them in the marketplace, and thereby keep their earnings high and their stock prices rising, than they will to address actual problems for which they should be held accountable. The corporate entity has more rights and fewer responsibilities in this society than the individual does.

    So, while all these corporations are willing to admit that there is a y2k problem, and that they are working on it, none of them is ever going to admit to the possible extent of the problem. I've read statements by quite a few companies, and they all sound downright cheery. Will a major corporate entity ever admit that they don't know the extent of the problem, that they won't have time to test all their systems, and that they don't think they'll be ready? I think not. The stockholders would not allow it.

    Government, on the other hand, operates under a different set of responsibilities. I've seen in various places that several major government agencies won't be ready until as late as 2005. They're somehow reluctantly admitting the extent of the problem. So, what happens when those agencies aren't able to pay their vendors in the private sector? What happens when regulatory agencies aren't able to oversee industries that are in trouble? What happens when public utilities are unable to bill and collect? What happens when the national power grid is overloaded because of failures due to embedded systems? I personally haven't a clue. I do know, however, that there seems to be an awful lot of name calling and finger pointing and very little in the way of clear communication and information sharing.


    Message 367


    03:46pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: jonbeath


    ErisX Web Design

    Did some people watch the Mad Max movies a few too many times, or what?



    Message 368


    03:55pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    Actually, I don't think I've ever seen a Mad Max movie. Maybe the one with Tina Turner. I have, however, read Gibbons' "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire" and Barbra Tuchman's "March of Folly" which gives examples of societal shortsightedness and their implications (examples - Vietnam and King George III losing the American Colonies). Truth is stranger than fiction.



    Message 369


    04:06pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: jonbeath


    ErisX Web Design

    Personally, I also think that Western Civilization is about due for a quantum shift. But I think Y2K has very little to do with it.

    "The truth isn't as strange as we imagine -- it's stranger than we can imagine."


    Message 370


    04:17pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    Sensible, coming from a Discordian.
    Just remember that Quantum Shifts are usually started by some catalyst, and a major disruption in the way society works because it's machines can't talk to each other properly is a likely catalyst.



    Message 371


    04:36pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: ccoxcomb

    I decided to have a look at the links pshannon provided that demonstrated how serious the Y2K problem really is. I will admit upfront that I didn't have much time to prowl around in detail, but here is my take on those sites:

    http://euy2k.com

    This one is confined to the utilities industry. It has quotes and articles that range from 'this is the end of the world' to 'this is not as big a deal as everyone thinks.' Mr. Cowles (the man who runs this site) clearly leans much more strongly to the former position, however. Nevertheless, he did include such quotes as these:

    "Gent nevertheless predicted that even if today were December 31, 1999, 'the lights would stay on in most places.'" Gent is the President of the North American Energy Reliability Council.

    "They have plenty of time to fix it before the crucial year." This is a quote from Staffan Forsberg, director for nuclear safety for a group overseeing Y2K compliance for the Swedish government. His quote came in response, I should point out, to a test failure at a Swedish nuclear plant, when a water feed system could not handle a 21st century date.

    Most of Mr. Cowles answers to the various opinions were, IMHO, along the lines of "See I told you so," for stories supporting his view, and "Maybe, maybe not," for stories that counter his view. At least he gives both sides of the story, even if it's biased.

    http://co-intelligence.org/y2k_breakthrough.html

    This is a site at the Co-Intelligence Institute, a 'group' (it may be just Tom Atlee) who is trying to promote understanding of one another, and who think the Year 2000 'crisis' is a perfect moment for a "breakthrough" in understanding. A sample quote, which Mr. Atlee used as a sort of umbrella denial that technical solutions to the Y2K problem are even possible:

    "Y2K is not, at its roots, a technical problem. It is a problem that arises from our social, economic and cultural vulnerability and our blindness to that vulnerability."

    I hesitate to call Mr. Atlee a whacko, but this is just the sort of organization that gives concern for the Y2K problem a bad name.

    http://www.year2000.com/cgi-bin/y2k/year2000.cgi

    I must admit that I looked at this site the least. I was curious when I saw the results of a survey they published about awareness and concern for the Y2K problem, when I noticed that the survey showed that 82% of Y2K managers were knowledgeable about the Y2K problem. Excuse me? You mean there are any Y2K managers who don't know what the problem is? Maybe I should be concerned after all. I thought all this compliance documents and questionnaires were necessary evils to insure that we are all working together and getting everything fixed. Now I find out that some of the people sending me these documents don't even know why?

    What prompted me to leave the site immediately, BTW, was seeing a link at the bottom of the main page that noted that this site is a subsidiary of The Tenagra Corporation. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link and found that this corporation is a web-site developer that provides consulting services. Well, that was bloody unexpected, wasn't it?

    Actually, to be fair to pshannon, I re-read his/her message and found that the complaint is that we don't think the Y2K problem is "POSSIBLE" (that is pshannon's choice of word and case). I think perhaps pshannon doesn't realize that most of us (those who have any sense, at least) already know that the Y2K problem is possible, and dangerous, and huge ... but we are actually working on it, and have been doing so for quite some time. "Possible" is not at all the same as "likely," and I am in the camp who says it isn't very likely that anything momentous will happen on 1/1/00, except perhaps that I'll get drunker than normal.


    Message 372


    04:57pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: gdgrimm

    ccoxcomb 8/5/98 4:36pm

    So, would that be drunker than normal for a New Year's Eve, or are you saying that you're normally drunk and plan to be more so that day? ;-)

    BTW thanks for the executive summary



    Message 373


    05:01pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: cuchulane

    No one has any right to critisize anyone elses views on Y2K as being the views of an idiot when the fact remains that reliable information on the realities of Y2k are non-existent. The idea posted previously by one person that anyone fearing Y2K should go learn COBOL and FORTRAN and become an expert on the power grid...Oh, yeah, that's realistic.And what would be the point , the people who are experts and have the sheepskin to back it up don't agree anyway. Many of you seem to want to just be able to say "I know what I'm talking about, just trust me there is no problem, and your a fool if you think there is."
    Unfortunately, there are just as many others saying "I know what I'm talking about, just trust me there is a major problem, and your a fool if you think there isn't." Then the first group says " Don't believe them, they're just trying to sell you something." And the other group says "Don't believe them, they're just protecting their stocks." So the average person can't glean anything from the self-proclaimed "experts".

    So, how about information from the actual corporations and businesses? Yeah,right,if there's one thing corporations are famous for, it's their openess and honesty, especially in matters of public safety ;-b The SEC sends out a request for disclosure of Y2K preparedness and less than 25% of the corporations bother to respond. That sure fills the average concerned citizen with confidence. The SBA polls hundreds of small businesses and finds 38% have never heard of Y2K. Wonderful.

    So the banks and financial institutions will give us the real scoop, right? They certainly wouldn't put protecting their assets above public information, would they? Who knows...but they do prohibit their IT and IS people from disclosing Y2K readiness levels. In fact, the gov't won't even allow them to. Another great morale booster for the general public there. If people run the banks in '99 is it because people are just stupid? Of course not. It's because economics depend completely on faith and confidence, and nothing is being done to instill either.

    The simple fact is, none of you experts are anymore trustworthy than the others, nobody trusts corporations because they have such a long history of massive bungling and lying, and many people are becoming aware that "big finance" is really just play money. If the Powers-That-Be want to prevent bank runs, needless panick, and run-to-the-hills mentality, they had better find a way to make the general public very well informed of the real state of the problem, and they had better be 100% honest about it. Even if the news is bad, a well informed public will be much better prepared than if left to their own suspicions.



    Message 374


    05:06pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: pshannon

    The thing about this whole issue that I react the strongest to is the idea that for whatever reason, people are unwilling to see the possibility that our civilization, as it is currently configured, is very fragile. Yes, human beings are very resilient, and life will go on. But what will it look like? Who and how many will suffer in the transition and to what extent? An awful lot of people that I've talked to about this respond with a who cares attitude. And in my opinion, that's where the danger lies.

    Yes, many talented people have been working on this for a while, and will continue to do so up until literally the last second. It's my understanding, however, that this will only serve to scratch the surface (or maybe gouge it). My understanding is that there are so many embedded systems out there that will have problems, that won't be replaced, (8% of 50 Billion?) that it may take years after the fact to replace all this stuff.

    So, when the excrement hits the cooler, how will it all get done? If it's not possible to rectify all the problems that arise, how will society and its' members respond? What form will "Capitalism" take? How will neccessities be distributed if the railroads don't work properly because all the manual switches were replaced with computerized switches that may not be compliant?

    Yes, of course, we can entertain ourselves by going back and forth about the specifics of where our evidence comes from, and attack each other because we don't agree with each other's positions, or we can try to build a reasoned discourse about what people and communities can do to insure everyone's health and safety.



    Message 375


    07:39pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: jedidood

    Re: cuchulane 8/5/98 5:01pm

    No one has any right to critisize anyone elses views on Y2K as being the views of an idiot when the fact remains that reliable information on the realities of Y2k are non-existent. The idea posted previously by one person that anyone fearing Y2K should go learn COBOL and FORTRAN and become an expert on the power grid...Oh, yeah, that's realistic...<diatribe on how experts do not agree, etc snipped>

    I still maintain that anyone (pshannon) who thinks the power grid is going to go down for a year has idiotic tendancies. Find any qualified expert who can back that up and I would be shocked.

    By the way, why is "one person's" (my) idea about learning COBOL not realistic? (For the record I never suggested learning FORTRAN) pshannon wanted to know how to be better educated about the Y2K problem. I personally have never met a non-programmer who has understood it to any meaningfull extent. But that's just me. As an example, how many non car-mechanics (or people with experience in the field of car maintinence) do you know who could diagnose and fix a broken fuel pump.

    ~hugh



    Message 376


    08:04pm Aug 5, 1998 EST

    By: bartzoltan

    I have been working on the Y2k problem in embedded systems for the last ten months. Control systems and instrumentation are the likeliest to fail. In spite of the attention the topic has gotten, I have yet to learn of any common household appliance or passenger car which has a Y2k problem (if anyone knows of a specific make and model, please let me know).

    Nontheless, many talented individuals are spending time and money trying to minimize the predictable effects of embedded system problems. This has to impact the economy in a negative way!

    While the universe
    will continue to unfold as it should Y2k will in my opinion have a major impact on our lives for a short period of time.

    The computer software problem is equally great, but easier to understand. It requires manpower, money and time. Time cannot be increased.

    "Anything one man can break, another man can fix."



    Message 377


    03:49am Aug 6, 1998 EST

    By: casper974

    HOLLYWOOD BECOMES REALITY

    Despite such planning -- and despite millions of dollars spent for help from assorted Year 2000 consultants -- a sense of urgency remains in Annapolis and Richmond, a
    realization that repairs are a more time-consuming task than anticipated. . . . "It was like worrying about getting hit by an asteroid," Morris said. "You don't think
    it is coming until you see it coming and you think even then it is going to miss you." .

  • *********************************************************************

    I have an old "8 track player" sitting on a shelf getting dusty.Does anyone have any knowledge whether I should be concerned about it containing any embedded chips? Also, how long can I run the tape player (with small speakers)on an average car battery.

    P.S. Sorry about my grammer(or is grammar),but garbage is still gar-bage.Its all relative.



    Message 378


    04:36am Aug 6, 1998 EST

    By: al-perry

    I really dont care what the date is on my camcorder, but I sure hope the date is right on the machines that, write my retirement check, controlls my electricity, water, gas, and the airport that directs the airplanes over my house. at three score plus it has been my observation that man puts everything off till the last minute ( the line up at the last minute to file tax returns as an example.)
    I would advise everyone to have hard copys of everything financial and enough cash to last a month. a well stocked pantry wouldnt hurt either and a full gas tank, onthe last day of 1999. we locally have already had a machine lock up over a credit card with an expiration date of 2001



    (Compiled by just john, on April 23, 2003.)


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