What made you convinced of Y2K's seriousness?

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Dear Mr. Yourdon, When I first became aware of Y2K in 8/97, you gave the impression (if memory serves me) that your personal plans consisted of retreating to somewhere in Montana for a while. Currently you've sold (for sale?) your NYC home and are relocating(?) to the great southwest.

Was there a single item that changed your perception of the severity of Y2K or was it just lots of little things adding up?

P.S. If people can't find copies of Timebomb 2000 at Barnes & Noble in west St. Louis county, you can blame me. I keep giving them away to people that I care about or wish to recruit.

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@primary.net), March 27, 1998


Good for you Ken about buying multiple copies of TB2000 -- I've bought 110 copies already. I wish I had more money to better wake up fellow Minnesotans.

--Roleigh http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/roleigh_martin

-- Roleigh Martin (marti124@tc.umn.edu), March 27, 1998.

Yes, my plan last year was to retreat to northwestern Montana for a while -- specifically, the small town of Polson (at the southern end of Flathead Lake), where I've enjoyed spending the past few summers, and where I wrote TimeBomb 2000 with my daughter. My main objective at the time was to be away from New York City, which I think will resemble Beirut on 1/1/2000.

However, during the writing of our TimeBomb book last summer, I gradually changed from being "intellectually" convinced of the Y2K problem to being "emotionally" convinced. I began to realize that if I _really_ believed it was going to be a problem, I would have to stop talking about it, and begin DOING something about it. Last summer was when I purchased my supply of emergency food, began purchasing emergency supplies of gold and silver, etc., etc. And once I got into that frame of mind, I took another look at Montana -- and realized that it could not only be uncomfortable, but life-threatening, if the power fails. Temperatures in northern Montana sometimes dip to thirty below zero!

My wife and I spent last fall scouting other areas of the country, beginning with Florida and the southeastern part of the country; we ended up choosing northern New Mexico, and found a house with six small fireplaces, its own well for water, and lots of other advantages.


P.S. Thanks for emptying out the supply of TimeBomb 2000 at Barnes & Noble. I got a report from Prentice-Hall last week, indicating that Barnes & Noble alone is selling approx 400 copies a week of the book, even though it's still hidden (along with many other excellent Y2K books) in the "computer networking" section of the store.

-- Ed Yourdon (yourdon@worldnet.att.net), March 27, 1998.

Ed, I'll admit that I was about to ask you "Why New Mexico" myself, and I will ask you to expound just a bit.

Obviously, the particular house you bought suits your purpose and the weather was a consideration, but were there other Y2K-related factors? Are the utilities there more reliable or better prepared for Y2K? Did you find a bank that seems to have it's Y2K act together? Or did you just figure that the natural environment there was better, it wasn't a major metropolis like NYC, and was as good as any other spot?

BTW, you may be gratified to know that the Barnes & Noble in Natick, MA has "Time Bomb 2000" displayed prominently on a table in the center of the main aisle along with others' books on Y2K and other current events.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@compuserve.com), March 27, 1998.

I'm presently reading Time Bomb 2000. Prior to that I had read Gary North's postings on Y2k and decided to "read deeper" from numerous sources including the government GAO reports. Having read a post that the president had signed executive orders for emergency preparedness, I believe the government has known for a long time that we more than likely will not be fully compliant by y2k and has made emergency measures to deal with the effects of y2k. It's still not "emotionally" easy to believe, but we are trying to prepare and still hope for the best. I am presently reading Time Bomb 2000. The first information that brought y2k to our attention came from Gary North---through a friend. As North's info became collective from many sources----I knew then to take it seriously.

-- Carol Baum (jbaum@wwtelco.com), March 27, 1998.

Ed Yourdon has courage!!!! Unless one has made the decisions that he has had to make and has actually taken that first step towards that first major hurdle, then full appreciation cannot be realized. What Ed has not shared is the gut-wrenching, heart-rending emotions one has to experience when realizing you are leaving the best of friends, neighbors, business associates and all that is familiar to you for so many years. To leave & to arrive at a new and unfamiliar environ- ment. I sent an e-mail to Ed last summer which belongs in the Fallback section and maybe should have been in FALLBACK. The most basic action and the most difficult for any reader is to mount the courage to take that first step - clearing the first hurdle is the absolute toughest...don't believe it? Try it!! In the e-mail I'll repeat what I be- lieve can be the most helpful. "Whether the step is taken because of fear or simply psychological determination based on reasoning and common sense is unimportant. With the motivation and once a for- ward motion has been taken, each and every hurdle may have its own difficulties, but the trauma, the denial, and the paralysis no longer exist, and thus each step and each hurdle is easier, since you no longer have the weight of worry and indecision holding you back. Find and take that first step......Today the y2k threat is just one more hurdle among the many obstacles that we face in life. It just happens to be a bigger hurdle than most, but there is no excuse for sitting down, moping and waiting for the "Big Day". Taking the first step is an enlightening and enduring experience. Learn to walk and then run taking one hurdle at a time." Find our way.

-- j.w.parker (j.w.parker@usa.net), March 27, 1998.

Thanks to Ed Yourdon, Gary North and all those who have contributed thoughtfully on Y2K. I was a COBOL programmer in the late 60s and 70s who (alas) contributed to this problem (but storage was SO expensive). I attended a Y2K preparedness seminar in Spring 1996, sponsored by the software vendor I work for, which featured a speaker from Gartner Group. I thought he was exaggerating; besides, as a former programmer, how hard could it be to add the century to date fields and then "fix" existing data files? What a maroon I was, as Bugs Bunny might observe. I've now begun to convert liquid assets to gold and silver coins, am going to convert tax-deferred equities soon, am going to sell the current suburban dwelling, have located small acreage for purchase, am glad I've been an organic gardening hobbyist for the last 20 years. Next is, make the move, build the small, sensible house, get ready with the necessities for kids/parents/other-relatives who won't listen now, but will surely want help when it hits. Good idea from those who have bought Ed's book to pass along to those they want to listen. Hey, Ed: my first programming manager taught me to use the "main flow/sub-routine" method of coding to make future program maintenance easier/better back in '69... kind of like a neanderthal version of structured programming. Selah.

-- James R Sutton (jimsutton@mindspring.com), March 29, 1998.


Maybe it's time to stop telling people about the house in New Mexico.

Steve Francis

-- steve francis (sfrancis@sympatico.ca), April 01, 1998.

I am a programmer and learned of the problem initially in 95. (I hope two-digit year references are safe in this context... :-) At that time I found it extremely boring. I began my programming career writing LISP on Symbolics workstations so am none too comfortable with mainframes. Like many others I assumed it was pretty much just a mainframe problem.

Last spring, however, my pastor showed me some of Gary North's newsletters. Whoa... Talk about shock therapy. I found it possible to put it out of my mind though. Before I knew it summer was over and I was not preparing.

By October I put together binders of the best articles, made five copies and passed them around the church. Nothing... No response. In November I woke up in the middle of the night unable to sleep and began a book. Last week my wife and I mailed it off to a publisher. The folks at my church may have "thought" I was crazy. Now I guess they will soon "know" I am crazy.

I do not doubt the severity of the impact anymore however. I hear many people say, in justifying their preparations, "Well, even if Y2K doesn't happen, we will just be well prepared for any natural disaster." That may be true, but Y2K is definitely going to happen. So is the economic collapse of Japan. So is the DOA of the euro. So is the meltdown of paper currency, etc...

Sorry. Kind of ran on there. It must be getting late... Thanks for listening...

Rod Swab R U >_ 4 Y2K? Year 2000 - Countdown to Calamity http://www.bigo.net/reswab

-- Rod Swab (reswab@bigo.net), April 05, 1998.

Sorry for the second note, but I just noticed your mention of the books at Barnes and Noble. At the one here in Omaha they had your books in a stack on an aisle down the center of the store. I spread them out all over the surrounding books. Hope you don't mind... :-)

Rod Swab.

-- Rod Swab (reswab@bigo.net), April 05, 1998.

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