ccomputer Simulation : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am sorry, I haven't read the book yet. I have just read articles and listened to many discussions about this problem. My question is this -- has anyone tried to set up some kind of simulation with computers and set the dates ahead to see what happens?? If so, are there any reports of the findings? If no one has done this -- why not?? It seems to me that this would make a lot of sense -- then it might not be as much of a guessing game but answers based on evidence. Just wondering! Thank-you P. R. Johnson

-- Patricia Johnson (, March 27, 1998



During the formal testing of large, complex business systems, many organizations run the modified/remediated software in a so-called "time machine" where the date has been moved forward, so that they can test the software under more-or-less realistic conditions. This has to be done carefully, because many of the companies use vendor-supplied software with a license that expires 2-3 years after purchase; thus the software vendors have to grant special dispensation to allow their package to be used in a simulated, post-2000 environment. In any case, this is where many business organizations are indeed discovering Y2K problems, including some very subtle problems even AFTER they thought they had fixed everything!

The other interesting example involves electric utility companies, many of which have detailed, complex software simulations of their entire operation. There have been reports on the Internet of at least a couple of these plants -- Hawaii Electric and Central Maine Power & Light come to mind -- in which a Y2K rollover test in the simulator produced severe consequences that would have required the plant to shut down.

So, the bottom line is: yes, there have been such simulations. Companies typically don't talk about it very much, for the same reason they don't talk about much of anything in the Y2K arena -- i.e., because their lawyers tell them to keep their mouths shut.


-- Ed Yourdon (, March 27, 1998.

I'm no large corporation, but I set one of my IBM computers to roll over to 2000. When I rebooted, the date was January 1, 1980. It dated the word processing documents 1980. Think of all those desktop computers around the world in the same boat!

-- Gail (, March 27, 1998.

Patricia, about this time last year one of my (software) company's clients, a large provider of natural gas, was testing at their disaster recovery site. After completing what they went there to do, they decided to try to IPL (mainframe-speak for "boot") with a 2000 date just before heading to the airport: "What happened"?, I asked. "Nothing would come up at all", the engineer replied. In other words, none of their programs would run. They're real serious about fixing their programs now.

-- James (, March 29, 1998.

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