Dow Jones index cannot handle 5 didgets. D10k ? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Now a new problem. I have just learned that the computers that are employed by the "Dow Jones" index cannot handle a number over 5 didgits. The Dow is now at 9000 + and rising every week. Any Thoughts?

-- Bill Solorzano (, April 10, 1998


I've heard of this one, but I don't think anyone has studied it in detail. My guess is that only a small fraction of financial systems are concerned with the Dow Jones average, though I suppose there may be a number of systems on Wall Street that base their trading strategies partially on the DJI. And it's possible that my initial reaction of "it's not a big problem, only a few systems are affected" is very much like the initial reaction to the Y2K problem a few years ago.

In any case, I think it's safe to assume that there are no embedded systems that are dependent on the DJI average! So, hopefully we don't have to worry about utility plants shutting down, phone systems freezing, and the banking system collapsing...

By the way, there are a few other similar problems: we'll run out of Social Security numbers sometime in the early 21st century (assuming that Social Security survives Y2K!), and we'll probably run out of phone numbers in the next couple of decades.


-- Ed Yourdon (, April 12, 1998.

Re the phone number shortage. Apparently we will run out of three-digit area codes at some point (assuming there is still a telecommunications system after Y2K!). Do you believe that even though this is known, the makers of telephone switches are still making ones that are hard-coded for three digit area codes and will have to be replaced with new switches? I do. And how many computer databases will be non-functional when the change is required? Deja Vu.

-- Dan Hunt (, April 12, 1998.

Why is the human race so short-sighted? All these problems exist because we didn't employ the logical ability to think long-run. In the name of saving a buck, we have created history's biggest potential financial catastrophe. Talk about defeating the purpose.

-- Bill Gates (, April 15, 1998.

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