Fixing the date??? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I'm asking this for a friend who knows very little about computers. I only know how to use them, and his "solution" doesn't sound plausible to me, but here goes: Why not just put a dot after the 99, then 2000 or 00 thus: 123199.2000 or 123199.00 Hmmm, after typing this, I think I already know the answer, but would appreciate an expert's answer for my friend. Thanks Holly

-- Holly Allen (, June 03, 1998


yo homes,

there are only two ways to fix the legacy code: windowing and expansion.

the first means treat (let's say) 00 to 60 as 20__ and 60-99 as 19__.

Expansion means just that--adding two more digits. hope this helps.


-- Ken (, June 03, 1998.

The solution your friend presents is one of many that would work. There are at least four widely accepted ways to "solve" the date problem, with dozens of variations such as the one you suggest.

However, finding an algorithm or method to fix the date references has never really been a problem. Rather, these are some of the larger issues that Y2K planners are grappling with:

* there are literally millions of places where that change must be made

* the changes must all be coordinated between different systems, businesses, and nations

* in some cases, critical systems can't be turned off, so changes must be made while a program is running (always fun)

* businesses and governments must be convinced to spend lots of money to hire the thousands of extra programmers needed to make so many changes in such a short time

* changes must be tested, which actually takes much, much longer than most non-programmers would think

* some systems, like "embedded" computer chips which lack keyboards, monitors, and disk drives, are impossible to change at all once they're factory-sealed

So while your friend's suggestion is one of many that could work, the difficulty is in actually implementing it. For instance, if you are in New York, and there are dozens of fires raging in Chicago, Dallas, and Miami, simply saying "why not throw water on them" is only addressing the surface problem. There are significant logistical hurdles involved in quickly getting to each site, transporting such large quantities of water, etc. In this case, many businesses and government agencies seem to need convincing that there are any fires at all, so the first order of business may be a massive educational PR campaign explaining why fire is bad, that it can hurt you, etc.

However, it's always good to see people asking such questions, because the only way the larger problems will be solved is if every available person applies the rational reasoning faculty of their mind to fixing the smaller problems in their local community and business.

Mark Zieg System Programmer

-- Mark Zieg (, June 04, 1998.

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