Are people crying wolfe of is this that bad?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I have just begun to read about this problem recently and I have to say it's got me pretty scared. I am the mother of a two year old son and would like to have another soon. Do you think the hospitals are going to be so crippled that they will turn away women with a complicated pregnancy? I also have another question. Is it true that the non- compliant computers can infect the computers that have been fixed?
-- Lisa Crosby (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 09, 1998
Lisa, I know this is very scary...yes, it is...I am and was scared too....best thing for you to do is read very objectively from many websites...actual articles off the wire...also read the stuff from programmers who have been in the trenches and say...it is too late..and there will be mild to moderate to severe interruption in essential goods and services...
Call the local hospital and ask pointed questions about the hospital power auxillary,...and about computer dependent services...what is their compliance...?
I am not an extremist...I am the mother of two young adults...I want for things to not melt-down..and my reason tells me there is no way that much will not melt-down. There is time to prepare...get reading,...asking, and being a squirrel, storing away for that harsh winter.
-- Donna Barthuley (email@example.com), July 09, 1998.
It's easier to have a child when times are good and the living is easy. But when times get tough, whoas to the mother whose child is still suckling. I have 2 grown children, and it wasn't easy then. I have nieces with small children and still isn't easy.
-- Barb-Douglas (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 10, 1998.
I personally wouldn't plan on having children after Jan. 1, 2000. I would have one before and if I still wanted more (I have 2) I'd wait until the power had been up and running for at least 6 months. I don't believe that the hospitals will be functioning at all after 1/1/2000. For those of you who still want children you might consider buying the book "Emergency Childbirth" by Dr. Gregory White. I'm sure you're local fire dept. has a book they use. You could go look at it and see what you think. I think that we are going to be using midwives during these rough times ahead. If a midwife is unavailable or lives far away we will be leaning on women who have had children.
-- Candice (email@example.com), July 10, 1998.
I'd like to reply to your question, because...
...I'm a system programmer closely involved in Y2K analysis and remediation efforts both for a Fortune 500 company and local government, so I have direct experience with the potential scale of the problem.
...I also have a 2-yr-old son, and will have a newborn in early 99. My 2-yr-old was a VERY complicated pregnancy, involving two months in a neonatal intensive care unit, several surgeries, and survival estimates in the 50-50 range.
So, is it scary? Yeah.
Will hospitals have dire problems? Hopefully not. The Orlando Regional Health Care system (ORHS), in particular, has an extremely firm grasp on the nature of the problem. They have been a true leader in Central Florida on Y2K issues, with an exemplary team guiding their internal efforts, and have shown great willingness to share information with other local businesses. If your local hospital is having trouble getting off the ground with Y2K issues, I suggest they give ORHS a call.
Will hospitals turn away patients in dire medical need? Never. Mainly because they're staffed by compassionate humans, but also because they're legally forced to provide emergency medical aid. (Other readers: please don't bombard me with cynical replies about the financial realities of healthcare or ancedotal incidents in which hospitals showed less than a caring attitude; I know all about that. It still doesn't invalidate what I've said, however.)
Finally, can non-compliant computers "infect" compliant systems? In a way, depending on how you define compliant. To me, a fully compliant system has been designed to "filter" incoming dates for errors, and reject "bad" data that would corrupt it.
Unfortunately that isn't always possible. For instance, a non-compliant source system might incorrectly formats bad data to look like good data, such as by reformatting a newborn's birth certificate from 1/17/00 to 1/17/1900, which would "look" like clean data to the receiving system, even though it was inaccurate.
Even if the system were clever enough to know that a 1/17/1900 birth certificate was "bad" data, many filters would simply reject the record outright to protect the receiving system's integrity. While that may guarantee that a hospital only had "clean" data, it might mean in this case that they end up with NO information about a particular child, which may incur serious problems of its own.
So there's no easy answer to your questions. Fortunately, most medical emergancies can be handled without immediate reliance on date-sensitive computers. Most hardware that could have undetected embedded system problems can be briefly bypassed with manual procedures (a biopsy instead of an MRI, for instance). It's longer-term billing, prescription tracking, etc systems that are the most susceptible to Y2K problems.
In conclusion, I wish you a safe, painless, and completely un-complicated pregnancy...but I would in any case, regardless of the year. Good luck.
-- Mark Zieg (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 10, 1998.
Lisa, if you want a clue as to how this y2k problem is being overblown then just sit back and pay attention to the quality of the rhetoric with which Mark Zeig's excellent (and expert) post will be attacked by those who have declared failure eighteen months before the deadline. After the Doom and Gloomers weigh in ask yourself if you would rather go to a hospital where Mark works or where the D&G crowd dominates the staff. Then take comfort in the fact that hospitals are not staffed by quitters.
-- Oscar Swischne (email@example.com), July 11, 1998.
Ah, voices of reason, I wish this Forum could be more like this all the time. But, sadly, there's a lot less truth here than there should be.
Lisa, don't let this thing scare you, I really feel that fear about y2k is a big waste of your time. It is a problem no doubt, one that is getting lot of attention, as it should. But it has been way overblown by these extremeists. There will always be people who are prone to believing in conspiracy theories, phrophecies of disaster ect. It's the way their brain is geared, studies have been done on different brain types, and how that can affect the way you perceive things. Some are people are alarmists by nature. Don't let a few alarmist be the source of your y2k info. A lot of these Doomsday phrophecies have to do with the year 2000 itself, superstition. Each millinium has been greeted with such predictions of Doom for mankind. The year 2000 will come and go, with a few problems here and there, nothing too serious though, and life will continue as usual.
About non- compliant computers infecting the computers that have been fixed, I think it's not that cut and dried, as Mark stated. A lot of y2k issues are complicated, the alarmists want to simplify the problem, so it fits into their theory. They seem pretty ignorant about what is really going on, techicaly. They've deemed themselves computer experts, when they really don't know, (geez, I expect them to be ignorant, since they have no formal education on the subject) of the things of which they speak.
A lot of what I read here is utter BS. You can just tell a lot of these folks are out in left field, hey, I thought the U.N troups were supposed to have invaded by now, lol.
Ok, I think you get the point, I just get PO'ed that a few loose screws are getting people scared, for no good reason, that's just unhealthy.
There are some ways to be prepared for any problems that might come up as we get close to 2000. Have some cash on hand, ATM machines might be down for a period of time, it's possible that direct deposite paychecks might not make it though at times, credit cards might not be reliable. You will not loose any money, but you might have trouble getting to it sometimes. Money issues will be the main concern for the average person, but having some extra cash on hand will sure sooth your mind. Any problems that occur will be short lived though, not going on for years or anything.
Ok, I guess I said enough. I do admit it is kinda hard to find much info on the NET, about y2k, that isn't of the alarmist type. I have found a lot of sites with great info aimed at different county, city, gov. agencies, but of course those don't contain practical advice for the average citizen.
-- John Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 13, 1998.
I just wanted to make it clear that the "voices of reason" I was refering to, are Mark Zieg and Oscar Swischne.
-- John Miller (email@example.com), July 13, 1998.
>Have some cash on hand, ATM machines might be down for a period of time, it's possible that direct deposite paychecks might not make it though at times, credit cards might not be reliable< John
This advice is why there WILL be bank runs. England is much more open about this:
Johnny boy, what gives you the right to tell people that things will be just fine? Hmmmmmmm? the fact is YOU DON'T KNOW THAT! It just "feels" good doesn't it? It feels good to appear so wise and in control, like daddy, huh? Your pablum is far more dangerous to the people of this country than scaring them into buying some beans and canned hams. You just don't have the brains to grasp that. The panic WILL come, you and Oscar and the good Perfesser have no control over that. Fear comes from NOT being prepared. So does disease, starvation and death. Panic delayed as Douglas Carmichal so eloquently states is always worse and overlayed by anger.
If the witless among us would stop preaching "Don't worry, be happy", a larger percentage of the people would start putting up supplies for themselves and their less able relatives and friends. This would put more demand on the current systems than they can presently meet. THAT IS GOOD, because then they will gear up to make more stuff and with 18 months to go, lots of people can be well stocked and prepared for whatever happens. If the panic is late in '99, we're all screwed, the manufacturers can't respond that fast.
Either way you won't listen, will you? Cause I don't talk nice, huh?
In eighteen months, you won't matter, you'll be real hungry. Eat your beloved opinions then.
-- Will Huett (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 13, 1998.
John, you illustrate the utter futitity of asking people to dwell on impending disaster for the next eighteen months. Anybody can download the personal preparedness lists which are widely available and they can prepare for whatever period they think. Preparation necessary but I wonder how many intelligent folks are interested in visiting a forum where people like Will just keep repeating the same tired advice. Hey Will, we know we need to buy dried food, store water, guns and bullets(if your really paranoid) and so forth. Preparation is no longer a subject of debate on this forum there are some people who would like to dig a little deeper into the issues. You, Will, are like the Everready Bunny - no brain but you just keep on coming and coming while beating your silly little drum. Your information is not current, you don't understand the dynamics which are driving the solutions. You don't want to discuss specifics such as the '99 problem that DID NOT occur in 44 states in July '98, the hardware shortage which has not materialized as predicted, the programmer shortage which has not increased as predicted, the fact the majority of the people actively working on this problem know what needs to be fixed and how the fix it, decades of failed end of the world predictions by some of the leading merchants of doom and gloom. No Will, you just want to blabber on and on about how the disaster is inevitable because you and some other airheads say so. Is preparation a bad thing? No. Is eighteen months of doing nothing but worrying how bad things could be a bad thing? Of course. Will, this will really blow your mind but there are people joining this forum who are working on solutions not just sitting waiting for an outcome which can not be predicted this far in advance. The solution providers include butchers, bakers and candle stick makers as well technologists. Solution providers in this and any other major event are looking for substantive discussions of the issues as they unfold. Your contributions amount to the regurgitation of the same old stale news over and over. Get a new drum Will. Better still, get a life - the problem with your foregone conclusions is that you and everyone around you will be miserable for the next eighteen months only to discover that worrying never fixed anything. What a waste when life is so short. John, thanks for your comments - unfortunately a lot of people read the jibberish spewed by Will and other paranoids on this forum and don't think it is worth the time to counter the B.S.
-- Oscar Swische (email@example.com), July 13, 1998.
>>Will hospitals have dire problems? Hopefully not. The Orlando Regional Health Care system (ORHS), in particular, has an extremely firm grasp on the nature of the problem. <<
That's one end of the spectrum. The other end is represented by the only hospital with 50 miles of me. They stated, "(name deleted) recognizes that there are serious questions regarding the impact of embedded chip failure in medical devices. As a purchaser of such equipment from a variety of sources, we have implemented a comprehensive plan in an attempt to obtain assurances from our suppliers that their equipment will be Year 2000 compliant and will not pose a patient safety risk."
Now, that does not fill me with great joy. They are saying that they're asking the manufacturers. Fine, but it has already been demonstrated (first by Smith Kline Beecham) that type testing is not adequate in many cases because the actual electronics can be made by different subcontractors. Actual testing has been recommended. That means that the hospital must test the unit, or the manufacturer must send technicians to the hospital to do the testing, and to date they have not instituted even a plan to do so.
What this indicates is that there probably will be tremendous differences in the status of healthcare in various communities. Some won't have a problem, others will.
BTW, Mark, I'll forward your recommendation to my own hospital.
Second, Mark stated:
>>Finally, can non-compliant computers "infect" compliant systems? In a way, depending on how you define compliant. To me, a fully compliant system has been designed to "filter" incoming dates for errors, and reject "bad" data that would corrupt it. Unfortunately that isn't always possible. For instance, a non-compliant source system might incorrectly formats bad data to look like good data, such as by reformatting a newborn's birth certificate from 1/17/00 to 1/17/1900, which would "look" like clean data to the receiving system, even though it was inaccurate.
Even if the system were clever enough to know that a 1/17/1900 birth certificate was "bad" data, many filters would simply reject the record outright to protect the receiving system's integrity. While that may guarantee that a hospital only had "clean" data, it might mean in this case that they end up with NO information about a particular child, which may incur serious problems of its own.<<
This agrees with what I know of the subject. Unfortunately, I read this as stating that the receiving computer has the choice of either screening out corrupted data [not accepting data] or of accepting it and becoming corrupted, either because it didn't recognize the data as bad or because inadequate input filtering was used.
If the network in question is international banking, it would seem that these choices place the entire system in jeporady unless all compupters are compliant. That is, transactions may be rejected, which puts the brakes on many (most?)international transactions, or the 'host' computer will receive and propagate bad data because it passed through whatever screen was used.
Care to comment, Mark? Did I read you correctly?
If I did, I must submit to Oscar and John that this is exactly what Gary North, that most strident of D&Gers, has been saying for months. The only difference is that Mark stated it so softly that you missed it, while Gary screams a little louder than the threshold of pain.
-- Rocky Knolls (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 13, 1998.
>the problem with your foregone conclusions is that you and everyone around you will be miserable for the next eighteen months only to discover that worrying never fixed anything.<
I'm not in the least miserable, pal, and the only forgone conclusion I draw is that there WILL be trouble. And there is absolutely no topic as vital as preparation for 99.99% of the people on this site. The problem is peabrains like you who take such myopic delight in isolated reports of success. The problem is global and the interconnectedness of our world completely escapes your feeble mind.
As Douglass Carmichael writes:
" Those who want to hush the problem ( "Don't talk about it, people will panic", and "We don't know for sure") are having three effects. First, they are preventing a more rigorous investigation of the extent of the problem. Second, they are slowing down the awareness of the intensity of the problem as currently understood and the urgency of the need for solutions, given our current assessment of the risks.
Third, they are making almost certain a higher degree of ultimate panic, in anger, under conditions of shock."
This is not a forum for programmers to discuss their arcane trade. It is a place for regular people to come to help get a grip on what is happening. ( You see, unlike yourself, many are unsure about all this. ) This forum is lurked upon by thousands of newbies, who come here after reading Ed's book praying it ain't so. People like you feed their fantasies and slow their acceptance of a global problem unimaginably complex. If you're a mainframer, then go fix something. I will be damned if I let you bully me into keeping quiet, you peasant!
People are going to starve, in the cold, in the dark. The more souls who prepare actively the better off we will all be.
You want to add something substantive? Tell us what you are doing to protect YOUR family in the event of breakdowns. Hmmm? How much food, water? Do you think it best to store water in the gallon sized containers, or do you prefer the 55 gal. drum route? Do you live in a large city? Are you staying? How will you handle the problems associated with large cities if we have serious trouble? What about your funds? Keeping it all in the bank, are we? How are you going to handle sewage loss, or illness? And power, how are you preparing in case the lights go out for a few weeks? This information would truly help many here. A great big optimistic guy like you admitting he is preparing some would certainly inspire people to act so much more effectively than an ole one tune wonder like me.
So c'mon, Oscar, tell us all the truth. Are you secretly preparing for trouble, or are you putting your money where your mouth is and trusting all our current infrastructures completely?
-- Will Huett (email@example.com), July 14, 1998.
Having just read your purile little rant, I will answer for myself the question you asked of Oscar, namely "What are you doing to prepare even though you *say* it won't be the end of the world?" You want to flame me? Go ahead. I'm immune.
The short answer is: nothing special. The longer version of that includes the information that I am,at any given time, stocked with enough non-persihable food, water, money and fuel to survive without electricity, gas or running water for two to four days. This is a habit of long standing: I grew up in Lubbock, Texas (a high risk zone for tornados), spent a few years in New Orleans (high risk for hurricanes) and now live ouside Boston (high risk for both blizzards and hurricanes). I have had to dip into my stash in each of those locals, and I exepct to have to again, if not for Y2K than for something else.
Despite your rantings, there is room for differences of opinion on this issue. My opinion (stated here many times) is that this is not necessarily a life shattering event, at least not for the vast majority of people. Therefore, I have chosen to treat it that way. Do I expect problems? Sure I do. Am I going to be really surprised if my power goes out during the 24 hours either side of the Magic Moment? Yes, but not too much. Do I expect my lifestyle to be altered forever. No way. Could I be wrong? Of course. I've been wrong before, and I'm sure I will be again. It's part of the human condition.
The point here is that I have one opinion and you obviously have another. We have both expressed them here, in a forum whose publicly stated purpose is to provide opportuity for people to discuss preparations IN WHATEVER FORM THEY MAY BE MAKING THEM. It is a shame if you decide to treat my opinion, or Oscar's, as worthless simply because they differ from your's. It would be an even bigger shame if someone left this forum and never returned because they felt that differing points of view were not to be tolerated here. Differing opinions are presented and any one who reads them can make their own judgements regarding the merits and demerits of the various positions.
Or is that too adult a concept for you?
-- Paul Neuhardt (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 1998.
Keep arguing ya'll. I'm like the bunny in a way. Reading, reading, reading. Trying to decide which camp I belong in.
-- JUNIOR R. STILL (ATAECHO@AOL.COM), July 14, 1998.
>snip< " It would be an even bigger shame if someone left this forum and never returned because they felt that differing points of view were not to be tolerated here."
You could care less about differing viewpoints, you are an elitist, it is quite apparent in your posts. You couch your snobbery in polite language all the while neatly telling those here who are concerned and scared that they are stupid for holding the opinions they do.
I am a common man, Paul, and I know full well that the only rational course for the little people is to assume the worst and do their best to protect themselves from it.
You and Proffesor K and Oscar do great harm here, IMO. Most that post here want to be liked and many hold the secret hope that they can persuade people like you. Hence, they will not say openly what I will say. I hope I make you mad, Paul. I most humbly believe you to be a fool of the first order for your cocky assurance in your perceived future. There is no defenseable postion that you hold. You can neither prove yourself right ( as I cannot ) or survive your being wrong ( as I can ). Your message is noise, the kind of static that keeps the tune from coming through. I pity you.
-- Will Huett (email@example.com), July 14, 1998.
I can't see what Paul said to justify that.
I've been wondering why this forum seems be the only one I ever visit that hasn't been taken over by people throwing vile insults at each other all day long. I'll be very depressed about human nature if this goes the same way.
Please, leave us one place where people are civil. If you want to pick fights, I can direct you to some other sites where you'd get your fill of it.
-- Deborah Barr (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 1998.
>I can't see what Paul said to justify that. < -Deborah
"...your purile little rant" - Paul
"... is that too adult a concept for you?" -Paul
-- Will Huett (email@example.com), July 14, 1998.
-- Paul Neuhardt (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 1998.
" You just don't have the brains to grasp that" " The problem is peabrains like you " "the witless among us..."
...not to mention your slams about programmers. A lot of the people who are most frightened about the situation are programmers. Like me.
-- Deborah Barr (email@example.com), July 14, 1998.
For some it is going to be very bad and for others it will hardly be noticeable...some inconvenience, and then almost back to normal. Let's all hope that we are in the latter group, but if you are in a large city in the US Northest, connected to an Ontario power company, you may be wishing you had bought some woolly slippers, candles and beans.
-- Laurane (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 1998.
I have been in IS for 25 years and am also an RN. Hospitals will not turn anyone away, unless of course the facility cannot treat or take in another case. This happens today in the best of situations. Patients are diverted to other available facilities. As for non-compliant vs. compliant data submission, anything is possible. Depends on how good the data edits are. I do believe Hospital information systems will be put to the test. How much money will the health care system spend on remediating the Y2k problem with their "bottomline" mentality. Internal computer systems do a wide variety of functions, from scheduling to order entry. As has been mentioned elsewhere, for example, the administration of IV medication today is with a " computerized pump" using impeded chips. What about the telemetry systems used in the special care areas, not to mention the CAT scanner, MRI and X-ray devices. There may be power, but how will the imbeded chips be functioning. And will anyone notice. Hospitals are extremely short staffed. Automated systems, such as infusion pumps are not monitored minute by minute. The infusion rate could be affected, or even stopped by a computation error. All possibilites. My personal plan is to act as if we will be having interruptions. Even if we are over 85% compliant, there is still the cascade effect, both within and outside our borders which can effect us.
-- Greg Uhles (email@example.com), July 14, 1998.
To all Can we please stop arguing and try to respect each others opinions. This subject is likely to spark a few tempers but we're all going through this together, no matter what happens. I don't know whats really going to happen(how great or small the problems are going to be) but I am going to keep reading about new developments and hopefully we will get out of this snag with- out much of a scratch. If we don't then we're all in for a rough couple of years. Lisa
-- Lisa Crosby (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 15, 1998.
If people cannot read this forum, and they take offense to every nit picky comment, and they threaten to leave, then you are an individual who cannot make up your own mind, cannot reason with yourself, and will probably be one of those who will rely on the government to take care of you. All of you have good comments, and I really don't mind the flares. But I've noticed when people get angry, they start attacking each other on a personal level (pea brain for instance). No one will really care if you leave, another person who wants to be informed and wants to communicate will take your place!
-- Barb-Douglas (email@example.com), July 16, 1998.