What Is Your Opinion On Potential Solution?

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The talk show host on a local Metro Atlanta radio station posed a question he had heard about (didn't get his source) regarding a potential temporary solution to the Y2K problem. The suggestion was to replace the existing numercal digits for the months of the year as follows: January - 13; February - 14; March - 15, etc. At the same time, "99" designated for the year would continue to be used on into the year 2000. Under this scenario, you have January 1, 2000 shown as 13-1-99; February 1, 2000 shown as 14-1-99; March 1, 2000 shown as 15-1-99, etc.

Will computers accept such commands? What is your opinion or knowledge regarding such a suggestion?

Please respond.

-- Patricia P. Fitch (fitchesroost@prodigy.net), August 13, 1998


There are no silver bullets, Patricia.

Date-checking algorithms immediately check for a month greater than 12 and days greater than 31, and won't accept an invalid entry. You could change the date-checking algorithm, but if you're going to do that you might as well change the date format to 4-digit years. And that's what we'll have to do everywhere... there are no silver bullets.

-- Chris Gelowitz (chris.gelowitz@bigfoot.com), August 13, 1998.

I personally think a better potential solution to the problem would be to mobilize the entire mass of society from the current configuration of the way labor is divided into a model closer to the pre-technological early industrial/agrarian world. We're going to have to do it anyway, may as well start while we still have some time to prepare...

...don't think that's going to happen!

No, there are no silver bullets.

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), August 13, 1998.

How ever you treat the values stored in a date field, ALL programs have to recognise them. You would still have to change the code accordingly. To use non-standard values such as suggested would only cause even more confusion. No-one who is a prog/designer would come up with such a solution. This is the problem with Y2k, too many non-technical views given credence by the media.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), August 14, 1998.

Many solutions have been proposed, unfortunately they all have some sort of shortfall. My favorite is the one proposed by Bill Gates which is to subtract 30 years from all of the input data and add 30 years to the output data. Then no programs would have to be changed. The problem with that is that many programs do comparisons involving the current date which they pull from the computer operating system. For example, "process all transactions that occurred in the last month" wouldn't work with his solution. Too bad, because it would be a lot easier than fixing all those programs. If you wanted to set the system date back 30 years, then this would work. I don't think anyone wants to do that though.

-- Amy Leone (aleone@amp.com), August 14, 1998.

Face it, friends; the only solution for Y2K is to change our own thinking about living! After reading Ed's book, watching/taping the 3-hour CSIS Forum on C-SPAN, and over 2 hours of Y2K info and interviews on CBN, spending 9 hours at the weekend Preparedness Expo, listening to the 2-hour Preparedness Roundtable tape from Atlanta, reading through Y2K News Magazine, and months of daily accessing this site, reading through everyone's opinions, as well as other sites... Well, last night I fell asleep "seeing" jockeys riding their race horses across America, having formed the Year 2000 Pony Express system. They were carrying pouches filled with government checks that had been hand written by former computer processors in D.C. (They had wisely previously printed hard copies of the gazillions of citizens eligible for govm't checks.) The riders went to the capitals of 49 mainland states. (Sorry, Hawaii!) The checks were assorted, according to city, by more former computer processors, then given to mountain bike racers who brought them to the cities, towns, boroughs, etc., in each state. Again, they were sorted out (you know by whom), and given to teen agers on roller blades to be delivered door-to-door. I thought I had it all solved! But I became wide awake again when I realized those poor D.C. check-writers would have to become like Bob Cratchett; wearing gloves with no covering below mid-finger, writing at candle-light desks, while those with the highest priority were allowed to be closest to the pot-bellied stoves. O.K., so far. But, the final blow--how would they get to work? No gas for their cars, no fuel for buses. Oh! How about those cute little horse and buggy rigs at New York's Central Park. Hmmmm... Or should we be adjusting our current thinking about our way of life? And be mentally, emotionally, spiritually ready for changes we cannot begin to imagine yet? I think so!

-- Holly Allen (Holly3325@juno.com), August 14, 1998.

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