Small Business In Trouble : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I work with small business. (25 or fewer PC's on a LAN) I'm very afraid that this group of people is in trouble with respect to Y2K. I know they don't have the kind of problems the "big boys" do; but they've got enough of their own.

I just spent an hour on the phone with a new client that informed me he "knew" he didn't have ANY Y2K problems, because the vendor of his accounting package had told him they were compliant. When I tried to explain to him that he needed to check hardware, etc., he all but hung up on me. His basic theory is that the hardware couldn't have any effect on his Y2K safety because the application had always recognized 4 digit dates.

Is it just me, or does anyone else see the potential problems when countless numbers of this type of small business run into problems and lose what I call "cash flow" time? Many of the small businesses already operate on the edge financially, and cannot afford very much in the way of wasted "cash flow" time.

And I'll say to anyone that says small business and PC's aren't a problem, come with me for a week on tests where we back up a network, then test the system. It won't take you long to realize there are more problems than most realize.

Well, what are your thoughts? Anybody else seen this same type of thing? Or am I just too stupid to understand? (Being that I'm from North Carolina ya'll)

-- Greg Sugg (, September 09, 1998


A few months ago, small businesses were highlighted at the Washington D.C. Y2K Users Group. Many small businesses went through a large effort and expense to automate, often dealing with OEMs to get a custom designed system (typical in the 80s), and have never done anything but use the system since. It works, nothing has really changed, why bother to upgrade, etc. Many of the original OEMs are no longer around. THESE CUSTOM SYSTEMS ARE LARGELY NOT Y2K COMPLIANT.

-- Joe (, September 09, 1998.

Having been in small business (real estate) for many years until my move to programmer/webmaster, I have come to know dozens (or gazillions) of small business owners in our community. I have found that when trying to open their eyes by bringing up Y2K in conversation, most of them are like a pig looking at a clock. By and large, they feel that it will not affect their businesses and look at me as if I am just being extremely negative. The level of understanding is zilch. Most real estate offices are filled with 486's, old spreadsheets, a variety of old real estate applications, fax machines, and many of the realtors are selling residential and commercial properties where the vendor is warranting that there are no defects that affect the value of the property. Apart from their day to day business being completely messed up, many will be up to their arsses in lawsuits. Whenever I stop by the local stores and city offices etc., I make a point of looking at the computer monitors that sit everywhere. (parts ordering in the hardware store, cash registers at the restaurants, library counter etc.) I've seen 20 or 30 in the last couple of months and guess how many had four digits for the years column? None, Zero, Sweet bugger all, not a sausage.

Small businesses are a minefield and most of the owners are completely oblivious as to what they face.

-- Craig (, September 10, 1998.

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