Making money from Y2K AFTERWARDS : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

As a programmer, I can make a living before the "fall", but what about afterwards? Shouldn't those of us who have been warning others, and being ignored, and who are preparing as best we can, be able to come out on top, AFTER 2000-01-01? Any suggestions on what various of us might do to actually IMPROVE our positions, not just take up welding or bicycle repair as a survival mode? Think about "toll positions." Knowlege repositories? Metals assayer? ????

-- David Bean (, September 28, 1998



As a fellow programmer/systems guy, my advice is the proverbial "Don't quit your day job." I believe there will be plenty of work for programmers no matter what happens. The only way out of this technological mess is more technology, not less. (Might get flamed for that statement!)

-- Buddy Y. (, September 28, 1998.

A lot of companies are making noises about "fix on failure." Cory Hamasaki mentioned one large firm that is taking no Y2K work outside some established clients, but is quietly buying up talent. When the Zeros roll in, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when bean counters learn how much "fix on failure" is going to cost them.

-- Larry Kollar (, September 28, 1998.

My day job is as a pianist, guitarist and music teacher, definitely not a high-tech one. My second job is apprentice to a piano tuner/technician, my dear significant one,...again...strictly 18th and 19th century technology. Today a friend and I were testing out the player piano in the item we are selling...definitely low tech,(not as low as stone knives)...but a marvel of 18-19th C. technology. A big music box,...pre 20th century karoke. We have bemoaned from time to time not being employed in the high tech arena, with the exception of our own PCs,...not really doing it any longer though about any of our old homestead-type skills. I worry for people, doesn't leave me, not even when I'm pumping the player, singing, "Show me the Way to go Home."

Heck I worry about my job,...daily and for the future. Seems to be a hazard of living in uncertain times...A.K.A: any time in the last 5000 years.

", can always hear me singin' this song,...Show me the Way To Go Home!"

-- Donna Barthuley (, September 28, 1998.

Donna - Um... In "Jaws," I believe Quint, Brody, and Hooper are all sitting around singing that song just before the Great White rams their boat. Kinda ominous. How about a different song from around the same time period? Perhaps "And The Band Played On"? No, wait, the AIDS activists have co-opted that one. Dang, this may be harder than I thought... 8-}]

-- Mac (, September 28, 1998.

Donna, If you sell that piano, may I suggest you get another music maker. If TSHTF, we will need some lift for our spirits. Our forebearers used fiddles etc., to make life bearable. I'm thinking of picking up something small, portable and easy to learn. Any suggestions?

-- Lois Knorr (, September 28, 1998.

Lois, guitar, mandolin, banjo, dulcimer...all good choices...and who knows, maybe we can all find work as travelling minstrals, singing, playing and story-telling. Sorry you all didn't mean to change the flow of the thread,...but I'm a 18th/19th century kinda goof! Pardonable?

Need a horse and wagon for the piano though,...

-- Donna Barthuley (, September 28, 1998.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm gonna start up an Orkin franchise and head for the Middle East.

After all, "Someone from a Middle Eastern country told the CIA not to worry about the millennium 'bug.'

'When we see it, we'll spray for it,' [CIA Y2K office head Sherry]Burns paraphrased that source as saying."

( html)

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, September 28, 1998.

Lois - get an accordian. If you know anything about piano, they aren't too hard, and even if not, aren't that hard to learn.

David, I think the fix on failure folks have shot themselves in the foot. I am trying to figure out how they think they are gonna save money when they are trying to buy what will suddenly become the worlds most valuable resource - experienced computer folks. Oh well, stupidity rules in most companies - most can't see any point in planning beyond the next fiscal year - which means they see no point in planning for Y2K until the fiscal year includes 1/1/00. Make your plans, but make sure all your compilers and database engines are Y2K compliant and licensed for distribution. We will all make money on side work, but only if we can show compliance - they will all get silly on it just as soon as they have a few systems fail - testing will never again be 'good enough' and you will have to explain to the upper echelon that testing for every possible input is not going to happen - as it would take longer to test than to write.

-- Paul Davis (, September 28, 1998.

Post -Y2K occupations? Let's see...

Human Guinea Pig - test questionable food and water

Scrap Computer Home Builder - create housing from the non-compliant junk using only a screwdriver

Finger-Pointer - competition will be stiff in D.C.

Train Switch Operator - see the thread about this

Y3K Consultant - put your experience to good use

About "fix on failure" - I heard the Russians had this attitude about their nuclear plants. Can you imagine that? From the same people who brought you Chernobyl.... (I know it's in the Ukraine, but hey, the Soviets always liked Russians best.) They were saying they didn't think anything would go wrong, but if it did, they would fix it. Uh-huh. Last I heard they were starting to look at their possible Y2K problems, due to international pressure. Now if they just had the money to fix them... Scary bunch over there.

-- Mike (, September 28, 1998.

Still, it seems to me that there will be lots of work for programmers - "Fix this, please, we don't care how you do it, just give me back the life I had before." Just don't be in any position of authority so that someone can blame the whole stupid mess on YOU!

-- Melissa (financed@forbin.som), September 29, 1998.

I am going to beat Ed to the the punch, working on "After the Timebomb, 2000 and Beyond". Since the presses may not run after 2000, I hope to have it written by 12/98, edit it by 7/99 and print by 9/9/99, and in stores for Christmas 1999. Make a million $, buy 10 years worth of food, set sail for the South Pacific .....

-- Bill (, September 29, 1998.

Re: "fix on failure", I can't really add much to what has already been written, except that I would just LOVE to know how any company that seriously advocates this strategy as their Y2K plan is going to write up their mandatory SEC disclosure statement next month (and how their attorneys are going to have it read anything other than "Sue me, I'm yours!"). Re work for programmers in post-Y2K: Well, assuming that we have the basics -- you know, electricity, clean water, a working banking system, that kind of stuff -- somehow I think that Y2K is going to put a real damper on the desire for technology. In fact, I believe that there will be such absolute MISTRUST of computers that the only programmer work around -- if there is any -- is to fix the attempted Y2K "fixes" that turned out to be buggy. In fact, I could even see under a worst case type scenario of a Luddite-type mindset taking hold of John Q. Public after Y2K, such that it may not be such a great idea to even admit to having ever been a computer programmer! (Come up with something more acceptable like pimp, drug dealer....) ** BTW, since I've been in the programmer biz for nearly 20 years, I figure I can get away with that last. **

-- Joe (, September 29, 1998.

Just had a quick look at responses to what to do (work) after Y2K. Mike's tongue-in-cheek suggestion actually has merit. Food and water testing for toxins, non-computer mini-bugs (bacteria and other parasites, etc.)

Will look in more detail and respond this weekend. Thanks for inputs.

Dave Bean

-- David Bean (, September 29, 1998.

When I get the (excuse the expression) BUGS worked out of my designs for solar oven, dehydrator and water distillers, I'm going to start offering those for sale...just need to lay in enough raw material for "after". We've been doing cottage industry at my house for a bunch of the freedom, sometimes get a thrill from the uncertainty. You know, like the steep dips on the big roller coasters...Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

-- Donna Barthuley (, September 29, 1998.

First the power has to be turned back on. Then we can start thinking about getting back to work.

-- hull stetson (, September 29, 1998.

>The only way out of this technological mess is more technology, not >less. (Might get flamed for that statement!)

Nah. No flames on this list, Buddy. But let me ask you: If you're lost, is your preferred course of action to run faster?

Who said that is a mark of insanity to continue doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results?


"You're only lost when you don't know where you're going." --- R G Dery

-- Hallyx (, September 29, 1998.

The history of mankind is one of increasing levels of technology, with a few setbacks. I see no reason to believe this will change.

Besides, does anyone really believe that the average person will give up on technology? (How would they decide which technology is OK and which isn't? Wind-up clocks are OK, but battery operated clocks aren't.) Most people with TVs and microwave ovens will NOT want to part with them. It's more likely that they'll develop a healthy mistrust of businesses, governments and utilities.

-- Mike (, September 29, 1998.

Re Russians not having money to fix now, but they going to "wait and see" -- they HAVE the money -- it's just that it's all being siphoned off as fast as we (U.S.) and IMF ship it to them, by the Russian Mafia.

-- David Bean (, September 30, 1998.

"The history of mankind is one of increasing levels of technology, with a few setbacks. I see no reason to believe this will change."

I'm not sure this is so, Mike. I think the whole of human history is rife with civilization building technologically to point of critical mass with most if not all of the large systems crumbling after major chaos of one form or another. When the "advanced" civiliations go they take much of their technology with them into obliviion. Isn't the history you speak of only the history of the last 2000 years?

At the very least there is of necessity a return to simpler tools and toys at the beginning of all new epochs of humans. Two steps forward, one step back. Dance, Lovelies, Dance!

Just some thoughts. I could just be way caffeine and oxygen deprived this a.m.

-- Donna Barthuley (, September 30, 1998.

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