WHEN will it be too late?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The doomsayers (like me) think its too late already to prevent (or even minimize) the Y2K failures. Can-doers seem to think that things will work out (pass the lanterns, boys, man those tracks). Weigh in: What is (was) the "too late to fix it" date? Last year? Last month? Yesterday, today, tomorrow? Dec 31, 1999? Never (as in its never too late)??

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), October 11, 1998


Capers Jones has said:

"However, June of the year 1997 is the last month and year in which there is a reasonable possibility of finding and repairing all year 2000 instances before the end of 1999"

He is the most often quoted source of these estimates. He later revised his estimate:

"Approximately October of 1997 is the last point at which year 2000 repairs can start with a reasonable probability of finishing before 2000."

This estimate still stands from his book, abstract located at:


-- Brad Waddell (lists@flexquarters.com), October 11, 1998.

Ummmm... yesterday?

Seriously, 'too late' is relative. Too late for what, exactly? Some things will get fixed in the time remaining. Other things won't, since "triage" is now an operative approach. Some things people *think* are fixed will break due to unexpected/unpredicted developments after rollover. In short, the situation is too multifaceted to be predictable.

Therein lies the biggest problem, as I see it. It's impossible to know (even at this late date) what will happen when and where, how bad it will be, and how long it will last. The developments I see as the weeks and months roll by DO NOT make me more optimistic (putting it mildly).

If you're a grasshopper type, don't worry be happy. If you're an ant, you're already working your antennae off at this point getting ready for whatever may come. You pays your money and you takes your choice... .


-- nemo (nemo@deepsix.com), October 11, 1998.

Here's what Capers Jones said:

"Approximately October of the year 1997 is the last year that mid-sized corporation can commence their year 2000 repairs with any hope of finishing before the end of the century even with an automated year 2000 search engine...."


That's for a mid-sized corporation (whatever that is. I couldn't find any reference to actual sizes or lines of code.) In other words, the average small corporation could start later, the average large corporation should have started earlier.

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 11, 1998.

What has always gotten me about "too late" is it makes it sound like "Oh, the deadline passed, let us sit here and do nothing because somebody who has nothing to do with our company has said it is too late"

I am sorry, but as far as I am concerned the only day that can be considered "too late" is 01/01/2000. Otherwise I say you do your damned best to get fixed whatever you can. If it means even one more system gets fixed all the better. The concept to just give up, which by my definition is what "too late" means, is a foreign concept to me and many others. Yes I am preparing, but I am also the only person in my town with earthquake insurance (I live somewhere within the possible radius of the New Madrid fault). So obviouslly I tend to prepare for lots of things.


-- Rick Tansun (ricktansun@hotmail.com), October 12, 1998.

You and me both Rick. I have been in the situation of being without power for nearly three days in the middle of winter, and it really is a pain if you don't prepare. Everyone needs to be ready for interruptions in power, supplies etc. So of course I have made it a habit to keep stuff on hand. This cuts down on the worry.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 12, 1998.

Considering that problems have already started, and infact started years ago... I'd say the date for too late has passed.

Also, you can't just think of 01/01/00 as THE DATE. The real problems will begin 01/01/99 and just increase throughout the year. The real headaches begin September/August 99 through 2001.

There is a great report from the Gartner Group. I'll see if I can post the link...

Don't let yourself be fooled into thinking that we have a whole year before TSHTF.


-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), October 12, 1998.

Has anyone considered being out of the big cities 12/31/1998? Does anyone else besides me think that since a number of chips may fail when faced with a 00 year (time went backwards) that a smaller number may have problems with 99 as a year as well - the end of time/end of file issues, and not just the software looking ahead?

-- Brad Waddell (lists@flexquarters.com), October 12, 1998.

Small businesses could probably check out their problems fairly quickly and get fixes, eg new accounts or business specific package if necessary. That may only take 2 or 3 months at the outside. Best to get compliant earlier rather than later, I foresee businesses using it as a selling point. There could be a lot of transference in y2k, where the companies who are up and running could clean up.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), October 12, 1998.

rdale, you are very naive if you think it is that easy for small business to check and replace or re-write custom made systems for their industry. And even if they don't use a "computer" what are the odds they have no cash registers, visa processing equipment, phone systems, security systems etc? It's not as easy as you predict.

-- Brad Waddell (lists@flexquarters.com), October 12, 1998.

Too late for what? I agree w/ Rick Tansun here. It is never too late. Yes, we are past the point for many systems to be fixed before 1/1/00, but that doesn't mean that we should stop working on them. After 1/1/00 it will be crucial to get new technology in place and to fix what can be fixed. I expect to be working on problems right on through 1/1/00 and beyond.

-- Beltway Buddy (buddy@bellatlantic.net), October 12, 1998.

Right on Buddy, but which 1/1/00?

1/1/2000 or 1/1/3000? 8<)

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 12, 1998.

Didn't I say?

I've been working on it since 1/1/1900!!!

-- Beltway Buddy (buddy@bellatlantic.net), October 12, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ