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

Some times folks want a true/false answer to an essay question. One of the favorite arguments for Y2k doom and gloom is the one that goes: "Not one major company is Y2k compliant...yahdah, yahdah,blah, blah..." Perhaps a few of you have resorted to that as what you consider the ultimate weapon in debating folks who believe there is some reason to believe society will survive and thrive in the new millenneum. It is not possible for anyone to claim full compliance because that would imply that we have not only fixed our internal systems but guarunteed the reliability of everyone in our supply chain. What those of us who lead Y2k efforts are striving for is to be Y2k ready. We will fix our internal systems and prepare contingency plans for external problems. For example many of us are already planning a little breather from Just-In-Time inventory management and will lay in extra materials and supplies for Just-In-Case inventory management. Please give us a break and get off the tired and useless argument that no company can claim Y2k compliance. By the way, I spoke to a peer at a bank this morning and she told me that the last of their Y2k repaired internal systems are in testing and will be in production by year end but they are not going to issue statements that they are Y2k compliant for the obvious reasons that I just stated. "Truth is more than just the absence of lies."

-- Woe Is Me (wim@doom.net), October 16, 1998


Wow! Has Y2K denial gone full-circle and off the deep end, or what!! "Woe Is Me", this reminds me of the "Lets just declare that we won the war and go home" argument that one used to hear regarding Viet Nam in the 1960s. So here we all are, money being allocated (not much being spent), people furiously working (supposedly), National Guards preparing for Y2K imagined disasters, for ...??? Maybe denialists are now concluding that "Y2K compliance" is not "legally accurate", maybe some would prefer something more loose. OK, well, let me make it simple: 1) The code is working now; 2) The code will be broken by approx Jan 1, 2000; 3) So far, in spite of much fanfare, no bank, no electric utility, no telecomm -- in spite of years of effort in some cases -- can say, today, "the code has been repaired"; 4) Some of us find that very, very worrisome, as we would expect otherwise by this very late date.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), October 16, 1998.

Not to mention the fact that this is a global issue, and the rest of the world is in much worse shape than the US. Individual companies, will, of couse, be Y2K "ready". Perhaps even a majority of them will. But unless ALL of them are, expect major problems.

-- Steve Hartsman (hartsman@ticon.net), October 16, 1998.

You might be a tad more credible if you supplied some technical detail on where you are on compliance. Something like number of programming systems, lines of code changed, time spent (with results) on Time Machine testing (you Do know what an LPAR is don't you, type of enterprise level computer base (IBM OS/390 or whatever), status of servers/LANS/etc, types of problems found and remediated including any embedded problems with your ATM's (confess you banking PHM). I'm quite willing to believe you IF you can lay your cards on the table. Othewise, trolling can be so amusing for thoses suffering from hypoxia.

-- R. D..Herring (drherr@erols.com), October 16, 1998.

Woe makes a point to which the knee-jerk catastrophists appear deaf: compliance is a matter of degree, not a matter of black and white. We live in an imperfect world, and it is a truism that no useful, non- trivial program is without bugs. The issue revolves around the impacts of y2k bugs, and the durations and side-effects of those impacts. We're working to minimize them, knowing we can't eradicate them.

Our information stinks, face it. It comes largely from those selling products, those trying to avert panic, those protecting their stock prices, and those manipulating sound bites. Lawyers prohibit anyone from divulging any honest evaluation of their status, for several good reasons. Many organizations don't really know their status. Is 'lines of code' a good measure? Is 'critical systems' a meaningful category? How much testing is sufficient? Probably nobody will be fully compliant in our lifetimes, but how close is close enough? We should all prepare, but who among us can claim to know exactly what we should prepare for, or for how long?

Why is it that anyone who claims real problems is accepted at face value, and anyone who claims to have largely solved them is subjected to rigid, almost unreachable rules of evidence? It's never 'give me proof so I can believe you', it's always 'give me details so I can show you why they aren't good enough'. What more can anyone do but the best possible job of repairing everything they can find, and developing contingency plans anyway, just in case?

Woe makes an excellent point. Assuming the worst is certainly safest, but that doesn't make it accurate. There are quite a few indications that the worst is unlikely, visible to anyone not suffering from hypoxia. Bad maybe, but not as bad as it could have been without the efforts being made each day.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), October 16, 1998.

Many of you are IN DENIAL of the possiblility that the effects of the Y2K problem might be mitigated.

Those predicting doom say that a sane person will prepare to become self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency to the extent that one can become so is a prudent policy in any case. But a sane person also will keep an open mind and try to be as objective as possible with the evidence as well.

Denial depends on your point of view, doesn't it?

-- Buddy Y. (DC) (buddy@bellatlantic.net), October 16, 1998.

I wish I had counted how many times I've written a post and then just decided... naw... nevermind... they just don't 'get it'.

But. the tone of your post pissed me off.

Woe, I've taken the time on many occassions to point to facts that reveal the number of Government officials, corporate officials, numerous experts, yahdah, yahdah,blah, blah... who, as recently as this week, have said they expect disruptions here in the US as well as Globally. I've pointed to testimony before congress that said they're worried about panic, disorder, bank runs, yahdah, yahdah,blah, blah... and you know, I'M TIRED OF IT.

If Y2k is no problem for you, great. Go on and live your life elsewhere. YOU don't NEED to be here.


If you were as smart as you think you are, you would not attack others who feel differently in a forum where many consider your views are suspect. YOUR attitude is exactly the reason why quality in business is lacking today. WE are your consumers. This company YOU say you work for only exists because it provides some service or product that we, as consumers, utilize. If I was your boss I would terminate you faster that you could say Y2k for the attitude you display.

Get some respect you arrogant little woeful you.

Why do people like myself consider your views suspect? THIS is YOUR quote, "What those of us who lead Y2k efforts are striving for is to be Y2k ready"

That, in a nutshell, is not good enough. That is exactly why YOUR credibility AND that of your employer is lacking.

"Y2k ready" means you THINK you'll have you mission critical systems 'mostly' ready AND you plan on entering into the year 2000 with the bug still contained IN your system AND you have no intention on remediating your systems to become fully compliant BECAUSE not enough time is left for remediation OR testing. So, you'll keep working on your date issues far into the next century. YOU YOURSELF stated "We will fix our internal systems" It's almost 1999 and YOU aren't even done yet!!! You yourself said you are planning for contingencies.

Please, give US a break.

If your company felt comfortable they would advertise that fact, lead the cause, hold up the banner and say, "HEY LOOK!!! WE DID IT WORLD!!! Come on over and we'll take care of you. We'll give you shetler from that big, bad y2k bug." Why? MARKETSHARE. KILL THE COMPETITION. MORE MONEY FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

YOU used the term "doom and gloom" and that is one of THE favorite "ultimate weapon"s people like YOU use to try to discredit those that want to build insurance for themselves and their families in the form of supplies in case of disruption or who want the assurance that perhaps things wont be so bad. Mr. Yourdon himself has stated that we should ALL think about how disruptions could impair our daily lives AND YOU YOURSELF said that the business you work for is planning contengencies. Why? DISRUPTIONS.

What the heck is YOUR beaf? What is YOUR problem?

Oh, and regarding banks. Point of fact:

We have a global economy. Our banks do not operate in a vacuum. Currently they are losing a lot of money, OVERSEAS. Bad dept, defaults, etc. That money is our money.

Leading economists say we're at the tip of a glabal, economic meltdown and Y2k isn't even in the picture yet. Don't believe me? Fine. Keep your money right where it is.

Banks are scared on many levels, including the possibility of bank runs and Y2k failure. If the failure of banks in this country is beyone a certain percentage, our system collapses. The FDIC can not insure every depositor. Don't believe me? Fine. Keep your money right where it is.

There WILL be bank closures as early as the first quarter next year because of Y2k issues. Don't believe me? Fine. keep your money right where it is.

I don't wish you ill feelings Woe. But your attitude brings this on yourself. You have a miopic view of the problem. My advice to you, think globally. You've thought locally... now, look at the BIG picture.

If you can't -- don't waste our time, or yours. Please, don't let us frustrate you anymore.

Leave. ____________________

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), October 16, 1998.

WHAT?? Woe is actually trying to *do* something to help us? Quick, shout him down. Make him leave. We don't want to hear it.

Good post, Michael. Knee-jerk catastrophist, Exhibit A.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), October 16, 1998.

I thought this was an open discussion forum. Sad.... When did that change?

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 16, 1998.

If you cannot stomach criticism and are very sensitive, you got no business sticking your neck out here, or anywhere else in life, for that matter.

-- Uncle Deeda (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), October 16, 1998.

I quote the Great and All-Powerful Wizard, Alan Greenspan:

"Ninety-nine percent readiness for the Year 2000 will not be enough. It must be 100 percent."

Failure to understand this statement is a failure to understand the problem. Period.

-- Steve Hartsman (hartsman@ticon.net), October 16, 1998.

Michael said it perfectly "f you were as smart as you think you are, you would not attack others who feel differently in a forum where many consider your views are suspect. YOUR attitude is exactly the reason why quality in business is lacking today."

We're in this mess because of employees and employers like Woe. And that is exactly why I'm worried and taking precautions not to depend on anything from any companies for at least a year. After a year, I figure if they don't have their acts together, I'll be settled in the new world by then and be able to live no worse than people did in WWII. Hey, if the government has martial law and the national guards in thier contengy plans, why should't I prepare for the worse too? (Cause bankers don't want me too that's why! I'm just a number.) And since we -know- the DoD won't be anywhere near ready. No one ever mentions the Department of Defense's dire situation here, how come? Isn't national security not an issue? (I guess not, since the rest of the world's military will be in even worse shape.)

Keep staring at your trees Woe, you might get scared and drop dead seeing all the nasty bears in the forest.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), October 16, 1998.

S000oooo...... Let's look at the bright side !

Let's assume that in the US, 80% of banks, power generating plants, water systems, sewage systems, telcos, federal/state/local governments, and corporations are "y2k ready" and can stay afloat with constant attention to problems. That's a best-case scenerio, in my opinion.

That means that 20% fail. 20%+ unemployment....IMMEDIATELY ! 20%+ reduction in every area (cash flow, profits, customers, product availability, etc.). THEN, we have a probable stoppage or at least a drastic reduction in imports and exports (55% of our food is imported, etc.), meaning MORE unemployment and problems staying in business.

And then there's the stock market.... BIG crash; no way around it. MORE unemployment, more bankruptcies, welfare and food stamps causing havok for the feds...

But don't worry ! 80% will be "y2k ready" !

Face it folks, even in a best-case scenerio we are headed for an ecomonic disaster and social unrest. All the hard work being done will allow us to 'ease' into it, kind of like the frog in the pan of luke-warm water, huh?

It is my humble opinion that massive preparation is our only hope. As previously stated, it's the big picture that counts.

One last point. If you are now or will soon be in a remote rural area, you will not be high on the list of priorities for electricity and so on. So it may be that you are part of the 20% going without...


-- Bertin Opus (third@hotmail.com), October 16, 1998.


Thank you for your post. It is a clear, concise, and eloquent.

No one WANTS this to happen and few of us were responsible for creating this problem. I am baffled each time I read a post from someone who choses to attack a person for taking the road to personal responsibility. It is a form of arrogant denial on a wicked and grand scale.

I applaud all programmers and managers who are working on the problems posed by the Y2k programming errors. But, to be so arrogant as to think that everything will be just as it is today after TSHTF is just not being realistic.

Regarding Woe. He/She made their bed when they opened this thread, if they didn't expect a counter point of view then they need a serious dose of reality, real quick. ____________________________________________________________

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), October 16, 1998.


Posting to this discussion forum hardly qualifies as sticking one's neck out. For all we know, no one here is who they say they are. (You might be Auntie Deedah.) Differences of opinion are great, but all the SHOUTING in these threads does nothing to inform or persuade anyone. It just shows bad manners.

Being truly informed requires an open mind. I remember a very long thread which was centered around religious tolerance. How about a bit of Y2K opinion-related tolerance? If the discussion is only allowed to go in one direction, then this will no longer be a forum, it will be a soapbox for a small few to stand upon.

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 16, 1998.

the pollyanna types need to stay, they keep the rest of us on our toes.

-- areseejay (areseejay@aol.com), October 16, 1998.

Pollyannas with good manners sure. Woe deserves what he gets with his attitude though. But I'm as guilty as he is for even reading and posting on his threads. It's like arguing with a child... shame on me *8^)

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), October 16, 1998.

Read the first sentence of Woe's original post.

Then look at the responses.

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 16, 1998.

Mike, you lost me. please expand.

-- areseejay (areseejay@aol.com), October 17, 1998.

If this were an easy issue, there'd be no need for this forum.

If everyone were in agreement, the problem would be solved.

If the solution were obvious, Bill Gates would already be selling it (version 1.0 and quite buggy of course, but the new improved release 2.0 would be available 'real soon now').

But it's not and we're not and Bill's not. This is by far the largest, most complex, most intricate problem any of us have ever tried to wrap our minds around. It is the equivalent of solving an equation with a million variables and a billion unknowns. The equation cannot even be seen in its entirety. We see the trees, but the forest eludes us. No individual grasps the whole problem. It is the ultimate 'tangled hierarchy'. It is not just a computer problem. It stopped being 'just a computer problem' a long time ago.

This discussion is deparately needed. A multitude of opinions from a multitude of men and women is essential because a multitude of issues are invoved. We shouldn't reject potential or partial solutions until we are certain that they have nothing to offer us. Even a bit of bickering should not deter us from the task at hand. Blame and name calling at this point doesn't get us closer to our goal. Much work remains... and Woe, to address your original post -- I'll gladly call it anything you want so long as the electricity stays on and the phones still work and the national defense remains intact and the faucets still gush water and the bank is still there when I need it. And oh yeah, don't forget about the Hagen Daaz and hot showers...those are definitely on my 'mission critical' list. Isn't this what we all really want?

If the day should come that this forum closes because it's no longer needed, it will be one very, very good day.

There now, how's that for a really nasty flame? As you can see, I also get quite upset and frustrated at times. (In fact, I'd have shouted more but I'm really quite exhausted from all of tonight's reading.) I'll try to do better tomorrow. G'night all.


-- Arnie Rimmer (arnie_rimmer@usa.net), October 17, 1998.


=Posting to this discussion forum hardly qualifies as sticking one's neck out. For all we know, no one here is who they say they are. (You might be Auntie Deedah.) Differences of opinion are great, but all the SHOUTING in these threads does nothing to inform or persuade anyone. It just shows bad manners.=

Okay, how about Sticking your cyber-feelings out? Again I will say that if you cannot read BIG LETTERS FORMING WORDS without getting upset, maybe posting aint a good idea for you. (Not YOU in particular, its those other people) You have my agreement about the shouting, too much of it is not a good thing, but still, sticks and stones and all that. Bad manners reflect ill breeding, and excessive shouting reveals a lack of ideas, IMHO.

I am, as always, highly in favor of tolerance. Its intolerance that I cant tolerate.

BTW, you scared me there for a second, but I looked in my shorts, and Im still an Uncle not an Auntie, which was a relief to both the Mrs and me.

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), October 17, 1998.

OK, I'll stick my neck out.....The uncertainty of it all is taking its toll on me and I'm sure others. It's kinda of like being in a place or situation and KNOWING something is wrong, but can't quite put your finger on it. I'd like to add to Michael T's. excellent letter that I for one am also VERY tired of the strong implications from the press and elsewhere that, for believing that the possibilities for HUGE problems are high, am some kinda of ignorant, fear mongering, alarmist.

I have been open to "discussion" all my life. I'm a wanne-be hippie from days of yore filled with love, peace and happiness. I grew up in a household whose parents are from the generation the "can-do" post WWII days. However......THIS is not post WWII. We have become a very fractured United States. While I do believe that at the core some of that cohesiveness remains...."We're not in Kansas anymore".....Do I want this thing to happen?...Hell no!....But, baby at some point the time for discussion is through and its time to take action. I don't know about you but, if you seriously believe (or feel) that Y2K is going to be a big problem.....TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

My brother and I have been preparing for almost six months now. We have done much. HOWEVER, there is much, much more to do. Almost everything you plan on doing will cost more and take more time than you think. ....The surface is calm, but the undertow is getting strong. Places like Lehman's are already backordered on many items, some to the point of not knowing when they will get them.

Without a doubt many people have something to sell on this issue (Hell its not an ISSUE its an EVENT) on BOTH sides. I'll publicly state that I put alot of faith in Cory Hamisaki. He may not want the responsibility of that faith and woe to me if he is wrong. But I flat out think he knows what he is talking about. Also when Sen. Bennett publicly states that HIS daughter is storing lots of food. I take that as a clue. Would somebody please tell me what axe he has to grind on this...... IF you believe that the risks are HIGH.....then the time for "discussing" this particular point is over. 14 Months or 11 months or 3 months or whatever may seem like a time cushion but, its closer then you think. CP

-- CP (Spoonman@prodigy.net), October 17, 1998.

<< I quote the Great and All-Powerful Wizard, Alan Greenspan:

"Ninety-nine percent readiness for the Year 2000 will not be enough. It must be 100 percent." >>

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! I am the almighty, all-powerfull Oz!" (Sorry. I couldn't help it.)

A) Chariman Greenspan should be smart enough to know that very little in life is 100%, especially in his line of work.

B) Chairman Greenspan was speaking of a very limited portion of Y2K problems, namely those of the financial markets. All other areas of potential problems were outside the scope of the conversation, so using this one-liner as "proof" is not fair to either the audience or Chairman Greenspan.

C) If he were addressing all areas of Y2K issues, Chairman Greenspan would be way, way out of his area of expertese and would not be a credible source. That is, no doubt, why he wasn't speaking of those areas.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), October 17, 1998.


Indeed, Greenspan was referring to the banking industry. MY point is that this statement applies to every industry.

Here's a slide from my presentation:

If 99.9% accuracy is good enough, then: 2 million documents would be lost by the IRS annually 500,000+ shares of stock would be mishandled daily 81,000 faulty rolls of film would be loaded annually 22,000 checks would be deducted from the wrong bank accounts hourly 18,322 pieces of mail would be mishandled hourly 1,212 phone calls would be misplaced every minute 12 babies would be given to the wrong parents daily 5 airplanes would crash daily

Dispute these figures if you must.

-- Steve Hartsman (hartsman@ticon.net), October 17, 1998.


The failures wouldn't cause errors in such direct proportions. For example, if a program calculating ages read a birth date "00" as "2000" it would have a problem with every birthdate using "00" to stand for "1900". That wouldn't relate to a .1% failure. It might be less, or it might be more.

I might also point out that no piece of software ever works 100% correctly, yet that hasn't stopped us from using computers. The real problem is, if we get to the 99.9% level (which is doubtful), what failures will be caused by the remaining .1% of unfixed code? In most cases we won't know until the errors start to occur. That's the "gotcha". We don't have time to do the necessary testing before implementation, we will have to go with what we have, buggy or not.

I believe there will be lots of problems, some very big, some very small, and many in between.

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 17, 1998.

Wow, lots 'o hot debate here. This isn't easy, folks, and it's taking it's toll on many of us, fraying nerves and the like. While I personally have no confidence whatsoever that "The Machine" will operate with any sort of consistency over the next few years, I DO want to hear what folks like "Woe" and his/her champion "flint" have to say.

I've participated in several of these forums and this is the one I always come back to because in general the people here seem to be willing to engage in a gentler flavor of debate. People here seem to have a little more willingness to care for each other than in the "butthead" world.

I'm sorry Michael T, I don't mean to pick on you, I generally agree with your positions, and enjoy your postings, but I think it's TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE to tell other posters to the forum things like:

"If Y2k is no problem for you, great. Go on and live your life elsewhere. YOU don't NEED to be here.


That does nothing to increase variety of debate. I don't think this should be a self-help support group only for people on the same side. I thought "flint's" first post was brilliant. It's not all black and white. Something is going to come out of this at the other end. None of us knows what it will look like...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), October 17, 1998.

Sorry to admit it but I couldn't read Woe's entire question. If you can't write your idea on the back of a cocktail napkin you don't have a clear idea.

Reading some of the answers though leads me to ask one question: Why is the word "failure" so prevalent? Everyone seems to believe that businesses will either be Y2K compliant or not and those that are not will "fail". Which commandment was that? The businesses that are not fully prepared will not necessarily fail; they will more likely fix the problem quickly and go on as always. Yes, there will be problems and glitches but planes won't fall out of the sky, financial institutions won't disappear, and sadly Jerry Springer will still have a talk show.

And for those radical alarmists who are preparing for Armageddon and stocking up on supplies and living in a cave: If the worst case scenario does occur isn't the higher calling to help, not to run?

-- The Cynical Optimist (jmc237@ibm.net), October 17, 1998.

In health care, my area, 99% acuracy -isn't- good enough. Just ask the dead patient who recieved the wrong blood type because of an error. Errors that causes this range from the nurse misreading labels and bracelets to clerks intering wrong data in the computer, to labs mislabeling etc. 100% accuracy is an absolute must for blood transfusions on everyone's part, including the computers.

On some equipment/system though, 99% acuracy can be good enough IF there is a safety mechanism that shuts down the device if an error occured, as with the Therac-20 radiation therapy computerized machine that shut down when a built-in error in the code acted up, but the upgrade to the Therac-25 took that built-in safty mechanism out of the machine itself and assumed the computer would handle error problems, but the error was in the computer code, not the machine, and several people died before they figured out the problem. http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/lib/therac_25/therac_1.html)

So, we're back to square one; will the fixes in the code to millions of systems and devices done under such pressure to finish on time be safe? The Therac 6, 20 and 25 were developed over several years, each upgrade building on the previous code, and it took a couple years and many dead and injured people to even -figure out- that there was a deadly problem with the Therac-25, then fix it.

.1% failure over billions of systems and machines add up to big numbers.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), October 17, 1998.


When I tried to access the URL you posted, I got a "404" (not found).

A little poking around revealed that you didn't use a capital "T" in the word "Therac" in two places. I was able to access your reference (here) .

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), October 17, 1998.

oops...Thanks for fixing my mistake Hardliner (blushing). I assumed the URL wouldn't be case sensitive.

Ahem...lets use this mistake as a case in point ;)

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), October 17, 1998.


Thank you for the reference to the Therac 25 story. It is a truly horrible tale of technology and human control gone awry and it struck me as eerily parallel to the Y2K situation.

As the author noted, most of the lessons learned and conclusions drawn are applicable to software engineering in general.

Although this is a really long story and gets quite technical and specific in places, I strongly recommend it to anyone who wishes another well documented and very capably presented perspective on the consequences of software design in our society.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), October 17, 1998.

Just as Y2K denialists try to claim that the term "Y2K compliance" somehow implies perfection, and thus is expecting the impossible, other comments on this thread also seem to try to somehow equate the desire to solve the Y2K problem as expecting perfection -- and point out that, hey, computer software almost always has bugs (e.g., Microsoft products, which has many time been released with loads of them). The big difference with Y2K is that "level of trust" that has been built up over the years with relatively static and unchanging systems (mostly mainframes), which generally have been slowly woven into place and thoroughly proofed out for the critical tasks that they do. Y2K code remediation, by its very nature, forces modifications -- often very challenging when source code is missing or unreliable, compliers/linkers have been superceded, etc. -- on this complex system of software, much of which has probably not been "touched" in many years. The result will almost surely be bugs, bugs, and more bugs, all happening within a relatively short period of time. And the classic programmer's response to a new bug is to always ask: Ok, what changed last? And the New Age answer, unfortunately, will be: Everything! The point is, today we trust our computers, even though we recognize some small tolerance level for bugs that one might find in new releases of software, because they can be reasonably isolated and controlled. With Y2K, bugs will flourish: either genuine Y2K problems, or problems introduced as part of the Y2K remediation. The end result will be a loss of confidence in our computers, and thus things like electronic banking, and so will cause John Q. Public to hit the banks, etc.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), October 17, 1998.

The Titanic couldn't sink, it did. Prepare and inform those whom respect your opinions. Otherwise keep your mouths shut about your preparations. We are on the "Silver Streak" folks, next stop Union Station.

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), October 18, 1998.

Woe, you remind me of my dad. He called me today to inform me that he had advanced the clock on his computer to Dec. 31, 1999 and it rolled over to Jan. 1, 2000 with no problem. "See," he said, "Y2K won't affect me, my computer is fine."

BTW, Woe, I find your choice of title for this thread very revealing.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), October 18, 1998.

My thanks to all of you who contributed to this spirited debate. I'm not a regular participant here and it is great to see that this is indeed a forum rather than a "soap box." Sorry, if I offended anyone's "cyber-feelings" but glad to report that my cyber-self-esteem remains intact. I'll continue preparing and repairing and wishing you all well.

-- Woe Is Me (wim@doom.net), October 19, 1998.

And I quote: "And for those radical alarmists who are preparing for Armageddon and stocking up on supplies and living in a cave: If the worst case scenario does occur isn't the higher calling to help, not to run? "

First of all, if I buy extra food, store water, and install a woodstove, does that make me a "radical alramist..."? Damn, what was I when I bought all that health, auto, home, and life insurance? A wild eyed Christian militia wacko?

Secondly, if I want to help, but my hands are empty, because I DIDN'T store extra's, am I not akin to the "t*ts on a boar"?

-- Melissa (financed@forbin.com), October 23, 1998.

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