Silicon Valley In A Time Capsule. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Published Saturday, October 31, 1998, in the San Jose Mercury News

Creators of Silicon Valley pose for posterity at bash kicking off new museum

BY MICHELLE QUINN Mercury News Staff Writer

Snap: Steve Wozniak and his teenage children hammed for the camera, pulling faces and maudlin poses. Ann Bowers Noyce, wife of Robert Noyce, the late co-founder of Intel Corp., stood alone and beamed.

Joan Hackworth straightened Cirrus Logic CEO Mike Hackworth's cardinal-red tuxedo tie. ``We'll see what they think of us in 50 years,'' said Hackworth, wearing a black gown with silver buttons.

At the Tech Museum of Innovation on Friday night, the digerati took a break from their innovating and deal-making to pause for the camera and posterity. Their images will be placed in a time capsule somewhere inside the museum, to be opened 50 years from now....

I have to chuckle at that one. At least at some future post Y2K date, someone will know there was a Silicon Valley! -- Diane

-- Diane J. Squire (, October 31, 1998


Published Friday, October 30, 1998, in the San Jose Mercury News

Trade mission to the valley

Think global: Albright, Daley urge business execs here to remain committed to the export market.

BY JONATHAN RABINOVITZ Mercury News Staff Writer

The Clinton administration, using a double dose of Cabinet officers, urged Silicon Valley business executives Thursday to remain committed to international trade despite the reeling global economy.

In a coincidental but telling pas de deux in San Jose, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called for more uniform standards of international financial disclosure to avert future banking crises....

.....Albright started her trip to San Jose with a tour of Cisco Systems Inc., followed by a discussion there with a dozen Silicon Valley top executives. Afterward, she spoke to the Silicon Valley chapter of the Commonwealth Club....

Note: Absolutely no mention of Y2K in article. Wonder what Cisco Systems and the Secretary of State talked about behind closed doors??? -- Diane

-- Diane J. Squire (, October 31, 1998.

Published Monday, October 26, 1998, in the San Jose Mercury News


When fast growth slows, tech stocks become a lot like other stocks.

Top analysts grow gloomy on tech stocks

BY ADAM LASHINSKY Mercury News Staff Writer

A handful of Wall Street's top analysts are pessimistic.

This news should frighten the legions of investors breathing a sigh of relief that some beaten-down tech blue-chips have re-gained their steep losses.

The fear, expressed repeatedly last week even as many tech sectors surged, is that savvy investors are beginning to realize that overall capital expenditures on technology have been decelerating since 1995. Whether the product is personal computers, semiconductors or software, when explosive growth slows, technology stocks become a lot like other stocks. In other words, they grow at merely normal rates and are susceptible to macroeconomic trends.

Add to this inexorable march toward slower growth the near obsession with spending to avert year 2000, or Y2K, computer problems, and one comes up with a gloomy overall outlook for 1999.

``I think this is a framework you can use for looking at the entire technology sector,'' says Rick G. Sherlund, the influential software analyst for Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York. ``All the companies I follow are vulnerable to a slowdown on the macroeconomic environment and Y2K issues. I'm seeing it all over. Deals seem to be much more difficult to close. That's the canary that tells you the air ain't right.''

Finally, a mention on Y2K. -- Diane

-- Diane J. Squire (, October 31, 1998.

Be interesting to find out who Clinton talked to and how much they gave him (now, and in the past) to start the lawsuit against Microsoft.

Also, notice that the Justice Dept started a lawsuit against the single most visible icon in the computer business (good or bad, you've got to agree he's the biggest symbol) **before** the Y2K computer crisis.

Notice that this same Justice Dept is openly admitting they are infiltrating Y2K groups and church crisis-response community centers under the guise of preventing domestic terrorism.

Rather, that is, than advise its citizen about precautions to minimize the Y2K crisis, or take action at the federal level to have prevented it.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 31, 1998.

My initial searching for Y2K related issues at the Silicon Valley high-technology newspaper, San Jose Mercury News http:// or in just the last week, not to mention all of 1998, is truly sad.

Robert -- Picked up a few crumbs and clues for the utility sector. At least I have a couple names of people to track down and initiate a low-tech phone call with!

Diane (at valley low not valley hi...)

-- Diane J. Squire (, October 31, 1998.

Terrific reporting, Diane...

Regarding article #1 - I think in fifty years our aging children and their kids will look at the yellowing pictures of all those geeks and think "Look, these people have their hair out in the open. For everyone to see! Yuck! How can those men wear those funny looking tunics! Those fashions look like something from and old MicroHoloScript!"

Regarding article #2 - Albright and Cisco probably discussed indirectly that Cisco IS the infrastructure of the internet, and the global political ramifications of that. And they exchanged recipes for Stone Soup.

#3 - 1999 will probably be a banner year for hardware manufacturers and software shops. And lawyers. Pretty crappy for everyone else.

And Robert - that is a pretty interesting strain of thought (or can of worms) that you're opening up there. It's SO difficult to be able to go into a voting booth and feel like you've even got the OPTION to vote for someone who is remotely interested in representing your interests. It's either vote for yet another Gray Suited or Pepsodent Fresh grafter, some mealy-mouthed two faced liar, or throw your vote away on a nice local hard working Green or Libertarian, a true Indy, or occaisional Seminarian who you KNOW will get about 40 votes. Guess that's better than the alternative. It's such a shame that politics isn't a noble profession...

-- pshannon (, October 31, 1998.

Robert Cook wrote: Notice that this same Justice Dept is openly admitting they are infiltrating Y2K groups and church crisis-response community centers under the guise of preventing domestic terrorism.

Got a ref on that, Robert. I'd like to find out more. Thanks.


-- Hallyx (Hallyx, November 01, 1998.

And you don't think the JD should check out some of the wilder Y2K groups? It's not so much here, but lots of Y2K forums have posts talking about how 'the stupid will die', 'only the fit will survive' and so on. Read some of this stuff, and it gets pretty plain the guys writing them have an interest in Y2K only because they are interested in any event they think might bring down the Federal Govt. Anyone want to bet me there will be NO domestic terrorist acts in November December or January next year by characters who want to 'help things along a little'?

Considering that - if the JD did not check things out they would be pretty irresponsible. Now I did not say they should (or would) check out everyone who wonders if we will get through Y2K without problems. And I don't think they are interested in you if you are just preparing for problems. But they will check out groups that are buying land and moving to the country en masse. If you post a lot of stuff about how you are going to run things when the Federal Govt. goes away you might get investigated. And if you post stuff about the location of vital points on the power grid - and urge people to attack them in conjunction with Y2K - you most certainly will be investigated.

Now I have not by any means claimed that any large number of Y2K folks are doing the above - in fact it seems to me that very few are - probably even fewer than it seems on the forums since this type of person likes to post under a dozen names to make it seem he is in the mainstream. But that is why the JD is checking out Y2K groups - trying to find out if some are fronting for domestic terrorists.

-- Paul Davis (, November 01, 1998.


Keep "wasting" that vote, our numbers will build over time to the point where they will have to start taking us seriously. Third largest and growing.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 01, 1998.


Your post regarding Justice Department investigation is well taken. I agree with you in all but one thing--that the JD should be the ones doing the investigating. I agree that's their job and we should be able to trust them to do it, but I for one trust very little of the executive branch, almost none of the legislative and only a minority of the judicial.

I know it's a Pollyanna's pipe-dream, but I want the investigation to be done by someone with the ethics and motives of Roy Rogers or the Lone Ranger.

L. Neil Smith for president!

-- Hardliner (, November 01, 1998.

As requested:

(My comments are in parenthesis, everything else from quoting a LA Times article titled "Fear 2000: Home-Grown Terrorism"

law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned that widespread paranoia about the millennium could touch off a clash between the government and domestic terrorists.

``I worry that every day something could happen somewhere,'' said Robert Blitzer, section chief of the FBI's domestic terrorism unit.

(It's an "official" investigation as I've ever seen...)

Federal officials have begun working with local police agencies to investigate terrorist activity.

``As we get closer to 2000, we'll probably see more people coming out of the woodwork,'' Blitzer said. ``Some of these groups have an apocalyptic vision, and they may go violent.''

Many have already come out of the shadows. At a recent three-day ``Preparedness Expo'' in Puyallup, Wash., to plan for the coming clashes, conventioneers sold books and pamphlets, hawked camping equipment and survivalist gear and offered ammo cans, hunting knives and the newest rage: blowguns that fire poisoned darts.

All of it, they say, represents the basic necessities for outlasting the millennium, when many who were here believe that the government will attack American citizens. Others predicted that 2000 will see the takeover of the United States by a ``new world order'' of foreign despots.

(Note the "impartial" comment from reporter about "All" of the people at the expo, ...indicates his attitude, doesn't it?)

Still others claimed that the projected Y2K, or Year 2000, computer meltdown is government hokum to enslave the people.

All of them warned that it is time for a second revolution to take back America.

(Again, note the impartial reporter's exaggeration, the implicit attack on the religious right here....)

To gauge the potential threat represented by these predictions, Blitzer said, the FBI early next year will launch an ambitious nationwide assessment to determine what to expect on, before and after Jan. 1, 2000.

For authorities, the threat comes in two forms, and both are difficult to track.

The first lies behind closed doors, most likely from within some Christian compound like those that have arisen in areas around the Ozarks, the desert Southwest and the Pacific Northwest. There, members practice guerrilla war tactics, are often heavily armed and study under the spell of self-styled prophets who warn of a coming fury with the federal government.

(Guess Yourdon, Pastor Chris, Granny Holly better unlock the doors, let the federal agents in .... She attended this Y2K preparedness expo, see any terrorists?)

These fortresses are often impregnable to law enforcement undercover agents. And the militancy of the rhetoric of such extremists becomes clear only when they choose to expose themselves to the outside world.

(comparison to David Koresh, and the Branch Davidian compound, follows here. And another atack on those who are preparing....)

(more follows on the OK bombing, Koresh, .... the Montana militia.)

``I worry most about the lone nut coming out and doing something,'' Blitzer said. ``And right after that there are these really key groups that are planning and engaging, and they are very hard to penetrate.''

At the Preparedness Expo, which drew several thousand from around the country, many spoke of the religious reckoning that they are sure will come. They draw their fears from the last book of the Bible, Revelations, which they believe describes the end of the world -- Armageddon -- and the final conflict between good and evil.

The convention, similar to others staged periodically around the country, provides a steady means of financial support for those who carry on the campaign against the U.S. government.

(Oh, so now we are campaigning against the Federal government.....)

(more exaggerated quotes from "John Trochmann, head of the Militia of Montana and one of the nation's most vocal anti-government crusaders,...")


(But's that enough from our impartial media I guess.)

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 01, 1998.


Here is a post from someone who attended the Expo that was referenced in your post. Lane (the poster) is a hydro electric dam operator for Seattle Power & Light and a volunteer fire chief. I believe he is a credible reporter (I put one of his posts regarding power generation reliability on another thread here). He can be reached at the EMail address shown.

I think you will agree that his information is cause for some level of concern.

*********************************************** Date: August 11, 1998 11:43 PM Author: Lane Dexter ( Subject: Luddites infiltrated the Expo

I went to "Preparedness Expo '98" last Saturday. In general, it was interesting. Lots of good concerned folks like you and me (shaven headed types in cammies were notable by their absence, to the disappointment of the media I'm sure), wondering what they can do to help get through what's ahead. Sure lots of folks selling, but lots of opportunities, such as seeing over a dozen different grain mills together, etc. I took in a bit of the free lectures. The fellow discussing nutrition and food storage was typical. While he obviously felt his brand of food was most nutritious, he touched on the story of Joseph, and he emphasized that we should try to prepare not only for ourselves, but to help our neighbors as much as we can. Contrary to media use of the word, this typifies my definition of "survivalist."

I didn't pay for any of the $5 lectures, though it might have been worth it to hear Bo Gritz. OTOH, while Bo was speaking, I was talking with Randy Weaver and his daughter Sara (spells it the same as my wife does) while they autographed a copy of their book for me -- definitely a high point for me.

While this was going on, a couple members of my party noticed an unattended table with a small sign that said "free information," and a stack of unmarked sealed envelopes. They picked up a couple, but we didn't open any until we were going through literature on the way home. What we found was shocking to me. Apparently, there are present day Luddites who want to make Y2K WORSE! I'll reproduce it as accurately as I can. This format won't reproduce the underlining, boldface or font changes, but I'll leave it as much original as possible, even the errors and bad grammar:


Project Sunburst

As we approach the year 2000 everyone is in a mad rush to be in control and evolve into a New World Order. We are fearful that the World Order gang will take this opportunity to place larger restrictions and greater control over the people of this world and country. On January 1st year 2000 it is projected that there will be a Y2K bug that will cause computers to quit functioning thereby stopping Banking, Electric power, Communication etc. What a great opportunity we have if we just seize upon the moment.

At midnight on December 31, 1999 we want everyone to help stop this madness. To do so we must go to WAR. Now we don't want any killing we want to bring this current government to its knees and restore a local form of government. To do this we need to strike at the same time or as close as we can to the projected Y2K bug. If you do not know what the Y2K bug is find out now.

It is time! Here is what we will do.

1. We will enhance the Y2K bug. You are to stop communication in this country. Find phone junction boxes and destroy them, Cellular phone sites and destroy them, Microwave communication dishes and destroy them, cut underground cables, destroy repeaters and transmitters, and anything else you can think of that will stop communications in this country. This will speed up the effect of the Y2K bug.

2. We will attack powers stations, transformers etc., to shut down the power grid. If a tree branch can blackout 3 Western states a year ago then we can blackout this country.

3. Before this date take out all the money you have left in the bank and change it to gold and silver. Even if you only have ten dollars left in an account pull it out or you will loose it.

If you are employed in one of these areas and can work from the inside please do so. But protect yourself.

By doing this we will enhance the Y2K bug and thereby Stop the IRS forever. Stop big Banking and the grab for control. Stop the Federal Reserve. Stop the gun grabbing politicians. Stop the federal govenment and its bureacracies. Stop the welfare state. Stop lawyers and corrupt courts. Stop the tight control of the media. Stop the gathering of personal information that they are doing on you. Return power to the States and local government. For when this happens the local government will be more powerful than the federal government. This will return us to a level playing field and restore our God given FREEDOM.

Now is the time to begin your plan. Locate your targets, decide your plan of action, and prepare to attack on December 31, 1999 at midnight Mountain Standard Time. (This will put the attack at the same time.) Investigate different ways for your attacks. A bullet through a junction box or a transformer at a power station, a bulllet through an ATM will have an added effect. Don't just think of the big targets. Remember many small targets will do more and take longer to fix. Pick as many targets as you feel capable of. Keep this secret to yourself. Don't talk about what you are going to do. This will protect you. The countdown is on and we will not be stopped.

On January 1st 2000 remember to have all of your money with you in gold and silver and be prepared to barter. Hae a two year food supply. Have a water supply. have alternate forms of communications like ham radio or CB but not cellular phone. Have fresh batteries and alternate power supplies such as generators and solar panels. Have friends you can trust. Get to know your neighbors. Have your guns and ammo ready. Be ready to not have a paycheck. Get household goods such as toilet paper, shampoo, soap. Remember vitamins and food supplements. A medical kit. Stock things to barter with such as candles, ammo, lighters, coffee, tea, sugar, matches, basic hand tools etc. Learn a useful skill.

If you don't join us please be prepared. For this will happen. The more attacks like these the more we can bring this country to its knees and promote change. It is time to change. For this is the last best hope we have. It is time to leave your comfort zone or be enslaved forever.

You have been warned. It is time to warn others. Whether you join us or just wish to be prepared please warn your neighbors. It is up to You to share this information if only to help protect your friends and family. Please copy it and pass it along. Lets send it around this country like a Sunburst. Remember the government doesn't want you to know about this. Get the word out. This is one for the history books. Send it to friends and families. Posted it in laundromats. Local bulletin boards. Put on cars at your church, schools or any large event. Post in on the Internet. Fax it. You may copy this and publicize it any way you like BUT do not change it. Joins us. When just one more person joins us that person could be the pivot point and key to this all. It is time for a new dawn and a bright SUNBURST across this country. Strike hard and swift, be prepared and lets return FREEDOM TO ALL!


[Lane Dexter again]

Friends, this scares the h--- out of me! The idea that some fools actually want to increase the suffering and deaths, and really think that destroying what local infrastructure remains will somehow free them of the federal bureacracy, is pretty weird. I don't know what to do about it. Perhaps I'm too cynical, but I rather doubt the "authorities" will have a productive response. And I'm going to let someone else tell them; I recall how the FBI made life hell for the people who found what appeared to be some of D.B Cooper's ill gotten money on a beach near a tributary to the Columbia, and reported it.

I wrote to the show's promoters and sent a copy. I don't rule out any possibilities, even that it might be the action of agents provocateur trying to make the preparedness movement look bad. It only took one person to do this, but I'd sure like to know how many there are. I'd like to ask the promoters if such material has been discovered at other shows, but I doubt they'll want to discuss it.

I'm sharing this here, in the hope some of us will be warned, and just maybe someone will have ideas about how to handle this. If I have a message from those of us who realize how many lives depend on us keeping the lights on for civilization it is this: "Not MY power station! NO WAY!!! Not now that you've warned us!"

Sorry I can't post something happier today. I'd much rather share that I stopped yesterday and visited my new granddaughter -- really cute, and alert little eyes that take in everything, gained 5 oz. since she was born on the 31st, Mom doing great, too. But this has me upset. The idea that someone is out to increase the suffering ahead really fries me. Let us hope and pray this is the work of a lone nut case.

"The destructive character lives from the feeling, not that life is worth living, but that suicide is not worth the trouble."

--Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), German critic, philosopher. "The Destructive Character," in Frankfurter Zeitung (20 Nov. 1931; repr. in One-Way Street and Other Writings, 1978).


[Hardliner again]

As much as I distrust the Justice Department and the government in general, it's a "no brainer" for me as to who the bad guys are here. The FBI is not ALWAYS wrong and if they can find the nut case(s) who published the foregoing, I wish them early and complete success.

-- Hardliner (, November 01, 1998.

Point offered, point well taken.

Now, re-read the original article (notice how it treated this single, unlet, un-attended table.)

Notice how the FBI section head responded. The two were ready to lynch every attendee based on evelopes at an un-attended table.

Serious? Absolutely!

But am I worried that the FBI has publically declared that it will literally investigate and attack those who wish to retire "behind their locked doors" defending their lives and property? Yes.

Am I worried that the FBI is not apparently trying to prevent the potential massive disruptions from those gangs and impromtu groups of brigands who leave their homes and attack others, should the troubles begin. There is conspiratorical evidence that soemone is addressing this, perhaps including martial law, but __publicly__ the FBI is targetting those who have declred they want to prepare.

And these include churches -

Who is more to fear? A person defending his and her own family? Or the people attacking that family? A church group preparing a food bank? Or the people breaking into that food bank to rob, rape, and pillage?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 01, 1998.


We are in complete agreement.

-- Hardliner (, November 01, 1998.

Hardliner and Robert,

RE: Project Sunburst. Some people think inside a very small box indeed ... it might just implode on them. Methinks, we need some kind of serious multi-dimensional Y2K Bug Spray in this country. Fast.

I need to go walk in a forest. That post give me the cooties. Yeech!!!

Diane (I vote for Lumin-essence ... and Oprah ... and Martha Stewart ... and, and ... thinking differently).

-- Diane J. Squire (, November 01, 1998.

Sorry the turn this has taken is upsetting you Diane. But truth is often upsetting.

Folks, the point is pretty obvious that the Y2K awareness matter is being used as an ignition point for groups that want to engender anarchy - and don't care how they do it. How to separate the sheep from the goats is the problem - and what to do about them if you find them. (Damn! I just wish all states had done their duty by the 2nd Amendment like KY did and regulate the formation of militias in their state as the Constiution requires. That would clear up a lot of this crap.) But I don't know what else the Feds can do except investigate. They certainly can't just let it ride.

As for news reports - all reporters will sensationalize. It seems to be a requirement for entrance into their guild. If you have one protester you multiply by at least 20 to get the numbers up. If you have 20 you call it a crowd 'spilling into the street'. A couple of hundred is a mob. So an unattended table at a meeting turns into a lot of talk about doing in the govt. Not too far from the usual standard - esp. for a story the editor in chief does not care about.

If the govt. really had a problem with church groups off to themselves - the Amish and Mennonites would have constant problems. Aside from the occasional suit when someone tries to leave such a group - I haven't heard much about the govt. bothering them one way or another.

And now a little practical advice - I have personally known a fair number of Federal agents - mostly retired or quit for one reason or another. They run to a fairly reasonable bunch of guys - generally with strong opinions about law and order as you would expect - but overall a pretty nice group. DON'T cross these fellows when they are on duty. If they come to your door to ask questions, don't back talk them and start shooting off your mouth - just show them what they want to see - and MOST ESPECIALLY make sure you tell them where your guns are. Unless you have broken the law or are suspected of having engaged in a conspiracy they can't take your guns - but you damn well don't want to get these guys mad at you. And above all you don't want to make any threats of any kind. If you feel like you need to get a lawyer don't tell these guys about it unless you think you are about to get arrested for something - then tell them to arrest you and that you will talk no more without an attorney present. THEN SHUT UP! Yes there are stories about agents who have messed with someone who didn't break any laws - but not many considering the size of the US. Take my advice, please - you'll be damn glad you did.

As for the anarchists who are planning to destroy as much infrastructure as possible on 1/1/00 - yeah, I have heard hints of this for some time now. Sends chills up my spine too. Wonder if the power and fire folks should issue weapons to their workers that week? The local police chief says we had people shooting at fire fighters in Memphis the night ML King was killed.

Kinda makes you wonder if the human race is worth the trouble of trying to save, doesn't it?

-- Paul Davis (, November 02, 1998.

I agree with you Paul, they are regular guys doing a tough job. Like any large group some are better than others, and some should lose their job. As to those who would use violence to change things, the Founding Fathers have already given them a means of change, I will leave early for work tomorrow, close the booth, and cast mine.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 02, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ