Cory 100 : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Everyone needs to read this...........................................

-- CP (, November 04, 1998


wow Cory...those little dots really tell the story don't they;) A link might help though:)


-- Rick Tansun (, November 04, 1998.


-- CP (, November 04, 1998.

Thanks CP. Looks like Gary has some competition. Seriously, that is a great collection of articles. Sometimes I tend to sit passively and think that I am ready. After this I know that none of us will ever be truly prepared for what is coming.

-- Mike Lang (, November 04, 1998.

I agree...I'd feel very confident in my various levels of preparation if I knew exactly what I'm preparing for, and how long those conditions were going to last.

But I can't tell either I'm left with guesses at what the target is now (will be then) and where it is now (will be then) and how big it is now (will be then.) About the only thing I'm sure of is where we are now --- and that doesn't let you compute a fire control solution, nor figure out bullet to use.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 04, 1998.


Roger on the fire control solutions.

Just when I thought I was close to ready,(The I've got this thing whipped point)I find that I am in fact just finishing Lap#2.

Well, people: I kind of think that we have indeed been "raped by the randomly rotating rod of reality" so to speak. Talk about somebody peeing in your Post Toasties. WOW!!

Oh well, I never was one to give up in anything so I guess it's back into the harness again and let's pull this wagon just one more mile.

I kind of wish that I drank. I feel like I could use one right about now.

Salud (with a glass of Kool-aid)

Hang in there folks. I'm sure that it will get worse real soon. It always looks the darkest just before everything really turns to s*it on you.


-- sweetolebob(La) (, November 05, 1998.

Yeah, that darkness is the sun being eclipsed by the falling dark matter .... and it doesn't need a fire control solution, just a fan.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 05, 1998.

S.O.B., Robert,

Just a few random thoughts. . .

I'll bet that both of you have seen one of my favorite cartoons:

It's a Field Mouse giving the finger to a Great Horned Owl who is stooping on him for what looks to be the final event of the mouse's life. It is titled, The Last Great Act of Defiance.

Do you remember, "It don't make no difference. Back in The World. . ."?

The worst that can happen is that we die trying. We can't lose unless we quit.

When all, or even most of that stuff happens, I'm gonna be so busy that I won't even know what finally gets me.

Nobody ever promised me a rose garden, and I'm glad for not bleeding to death in a rice paddy--I've been livin' other guys' lives for over 35 years, but this is a real crock!

For some time now, I've had three personal goals at the top of my list. First, I intend to be as late as possible to my own funeral. Second, I intend to arrive with a full belly and empty pockets. Last, but not least, I intend to have been laid within the previous 24 hours. Still seems doable!

-- Hardliner (, November 05, 1998.

Hardliner; <<>>

I second your list wholeheartedly !!! I also wanted to charge my funeral to my Mastercard, other than that we share a common thought.

I'm glad that you didn't bleed out in some rice paddy too. Too many of us did.

I tried to make as many holes for you guys on the ground as I could man.


-- sweetolebob(La) (, November 05, 1998.

The real gist of what was said on Cory's latest report is in my opinion:

It's not how much you save up now that will save you (not that you don't need to) but what you are willing to do month after month, year after year. It's about a change of lifestyle, hard work, common sense and attitude!

Right now, the Hondurans and Nicauragians are in extreme y2k scenario stuff. They need drinkable water, food later, protection from disease, medical care and most importantly a will to survive. Last night on Nightline, the spokeswoman for Honduras said that 70% of the nations infrastructure was down.

North Koreans have been fighting to survive for more than 3 years now due to droughts and flooding of crops.

I lived in the Philippines for 14 months and I remember one man who supported his whole family and some relatives on about half an acre.

There are people all over this planet who could teach us a thing or two about surviving when it doesn't seem possible.

-- James Chancellor (, November 05, 1998.

Hello Fiction Lovers, I read about half of that dribble because Cory does indeed write well. This stuff in no way competes with the North junk, it is merely a rehash of what North has been saying and it is supported by the same useless claims. I want to vomit every time some clown declares that Y2k projects will be late because all projects are late. If you still buy into that crap you deserve the paranoia you are wallowing in. Then there is the poor dumb bass automobile manufacturers with their gazillion suppliers. According to the simple minded logic of Y2k doom and gloomers a 5% failure rate among suppliers assures the failure of the factory. So that means there must be a gazillion parts in your Chevy because each of these suppliers would have to be the "only source" for a given part for the doomers scenario to materialize with a 5% failure rate. You people claim to be up to date on Y2k but you obviously have not read about the preparations that the auto makers are making. For Cory and the rest of the procurement-challenged Y2k experts here is a news flash: the manufacturers will dump suppliers next year who aren't going to be able to deliver in 2000. That is a big incentive to get this done. Now if you are a real-world Y2k leader or even if you just play one on the Internet you should know that. There was so much crap and I have so little time but one more myth that you so-called visionaries accept over and over again is the myth of not enought programmers. I can hire a programmer any day of the week. You can hire a programmer any day of the week. Look back at previous Cory crap and read about the huge hourly wages that COBOL programmer were supposed to be making by this time then try to find someone collecting that huge wage. I had a body shop rep in my office yesterday trying to peddle contract programmers and he assured me he could get all I need whenever I need them. He also told me he can supply people with Y2k programming experience who are coming off assignments they have finished---yes, finished. Last week I talked to an engineer at a nuclear power plant - they will test the plant in April of next year during a routine shutdown. How come none of you electricity experts have told us that the Nukes routinely shut down for refueling and that this scheduled shutdown is the ideal time for Y2k testing. And how come you experts haven't told us, as this engineer told me, that they have shadow systems of all their automated functions on which they are currently affecting the repairs and preliminary tests. How many of you people are in the Year 2000 consulting business and therefore benefit from the hysteria you promote? How many of you are authors or dried-food salesmen? How many of you are old IBMers who learned FUD(fear, uncertainty and doubt)marketing tactics from the master? How many of you are former Microsoft employees who learned FUD from the upstart who bested the master? Simply answer this question: when your predictions are based on bogus premises, how much are those predictions worth? Sometimes it feels good to vent - my humble apologies to any thin-skinned individuals who made it thru these remarks.

-- Woe Is Me (, November 05, 1998.

There is plenty of demand for computer staff even without Y2k, which only represents 5% or so of say 3 years current IT budget. It is true that most projects are late or scrapped. The incompletion of the y2k project will not necessarily mean that the whole thing is wasted as you will generally work through a large number of systems. The incompletion will mean that not all systems will be fixed. Of course many companies will complete y2k (ITS NOT THAT DIFFICULT), news will begin to trickle through of y2k completions. The problem is the extent of the critical systems that won't get fixed, this may be 5-20%. You will hear plenty about the 80%-95% but nothing about the 5-20%.

-- Richard Dale (, November 05, 1998.

Dear Woe Iam glad you feel better now that you have vented. I have but one question for you: Where is YOUR proof what you say is true? I am what is called a lurker around here and this is only the second time in almost a year I have responded to an answer or a question. But you sir made it imposible not to respond. What you are saying in your response holdes no more proof than what is in Corys report. " You talked to a nuke engineer" Thats as good as saying I talked to a friend of my great uncle whos second cousin knows this guy that works for a nuke and he said.... And the auto industry will cease doing business with any vendor not Y2K ready by next year. Isn't that cutting it a bit close for comfort considering a great deal of the auto vendors are foreign companies? And last but not least the non-programmer shortage... Whens the last time you looked in any major cities newspaper classified section?The New York Times has several PAGES of computer jobs. Oh yea how do you know how much the programmers are making? I sure wouldn't tell anyone my wages. Guess it was my turn to vent. I am very glad to have this forum it has helped this single mom of three wonderful kid cope and prepare. Good luck to all Cheryl

-- C Conley (, November 05, 1998.

I've just invented this character "Gory Kamakazi", more from him later.

-- Richard Dale (, November 05, 1998.

Richard, my comments were rushed and incomplete. I don't take exception with the fact that most projects are late, my problem is the continued use of that fact as proof that Y2k projects will be late. As you said, Y2k work is simple. Might I add that the projects that are typically late are very complicated so there can be no correlation between the success rate of complicated new development projects and Y2k work. Yes there is plenty of demand for computer personnel but it does not approach the level that was predicted by the Sultans of doom and gloom. I know of one large local company which only began its project in January and will finish by May of next year using internal staff to repair RPG and COBOL code and replacing problematic embedded systems including Point-of-sale eqipment. So this late starter will be able to accept your Y2k compliant Visa card. Union Pacific is nearly complete and Nabisco has finished so you will be able to get your Ritz crackers by the train car load - and even Y2k is better when it sits on a Ritz.

-- Woe Is Me (, November 05, 1998.

It would have been better if they'd started earlier say in 96/97 give themsleves plenty of time without having to panic.

-- Richard Dale (, November 05, 1998.

Hi Woe,

Yup, I've said that before in here: nukes will be testing earky, they undergo regular routine shutdowns and cooldowns, they all have used their training mockups and simulators as test beds (since they are identical to the live plant.) Implied, as I described backup systems, is that they will be checking the nuke "backup systems" too. These backup systems, and the emergency response to various regular drills, is why the nukes know their plants better than non-nuke utilties, and they have much better documentation, supply support, access to parts, etc.

It's also why nukes are more expensive.

Not all nukes shutdown at the same time, even in the same utility - so retest times will vary. That training, testing, and "recheck the recheckers attitude" drilled into "nukes" from their first day of training is one of the leading reasons I feel that nukes are going to be more likely than standard plants to capable of generating power comes 2000.

The grid is a different story - becuase it is not under the same kind of inspection, training, certification and QA control that the power plants are.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 05, 1998.

Cheryl, I am honored, mam, to receive your second post. If you want to see what contract programmers are making in your area simply call one of the firms who rents them out and pretend you are hiring. Those people call me every week so that's how I know that I can hire COBOL programmers for $55 to $65 per hr. which is indeed much more that they got a year ago but only a fraction of what was projected by the Y2k extremists. What's more, these contracting firms will tell you that they have people available now. The nuke comments were a challenge, if the guy was blowing smoke up my shorts then some engineer will shortly refute those remarks and her expert comments on that topic will be worth listening to. Don't confuse me with someone who thinks Y2k is no big deal but do understand that some of us down here in the trenches are having our jobs complicated by the hyperbole. An intelligent executive can easily discover the evidence to debunk the popular myths and once she has seen thru the hype she often reacts by minimizing the entire Y2k issue. So maybe the B.S. is useful in scaring some individuals into making preparations but in the business world its beginning to trivialize a very serious situation. Best wishes for now and the future.

-- Woe Is Me (, November 05, 1998.

Woe Sorry if it sounded like I was slamming you that was not my intent. Just looking for proof one way or the other.

-- Cheryl Conley (, November 05, 1998.

Just read this in PC Week and thought it was interesting:

Some react slowly to Y2K October 29, 1998 9:00 AM ET

Most companies are prioritizing Y2K projects, but many will be too late. That's according to a recent study conducted by the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Chris Jesse, president of Tangram Enterprise Solutions Inc., which found that the majority of IT managers have put Y2K fixes at the top of the priority list, but many won't be able to achieve Y2K compliance in time.

Of the 449 Fortune 1000 top-level managers that participated in the survey:

30 percent do not conduct hardware and software inventories of their assets;

68 percent say their inventory process cannot immediately detect the presence of noncompliant software applications;

31 percent have not yet developed a list of noncompliant applications within their enterprise, and 9 percent say they do not plan to create such a list;

42 percent have not yet ranked the importance of noncompliant applications within their organization, and 22 percent do not plan to rank them;

65 percent have not yet calculated the cost of correcting errant desktops;

30 percent have not yet secured the required labor necessary to address their year 2000 effort;

71 percent have not yet developed a compliance plan that defines which desktops need to be fixed and in what order; and

75 percent have not developed a methodology to ensure problems are corrected on time and not reintroduced into the organization.

The conclusion: The survey results reveal a serious problem in desktop Y2K compliance progress.

-- Gayla Dunbar (, November 05, 1998.


Those auto manufacturers are the same folks INSTALLING what are called Rationalized Supply Chain and Demand Chain systems, even as we read and write. My clients are doing the install!! and each of those "Rationalised" chains is a soi dissant enhanced JIT system which is now calculated to the hour of delivery in some cases. Unfortunately, none of the folks learned the take-home on the GM strike this summer.

Also, in many cases, the suppliers ARE the only extant suppliers of whatever itty bitty part they supply, and the buyers are the companies' only customer.

Sears used to do this all the time. Buy tons of the company's appliances for 3 - 5 years and then change companies, and watch the first ciompany go nearly down.

Chuck, the Night Driver

ps these systems are being installed by folks I deal with on a weekly basis! cv

-- chuck etc (, November 05, 1998.

"Woe" has returned!

Not only is he back, he has made remarks that would seem to indicate that he is, part of MANAGEMENT.

Management is NOT leadership, and leadership is what is needed. That "Woe" should be a manager makes all he's said previously, on all other threads, coherent.

Well, "Woe", if you've got the ability, or the intestinal fortitude or whatever you might find to press into service, perhaps you'll answer the below posting (copied from the "Optimistic" thread, which you must not have seen because you were out of time or otherwise too occupied to lower yourself.

I make no claims of being a Y2K expert, but I do have a BS detector that works exceedingly well and nearly everytime you post something, it SCREAMS at me. Once in a while you post something that makes 100%, absolute sense. Why do you do that, "Woe"? Is it just to confuse us? If so, it works on me.

You must keep in mind that when I wrote the post below I was under the illusion that you were actually involved in the details of remediation. I had no idea that you were nothing more than a middleman between those who own the stock and those who do the work. How long has it been since you even looked at an actual fragment of code?

The post:

Woe Is Me",

As it seems that you have said all that you intend to in response to my comment and later request, I shall address you and your "reasoning", if it may be marginally referred to as such, in terms that you must understand--your own (maybe even that's a stretch, but I'll try).

You made the statement, "Tolerance is a virtue of people who have no standards." We'll start with that.

Accuracy is a standard. I adhere to that standard. I will not tolerate inaccuracy without exposing it. I suggest that "getting to a meaningful answer" would insist upon it as well. The readers of this thread will judge for themselves.

The first inaccurate statement you make is, "Once you are assigned your share of a Y2k programming project you know what has to be done and the specs aren't going to change."

One of my immediate family members is firmly involved in the Y2K remediation project for a medium sized trucking company and has been since its inception several months ago. In that amount of time the specs have changed from the original windowing scheme to another windowing scheme three different times, to 4 digit dates and back again and most recently to yet another window spec, all based on new revelation as the inventory proceeded in parallel with the remediation. The reason for all the change is that they keep discovering a need to work outside the latest date window. Each change necessitated rework of some of what had already been done.

[ added by Hardliner at time of current post:

The family member I refer to above, who is doing> Y2K remediation, works for a manager who published a memo to the non-IT portions of the company, IMMEDIATELY after their FIRST meeting about Y2K, to the effect that XXXXXX (the company) was one-third FINISHED with its Y2K work! ]

Here is a real example of the inaccuracy of your statement, and I suspect that others would not be too difficult to find. This trucking company is not that different from any other MVS shop I've ever been in.

You apparently commit the logical error of assuming the general case based on the existence of the specific instance. If you do this very often, such code as you may write will be really fun for someone else to fix eventually.

You admit that the scope of the project may grow with time, and expect us to swallow the premise that somehow "more work" is cause for optimism while "re-work" is not. This one's a no-brainer.

Next you want to couple your (hopefully slipped past us so far) inaccuracies, ". . .with the growing evidence that the embedded systems problem has been at least somewhat exagerated" (what 'evidence'? You've not presented any nor even referred to any! Furthermore, if you've spent something over, ". . .the past two decades", in the IT environment, it seems very unlikely that you would know an embedded system from an electric pencil sharpener! Do you know what a suppressor grid is? Do you know what ECL means? Do you know what TTL means? How about DIP or VLSI?)

The fact is, that there is no coherent body of knowledge about existing embedded systems. The great majority of them are unique and user specific. When you find accurate and specific Y2K relevant information about embedded systems, it is applicable only to a small number of them, probably within the same enterprise and almost certainly within the same industry.

It seems very probable that you know even less about embedded systems than I do. The difference between us is that in the course of designing, constructing and installing enough embedded systems to make a fair living (in the chemical industry) I discovered just how ignorant I was, and am, of the entire embedded systems universe.

Then you want to, ". . .throw in the fact that we still have 14 months. . .".

So what, "Woe"? Serious people have been ringing this bell for longer than 14 years and it hasn't made a difference!

Now we get to the parts where we're really glad that we're all wearing hip boots. You want to, ". . .add to that the fact that many of us (Do you mean, those of us who REALLY know what we're doing?) have worked on projects that are indeed more complex and labor intensive than Y2k (merging disparate IT departments comes to mind). . ."

"Woe", do you have any idea how foolish that sounds to someone who understands, even partially, how massive the Y2K problem is?

Even the IT department merger that I asked about (UPRR & SPRR) is as a grain of sand on a beach to the massiveness of Y2K.

Finally, beyond ego, you want to, ". . .mix in a little common sense regarding the hyperbole about how interconnected our systems [are]. . ."

It's obvious to me that most everyone here knows that common sense is not very common, but in your case, I suspect that that is new information. Common sense would seem to indicate that if the G4 satellite goes non-functional and millions of pagers quit, millions of cell phones quit, and millions of credit card POS terminals quit, then all these items are interconnected. Hyperbole? "Woe", give us all a break!

Oh, yeah. You end up this particular "drool string of logic" by saying, ". . .then you can discover that all is not lost".

"Woe", I personally don't know if all is lost or not, but I DO know that it might be. I DO know that Y2K is a big deal. A very big deal. I have a fair amount of experience with the technologies of our civilization, but I still cannot come close to fathoming the total picture.

But, then, I'm just the voice that makes shallow and irrelevant comments (by the way, what does, "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo", mean?)

Lest you call me arrogant, "Woe", again I quote your own words, "Tolerance is a virtue of people who have no standards."

I could continue, but it seems pointless. This is a pretty sharp crowd and they can see your logic (or lack thereof as they may see it or not) for themselves.

BTW, Franklin, I admire your courtesy and generosity in calling "Woe" a, "fine and honorable sparring partner", but IMO he's not fit to tie your gloves.


Franklin's reply mentions, ". . .tunnel vision and vast oversimplification". (on the part of "Woe") The rest of his comments are spot on as well.

-- Hardliner (, November 05, 1998.

Pardon my screw up please. . .

-- Hardliner (, November 05, 1998.

Hardliner, thanks for re-posting your essay which again fails to refute anything I have said. Yes, I have to deal with systems at the code level even though I also have to manage a department. You must be a great progammer Hardliner because your totally vertical in your thought patterns. However, the laterally-challenged are ill-equipped to evaluate or design systems and that is why you have such a narrow view of all these scary Y2k events. If being a manager meant that someone can't lead then there would be no completed projects and no robust economy - in that assertion you certified your ignorance. Now please tell me where the $300 per hour COBOL programming jobs are so that I can get out of this dirty ole management job and get a raise at the same time.

-- Woe Is Me (, November 05, 1998.

Thanks again, Hardliner, for tackling the nonsense from Woe is Me head-on. For those who are interested, the thread Why Are You Optimistic?, started by me, contains the entire exchange between Hardliner, Woe Is Me, and me. I think you will find that Hardliner and I gave many solid, specific reasons why Y2K projects will suffer from "project creep" every bit as much as other software projects and therefore are governed by the same statistics. I think you will also find that Woe Is Me failed completely to answer those specifics; his reply was, to paraphrase, more along the lines of "Are not!"

[BTW, Hardliner, I am indeed a bonafide embedded systems guy and can define all of your acronyms off the top of my head.]

Woe can vomit all he likes when faced with rational individuals applying statistical analyses to the Y2K problem and coming up with a scenario 8 or 9. But in order to take real issue with that approach he needs to demonstrate that Y2K projects are really a completely different animal from all other software projects. He can't do this, because they are not essentially different. Again, check out the other thread for some failed attempts. Too bad for us.

Planning for an 8 or 9, praying for a 5.

-- Franklin Journier (, November 05, 1998.

Franklin, welcome back. I believe I've done this before but what the heck here goes again. Assume you are developing a system to dispatch television repair men. At the outset you are given requirements which include: accepting new orders, scheduling the work and capturing the results of the repair including the total cost of the repair, date of accepting the order and the date of completion. Now you design your database around these requirements and then you begin programming. After you are about half way thru your programming the specs are changed to include times as well as dates and also the name of the serviceman. Now this little change after you are already in the programming stage requires that you go back and redo the database design and then include the new design in the programs which you had previously completed. That sir is the scope creep which I am accustomed to. Nothing like that has shown up in my Y2k work. I did find it interesting that someone posted on this thread news of his experience with having the window redefined several times. The results of that type of change would parallel the typical scope creep which makes projects late, but I have not run into anyone else who changed the window after the coding began. On the other hand I have never been on a new development where the requirements didn't change dramatically. If you have had formal training in structured system design then you should have been given valuable information on the cost associated with changing the specs after the design phase. I believe it was DOW Chemical which produced the definitive metrics on this issue back in the '80's. If that was too complicated here is the analogy found in some software design 101 type books: If you are building a house and you decide after the blueprints are complete that you want to move a wall then there is a cost associated with moving that wall on the blueprint. If you decide after the wall is framed the cost goes up considerably. An if you wait until after the wall has been papered there is a further increase. Teachers use this analogy to emphasize the importance of doing the front end work. Now, scores of experts have reported that Y2k work is very simple. Think hard now and you might someday understand that a project with simple requirements cannot possibly experience the expansion of scope that occurs when you are building entirely new functions. The scope creep in Y2k is not at the level of individual systems but there can be scope creep due to the late addition of problem systems that were not originally identified. Working on these late additions does not require re-doing the work that was already done on other systems. I am curious that folks as intelligent as you and Hardliner are not at least a little put off by the hyperbole surrounding the Y2k issue. Is there any exageration of this problems that bothers you even slightly? Do you think no harm will come from over-hyping this very serious problem? Are going to the community Y2k meetings that many of us attend and actually talking to folks in your neighborhood? If you are going to these meeting then are you finding, as I am, that folks in government as well as industry have indeed gotten the message and are working together to attack this problem? Maybe I am a Polyanna, maybe I live in the only city in the country where the focus has shifted from awareness to action, I hope that is not the case. In any case I know that several late starting projects are moving at a faster clip than they might have because there is now so much experience-based information available. The dynamics are changing, so regurgitating extremists' projections which may have had merit last year but haven't been updated to reflect the new conditions is irresponsible. At this point I will declare victory in this debate just as you have already done. Now let's go celebrate the successful testing of the Air defense system, oops there I go again.

-- Woe Is Me (, November 05, 1998.


Your clarity of thought and eloquence does not go unnoticed.

-- PNG (, November 05, 1998.


Woe Is Me,

... "If being a manager meant that someone can't lead then there would be no completed projects and no robust economy - in that assertion you certified your ignorance." ...

WHAT ABOUT the widely accepted 80% figure for IT projects that ARE over budget AND late? We can't afford this level of incompetence for the Y2K work at hand, under foot and up to the ear lobes, too!!

Woe, you have "certified YOUR ignorance" and live down to the lowest level of incompetence that created this Y2K-mess in the first place.

Get your head out of that dark (brown) place you've been wallowing in too long, and clean it up.

With Due Regard and Disgust,

Bob Mangus

"I'm a computer 'Y2K-bomb' technician. If you see me running, try to keep up." RMangus

"Sometimes a majority simply means that all of the fools are of one mind." [Author Unknown]

-- Robert Mangus (, November 05, 1998.

Is, How is to Serve Man, a Cory y2k cook book?

-- alf (, November 05, 1998.

Funny Alf, I miss your show!

-- Gayla Dunbar (, November 05, 1998.

How easy it is to lose sight of the forest for the trees...

The fact remains that most of the countries of the world have done NOTHING about Y2K. Many businesses are planning on doing NOTHING about Y2K. The seriousness of the bug is obvious; the need is fix it is self-evident. Yet it is being largely IGNORED on a global basis.

This fact can not be disputed. The end result of this FACT isn't a question of WHETHER there will be major global disruptions, only the severity and duration.

-- Steve Hartsman (, November 06, 1998.


That's mighty high praise, considering the source.

Rats! Now I've got to get busy and write something really stupid so my hat'll fit again.

-- Hardliner (, November 06, 1998.

Robert Mangus, you really got me man with that profound observation. I understand now. The standard is that 80% of projects are late, okay I'll accept that. You support the argument that Y2k projects will follow that standard, okay then let's follow your brilliant logic thru to its inevitable conclusion. Here it is genious: only 20% of Y2k challenged payroll systems will be repaired in time. And only of Y2k challenged inventory systems will be repaired on time. And only 20% of Point of Sale systems and Demand Deposit systems and so on. Gosh, I don't how I missed such an obvious conclusion. Your brilliance has truly overwhelmed this lowly programmer turned manager. When I go to the Y2k user group next week I'll tell them not to bother because there is no chance of survival with a 20% success rate. Thanks for handling the higher math for me Robert.

-- Woe Is Me (, November 06, 1998.

You finally got it right, Woe, though I'm not going to double-check anyone's math. Y2K cannot be fixed, it is for all intents and purposes an unsolvable problem, regardless of "mission-critical systems", "contingency planning", etc. It is too late. By all means, tell them that at your next Y2K group meeting. Maybe, like in the children's story "The Emperor's Clothes", everyone will be glad that you did, so as to end the charade.

-- Jack (, November 06, 1998.

19981106 My point (responding to your idiocrity) was that there is no reason to believe that projects will be completed on time: <= 1-1-00!! The fact is, Y2K is an all or nothing proposition. The US Navy has testified to such before Congress: "99.9% is not good enough"! That's true. Everthing is tightly integrated by computers and computers run on electric power, which has also eveolved into a highly integrated grid network today. Corporations can't tell the Y2K-truth -- yet -- for fear of stock market repercussions. (Look at the recent history behind Quaker Fabric for telling the truth!) I can speak for myself and use my REAL NAME, TOO! Don't need some know-nothing (like you) spreading more Y2K garbage than there already is "out there."

Get thy head out of that brown place, "Woe Is Me."

-- Robert Mangus (, November 06, 1998.

To Woe, I say "Thank You!"

Whether you folks know it or not, Woe's presence, viewpoint and interaction here are essential to the mental health of this "group". I mean *Essential*. Yes, there are other participants who echo similar sentiment, but Woe has stood firm in spite of overwhelming numerical odds, and in my opinion, against superior argumentation and data. (Sorry, Woe)

Do I agree with Woe? Very seldom. But Woe keeps us doomers honest with ourselves. He is the litmus test, the foil, the touchstone, the mirror through which we can and should judge our own perceptions of this impending discontinuity. Am I uncertain about my assessment of a 7 - 8? Yes. No one knows for sure. I pray to God that I'm wrong about this, and that He will intervene on our behalf.

So go ahead and argue with Woe if you need to convince yourself! I see no point in the exercise per se. Surely you don't *really* expect to change his viewpoint, anymore than you expect him to change yours. But the process has a refining effect for the group. There is value in opposition. When all are of the same mind, cults, *real* cults form, lynch mobs appear, rationality disappears, lemmings run. We don't have to change our opinions, but let's consider our motivations, folks.

No one wins if the majority opinion on this forum comes to pass.

Woe, I don't know whether you're sincere in your opinion, or if it's a pose to provoke the majority. It doesn't matter. Thank You, and I hope you're right!

-- Elbow Grease (, November 06, 1998.

Cult, shmult. An easy way to discredit those with whom one does not agree. You are free to believe as you wish (even silly or stupid beliefs), or you are not, and in the 'land of the free' you are, evidently, not.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 07, 1998.

Sheesh, Big Guy,

Polish those bifocals. You missed it bigtime.

-- Elbow Grease (, November 07, 1998.

Not me friend, I got your point. Even agree with 99 and 44/100 of it. Seems you missed mine though.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 07, 1998.

Your obscurity has stumped me before... enlighten me.

-- Elbow Grease (, November 07, 1998.

Cult, the C-word. A term used by humans who wish to discredit the belief systems of other humans. Like the 'N-word', it is a term which appeals to emotion, not intellect. When I see it used I get pissed, because it is empty of any real meaning.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 07, 1998.

Oh. An extremely obscure hot button response.

Excuse me, I thought there was something to learn in the 56/100 disagreement part, but it was just one single word.

-- Elbow Grease (, November 07, 1998.


Lost the last sentence:

>I hope the rest of my message received the same careful scrutiny.<

-- Elbow Grease (, November 07, 1998.

Nothing personal, of course. Oh, BTW, yes it did.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 07, 1998.

Elbow Grease, thanks for the kind words. Yes I believe what I am saying. If you are at 7 or 8 in your estimate of the severity of the problem then you too must find some problems in the most extreme extrapolations of the available data. BTW, in February of 1997 when I was a 9.5 and climbing I bought gold which has depreciated since then. Also bought silver in equal dollar amounts and it has gone up due to industrial demand. My projections of the severity of the Y2k dilemna have improved because I have seen the falacy in so many of the arguments used to buttress the worst case scenarios. I just don't have the ability to stare truth in the face day after day and deny it. The real denial heads are the folks who ignore the flaws in the extremists' arguments and ignore the successes of the people and organizations in their own communities, and keep singing the same tired old song: "the systems are broken and they can't be fixed, 80% of projects fail ergo....., there are not enough programmers..., the news media is covering it up..., the interfaces are gonna get 'ya...., Gary North has been wrong for 30 years but this time..., the government is covering it up..., and the beat goes on. But the work also goes on and we still have more than 13 months to go. You are right I won't convince anyone and no one will convince me. What I find a bit disturbing is that most of my peers that I know personally are in sync with my assessment of the future but there seem to be few people anymore willing to invest a little energy in pointing out the obvious flaws in the extremists' views. Perhaps this forum should indeed belong to the folks who will not be swayed from the 9 to 10 position and they can just spend their time saying: "what he said -- me too!" Best of luck in your preparations, keep your eye on the news and compare the unfolding events to the projections that have been made by the defeatest. And keep looking for that one passenger vehicle which will fail to operate due to a Y2k computer problem. And keep looking for that SCADA system which will fail due to glitch in a piece of equipment that is below the PLC in the system's heirarchy. And let us know when someone identifies that airplane which will fall from the sky. And watch the doomers ignore all the arguments against total blackout of the electric grid. And, by all means, let me know when programmers can collect the $300 per hour that we would be getting today if the lead doomers' previous projections had materialized. Richard Dale should write us another song to the beat of "and the beat goes on..." and call it And the Myths Go On. You have,at most, just a few weeks to cash in on one of Cory's recent predictions because he said unequivocally that the stock market will crash by the end of November, so get your bets in fast. How many worshippers of the propets of doom are going to put their money where their mouths are right now - go ahead short the market and make my day.

-- Woe Is Me (, November 09, 1998.

When I think of Cory, that (programmer) character in Jurassic Park always comes to mind. PS wasn't Richard Attenborough appaling.

-- Richard Dale (, November 09, 1998.

Up front, note that I'm neither a programmer or a manager; I do not now nor have I ever worked in the IT field. I was born in 1925, admit to reasonable intelligence, have seen a lot of change, raised four kids, currently watch 6 grandchildren as they're turning into people. One of my sons is a systems programmer, and when he tells me what he's doing I don't even understand him. Expert testimony this is not. (End of voir dire.)

I realize that estimates of the scope and severity of impacts from the Y2K rollover can vary widely. And realize also that many of those estimating are seeing what they want to see. Examples abound. But I can't get around what almost all the people actually mucking the barn are saying about their work. Cory H. on systems.. Rick C. on utilities. Yardeni on financial institutions. Frautschi and others on embedded systems. Etc. etc.

So I have to wonder about this Woe person. Seems like a case of tunnel vision. He says his projects are on time and will not experience mission creep. OK with me. Why not believe him? If he's wrong, he'll find out. If he's right, we're all winners. And when he says

the manufacturers will dump suppliers next year who aren't going to be able to deliver in 2000.

I can believe that too. But I get the feeling that Woe hasn't thought that through. Even if that's all that happens, the impact on the economy will be serious. A great many people will suddenly be out of work. The GM strike will look like a sneeze. Woe apparently doesn't appreciate the depth of the "supplier" net for large manufacturing operations. I've read of cases with suppliers nested 10 and 20 deep for complex items. Woe continues with

That is a big incentive to get this done

No question about that, for the big corporations and their primary suppliers. Still I wonder. Is incentive enough? Is there enough time to get it done? Can all critical embedded systems be replaced? Can they be sure every supplier in the chain will be compliant? We read that many smaller shops are not yet addressing the problem, or plan to fix on failure.

I'm convinced there's a very high degree of uncertainty in all this. Woe's dogma, "all will be well, basically," can't possibly be justified. It sounds to me like another variety of denial. We'd be kinder not to push him on this. Note the increasing intensity of his responses.

He's not the only one running scared. I am too. Who isn't?

Doug Carmichael has written a great piece on the Recommended.

-- Tom Carey (, November 11, 1998.

Woops. Bungled the tags again. Carmichael's essay is on "The Social Psychology of Denial." My last word was "Recommended." And I say it again. Read it.

-- Tom Carey (, November 11, 1998.

Has anyone ever seen Cory, is he real or just an amalgam of everyone's image of a programmer.

-- Richard Dale (, November 12, 1998.

Richard, he's real. I've seen him on several television programs.

-- Gayla Dunbar (, November 12, 1998.

Hardliner, Thanks for the excellent dissection of "Woe". I usually think of him as "Moe" because his view is so narrow. I suspect he has spent his entire career in one company slowly making it to sectional manager after 20 years. One suit (brown), one language (COBOL), one area of "expertise" - inventory. Its a shame really. He is probably a nice enough person. The reason he lurks and burps on this forum is that he is truly scared underneath the bluster. He actually knows (or suspects) that he really doesn't KNOW and that is intolerable.

-- R. D..Herring (, November 13, 1998.

Gayla, is he like that character in Jurassic Park.

-- Richard Dale (, November 16, 1998.

Gee, did I miss something? Every weather report I read began with 2 warnings:

"Caution, these are not for the faint of heart.

Do not take the Weather Reports or yourself too seriously. If you do not have a sense of humor, turn back now."

So I've just enjoyed the style and humor, watching for the occasional tidbits.

Good Luck jh

-- john hebert (, November 16, 1998.

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