What will it take, and when............

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Yes, the old "Curiosity Aproach"........Learned it from an AMWAY friend....

The whole question is not easily asked in 1 line or 1 sentence. Please try to hold your applause (or flames, as it might be) until the whole question has set in.

Given we are now in the month of December, and MANY MANY companies, agencies etc. have alledged that they would have finished the remediation and now would be getting into testing; What will it take for each of us to change our expectations of the outcome, either positively or negatively?

How many Banks, Gov't Agencies, various industry reps will have to be proven remediated and into testing to move your expectation from a 7 to a 6, or an 8 to a 5?

How many of teh above going Chevron on us will it take to make the corresponding move the other way?

I have had a lot of time behind the wheel on boring roads the last couple days (nights) and I have been keeping myself awake with these questions.

Unfortunately, I don't seem to be a whole lot more intelligent than I was on Sunday.

As far as I can see, I'm still about a 7.5-8.5 with the ability to slide to 10+ if it gets to 8.3. My preps are in the vicinity of a 5.5-6.5 due to my agreements with my wife, but they are up for re-negotiation fairly soon.

If I were to see, say, Chase and B of A certified as compliant, as well as a couple of the "entitlement" agencies of the Fed, and half a dozen power companies, I woould probably reset my expectations to a 4.0 or 5.5, but it wil have to happen by 1 Feb 1999.

If I were to see the same "stuff" we are seeing now, in 10-Q's, in press releases (and press releases disguised as news programs) through the month of Jan and into the month of Feb (I know, sliding scales and internal inconsistencies, Deal with it!) I would seriously renegotiate it with my GI sometimes DWGI spouse, as that would change my expectation to the 8.0-10.0 + range.

There. thoughts, flamews, whatever you want to throw at it, but it is time we tried a reality check, either way!


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 02, 1998


It would take an independently verifiable y2k compliance by all the banks, power companies, telecommunications firms, gov't agencies, railroads, oil companies, etc. to get me to change my expectations of a major disaster ahead with great human suffering. Everybody is supposed to be ready for testing by the end of this month. Let's see just how many companies and organizations and agencies are really ready to test, and let's see some outside verification of this. Don't hold your breath.

-- cody varian (cody@y2ksurvive.com), December 02, 1998.

I suspect what we will see in January is yet more of the same. That is, most companies will take the 'FAA/Microsoft' compliant-with-issues approach. I hope I'm wrong but I believe we'll see hundreds of statement similar to the (hypothetical) one below:

While Joe's Widgit Corp did not totally meet the scheduled deadline of Dec 31, 1998 for completion of our Y2K remediation work, 99% of this work is now complete and there are only a few minor issues to be resolved. Testing is now proceding. We fully expect to be compliant no later than August 1, 1999. Further, we do not expects the costs associated with this delay to be material..."

Get the drift?

What would it take for me to breathe easier? Mrs. Rimmer & I have discussed this a lot (we all want that crytal ball). If we get through mid-October of 1999 with no real glitches which have caused serious disruptions, we would not expect the main event to be catastrophic or TEOTWAWKI. I think if we make it to October with no real problems, I will be dancing a jig because I will have good reason to believe that my preparations will be sufficient for the main event.

Still, we do not intend to wait and see. We will continue to prepare right up to and through 1/1/00

We are amazed by how much time, effort and yes, money that preparing is taking us. We've been VERY hard at it for 4 months now and I feel I'll need at least another 3 just to get the real basics in place for the 3-6 month event. We won't even be ready for a dry run until mid-January (a weekend in the middle of winter with no electricity).

But should real problems begin surfacing by late April of 1999, the main event could well be a show stopper... Time will tell.


-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), December 03, 1998.


As far as I can see, I'm still about a 7.5-8.5 with the ability to slide to 10+ if it gets to 8.3

I used to think along those lines also, but as my knowledge about the complexity of The System increased, I have reconsidered. Methinks there is not much room for the middle ground. How many cards can slip out before the house comes tumbling down? What can we learn from the experiences of Napoleon and Hitler in Russia? How about that a long supply line leaves those at the end of it at its mercy. Our supply line of just in time EVERYTHING leaves us very exposed. If it collapses we will too, right along with it.

Anything above a 4-5 slides right to a 9-10 (the higher it gets, the easier it slides), if we can keep the electricity flowing, 4 or lower. If not, the skys the limit. If we can get past this with only a depression we should count ourselves lucky.

In the meantime Im just going to keep myself informed, keep up the preps (no matter what- Ill stop if we are still OK in Feb 2000), and keep trying to listen to that little voice that always knows.

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), December 03, 1998.

Thanks Gang for the "Instant response" so far. I do hope to hear from Mr. Milne, Mr. Yourdon and Mr. Hamasaki on this one for several reasons:

1) I'm truly interested in whether there is anything that might reduce Mr. Milne's estimate of the level of disaster.

2) I'm interested in hearing whether Mr. Yourdon has heard anything which makes him more or less pesimistic, and what he would need to see or hear to change his current stance.

3) I'm also interested in what Mr. Hamasakihas heard and seen and what he would need to hear or see to become either more or less pesimistic.

Thanks again


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 03, 1998.


If power fails but communications hold, we might be able to get away with limited violence and maybe a 6; a few million die, no more. (Yes, that's me being optimistic.)

Think of it. If communications stay intact, so does government. Martial Law, of course. It wouldn't be easy, and I'd rather be on my own in the country than under government jurisdiction in the city. But if communications -from Washington all the way down through to squad leader- hold, the disaster will be massively mitigated.

Kinda like the Fall of the Republic compared to the Collapse of the Empire.


-- Leo (leo_champion@hotmail.com), December 03, 1998.

Last night here in Tucson we had a public forum where about 200 (of a city with a population over 600K!) attended. We had representatives from US West Telephone, TEP (Tucson Electric Power), and the city of Tucson main IT guy.

MHO is that Tucson is in BIG trouble. Why? Because the presentations were too positive. A brief report: US WEST: We are 75% remediated and tested (although only in the "lab setting," not real life), and the other 25% will be done by April 99. TEP: Electricity will flow in 2000 because we have coal sources for our power generators (although only 9 day coal supply, with plans to up this to a 30 day reserve). And we have manual override on all critical switches, TEP says. Interconnectivity to the power grid will not be a problem (although no factual data could be offered). City IT report: No major problems are forseen for city critical infrastructures. An independent testing agent is scheduled to begin evaluating our remediation program sometime in Jan or Feb '99. Life will go on, though there may be some minor disruptions to our daily comfortable lifestyles.

If I were to believe the reports I would conclude that my minimal preparations already done are more than enough to get me through a few rough days in temperate climate Tucson. Don't worry, be happy! Put on your rose colored glasses and don't take then off.

BTW, one question from the audience stumped the City IT man: Has the City considered that the population of greater Tucson will at least double during the winter of 99/00? (We already receive an abundance of snowbirds here each year from the cold north. Think these winter visitors will bring their friends and relatives in 99 looking to 00 to ride out the Y2K storm in sunny Tucson?)

TEOWAWKI TUCSON! I'm planning to move out!


-- Joe (jba@there.com), December 03, 1998.

ROFL, Joe.

My parents used to live in Tucson, and as you were talking about power I wondered why the big deal......not like you're going to freeze to death in January, even if the desert nights do get cold.

Hadn't thought of the old snow bird problem. Hey, thanks for the idea.........maybe I'll head your way come December 1999. Bring my own water though, eh?

-- rocky (rknolls@hotmail.com), December 03, 1998.

What will it take to cheer me up? Not hard to say.

When all systems worldwide are up and running following 01/01/2000, and by April 2000 no serious problems have occurred in telecommunications, financial services, government agencies, utiltiies (electric, gas, water supply and waste treatment), transportation (rail, truck, maritime), oil fields anywhere -- have I missed anything?

Yeah. That should do it.

As someone said way back when, the poor are always with us; more recently, someone pointed out that if nothing untoward happens, those with an oversupply of stored food won't have to eat it. They can give it away. Somebody will have use for it.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), December 03, 1998.

Hi Joe! I was born in Tucson. Moved in 1984. All those snowbirds got me started on a caregiving career very early in life! The problem with Tucson is, it is not survivable in the summertime without electricity. And there's not a clean local abundant water source. Would rather freeze than fry. Where are you going to move to?

Ashton & Leska in Cascadia, where the power company just announced they won't have enough power for upcoming winters :(

xxxxxxx xxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), December 03, 1998.

Joe in Tucson....I am in Phoenix and most interested in whats happening down your way....We have over 3 times your population and we too will have mucho snowbirds plus all the family members that will congregate in the valley of the sun to ride out New Years Evil. I am well along on my program to stock food, water, etc for extended family of 12...for 6 months. Over time would like to exchange more info with you (my e-mail address is correct...the hell with the black helicopters). I keep "my ear to the ground" re: Phoenix preparation, but both Tucson and Prescott seem to be more advanced on y2k. I am looking at a "fall-back spot" about half way between our cities. I will not go north into the cold area of our state. We are in the best area for winter climate in the country and a lot can happen before summer heat. If we still have big problems in June of 2000 then its infomagic time (man = cave to moon to cave). I am preparing for an 8 thru June and after that I know the location of an old abandoned mine.........

-- ronbanks (phxbanks@webtv.net), December 03, 1998.

Chuck, I'll be watching "tigger events" and the aftermath of them very closely.Especially, April 1, 99, as I live in New York State. If that goes smoothly, I'll be willing to adjust my 8+ downwards. Of course, it will probably take at least two or three months to really know if things are screwed up after that. So I'm figuring that by next summer there will be a clearer picture. I don't think there will be any REAL panic until next autumn, and I don't think 95% of the public will pay attention to anything that corporations say, good or bad. Of course the stock market may crash long before then, the DJIA is down another 97.32 so far today...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), December 03, 1998.

Chuck: Great Thread. I have asked myself some of the same questions that you posted. I'll second what Uncle said, with emphasis on Electricity. This is the Big One, that could change my expectations either higher or lower.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 03, 1998.

First - I'm tracking electricty and natural gas = full plant black startups COMMONLY occurring, remediation done, testing started, grid tested finishing; if these don't run nationally, people freeze to death, can't fix other stuff.

then local utilities = water, sewage, telephone, police, fire, city governments, county gov, then state gov's (these guys actually do the local work that governments are needed for - they are worth paying taxes and utility fees to purchase "stuff" needed for life.

then transportation (gasoline, oil (overseas & domestic = pump, pipelines, refines, ship, distribute, pay working or finished remediation), railrods and trucking (remediation done, testing started) (airplines = not worried, they don't move food & fuel, they use it and move people)

then fed systems (if no fixes and no testing, then the inner citites will riot and burn), if no tax fixes => the rest of country I will "rebel" by not paying until IRS 120% running and running properly)

then banks, wall street, insurance, international money markets

then automotive (because only 3 compnies drive several 100,000 smaller distributors

then groceries, food prep, food ship, food "manufactoring", drugs and drug production (can't spell pharmacueticals, so I won't try)

then small businesses

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), December 03, 1998.

About 15 years ago I was the Project Manager on a large scale development project. I had been elevated to the role after my predecessor 'lost it' in the middle of night after about a 6 month death march. Requirements creep was killing us.

A new implementation date was established and we were real deep in testing with a about a month to implementation. The CIO decided that he wanted contingency plans. I realized that in order to provide him what he wanted I would have to sacrifice the project, because the resources needed to provide the plans were the same resouces being utilized on the project. In other words, I was faced with a no win situation.

I was confident enough in our ability to pull the project off (without the contingency planning) that I gave an ultimatum.

"If you want contingency plans the project will fail. If you insist, I'm walking". The CIO insisted and I walked.

Two days later, I was called up and convinced to return to the project under my terms. The project went in on time.

Moral....Although alternate plans are reasonable and prudent, and should be part of all project plans, watch carefully for organizations publically announcing contingency planning and manual work around development late in the development life cycle. These activities are not free, usually require the same resources, and are not necessarily designed for the good of the organization. The are sometimes a knee jerk reaction to fear of failure and designed to save someone's butt.

-- MVI (vtoc@aol.com), December 03, 1998.

Chuck, I suggest that you stop "negotiating" with your wife, and do what you think is right. In my book, you are the head of the family and the responsible one. When the S___ hits the fan, she'll say, why did you let this happen? why did you listen to me? And she'll be right. Don't end up negotiating yourself into the grave.

-- David Hammer (davidone@worldnet.att.net), December 03, 1998.

David Explanations are not excuses. With that :

1) I gave my word.

2) While she is not a brother of my degree, she HAS sat in the East.

3) I gave my word.

(Some will understand the reference in #2 and some will not. It is however, sufficient for me. POTS)


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 03, 1998.

The good old days...

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), August 09, 1999.

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