Can You Top This : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This guy's a better writer than any of the doomers on this forum so I plagerized him from another forum where the posters are sane. This pretty much settles it so Yourdonefor can now close this forum. Of course he won't because it's cost effective. I know the windbags will try to confuse the issue with 5000 word posts that are nothing but Mad-Libs so that's why I'm posting first.

bbbbo - 10:10pm Dec 23, 1998 EST (#861 of 861)

Well what is rational is this. This is what is being done. Let's say a company has 100 programs for argument's sake. 50 percent are Cobol Mainframe and 50% are some hybrid, but primarily server based running Visual Basic or some such language. The programs in all cases are scrutinized for date-sensitive routines and renovated (corrected and functionally tested) to the extent that they are considered Y2K compliant. Large companies, generally speaking, companies who have a reputation to maintain both with the general public and their investers, then spend a lot of money either purchasing 'parsing' software or farming out subsets of the code that are better analyzed by specialists outside of the organization.

Typically the code, both fixed and unfixed, is run through specially designed software that parses the code, let's say, Cobol or Focus or any code that the software is designed to interpret, and identifies any remaining problems. In some cases a fix is applied automatically. This presumably patches up any date-sensitive problems in previously unremediated source code; and in the remediated code, the software reports hidden problems that were not previously noticed. In the latter case programmers intervene and apply fixes, run a small test against the fixes, and finally run the entire source code through the parsing software once more to assure that there are no remaining problems within the code.

As a last step, all systems undergo final 'acceptance' testing on a computer that can be set to any of the 'critical crossing' dates in the year 2000. For example, 11:59 December 31st 1999 through 12:01 January 1st 2000. Reports and output files are scrutinized to assure compliance. The test results are signed, sealed and certified. And, yes, folks, it is well known that the year 2000 is a leap year.

Now, I don't know why so many people are under the impression that people who are currently doing this renovation are overlooking either the computer's date or overlooking the software programs running on these computers. What possible reason or motive could you attribute to such negligence?

I can tell you this for sure. Very few companies with a 'public' stake in the outcome are being lapse in this respect. The highest priority is making sure these systems are compliant, and the money is being spent to make sure the problems are addressed and redressed.

If problems do emerge in the year 2000 they will not be the biggest problems and they will not occur with a disarming frequency and, where they do occur, they will not take forever to fix.

So if your banking on disaster, I'm afraid you're going to be facing a major disappointment in the year 2000. The only winners are going to be the incorrigibles who invite panic when there is no cause for one only for the purpose of deflating the financial market long enough to run in at the perfectly contrived moment when a killing can be made.

The solution folks is a simple one. Stay the course. Be brave. The millenium beckons.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 24, 1998


Since you've mentioned "banking on disaster" and "deflating the financial market", I thought you might be interested in the perspective from a consortium of global banks known as the Global 2000 Coordinating Group (Global 2000). The excerpt below is taken from the report presented to the United Nations Y2K conference on Dec 11, 1998; you can read the entire report at globale.htm .

Global 2000, which was formed in March 1998, currently includes 488 participants from 234 institutions and associations representing 46 countries; the activities of Global 2000 are guided by a Steering Committee of 35 individuals from 21 countries. The overall assessment of the Y2K situation by Global 2000 group is fairly sobering, as can be seen from the text of their report:

"The time to resolve the problem is now extremely limited and the level of awareness of the problem remains at a relatively low level in many countries. There is no expert involved in the field who believes that the problems can all be satisfactorily resolved in the time remaining, and in some cases it is already clear that the problem is simply not going to be adequately addressed. For example, in Russia it is already clear that there is no prospect of the Year 2000 problem being solved. It is therefore essential that the international financial industry is able to identify and focus resources on those areas where the risk is highest in order to facilitate progress where possible as well as to plan for the inevitable failures that will occur.

"The risks associated with the Year 2000 problem for financial markets are difficult to predict. As yet the problem does not appear to have been a significant factor in decision making. However as the Year 2000 approaches, it is likely that market participants will increasingly factor Year 2000 considerations into their decision making. This may result in the withdrawal of credit lines or to a loss of confidence in markets where there are concerns or inadequate information about the progress that is being made. Market behaviour of this type, which could appear well ahead of the actual Year 2000 date change, would significantly exacerbate the problems of the Year 2000 issue.

"The period around the Year 2000 date change is likely to be characterised by a significantly heightened level of concern about the implications of the millennium problem, with a significant risk that behaviour patterns will change in a way that may be difficult to predict. Central banks are already planning to have additional banknotes available to meet potential increases in demand. Other changes in behavioural patterns such as pre- millennium stockpiling may result in additional calls on the financial system. As a result, the management of public perceptions and expectations will assume an increasingly important role in the run up to the year-end.

"The probability of at least some millennium related problems emerging will place a significant premium on the financial system's crisis management capabilities. Confidence in the system will be significantly affected by the way in which the system identifies and responds to these issues as they arise. This will place a high premium on information sharing and co-ordinated decision making between regulators and the private sector to an extent that has not previously been required.

"Whilst it is not possible draw any clear conclusion as to the overall impact of the Year 2000 issue, the prudent view at this stage has to be that this issue poses significant prospective systemic risk to the international financial system in the course of the next fifteen months."

It's particularly interesting to me that the industry generally regarded as having made the most progress with Y2K remediation  i.e., banking and finance  remains the one most concerned about the possible impact of Y2K disruptions. In any case, given the level of concern expressed by the financial community, it's interesting to ask what the Global 2000 group intends to do in the remaining year before 1 January 2000. In its report, the group identified its priorities as follows:

"With only 385 days remaining, the Group plans to focus its future efforts on identifying those areas where the relative highest risks to the financial services industry reside. The actions will include systematic identification of specific regions, countries, cities, industries, infrastructure components and individual companies posing significant potential threats to the global markets. The aim is to publicise these concerns and to encourage, through various means available, actions designed to contain and/or reduce the specific Y2K risks. The emphasis will be in four areas

v testing v assessing and disclosing risks v seeking out collective actions for mitigating risks, and v preparing for the unexpected events - crisis management

"In terms of communication, it is the belief of Global 2000 that an informed public will be a prepared public. Individuals who have access to good information will make good decisions and the entire society will benefit. Conversely, a lack of information is fertile ground for panic when and if unexpected events take place. There is an urgent need to publicly disseminate factual information about what can be expected as the clock roles forward into 1999 and 2000 and beyond. The time to assess the Y2K event is now. It is the responsibility of both industry and government to disseminate factual information about what is likely to occur as the clock roles forward. If there is a 10% chance or a 50% chance of a failure of a mission critical system in a public utility, then the public should know that now rather than later. If the public feels a need to stockpile based upon their individual needs, then it is better that they begin to stockpile in January 1999 than in December 1999. It is now time to communicate the known facts as widely as possible in a systematic and professional manner. For its part, Global 2000 will develop an information clearinghouse to share key Year 2000 information with its contact and the public."

BTW, there are also reports from the telecommunications sector, the oil & gas sector, electric power, air transportation, and maritime/port sector, all accessible from the UN web site at meeting/

I attended the meeting, listened to all the presentations, listened to the questions raised by delegates from 120 countries (which were not recorded), and came away with the distinct impression that the vast majority of countries are VERY worried about the overall impact of Y2K on the global economy and infrastructure.


-- Ed Yourdon (, December 24, 1998.

Why, would we want to try to top you Jimmy? You seem to know it all, even though 5000 experts say they have no idea what will happen or what to expect. As for me I'll just buy a few more bags of beans and rice, maybe some tuna and toilet paper today. Stuff I'll use anyway and won't have to buy when the prices go up. And they will go up, Y2k or not!

-- Sue (, December 24, 1998.

JBD: No one disputes that a conscientious organization that has allowed enough time will not do a good job and finish on time. What you have outlined may be based upon your experience, if so you have been lucky. Not all are conscientious and have allowed enough time. That has been some of my experience. It will come down to a matter of who has and who has not done the job. As of now no one knows enough to make an accurate call.

-- curtis schalek (, December 24, 1998.

Thanks ED for the Christmas present. So we agree that nobody knows.

Hope you are prepared for a Nuclear Winter of butt kissin'

I'm still working on that list of compliant bakerys in Northern New Jersey

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 24, 1998.

You're exactly right - and nobody disputes the fact that y2K can be "programmed out" in a rational simple manner, then all affected programs tested (to ensure errors have been created), then data converted (either in time, or during, or before conversion), and the company continues.

It happens every day - or should happen every day. No one is responsiblily saying the problem cannot be corrected, no one is saying that all companies will fail - reversing my negatives - many companies will be able to be fully compliant themselves.

But it takes time, money, and effort. For example, a lumberyard/housing truss company in my neighborhood is completing their remediation efforts - it cost them 500,000.00 - but they are close to finishing. They can remain in business successfully - if they have power to run the saws and presses, if they have gas for the trucks, and if they have unfinished lumber coming from the sawmills in the West Coast. Those venders and suppliers my local lumber yard has no control over. Its customers they have no control over.

Your hatred (envy ?) of those who are warning about the crisis is blindling you to real parts of the systemic infrastructure failures, and so you look at little pieces of information that make you feel better. But by focusing on each little piece of the jig saw puzzle - you are failing to see that the whole thing is held together by computers exchanging data between computers over links supported by other programs and computers.

And those programs and links are not capable of withstanding the simultaneous stress of multiple failures.

The Y2K problem is easy to fix. It is being fixed. But not enough companies began in time, those that are correcting the problem have not finished, and those that are close to finishing have uniformly and consistantly found that they needed more money, took longer, and found many unexpected problems that would have casued even more problems.

And many thousand other companies and governments have not started, started late, and are not adequately funded. What about them?

Will they somehow survive on wishes and hopes and false promises from government ostriches?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw GA) (, December 24, 1998.

"This guy's a better writer than any of the doomers on this forum so I plagerized him..." JBD

Just because someone writes better than you, sir, (and who doesn't?) or agrees with your opinion, does not mean he is a good writer. That was an execrable example of written expression, not even up to fair amateur level. And that has nothing to do with the opinion expressed. This group is well above average in writing style and clarity as compared to others I've visited. I've seen more sustained, reasonable and well-written disquisition here, regardless of viewpoint, than at any other single forum. I'm sure Gayla, Donna and Ed would concur.

And,yes, by not attributing the article, you are guilty of plagerism, not something of which you should be proud.

Thanks for the update on the UN Y2K meeting, Ed. I find it most unsettling when the industry commonly acknowledged as being the most prepared, voices such disquieting concerns. And I wonder about this: "In terms of communication, it is the belief of Global 2000 that an informed public will be a prepared public...For its part, Global 2000 will develop an information clearinghouse to share key Year 2000 information with its contact and the public."

Before I respond with a Milnesque "Bwaaahahahaaa," I will wait a while and see if they are telling the truth. In light of current attitudes towards disseminating this sort of information, I remain to be convinced.


"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."---George Orwell

-- Hallyx (, December 24, 1998.


I'll make this short and sweet. If the solution is a simple one, why hasn't it already been taken care of? Why are so many businesses and government agencies going to miss their 31 December 1998 deadline?

The panic in 1999 will come when the public hears about real failures, and then hears these failures were in organizations that said they'd be finished with Y2K work by 31 December 1998.

-- Kevin (, December 24, 1998.

C'mon folks! You're wasting your time arguing with Bagga.

He's a DWGI at the shrill-level. If you showed him paperwork from the Pentagon that proved they expected an 80% breakdown in the US infrastructure, Bagga would accuse you of inciting panic and doom by posting it.

His arguments are soley emotional. "Don't be a party-pooper Man!" He hasn't produced ONE fact that debases the possible scenarios we are all preparing for, because he can't. There hasn't been any evidence thusfar to assuage our concerns that this thing will be a breeze.

Until then I remain steadfast in preparation.

All we hear is: "No one knows." I'm not taking any chances. Will you?

-- INVAR (, December 24, 1998.


Exactly. It's as if you were thinking about getting auto insurance, and then somebody tells you that you're being lied to, that you're not going to have an accident.

-- Kevin (, December 24, 1998.

Thank you Ed.

"An informed public will be a prepared public."

Hear that Washington? -- Diane

A readers opinion at the Washinton Post today expressed it nicely: idx.html

Preparing for the Millennium

Thursday, December 24, 1998; Page A16

While I was happy to see a front-page article on preparedness for the Year 2000 (Y2K) computer problem [Dec. 7], it may do a net disservice to the movement toward community preparedness because it leaves the impression that people trying to prepare their communities for Y2K- related disruptions are nuts. This is what FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has to say on its Y2K website ( y2k/):

"The efforts of FEMA and all emergency management and fire service organizations cannot be viewed as a substitute for personal responsibility and personal preparedness. Every organization and every individual, in public and private life, has an obligation to learn more about this problem [Y2K] and their vulnerability, so that they may take appropriate action to prevent a problem before it occurs. FEMA is working with the emergency management and fire service communities to raise awareness, to increase preparedness, and to stand ready to provide federal response assistance to state and local governments, if that is required."

Many of the "yuppies" who are worried about Y2K are far better informed than the average citizen about the pervasiveness of the Y2K bug and the difficulty of fixing the problem. Further, no one I know through the Northern Virginia Y2K Community Action Group believes that corporate announcements of progress toward Y2K compliance are "a ruse to keep stock prices from falling."

The problem is that progress is too slow, and many companies and government agencies have done too little, too late. Historically, software projects almost never have been finished on time, and Y2K remediation can be seen as the largest software project ever undertaken.

Joel Achenbach's article would have been a lot more effective if he had played it straight, instead of linking Y2K community preparedness groups to fringe subcultures. During the coming months, I expect to see government organizations calling for an increasing focus on personal preparedness. The grass-roots community-preparedness movement is ahead of the curve.

Readers who would like to learn more about the likelihood of Y2K- related threats to their personal lives can visit the Northern Virginia Y2K Community Action Group's website at http:// or come to one of our free seminars.

-- Diane J. Squire (, December 24, 1998.


You did it. You topped Arlin as pompous ass of the day. If you take your head out of Chairman Ed's butt for a few minutes you'll notice that the post quote I did inspierd the great one to put fingers to keyboard. Speaking of writing talent, do you really think that bore-a- thon crap you write is holding anyone's interset. Where have you been published? If people want lame ass insults they go to you. If they want someone who isn't afraid of the loudmouth windbags on this board they come to me.

INVAR, you know they're watching you and I for one thank Jesus H. Christ for that.

Have a Nice Day.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 24, 1998.

Hey Bagga,

From myself and everyone you've verbally shit on on this forum; Fuck you.

I was intrigued by what Hallyx and Mr. Yourdon posted.

They proved what a devoid-of-intelligence, self-absorbed imbecile you are.

-- INVAR (, December 24, 1998.

Does anyone see a difference between Jerry and INVAR. Frankly I have more respect for Jerry. He's totally honest no matter whose name he's posting under. INVAR however has an agenda he's not telling us OR the FBI about.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 24, 1998.





-- Leo (, December 24, 1998.

You da bomb Jer!!

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 24, 1998.

plagiarize, plagiarism.......You should BOTH know better

-- Teacher's watching you (, December 24, 1998.

Thank you Diane for posting the reference to FEMA. It has been posted here that the govt. does not promote stockpiling emergency supplies - this is simply not true. Many govt. handouts, pamplets and web sites support preparation for emergencies at all times. States do the same. Many states have a required emergency kit for vehicles - water, first aid kit, tire chains, emergency food and road flares are some of the items I remember from the book of maps I bought a couple years ago - a vacation planning edition. And fines can run as high as $500 for not having it. The Corps of Engineers even has (had? haven't seen one for a while) a pamplet stressing preparations for floods and asking people living near rivers and streams to have food and water stockpiled for two weeks at all times. Now I certainly admit that a warning applying solely to Y2K has not been issued - but everyone has been asked over and over to get ready for ANY emergency. Shoot man, if Mormans let their stockpiles dwindle - and they do - if religous duty won't motivate people how do you expect the govt. to do it?

-- Paul Davis (, December 24, 1998.

Paul Davis, my limited experience with FEMA (Disaster Prep Training) is that they highly encourage everyone to be amply prepared for all types of emergencies. Even train ya how to do it! Really hope FEMA does not turn out to be a buggaboo in sheep's clothing. From the folks I saw training, I have hope in the peaceful triumph of freedom.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx

-- Leska (, December 25, 1998.

LEO!!! You haveing a bad hair day??? Heeee heeeee

-- Caveman (, December 25, 1998.

Pardon me, Mr. Robert A. Cook:

You wrote: <<<<<<<<<<< But it takes time, money, and effort. For example, a lumberyard/housing truss company in my neighborhood is completing their remediation efforts - it cost them 500,000.00 - but they are close to finishing. They can remain in business successfully - if they have power to run the saws and presses, if they have gas for the trucks, and if they have unfinished lumber coming from the sawmills in the West Coast. Those venders and suppliers my local lumber yard has no control over. Its customers they have no control over. <<<<<<<<<<<<< I'm just curious, what exactly was the $500,000 for? Company I work for is in a similar business, prefabricated modular houses/trusses, not very large (only about $40 Million/year), and our y2k "fix" cost a little over $7,000. Did they have a mainframe, or did they replace some expensive business software.... I'm interested to know... Regards, Morgan

-- Morgan (, December 26, 1998.

You there Cook? Man wants an answer. How do you spend half a mil making a lumberyard compliant? Oak transistors? It's a 2, Get Over It.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 27, 1998.

I will recheck - seemed high to me at the time, but I didn't challenge his number.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw GA) (, December 27, 1998.


You wrote: <<<<<<<<<<< But it takes time, money, and effort. For example, a lumberyard/housing truss company in my neighborhood is completing their remediation efforts - it cost them 500,000.00 - but they are close to finishing. They can remain in business successfully - if they have power to run the saws and presses, if they have gas for the trucks, and if they have unfinished lumber coming from the sawmills in the West Coast.

you forgot "and IF they have any orders after the global depression really gets underway..."

-- a (a@a.a), December 27, 1998.


Hail! Hail!

I appreciate ya if no one else does...Keep up the good work.

Some here are a bit arrogant, huh?

-- Randy (, December 28, 1998.

a. @ a. (and Robert Cook) ....

Them's a whole lotta 'IFS'... but am I reading that right that you ARE definitely forecasting a global depression?

-- Morgan (, December 28, 1998.

That's the frightening part - even if a company works hard to proterct and update themselves, that company is still at the "mercy" of multiple suppliers or regional infrastructure failures "up the line" or vender failure or regional infrastructure systems failure "down the line."

However, each company that does prepare and repair their own systems is a step towards overall recovery. Even so, not enough are doing enough - this may be where the depression starts. If 5 or 10% of the businesses in an area are affected by either systems failure or their own independent failure - the secondary impact in an area will grow as people are laid off because they *can't* work at a many different single companies.

That's what could make Y2K-induced job loss different from other earlier recessions - where people may have wanted to work but couldn't find jobs in an entire industry, or whole recession "regions" (through the oil, farm, automotive, steel, "rust belt" heavy manufactoring, Wall Street, ship building) where the primary industry suffered, but the rest of the country was relatively unaffected. On the other hand - recovery might be faster too from each company-specific "disaster", if the individual companies can themselves recover.

However, as each major company or service sector clocks in with a success story - the overall probablity of total systems failure is reduced. For example, there are only now about 8 major oil companies - so if Texaco and BP Oil both complete remediation - neither has yet - then they will be able to deliver and process diesel fuel, heating oil, and gasoline. Regardless of whether Mobil, Exxon, or Chevron is running or not.

Back to the negative view: Now remember, Texaco and BP can't deliver all the nation's fuel themselves (just like the Post Office and Fedex couln't replace UPS during its strike.) Nor can they continue to deliver fuel if they can't keep supplies coming from the North Sea, North slope, across Texas and OK, across CA and LA, etc. Nor can they deliver fuel for long if they don't have refineries running in the Carribean, tankers and ports elsewhere, and telecom's world-wide. If the world-wide finance networks fail - these international companies simply can't keep in business - even if they wanted too, they couldn't do it if they can't manitain control of their money and pay their suppliers.

Who pays all that money going to OPEC? Try to trace the process form your purchase at the pump all the way to that multi-billion dollar fee paid to Oman and Saudia.

(BTW, no confirming info yet from the "lumberyard" referenced above - didn't see him at Mass yesterday. Sorry.)

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw GA) (, December 28, 1998.

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