Lighter Side: To Ed Yourdon ( ... a note of appreciation ... really! ) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

# # # 19981228--Lighter Side: Ed Yourdon?

On a lighter side, Ed:

In the early, formative years ( late '60's and after ) of my programming career, I read your books voraciously! Your ability to capture and present structured programming techniques was admirable and "music to my code." (?) ;-)

I was always the "needler" in the IT "shops" I've worked, championing structure, naming conventions, and other mundane sanity strategies that make/made systems development life easier. Always to the chagrin of my peers and ( so-called ) superiors! They hated it. They also resented the ease and sanity of working with _my code_ compared to theirs.

You have no idea how much flak and risk I've endured, pushing good system development processes in the faces of other people for some 25 years. ;-)

If I had it to do all over again ... I wouldn't change a single iota!! The pride and challenges alone were/are worth every tedious effort! Pay raises were hard to come by, though! I sometimes pressed too hard. ;-)

How come you never mentioned the pratfalls of representing the year portion of dates in 2-digits, back then? ;-)

... Just curious! ( Chuckle! Chuckle! )

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! ... and Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, December 28, 1998


As mentioned in my "Y2K Software Projects: deja vu all over again", I actually did use Y2K as an example of bad programming practice in the structured programming courses that I taught in the early 1970s. But it was only one of many such examples. Others are going to occur in the next few years -- e.g., running out of Social Security numbers will eventually force SSA to expand that field to at least 11 digits. We're about to run out of phone numbers, so our current 7-digit local number will expand to 8 digits, or perhaps the 3-digit area code will expand to four. It goes on and on.

The big mistake that I made was categorizing Y2K as a "programming" problem, when it has become abundantly clear that it's a "systems" problem. I began moving from programming into systems design, and then systems analysis, by the mid-70s; as a result, I lost focus on the problem. One could also argue (as the Vanity Fair article did so well) that it was largely an issue of imposing a rigid standard of 4-digit years, which Bob Bemer apparently tried unsuccessfully to do. I was never involved with, or terribly interested in, the standards committees in the software field.

As for spending more time on this forum -- sorry I haven't been able to do so as much as I would like. Yes, I do have to spend some time making money; I know that some of the hecklers would prefer that Y2K alarmists should avoid all income and behave like Mother Teresa; unfortunately, my family has gotten quite fond of the idea of having a roof over their head and a square meal on the table. I'm now spending about half of my time doing "pro bono" stuff, some of which consists of writing the kind of essays that you can find on my web site. But now that we're moving into 1999, I think the time has come for all of us to do a little less talking, and a lot more action. For me, this means working with the Y2K community awareness group in the town where I live, as well as a few other neighboring towns and communities.

Best wishes to one and all on the forum, with sincere hopes for a merry holiday season and a healthy, happy New Year!

Sincerely, Ed Yourdon

-- Ed Yourdon (, December 28, 1998.

He probably had all the usual expectations on the life expectancy of the code drafted, etc., etc. LOL

On another note:

Ed it's good to see you out and about on the forum that carries your name!!

Sorry we had to beg you to come out and act as a buffer for us for a while. I would assume that this might get in the way of your paying work. wish we could reimburse you adequately for what you are doing now and what you have done for us already.

Very serious thanks from a former analyst whose brother is busy writing firmware for cable modems and 2nd generation firewire interfaces, at both ends of the distribution chain, and said this weekend "Yes, I'm familiar with his (your) current writings, but most of us have said 'So?' and gone on." (NOT a good weekend from the aspect of turning a DGI into a GI! Oh, well.)


-- Chuck a night driver (, December 28, 1998.

"I would assume that this might get in the way of your paying work."

Chuckie, stop drinking before you get behind the wheel. THIS IS THE PAYING WORK! 2ND Ed. of ED comming out and he shows up for the suckers. Wake up Whiiite People(daniel carver) I also think a thank you is in order to JBD for facilitating the Great One's move down off the mountain

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 28, 1998.

Since when is "getting paid" for work a bad idea. Writing a book is hard work. I didn't pay a bit of attention to y2k until I read Time Bomb 2000. Then I was sorry I read it because I wanted reassurance that "they'll fix it in time." But then, (sigh) I faced the logic of the two-digit demon and began shopping, which I despise. Thanks Ed. gilda

-- gilda jessie (, December 28, 1998.

Yeah - my CAD data files seem to end up two-three times longer than everybody else's round here - what with all the NOTE records and parts list/Drawing number/Item number cross-reference data I keep sticking in that everybody else "defaults out." Course I can at least figure out what I did two years, three years, ten years later .... pain in the neck trying to run an documented ship, isn't it? (That - dear fellows - is the only significant advantage of an ISO qualified system.)

I'm waiting for people to realize that a 5 digit ZIP code won't cover the asteroid belt; and the 3+3+4 telephone numbers are already running out - and we haven't got fax machines and pagers yet to Saturn, much less Betelguese or Alpha Cent.

And in the year 9995, when we start to hit the 10K problem....

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

"Since when is "getting paid" for work a bad idea. Writing a book is hard work."

I'm gonna say this one more time or until it sinks in whichever comes first.

PANIC IS IN ED'S FINANCIAL INTEREST. This has nothing to do with getting paid for work. This has to do with inciting panic and by extension rioting among the suckers in order to sell stuff which in turn incites more panic and by extension rioting. To me that makes Ed a despicable human being.

Any Questions

-- Jimmy Bagga Dougnuts (, December 28, 1998.

I have a question. How are the royalties coming along with your book Jimmy? You know, the one about about changing demographics and out-of- control Mexicans? Is concern about y2K reducing public interest in your race war scenario?

Y2K is real. Don't belittle it.

-- (1@2.3), December 28, 1998.

(1@2.3), December 28, 1998.

You lost me there 1. Maybe you have me confused with another bagga doughnuts. But since you bring it up I'm a big fan of out of control Mexicans. If you have a particular post in mind email me. We'll chat.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 28, 1998.

"I'm gonna say this one more time until it sinks in whichever comes first. PANIC IS IN ED"S FINANCIAL INTEREST."

What sinks in is that you have confused warning with creating panic. It was obvious, after I read Time Bomb 2000, that I had been warned in what seemed to me a rather low key way. I chewed the information over a few days, went to the interenet, checked our every site which provided a documented source or link, called my bank and electric company, recalled my own experiences with computers, dates, power failures and made my own decision to be prepared.

If Ed is wrong, what have I lost? Nothing. I just won't have to shop as often.

-- gilda jessie (, December 30, 1998.

I'd like to apologize to everyone, including Ed Yourdon, for being so rude. My wife was reading over my shoulder last night and asked me how I'd feel if I was the recipient of these rude comments. I've done a lot of soul searching and I'm sorry. I have very little money to prepare for Y2K and don't know what I'll do. Sorry Ed and others.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 30, 1998.

Jimmy, nice to hear you sounding human! A lot of us have very little money. Time, energy, space, options are also limited commodities for many of us. Reading through all these posts has helped my husband and myself figure out our priorities, what we can realistically do, what we will have to let rest. Have you read Yourdon's book? Not, of course, a have-to, but it is actually pretty low-key compared to what is found on most of these sites- definitely not fear-mongering. He presents the possibilities for y2k problems, but does not tell you what conclusions you 'should' (in his opinion) jump to, or what measures you should take. Leaves that up to you, which I, for one, greatly appreciate (Thanks, Ed!). Sounds like your wife has a good sense of proportion- draw on it!

-- Maria (, December 31, 1998.

Take a letter Maria. "Above post not me. Repeat! Above post not me" I apologise to all my fans for this low rent impersonation.

BTW Maria, other Maria liked me first, you'll have to get in line.

Have a Nice Day

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 31, 1998.

Gee, Jimmy,

Too bad that other post wasn't you. Occasionally you score a point but more than often you loose gound everytime you post.

-- Moore Dinty moore (, December 31, 1998.

I big, BIG thank you to Ed Yourdon for all his efforts.

I was first made aware of Y2K by Gary North's four tape Firestorm Chat in mid-1997. I knew of Y2K problems, but only as they related to PC's (replace BIOS, RTC, wait for OS patch to show up). I doubted that GN's TEOTWAWKI was right because of his then (and persistant) errors about power generation. But I looked around the internet and found Ed's site, printed out his book in process, read it, reprinted and made myself a pest to friends and relatives with it. When the book went hard copy I would frequently drop by Barnes & Noble buy a half a dozen copies or what ever they had left and continued to make a pest of myself. You see after reading Ed's bio and his thoughts on Y2K I realized that much of what GN said was true. Humans have a long history of being right for the wrong reasons.

So I went through three steps in becoming a Y2K GI. 1. Awareness via GN. 2. Confirmation via Ed Yourdon. 3. Double confirmation via President Clinton. When the prez stated that everything was going to be OK in Y2K I then KNEW we were in deep, deep trouble.

So again thank you Ed for doing what you are doing. It is a shame that Trolls have invaded your site, the same thing happened to my BBS in the mid-1980's before I required validation, we called them squids back then. Back in 1997 your site was a gem. It's still worth logging onto, it's just that the chaff/wheat ratio is getting worse.

To JBD and other squids. The fact that you have to hide behind a nom de guere(sp7?) says WORLDS about yourself and your comments provide confirmation.

To all serious individuals, my website is up and has what I consider the essential files on survival. If you want more extensive files call up my BBS at (314)821-2815 or log on to Walton Feeds faboulous site at and then buy what you need at either or

I've been a hobby survivalist since the early 80's. It is not that expensive or difficult to stay alive if you want to. An Alladin lamp costs about $80. A five gallon can of kerosene is about $10 and will keep that lamp burning for about 200-250 hours. The basic foods to keep a person alive cost under $500/person, see WHEAT.TXT, MORMAN4.TXT, et cetra.

-- Ken Seger ( a real name, imagine that) (, December 31, 1998.

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, including Ed Yourdon. I know I've ridiculed him a lot, but I do wish him the best. Happy New Year Everyone.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 31, 1998.

also not JBD

Who predicted a nuclear winter of butt kissin with YourDoneIV off the mountain. Why Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts. Grifter Ed, You're running the Mother of all 3-Card Monte games. Shame.

Ken you dope, there is no such thing as a "troll" read the first amendment.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 31, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ