Here We Go: 1999 FAILURES : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Thread for 1999 Failure articles -- wonder how long it'll end up getting. Here we go:

Computer Glitches Accompany New Year In Sweden

1/2/99 -- 12:55 PM, Computer Glitches Accompany New Year In Sweden

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - For a while, some taxi passengers got unexpectedly cheap rides and some motorists had trouble buying gas due to computer glitches that accompanied the new year in Sweden.

Stockholm's largest taxi service recently changed the way it calculates fares. But when 1998 became 1999, some of its computers didn't adjust properly and passengers were charged normal rates, instead of the higher holiday and late-hour fares.

``The problem has been patched and now we'll get to the root of the problem,'' Taxi Stockholm managing director Anders Malmqvist said in a telephone interview Saturday.

Customers of Statoil, Norway's state oil company which operates about 600 gas stations in Sweden, couldn't use their credit cards Friday because pumps were programmed to accept them only through Dec. 1998.
``There was nothing wrong in the data technology, but rather it was we who programmed badly,'' Statoil spokesman Henrik Siden told the regional newspaper Oestgoeta Correspondenten.

The day before, police at Stockholm's Arlanda international airport were temporarily unable to issue provisional travel documents to four travelers who had misplaced their passports, the Swedish news agency TT reported.

When they attempted to input the date, some computers would not accept ``99'' and transmitted in response: ``end of run'' or ``end of file.'' The year 2000 is expected to bring more computer problems because many of the machines recognize each year by its last two digits rather than by all four.
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-- Leska (, January 02, 1999


Surely I haven't already been bit by the y2k bug! When we got home from a trip yesterday, the house seemed cool; the thermostat showed 68 instead of 72 that we keep it in the waking hours. I checked the programs and everything said "00" -- both the hours and the temp settings. So I re-programmed it and set it on 72; it didn't drop down at bedtime so I manually lowered it. Guess what? It had to be manually reset this morning. Did it just happen to quit working on 1/1/99 or has the bug really arrived? If I buy a new one, will it work?

-- Sylvia (in Miss'ippi) (, January 02, 1999.

The first 1999 glitch I saw in the news yesterday was an accounting program problem that caused a West Virginia company to be unable to process their payroll. A couple of links to the story are at:

The thread with a few comments on this story is at:

-- Kevin (, January 02, 1999.

Millennium Bug Strikes Taxis in Singapore

SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore's first reported computer failure caused by the millennium bug struck an unlikely target - taxi meters - a full year before 2000, a newspaper reported.

Computerized meters on about 300 taxis went dead at noon on Jan. 1 for about two hours, The Sunday Times said Sunday.

The new meters were supposed to be ``year 2000 compliant,'' the report said.

The millennium bug is expected to strike computers and software that only recognize the last two digits of a year. Although most of its disruptions are forecast for the first day of 2000, the glitch is also predicted to affect systems during 1999.

The supplier of the meters was investigating the incident.
Taxi meters in Sweden also acted up on Jan. 1, but passengers there hardly complained. The meters continued to work but gave riders unexpectedly low fares.
"The new meters were supposed to be ``year 2000 compliant...'' "

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-- Leska (, January 03, 1999.

Thank you Dave22 for alerting us to this:

2000 Bug Kicks In

2000 Bug Kicks In, posted January 3, 1999

POLICE at three Swedish airports got a foretaste of the much-feared Year 2000 bug  their computers malfunctioned at the stroke of midnight on December 31, causing distress for passport-less travellers.

The bug hit police offices at airports that issue immediate, temporary passports to last-minute or forgetful travellers.

The computers refused to acknowledge that 1999 had arrived, and stubbornly refused to authorise the documents.

Police units at Stockholm's Arlanda airport, and at Gothenburg and Malmo, fell victim to the problem.

It was apparently caused by the use of 99 in some programs as a code to mean "end of run" or "end of file".

Several would-be travellers were disappointed. The bug meant they couldn't get a passport  a reason that is probably insufficient to claim a refund on plane tickets or unused holiday packages.

Technicians fixed the problem later.
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-- Leska (, January 04, 1999.

The following is from an e-mail I just received. Has anyone else out there seen this?

"I was trying to track this weekend big snow storm thru the Texas A&M University weather site. To my surprise the whole weather page was receiving no data. Just check out this site. Scroll all the way to the bottom. You will see it thinks its the year 1969. This site was working Dec. 31. This is really a great site to access (when its working) severe weather information."

-- c (c@c.c), January 04, 1999.

Anybody hear about the 6, 11 or possibly 13 states having a problem processing unemployment claims?

I heard they had the option of (inaccurately) using 12/31/1999 as the end-date, so we may NOT hear about it.

-- Lisa (, January 04, 1999.

My husband works for Nissan - he's a technician. He just told me that the entire technical service hotline (for techs) was closed because they said their system crashed during the 1998 to 1999 rollover. Neither of us is sure exactly why - or the details. This is just what his manager was told when he tried to call the hotline today. Does anyone else know about this?

-- Just Me (, January 04, 1999.

Monday morning notice on in-plant, production control data system at Lockheed-Martin Control Systems Johnson City, NY.

"We have a Y99 bug in the Factory Orders system, it should be corrected this morning."

It was indeed fixed before lunch. A simple "orders extending into calender year 2000 cause not valid date" code error. But it was a genuine one-year look-ahead failure.

There were an awful lot of coffee break and lunch hour conversations about Y2K today.

-- Needmyjob (, January 04, 1999.


The weather site you mention, Texas A&M Severe Weather Watches and Warnings Page, appears to be working now.

-- No Spam Please (, January 04, 1999.

Bought a silo of grain when I heard taxi cabs in Singapore were down for 2hours. Then I remembered we have Chuck the Limo Driver so I guess we're safe.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, January 04, 1999.

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