Poll of Y2k awareness

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I have been monitoring this site for some time now and have been wondering about how much people really know about Y2k as opposed to what they think they know. Here is my question, how many of you are actively employed in solving the Y2k problem? This does not mean your efforts at bringing awareness to groups or communities, but are actually *getting your hands dirty* with fixing Y2k.

-- MAP (M@M.com), January 22, 1999


What exactly do you mean? Do you mean, "getting our hands dirty" as in working on an infrastructure y2k problem, or a Fortune 500 y2k problem? Or does a PC count, or a network for a personally owned business? Or how about gathering knowledge to share with a community organization?

Y2k hits us on so many levels that everyone who GI is involved. As someone mentioned in another thread, just by stockpiling we are helping the stores maintain full inventories for the new GIs towards the end of this year.


-- jhollander (hollander@ij.net), January 22, 1999.

Do not muddy the question with this ** about GIs and DGIs. Are you fixing actual Y2k problems for an infrastructure or business? Again I say this does not include bringing awareness to people.

-- MAP (M@M.com), January 22, 1999.

I have completed the assessment for the company I work for locally. As for when they are going to fix the stuff it's up to them. If they start I'll be there. The information from New York is that we can always do the job on paper!!! As far as the user unterface that we use my dog could have created a better one. It has changed only once in the 16 years I have worked for them. I tried 10 years ago to get them to change and my recommendation went to the board of directors however we were suppposed to start using a new system, and thanks but no thanks. Well the new system was scraped because of cost overruns and it just wouldn't do what the vendor said it would do. So here we set for 16 years in LALA land. Do you know how long 16years is in computer years? A life time+! Do I think my company will make it (I plan on being gone by at the latest June99) How's that!!

-- Tman (Tman@nowwhat.com), January 22, 1999.

MAP - I suspect that the vast majority of Y2K "fixers" are far too busy fighting fires and answering questions from senior management (who may or may not have read the most recent project status report) to spend much time here. For this, I am very glad - they have very nasty jobs to do and an absolute fixed deadline by which to do them

Your point?

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), January 22, 1999.

good idea. I would appreciate knowing what anyone's work background is when giving information on this bb. Only then can I make a fair assessment of the comment about a y2k issue. Therefore, please, indicate if you are a programmer/analyst working or have worked on the repair of programs which need to be made compliant. Thanks

-- Herb Nelke (properties@mindspring.com), January 22, 1999.

This is a very good question, and as Jeannie suggests, there are many levels to this.

I'm the "Technologist" for a small but mighty New York Advertising type Agency. We use Macintosh computers exclusively. While I'll never actually go through any code, I have to make sure that everything works come 01/01/00. For me this means upgrading and patching software that has "issues" (some of which is not available yet). We recently moved and rather than keeping our old phone system, which we knew would require significant upgrades, we bought a new one that is certified compliant. (there were other reasons to do this as well) If any of our other stuff (cameras, video, sound, toasters etc.) doesn't work, well, we'll deal with it. (I'm not concerned about that stuff)

I also spend time here gently bringing people into awareness. For this I'm often the butt of jokes. But, it has gotten the owners to the point of realizing that they need to make a contingency plan for if our clients can't pay us for "several months."

So, while I'm not sitting in a cubicle at the Electric Company, I am responsible for the workings of one small company. And, we do work for several Fortune 500 companies, so we are part of their "supply chain." Does this fit into what you were looking for?

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), January 22, 1999.

MAP: The stated purpose of this site (by Ed Yourdon) is NOT to serve as a Y2K technical information dissemination site but rather to address the social implications and consequences on a broader scale. As such, it requires expertise not simply from 'geeks' but also from a broad array of individuals and fields. In short, the Y2K problem is no longer simply 'a technical problem', especially for those of us who understand that no all 'mission-critical' remediation will be finished in time.

But since you have asked, let me answer your question directly. Yes, I am a software professional with 20 years experience and yes, I am directly involved with the Y2K efforts at my company.

Beond stating that much, my hands are tied. The confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement I signed when I was hired strictly prohibits my discussing details of those efforts publically without prior approval of company management -- and that is not likely to happen anytime soon.

-- Arnie Rimmer (arnie_rimmer@usa.net), January 22, 1999.

Y2K is a technical problem that became a management problem. Management has more issues to deal with then just remediation. Contingency Planning is a major management issue where I work. I am getting "my hands dirty" bringing awareness to our employees and helping them to prepare personally. This supports remediation too.

If the "remediators" aren't personally prepared themselves. Then I don't expect them to be available after Jan 1 2000 to continue their remediation for the organization.

-- Tim Cary (semp1790@aol.com), January 22, 1999.

My point is that I am trying to find out, as I said in the first part, how much people, making posts at this site, really know (about Y2k) and how much they think they know.

-- MAP (M@M.com), January 22, 1999.

I am a project manager evaluating approaches for conversion and testing and QAing documentation. I also am providing support in the integration test area and preparing contingency plans. You'll find that many on this forum have opinions about Y2K but have probably never seen a Y2K failure. My company just completed testing of the critical systems.

Troll Maria

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), January 22, 1999.

MAP: you go first.


-- jhollander (hollander@ij.net), January 22, 1999.

I'm a Y2K PM also for a large firm. We've recently completed our testing and are very close to publishing the results. Our vendors tell us they're ready too (for the most part). We have a few hundred vendors across the country that we deal with. We also supply mortage servicing software to 200 (give or take 10-15) mortage companies across the nation. We're very excited about the future down here!


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 22, 1999.

Not currently programming does NOT preclude knowledge of the subject.

My point is that I am trying to find out, as I said in the first part, how much people, making posts at this site, really know (about Y2k) and how much they think they know.

-- MAP

Some of us, by virtue of our contacts day-to-day have information which is a synthesis of those contacts. I carry consultants around all night. I ask questions, when apropriate. I listen VERY HARD when the subject comes up between managing partners of Firms.

If your point is that only folks who are reading code and rewriting it have a perspective on the problem, I would submit to you that the typical codehead has a VERY NARROW view of the problem, and, may, like we have seen recently, be happy to generalize for the world from their own success or failure.

If, however, what you are trying to do is gather specific responses from our codeheads about where they and their companies are in the process of remediation, including their take on the needs for remediation, (and their industry) so that YOU can do the synthesis and develop a better picture, cool. Though, I'd have asked the question a WHOLE lot differently. And, yes, I understand the frustration with opinions, as they are like fundamental orifices, and we've all got at least one.

I would also suggest that we aren't going to see a lot of responses from codeheads as they are gettin' a bit burnt 'round the edges.

chuck, a night driver

ps here's an extra r and f in case you need it for my spelling

-- Chuck, night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 22, 1999.

I am a software engineer (now a consultant) and part of my work is implementing a new y2k compliant architecture for a complex government system.

-- a (a@a.a), January 22, 1999.


Injuste!! You've played doctor before!!

Maria: Some of us turned out Y2K compliant systems in 1982! (JCIS Cuy Cty Juv. Ct. Phase II, III, IV)


-- Chuck, night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 22, 1999.

One of the reasons I raise the question is to try and see who has a hidden agenda that is using Y2k as a means to support or further that agenda. I strongly suspect that there are alot of people out there that fall into this category (by the way I believe this falls into the realm of a social issue). And yes, I too am *getting my hands dirty* with Y2k. I am aware of the real and potential (from the technical side) problems as well as the managerial issues. And from the area involving concerns for my family, freinds, neighbors, colleagues and employees I would not want them steered by people, with these hidden agendas, hiding behide Y2k. Preparation is fine and good, creating panic and pursuing hidden agendas is counter productive and potentially harmfull. I have had numerous persons (supposed experts) try and advise me on Y2k, if I was not as sceptical as I am they would have had me spending excess amounts of money and time chasing ghost stories.

-- MAP (M@M.com), January 22, 1999.

I have been out of IT for almost 5 years after 25 in the biz. I start back in 3 weeks on a Y2k project (couldn't resist the bait). Does that answer your question?

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (vtoc@aol.com), January 22, 1999.

Deano, dang guy. Now I know where you work. :)

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (vtoc@aol.com), January 22, 1999.

Whew, MAP! I thought YOU might be one of those with a "hidden agenda." I think you were right to be skeptical, however, I disagree that someone has to be actively working on a major y2k remediation project to be knowledgeable on the subject. I'm a lawyer and my industry has been tracking this problem for at least a year and a half now. FYI, I am not one of the lawyers planning on suing everybody come this time next year; I'm more concerned with the possibility of my clients' money evaporating from my trust fund, which means my derriere on two fronts: malpractice and Bar investigation. Not a nice scenario! Add to that my practice's computers going kaput (already know the laptop is a goner), my status with the IRS in jeopardy if THEIR computers are goofed up, my corporation's state status in questions if THEIR computers are goofed up, and I'd say I'm very involved in the issue from the contingency planning phase to making sure MY computers are current. Most importantly, my living is dependent on the courts' having their computers compliant, which is a crap shoot. And, finally, being married to an egghead now in management sorta seals my fate as a very concerned individual. Are my hands dirty? I think so.


BTW, this forum is supposed to be informative to everyone who happens to stop by, not just eggheads working on y2k. I'm as skeptical as you are about the stories running around here, but I'm just as happy to hear from a FEMA rep on their preparations as I am to hear from you regarding your company's compliancy.

-- jhollander (hollander@ij.net), January 22, 1999.

I am the programmer/analyst/MIS director for a $50 million manufacturing company (not tiny, not huge). We have about 40 users. With the help of two consultants, we started implementing a new ERP system in September 1997, as our old system is not at all 2000 compliant. Part of our business has been running on it for almost a year now. Hopefully we'll get the rest of it (about 30% of the whole replacement project) done before the end of September. I'm not looking forward to it. I can't imagine trying to remediate our old system. It's programs are all written in a dialect of COBOL called "Dibol" (thanks, DEC) and all data is stored in ISAM files (mmm fun). Even if we had another programmer and started earlier, I don't see how it could have been done in time, let alone real testing. There's a whole bunch of companies our size (and a lot bigger) who are in pitiful shape. I don't think there's enough good programmers to do it. Most of the recent CS and CIS college grads I have met in the past few years don't have a clue about real business programming concepts. They should have gone into business management. As a note, I'm not exactly an old-timer, although I have a good understanding of the way things are done on big iron (I come from a long line of IT men :) I've been programming in the real world since 1983. We're barely going to get away with starting our system replacement back in 1997.

I recently bought a wood-burning cook stove, a kerosene heater, loads o' Ramen noodles, gotta sacrifice a few of my old elms this spring...

Like Cory H., I don't know what's gonna happen...but I see a *distinct* possibility that it could get *really* bad. Thankfully I already live in a rural area (I grew up in a city with > 1,000,000 population).

Listen to Paul Milne. It will help keep you sober.

-- Delete (del@dos.com), January 22, 1999.


If you're concerned about some of us having hidden agendas, then you should actually read Ed Yourdon's book "Time Bomb 2000" to put your mind a bit more at ease. Ed's book has no financial, social, or religious agenda to it. This forum has a wide varity of individuals on it with their own backgrounds, just as you would see various agendas when watching news on TV.

We can't cause panic. There aren't enough of us to do that, and there never will be that many of us until the public hears of major system failures or hears of remediation deadlines being missed in critical areas, such as nuclear power plants or their local water utility. This regrettable situation of panic and bank runs would not even be a question if the government had finished by its September 30, 1998 deadline and business by the December 30, 1998 deadline. I have no experience and no background in Y2K assessment, remediation or testing. To educate myself, I look for sources of credible news who have no reason to over- or under-emphasize the seriousness of Y2K. When I discuss Y2K, I provide a link to my sources, such as this one about the Coast Guard...


What's *your* agenda? If you want to continue "monitoring this site" then go ahead. Don't bother "trolling" us though if the problem is that you aren't willing to take Y2K as seriously as, for example, the National Guard...


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 22, 1999.


I have an extensive background in disaster instigation, and let me tell you, I am proud of what my children have wrought.

Ye art all mightily screwed

-- GOD (heaven@help.you), January 22, 1999.

I must admit some of the answers in these posts crack me up (PMPFL). If y2k gives us anything it will be some the funniest come-backs I have ever seen!!! Thanks God...

-- Tman (Tman@LOL.com), January 23, 1999.

21 years mainframe IT - was trying to get out of the business but now, yet again, lured back for a y2k contract with a major US airline.

Am secretly hoping y2k will be 9 so that I can get out of the business (just kidding), unfortunately, if it's a medium scale screw- up I'll have years of work to come...

Andy the doombrooder :)

"We're doomed I tell ye, doomed!"

Private Frazer, Dad's Army, Walmington-On-Sea Home Guard, 1939 (Undertaker)

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 23, 1999.

MVI - You do? Actually, if you're in the industry it really shouldn't be that hard to figure out. A large corp in Little Rock bought us aound 4-5 years ago. We were under a different name (CPI) for 25 years.

Hope you're doing OK.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 25, 1999.

Yes, Deano. You got a stadium named after you now. :)

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (vtoc@aol.com), January 25, 1999.

Yeah we do. Only cost us 6 million to tag that stadium for a whole 10 years! Now I know where my profit sharing went! BTW - we annouced our Y2K readiness yesterday. Pretty exciting news down here. We were even on schedule the whole time (actually ahead of schedule in some areas).


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 26, 1999.

Deano, hats off to you and congrats. I know for a fact that CPI started assessing/sizing the Y2K effort somewhere around 1991/1992.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (vtoc@aol.com), January 26, 1999.

Thanks Man! Really appreciate that. We (actually) started this thing late 1993 with a goal of Y2K readiness by 12/31/1998......and we made it - to the best of our knowledge :-). BTW - CPI was MUCH better in the old days. I started here in 1986 when there were only 200+ employees. Good ol' boy logic and lots of cash flowing, it was GREAT! Now that we're a Fortune 500 company with 1200+ employees, wellllll......things are a little different nowadays. Nice place to earn a paycheck, but NOTHING like the good ol' days by any means. Thanks again MVI!


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), January 26, 1999.

Am Y2K project coordinator for organization with 1000+ employees. Working on known issues but company has neither staff nor COMMITMENT to test everything. Have been instructed "if the vendor says it is compliant, then we're compliant - testing would be a waste of money." That is a quote from our technology manager.

Consider this - I have in hand software Y2K compliance statements for at least 2 DOS based products. Yes IBM has a compliant DOS 2000 version but neither of these statements indicate that the DOS 2000 is pre-requisite for their product to be compliant. So I conclude we can have compliant products running on non compliant operating systems. Since I've been directed not to test 'compliant' products, January could prove interesting.

Life is grand folks, but I just might have a couple days worth of supplies stashed, just in case.

-- Postedunder Realbefore (cantsay@thistime.com), January 29, 1999.

Curious how so many of the 'experts' hide behind false names and worthless email addresses. Use caution in accepting any claim made across the internet. I do know that several 'experts' from other forums have been exposed as frauds. Flames don't bother me, and my email address is valid, my name is my real name. And I don't have any problem about giving details of where I went to school, etc - have done so many times. Crap, I'll email you my resume if you want the silly thing. How many are willing to do that?

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), February 23, 1999.

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