are things getting better : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Help!! I have been reading alot about Y2K. The media tell us that things are getting better. My inlaws rely on me for the information. Should I continue to tell them to prepare or tell them the worry is over? Help I do not want to be an alarmest. Thank you for your insight.

-- chery phippen (, February 01, 1999


Chery, the media *are* saying things are getting better, and it is true that ppl are working on the code.

Do not worry. But, PREPARE for self-sufficiency, because it looks likely that your life will depend on your preparations. Worry does not help. Research, read the threads on this Forum, and get busy being practical.

Don't be an alarmist. Be a responsible citizen who diligently follows the advice of the Red Cross, FEMA, etc, and prepares calmly, sensibly, NOW, for at least a month of self-reliant provisions. Keep up-to-date by reading this Forum and checking the articles twice a day at:
while realizing that articles are written with spin in mind and are usually not accurate.

Be ready to hit your "Refresh/Reload" button frequently. ;-)

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (, February 01, 1999.

Y2K OUGHT to be trickle-down contingency preparation. All the big guys (government services, utilities, banking, etc.) OUGHT to be twiddling their thumbs, having done all they could think of (with still no guarantee ahead of the event). What are we stuck with? Forced to prepare ahead of the fact because the big guys think it is morally justifiable to take us down to the wire. And we know a great deal won't be done in time. Maybe Andy will repeat (or provide a link) to his fault tolerance expose. It's up to you and your family how much risk you want to take, but the worry will never be over. Even if there is no calamity at the stroke of midnight New Year's Eve, you better prepare for a collapse of international shipments, including oil and most manufactured goods and parts, and for anything (like coal or food) delivered by rail.

-- Brooks (, February 01, 1999.

Things are not going well if you compare the statements of one year ago to today. A lot of organizations promised to be done by 12/31/98 and leave all of 99 for testing. Guess what - didn't happen. If you listen carefully (FEMA, Red Cross, National Guard), you can hear the turbines of national preparation for disaster spooling up. A great analogy is the Titanic. Warren Reid has written a very good article on the comparison of Y2K and that legendary ship.


-- RD. ->H (, February 01, 1999.

You know I went and attended the lecture of the gentleman with Christian Computing Magazine. I can't remember his name. Anyway he seemed to think y2k would be a bump in the road. So I asked why so many respected programmers didn't believe the same. Also I asked what he thought of the "residual failures" situation and he just didn't have an answer. He didn't seem to know much about programming metrics as well. I am not trying to hack on this gentleman for any reason because he is entitled to his opinion and I respect that. Next I emailed Ed Yourdon and asked Ed what he thought. Ed seems to think that things are not getting much better and if anything they are getting worse. If you look through some of the posts here on this forum you will find compelling evidence that this is true. Hasn't everyone noticed that as time goes on the information from the government and other sources gets a little scarier! Can we fix 40 years of code in 3 or 4 years? Can America survive with out many of our trading partners? Can the American banks work with the world's banks which wont be compliant? It took SSA 11 years to repair 30 million lines of code with 400+ programmers and some companies are running 400 million and up to 2 billion lines of code! Most started in 96 or 97 from what I am told, some sooner some later but the point is do you feel lucky! I can't say that I do because I have written many programs and the testing phase takes some time. And that is one thing we just don't have I could be wrong and I hope I am because I had big plans $$$ before y2k. Those plans like my self are now on holdTman

-- Tman (, February 01, 1999.

I've been wondering the same thing. After having informed myself as much as possible, here is what my personal main findings are: On Westergaard's web site,, a person seemingly quite knowledgeable about electric utility questions came up with what seems for him to be a prudent forcast for preparing for an eventual loss of electricity. He thought planning for a 72 hour breakdown would be prudent. He adds that he thinks that the breakdown would not last that long, but it would be prudent to plan for it. At the same time, he admits that 72 hours is an educated guess. He thinks that it might possibly be longer. My point is this: He knows a lot more than I do about the capacity of the electric system to keep functionning. If he doesn't know exactly, how can I? Who can know? No one can really know what will happen.

At the same time, I read another article that satisfied me. The author (I forget where it is) said that we are really conducting a huge experiment with the global system. We already know that the global system can keep on chugging along with an error rate of about (say) 1%. This is a representative figure. This comes from banking errors and such that we live with every day. We also know that at a certain point, the errors inter react in such a way that they amplify one another, and the system can suffer badly. What is the simultaneous error rate that the system can accept and keep working? 5%? 10%? There are differences of opinion on that. No one can know. What will the error rate be at near the end of this year? Again, no one knows. The big experiment being carried out is "How will the system react to the error rate generated by the Y2K problem?" For the answer, we have to wait for the events to work themselves out.

Having said this, I feel encouraged lately.

How can I know that it won't be so bad? I don't. All the same, if someone asked me if I thought my house was going to burn down, and I was going to loose everything in a fire one day, I wouldn't believe it. Suppose he found kerosene soaked rags that I had forgotten in the garage, and warned me that my house was going to burn to the ground. The dangerous rags would frighten me, and I would clean them up. I would anounce that the situation is now better. But all the same, I have fire insurance. The system seems to have a lot of dangerous rags stashed away in a lot of dark corners, and people are working to clean them up.

I hope this helps. All the best.

-- Russell Holmes (, February 01, 1999.

The big question... If the power companies can't fix the system in several years time, why should anyone believe that it can be fixed in 72 hours (during a failure)?

-- d (, February 01, 1999.

d -

they wont. the reality is that you're going to see a few power companies come through unscathed, in part through islanding (which pretty much insures that the rest of the net will go down, btw). The successfully remediated and islanded areas will then have to reach out to their neighbors and (slowly) help them to finish their remediation projects/get back up on the grid. Given that there isn't too much collateral damage to the infrastructure in the meantime, recovery will be possible, but NOT in 72 hours.


-- Arlin H. Adams (, February 01, 1999.

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