Research Project on Affects of Y2K, any quotes/info appreciated : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hi people, I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!! This time though I request help on something a bit more important than the last time. One of the requirements of my eight grade year is that I have to write a report on a science-related topic. I chose to do it on Y2K and how it will affect different jobs. I figured that I could get alot of information about it from this site. It would really be helpful for people who work on computers(though it's obvious it will affect them), people who work on any science related job, or any job other than that will be fine. I'm interested on how it will affect everything from the military and government to that guy who works at the McDonalds down the street, from docters and vets to programmers and engineers. Since I have to have at least three different forms of information (Ex: encyclopidia, book, and internet) if any of you who know of any other sources it would be greatly appreciated.

Please note that any thing you say might be used for a quote and you will be noted by your online name.

-- Jean Cook (, February 04, 1999


This would be a great topic for next year!

-- Sysman (, February 04, 1999.

Yes, it would be a better topic next year, but next year we might not even have computers. My report is on how it WILL affect different jobs. WILL as in predictions (try to make them believable, no they will turn into the Terminater and destroy us all please). They will affect every job on the planet if even in minute ways. PLEEEEEEEEASE help me. Based on past messages, I've predicted that you probobly know the most likely way that Y2K will affect you, so all I ask is that you share that information. If you happen to know how it will affect other jobs or organizations (military{how many infared missels will be rendered useless}, government, school, I would GREATLY enjoy that information.

-- Jean Cook (, February 04, 1999.

Good Luck on your paper. Since you are a student some information on the Education sector might get your teacher's attention. You might visit and gather information from the following websites:

National Association of School Administrators Y2K

U.S. Dept. of Education Y2K

Sorry, I don't have any predictions of my own to offer up for quoting.

-- Other Lisa (, February 04, 1999.

Hello Jean. I'm a graphic designer and I'm very worried about Y2K. I earn my money by designing all sorts of things on the computer. Although Macs are supposed to be Y2K complient already, I'm still concerned. We have an NT system that runs several networked printers and I'm positive that it isn't ready for 1/1/2000. Our phone system is made by Lucent, who along with AT&T, is being sued for selling non- complient phone systems. So, in house, we have a lot of potential problems.

The largest problem facing my industry is probably the flow of business. Clients and potential clients are going to have a lot more important things to worry about than a tightly designed color newsletter. The beginning of this year has already been much slower than in the past. I'm very worried.

Of course, my particular employer will have a more serious problem. The only person who knows how to operate the computers (me) will be several hundred miles away. If there is any indication of serious problems, there is no way that I'm going to be in a metropolitan area.

-- d (, February 05, 1999.

Precise and accurate predictions are really not possible at this point and while they may make for entertaining headlines (or reports), they do not really do much to help us reduce the overall risk. I usually shy away from any predicting with regard to Y2K but in the interest of promoting responsible community and individual preparedness, let me stick my neck out a bit and predict the following:

That's about as far as my predictions go at this point. -

-- Arnie Rimmer (, February 05, 1999.


(3 sources) Internet forum, Quotes from Yourdon's book, quotes from the paper..., your one stop report shop.

-- d (, February 05, 1999.

Thanks for the help. If at all possible, please remember that I have to write this for people who think the whole thing a joke. Also that these people probobly have never heard about technocal computer junk, so since you are the professionals, give definitions of anything you wouldn't know before highschool. Act as if I'm a person who has never touched a keyboard in their life. Thanks

-- Jean Cook (, February 05, 1999.

I just thought of something. Outline time. Please just tell what your job title is (engineer, grease cooker) what it is that you do, and how Y2K will affect you. The more details the better.

-- Jean Cook (, February 05, 1999.

Hygene (bet you never got that one before-NOT)

As you know I do contracting work for homeowners. When Y2K hits, many many folks will lose their jobs, even in a 'good case' scenario. Anyone who is in the service industry (Me, nail salons, hair stylists, florists, child care, laundry service, etc.) is going to be hit hard. We depend on other folks having "disposable income". When that income dries up, so do our bidnesses.

Frankly my dear, I suspect I'm screwed.

OTOH, I know how to do many useful things to make a living, but I don't think they will be paying what they used to pay.

-- Uncle Deedah (, February 05, 1999.

Hi Jean,

I'm a guy who is a disabled veteran, and the lady I will probably be marrying sometime this summer, works for a company that does projects for the federal government. I'm concerned about the future for both of us.

In my case, the part of the federal government that actually pays part of my pension (it comes from two different places) is probably not going to get things fixed in time.

In the case of my lady friend, the government is spending a whole lot of money this year to fix y2k problems and will spend a whole lot more next year. But that means that they DON'T have that money to spend on other things. If they don't spend that money on new contracts, then the company that my lady friend works for will have to start cutting back on the number of people on their payroll. Which means that she will have to find another job. But there are going to also be a lot of other people trying to find jobs, which means that could be a very difficult thing for her to do.

God Bless you! Arlin Adams

-- Arlin H. Adams (, February 05, 1999.

The Y2KNewswire guy has been talking about that in his last few issues. And who's the guy on Westergaards site that writes that "Y2K on the job" column?

-- ^ (03486520@sdsa.sgf), February 05, 1999.

Welcome back, precocious student.

Try this: I'm an engineer, work as a consultant. Main effort is with a major defense contractor. I'm paid the old fashioned way.....hand written checks, so my consulting firm won't be too much of a problem as far as payroll. The company I consult to is locally in good shape. Their local networks and desk tops have been remediated ----- hundreds of non-compliant machines sat in the hallway before being carted off to the dump. No one was allowed to beg, borrow or steal them. Scrap only.

As a major company, it can be susceptible to all of the big problems, including breakdown in payroll, accounting, etc.

It also manufactures stuff, assembling components (black boxes) into radar systems. If the black box supplier can't provide, this company can't build radar. No radar, no pay for the people. [My job would be one of the first to go.] So, that company is dependent on hundreds, if not thousands of suppliers. (Care to bet that they all are able to continue?)

Of course, we have the usual dependencies on power. High powered radar transmitters draw a lot of power. Each transmitter can use more than 10 million watts peak, of prime power, and we're always testing.

If power availability is marginal, will the company be told to stop running the radars they're trying to test, so that power can be made available somewhere else? That could happen. If so, they don't sell those radar systems, and again, people may lose their jobs.

Just a few thoughts for your assignment. By the way, Jean, I am not optimistic about the outcome of all of this. I expect I'll be spending a quiet New Year's eve elsewhere.

-- De (, February 05, 1999.

Jean, I am a teacher. Next year you will not have to do a report. Assignment cancelled.

-- Mortimer (, February 05, 1999.


I applaud you for choosing Y2k for your class assignment. It makes me feel good to know that there are young people out there that are thoughtful and wise enough to concentrate on matters besides what the teen magazines thinks are important to people your age.

So, since I'm willing to contribute to your homework, I'll tell you about my business and some of the things that have me concerned about its future.

I'm in the promotional advertising business and we sell products to businesses with their company logo and advertising message on them. I'm sure you have seen some of the items we sell, pens, calendars, coffee cups, t-shirts, caps, on and on. Infact we represent over 3500 manufactures with over 3 million different products that are made all over the world. Some of these factories have as few as 5 employees all the way up to large manufacturers such as Bic, who have very large factories and 1000's of employees. Most of these factories are robot and machine run and use computer systems to produce their product, control inventory and order processing, and of course all of their accounting. The majority of these businesses are considered small businesse and are the furtherest behind in Y2k remediation. They also are very dependent upon other resources in order to make their products, chemical plants, petroleum plants and transportation of those raw materials to their factories. Last but not least, they are big users of electricity and as an earlier poster pointed out, if we have a problem with the electric grid, these users will be last in line to receive power. Power will be diverted first to health & safety users, and then to homes, and then to manufacturers who make very important products that we rely on for basic needs, such as food production and distribution.

I hope this helps with your assignment. I have one small word of advice if you don't mind. Most of the students and your teacher will probably not take this seriously, because they have no background or understanding of the systemic computer problem. So start your paper with an analogy of how large the problem is. My favorite is comparing the remediation process with the Grand Canyon full of marbles, and how long would it take you to polish them all. That's not exactly the way it goes, but maybe someone else will have a better suggestion on a better analogy for you.

-- Cary Mc from Tx (, February 05, 1999.

Hi Jean! You already know I'm a teacher. I disagree with Mortimer, because you WILL have school work next year. I know your mom and dad are not going to let you "off the hook" that easily. (By the way, it's eighth grade- not eight grade, but you probably just missed the "h" because you type like your dad, right?? Just "razzing" you!) :-)

I've talked about this before, but maybe it's something the other kids in your class can understand, so I'll mention it again. Right now we are getting almost 60% of our oil from other countries. The one thing that all of the Y2K experts agree on, is that the US is WAY ahead of most other countries in getting our Y2K problems fixed. It may be difficult for a while for us to get a lot of that oil. Eventually, if we still have electricity, we'll gear up more production here, etc., but in the meantime, we will have shortages of gasoline. The gasoline that we CAN buy will be very expensive.

Guess how many people depend on gasoline (fuel) for their jobs? A LOT!! Start with the truck drivers who haul food and other goods all across the country. Not only will many of them be out of a job, but when there are less goods and food, you won't need as many workers in the stores. The food and goods will now cost a lot more (have you studied about supply and demand yet?) so there is less money for people to spend on "fun" things. If you don't have any extra money, you don't eat out much. You stop going to the movies, etc. Guess what happens to the jobs of the people who work in the restaurants, movie theaters, etc.?

Less fuel also means less airline flights. The cost of the fuel has gone up, so the price of the tickets has gone up. Not many people can afford to fly anymore. So guess what happens? You don't need as many pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers, people who make reservations, etc.

See where I'm going with all of this? This is what we call the "domino effect" or even the "trickle down" effect. If you use this example with your classmates, maybe you could get them to thinking about other jobs that would suffer from a loss of fuel. How about bus companies, or UPS and Federal Express? Guess how many companies in the US depend on Fed-Ex every day? (Your dad can probably tell you what happened not that long ago when there was a strike.)

As I said before, eventually we would begin producing more oil here in the US, but that takes time to get everything running again. The oil prices are so low right now, that many here have shut down. We will also eventually find ways to get the oil from the other countries again, but until then, many jobs will be affected. Good luck on your report!

-- Gayla Dunbar (, February 05, 1999.

Hi, Jean;

I'm a driver. Yep, I drive a fairly large car (but not a Limo) for a company which is a service company (we provide a service). The service we provide is quick, safe, comfortable transportation. We take people from company offices to and from the Airport, home, or wherever they want to go, including places like Pittsburgh, Collumbus, Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo, and Louisville.

How will Y2K affect my company and me? there are a couple of possibilities, depending on the severity of the disruptions. If the disruptions in this country are extreme, and our technological infrastructure (the technology foundation on which our country and American Society rests) is severely damaged or destroyed, my jog will vanish. I won't be able to get gas to drive, and my clients (almost exclusively consultants and business executives) won't be doing any traveling (no airplanes, trains, etc. and no real business done on a large scale). This particular possibility is fairly scary to me and my wife.

If the disruptions are NOT very extreme, but very noticeable (Note: Robert, pick another word for noticeable somewhere between Pollyanna and Info, please?) then I expect that my job will get better, as my consultants will be in much more demand trying to straighten out the data for the companies who remain in business.

If Y2K is "just a bump in the road" then I would expect that my job will not change all that much.

When you are done with the paper, do post it. I'm sure we would all like to see what you come up with. i can't guarantee there won't be at least on person who tries to flame it to ashes, but I'm sure I want to see it. (someone here will have ot come up with a fire- retardant posting method!! LOL)

And GOOD LUCK on the class/teacher response.

Chuck, a Night Driver in Cleveland

PS Find any misspellings like some of teh above, you can fix 'em for me if you would? Always being conceited enough to assume there was something worth quoting in the above ramblings ;-)

-- Chuck, night driver (, February 05, 1999.

Just wondering where Jean goes to school. Seems to be more intelligent and thoughtful than most 8th graders I come across!!!!!!

-- Lilla (, February 05, 1999.

Lilla, I would say the credit for her intelligence goes more to her parents than to her school. The Cooks live in Georgia, not too far from Atlanta. Jean has been around for a long time, and she really is a student.

-- Gayla Dunbar (, February 05, 1999.

Hi Jean: You wrote: "please remember that I have to write this for people who think the whole thing a joke."

I have recently completed putting together a list of Y2K failures in response to people that do not yet take it seriously. You may find that you can use some of the information in it for you project. It is posted on the thread called "List of Y2K failures - here is proof". Look for it under Recent Answers or you can copy/paste the url below: Good Luck, Rob.

p.s. I have been a computer professional (programmer/analyst/project manager) for over twenty years, and am also a husband and father too.

-- Rob Michaels (, February 05, 1999.

Hi Jean,

One effect that Y2K may help to bring about, is a change in the way that electrical power is generated and distributed to individual homes.

People who investigate the Y2K problem soon come to understand that electrical power is one of the, "ropes that hold the hammock up", as your dad puts it, and I think that if the electrical power grid, or big enough parts of it, stop working, the results will motivate everyone to hasten a trend that is already starting, entirely independently of Y2K.

There has been some talk on the internet about deregulation in the electric power industry, but not a lot. Deregulation means that people would be allowed to decide for themselves who to buy their electricity from instead of there only being one choice.

If I remember what I've read correctly, deregulation is already a fact in California and the power companies are finding out that the profit in power generation and distribution is to industry, not to residential customers. I believe that I read that at least one company withdrew from the competition for consumers' electricity business in California.

The advent of fuel cell technology which allows on site generation for residential customers is a fact, and is in the final testing process right now. These fuel cells are "home-sized" power stations that everyone would have outside their house. They eliminate the need to connect to a power company but do require fuel (propane or natural gas is what is planned). I think it likely that we will see a future electrical grid that mostly supplies industry or maybe the elimination of a grid altogether as industry begins to use larger fuel cells at each location where electricity is used.

I think the reason for this to happen will be a common one in our society--the desire to make as much money as possible. I think that Y2K, however it turns out, will push us in the same direction if enough people remember how frightened they were that the power might be lost or worse, that they remember when it was lost.

-- Hardliner (, February 05, 1999.

Hi, Jean,

Good for you, I'll bet no one else in your class even considered this as a project!

In my job, I have to learn how to use a new computer system to run the sleep studies that we do in the sleep lab. Our current computers are not Y2K compatible, and like all hospital records, the date must be correct for legal liability reasons. So we decided to replace the system that we have and the new system uses different commands, even though it does much the same work.

Ofcourse, if there is a major effect on our economy, our lab's funding is threatened, and I may not have a job at all :-? Since I'm finding it harder and harder to work nights, I'm not sure if that makes me glad or sad.

My husband works for a telecommunications company and has spent most of his last year working on assessing, replacing and testing equipment for Y2K. His regular work is piling up, but since his regular work includes looking at new equipment available and testing it, at least some of what he's done *is* regular work.

Hope this helps with your A+

-- Tricia the Canuck (, February 06, 1999.

Dear Jean,

My soul embraces yours. To keep it from harm.

I used to be the primary operator for a transportation department district office. As such I loaded and maintained software, hardware, the LAN, etc.

Combine this with the fact that I've lived the worst case TEOTWAWKI, I would strongly suggest that you and your family and friends prepare for the worst.

If nothing happens: Hurray! You can eat your insurance premiums. Rotate!

Switzerland has required all of its citizens to store lots of food, etc., for many, many years. They learned from history; something we don't to want to do. We're brainwashed!

-- Not Again! (, February 06, 1999.

Hi Jean,

Please let us know what kind of grade you receive on this project and good luck!

-- Other Lisa (, February 07, 1999.

Jean reports all the above answers will help - but the whole report isn't due until the middle of March, so she hasn't really started writing it yet. "I just wanted to get started now, cause Tom (big brother) always waits until the last minute."

You guys want to see the draft, or final version? None at all? Tom's reaction?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, February 08, 1999.

Robert, the reason I opened this thread was to ask Jean if she'd both print her final report and her grade. So I guess you have my vote.

PS, up pretty late tonight, eh?

-- Tricia the Canuck (, February 08, 1999.


Yes to 3 out of 4. Pick the three that make sense.

this is a typically worded SAT question and the correct answer LOL!!


-- Chuck, night driver (, February 08, 1999.

Jean wanted me to bring this back up to the top "in case there were some new answers." - so here it is. (She's still writing; hence, no grade yet.)

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, February 16, 1999.

Hi guys. Thanks for all the neat info. I'll probobly use the Grand Canyon anology unless someone can figure out a better one (uh oh compitition time) I would have thanked you earlier but I couldln't get to my Dad's work. But anyway, I kept reading them through out the time. Thanks a bunch. I've got a lot of ways to get info thanks to you guys. Don't be afraid to give some more facts. In the words of a friend, "Tomatoes, onions, lettuce get some info" (Kate McKenney annoying amount of time today) {parinthetical documentation the most annoying thing besides Kate}

-- Jean Cook (, February 20, 1999.

Kate reaction to last comment: I'm going to erase that. You did what? You didn't. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! All those people know about this. I'm not that annoying. I'm not that annoying. I'm not even annoying period.

My reaction to Kate: She's not that annoying, folks, she's not that annoying. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA> NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!

-- Jean Cook/Kate McKenney (, February 20, 1999.

Hello Jean: Good luck on your paper. I'd be interested to read an eighth grader's view of the problem. I hope you'll share your finished report with us. Here's another analogy your teacher might relate to: challenger_thermodynamics.html

-- PNG (, February 20, 1999.

Sorry...isn't it amazing how software doesn't work if you make one tiny little mistake??

-- PNG (, February 20, 1999.

Ooops, I made another mistake trying to fix the first mistake. Sometimes these mistakes go on and on... challenger_thermodynamics.html

-- PNG (, February 20, 1999.

Hey, Jean -

PNG just gave you another example for your paper. Experienced, very computer-literate person makes not one , but two mistakes: one in setup, the next in attempting to fix. Multiply this by millions of lines of code which have been "fixed" and will cost additional unplanned time and money to remediate. And some of those fixes will introduce their own problems...

And PNG, PLEASE don't take offense, as I mean none. I entertained the forum a few weeks ago with a whole slew of gaffes in attempting a simple hyperlink. Computers can be most humbling...

-- Mac (, February 20, 1999.

Shhhh...don't say it out loud...that was another of my frail attempts at humor and analogies...

-- PNG (, February 21, 1999.

To top.

Thanks again to all for the replies - she's at school now; I'll relay it to her at supper, then we'll come back here to work, let her answer directly - maybe 8:30 -9:00 EST.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, March 05, 1999.

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