HOW THE GEEKS ENGINEERED Y2K, by Donald Kaul : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

"There are a number of minor developments that went virtually unnoticed during the recent deconstruction of the president's libido. For example: The world is coming to an end. Not only do we know the end is coming, we know the exact date it will arrive: Jan.1, 2000, a nanosecond after midnight. That is the moment after midnight at which all computers in the world (allowing for differences in time zones, of course)will crash, taking life as we know it with it. Your life savings will disappear; planes will crash, cities, plunged into darkness, will clot with traffic; elevators will halt between floors; nuclear missles will fire unbidden; hospitals will be, for all intents and purposes, shut down; and your ATM card won't work"..........and then Mr. Kaul goes on to blame the "computer mavens" who set the system up and of course the rest can only be described as a joke at the expense of the programmers. What Mr. Kaul didn't realize was that my husband and I were in the process of finally convincing his family that it was prudent to get a few things prepared and his light hearted article plunged us back to "square one." My email to Mr. Kaul: I would like to comment on your column of Sunday, February 21, 1999.(How the geeks engineered Y2K)Your satire has always interested and amused me and I look forward to reading it. However, I suggest that this column begs for a deeper understanding on your part of the reality of the possible consequences and risks associated with the Year 2000 issue. Please become aware of the facts regarding the slow, and in many cases, inadequate resources put towards solving this serious dilemma. Federal, state, and local governments, industry and yes, even the Fortune 500, have not been as prompt as one might think in initiating solutions to y2k. The Red Cross and FEMA have now issued preparedness plans even as government and media continue to say "not to worry, things are under control." I've only spent seven months gathering information from the Internet and although I don't represent that minority that awaits Armageddon, neither do I represent those that see this as a "bump in the road." It has been the lack of leadership of government and factual media reporting that have contributed to much of the reaction around the US. People are scared and are trying to prepare themselves, their families, their neighbors, and their communities for what they see as possible loss of infrastructure and government services. Your satire "pokes fun" at our concerns, assigns blame where it doesn't belong, and gives those who are ill-informed only more reason not to be concerned. Perhaps you could do some fact finding on the subject. The only commendable media response to date has been an article in the January issue of Vanity Fair Magazine. Finally, I would hope that those in the media and the government would not repeat the same mistake (underestimating the knowledge and wisdom of the American People)as with the impeachment crisis and cease worrying about causing panic by disclosing the truth. Where are our statesmen, our FDR's, our Woodward, and Bersteins? Much needs to be reported and learned and time is of the essence. I'm a newbie, sorry about the long post, wish I could cut and paste etc. but this one is for you all, thank you for all your time, information and inspiration! Carol Dufrene

-- Carol Dufrene (, February 22, 1999


Well done :-) !!!

-- (, February 22, 1999.

seconded! ya done good Carol!


-- Arlin H. Adams (, February 22, 1999.

Thanks Carol!!!

-- Andy (, February 22, 1999.

Hi Carol. Would you please share this turkey's e-mail address with us? <:)=

-- Sysman (, February 22, 1999.

Carol -- a wonderful presentation.

Wish I'd said that!

-- Tom Carey (, February 23, 1999.

There are many reasons why I am glad you are my sister and this is definitely one of them. Thanks for helping me through Y2K and putting me in touch with this forum. Bless you all!

-- Marcy Waltos (, February 23, 1999.

Carol -

Well done! One small nit: use double carriage-returns between paragraphs when posting here. Single s get removed and you can se the result: one big ol' paragraph.

Was this piece by Mr. Kaul in the local Lake Charles paper or in something with a larger subscriber base? Be interesting to see if other folks write in about it.

-- Mac (, February 23, 1999.

Mac, thanks for the tip on the posting.

Donald Kaul writes for Tribune Media Services Inc. out of Chicago, Ill. His email address is

The column appeared in our local paper.

-- Carol Dufrene (, February 23, 1999.

Actually, my friend's grandpa is the cause of all this mess. So as I don't embarass him, I post his name here. But he was one of those elite scientists working on the very first computers, and he originated the "shaving" of the first two digits. What a small world it is...and to think I only found this out recently, and yes, I DID take the time to verify it. Just thought I would share that interesting tidbit.

-- Natasha (, September 02, 1999.

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