what is the mainstream y2k view

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What is the current US thinking about y2k from the point of view of:

Joe Public

The expert geek (on the forum)


In the UK it is disappearing from the computer (and other) press presumably to prevent eventual panic, opinion will be swayed by the news of the many y2k projects being completed, which of course is to be expected

the problems will come from the 5-10% which will not be

-- dick of the dale (jcooney@figroup.co.uk), March 09, 1999


Dear Dick of the Dale: There's hundreds of threads in the archives on this BB, and newswires galore on the internet where you can get a feel for how Americans are handling Y2K. Basically there are some GIs (people who understand the ramifications and are preparing accordingly), and the DGIs (they don't understand the ramifications and aren't preparing at all). There's predictions, polls, etc., you'll just have to start digging to figure it all out.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 09, 1999.

Richard, er ah, Dick, lots going on here. You can't turn on the TV or read a paper without running into Y2K, especially now that the Senate has issued their report. Maybe Kevin can post some of his info links to bring you up to speed.

In a few isolated areas, like Portland Oregon, the government (local) and citizens are working together to prepare for the worst. Everywhere else, it's hard to find much consistency.

From the feds, we're being told to prepare for a 2-3 day hurricane while our local governments are quietly being told to prepare for 3 weeks without power (as a "worst case" scenario). The National Guard and FEMA continue to seriously prepare for possible emergency conditions all the while trying to keep everyone calm and uninformed in an attempt to stave off panic. John Q Public remains largely trusting of the "system", but there are signs that many folks are quietly preparing.

As far as where do we expect problems to occur, that opinion greatly varies here on the forum. Personally, I think that we have a few key vulnerabilities: (1) Utilities may largely complete their remediation, but will they be able to test properly and what impact will that have, (2) Y2K problems in other nations upon whom we rely on for oil and other critical imports could severely impact our economy, and (3) The vast number of businesses (small and large) who may or may not have time to finish Y2K coding, but definitely have no time to test remain a big question mark.

Hope that helps.

-- David (David@BankPacman.com), March 09, 1999.

Y2K? Oh, that computer thing, they're fixing it right?

-- Joe Public (joe@public.us), March 09, 1999.

I don't have a computer so y2k won't affect me.

-- John Q. Public (trailer@park.com), March 09, 1999.

There are many clever people who have manipulated Y2K to their advantage (mainly selling "preparedness" material) to the uneducated and nieve. These people in turn are the "True Believers of the Apocalypse". They will fiercly defend any effort, any fact, any theory that might suggest that the date change will not deploy armageddon. The impolite would call them fools.


-- Smart guy (educated@public.com), March 09, 1999.

that's ridiculous

-- sneerJQP (scoff@forget.it), March 09, 1999.

Hey 'Smart' guy... it's naive.

-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), March 09, 1999.


Spelling flames? That's a bit lame - then again I assume you're a "True Believer"


-- Smart guy (NWO@hotmail.com), March 09, 1999.

Bill Gates will fix it..

-- rooster (logcabin@loggie.com), March 09, 1999.

Smart Guy: I haven't purchased any Y2K books, I haven't purchased any dehydrated food, I haven't purchased any gold or silver, I clip coupons and take advantage of the best prices, haven't subscribed to any newsletters. I have purchased most of my Y2K gear at yard sales and if nothing happens, I will sell most of it at the flea market and I will make a profit. So that makes me one Smart Gal.

-- SmartGal (SmartGal@SA.com), March 09, 1999.

Smart Guy...smart fella...fart smeller.....

Why dio they all strike me the same? Waiting 4 U...like toast?

-- Charon (Thatplace@downbelow.com), March 09, 1999.

DWGI. We had a thread just yesterday about how many long time programmers hang out here. Last count looks like about 600 man-years total. Wonder how smart they are? <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 09, 1999.

SG -

1. Have heard the "uneducated and nieve" (sic) comment before, usually in the variant "poorly educated and easily lead" characterization of the followers of the so-called "Religious Right". I have a college degree to go with scars on my back, the latter being the result of publishing project schedules which are based on the assumption that experienced programmers actually know how to put together solid, useful, prudent estimates. I am neither uneducated nor nieve campbell, errr, naive.

2. These "True Believers of the Apocalypse": didn't they first appear in Fantastic Four #36? Or maybe New Gods #16? I get confused by comic book nomenclature. I know Orion was brought up by Darkseid on Apokolyps, but that's a different spelling, isn't it? Do they believe "IN" the Apocolypse, or are they merely "OF" it? Does their title have any hidden meaning, or does it just sound kinda cool and dramatic?

3. When they're fiercly (sic) defending those efforts, facts, and theories, don't they get confused? After all, they really should be ATTACKING anything that suggests that "the date change will deploy armageddon." And by the bye, having planned a few deployments to a few hundred client/server installations, I would really like to meet and swap war stories with the folks handling the "deployment of armageddon" (sic). Lotus Notes was tough enough; "armageddon" sounds like a real beast to install and test.

4. We are for the most part very polite around here. We will therefore refrain from any ad hominem comments about you.

One small suggestion: you might want to brush up on critical thinking and basic writing skills.

Sorry, all. Just got back from a meeting where the actuals for a "6 week project" came in at twice the estimated duration (i.e., 12 weeks!) and three times the estimated labor cost (*ka-ching*). This from experienced programmers and engineers providing estimates on work that they've done at least twice before! It wasn't Y2K work, but the lesson is the same...

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), March 09, 1999.

Hey, lame-o Mac

If you are going to engage in a spelling flame war, you might want to check yer own spellin' (Apocolypse)before hitting that Submit button. Otherwise you look like, well, a doorknob.

Oh and by the way, "4. We are for the most part very polite around here. We will therefore refrain from any ad hominem comments about you." I have read the attacks on the "Non Believers" on this board. I don't think I would use the word "polite" to describe the discourse.


-- Smart Guy (poor speller) (educated@public.com), March 09, 1999.

"We will therefore refrain from any ad hominem comments about you"

Who is we?

-- Moron Slayer (NWO@hotmail.com), March 09, 1999.

Sir Dick of the Dale,

Here's an article that the San Jose Mercury, which serves Silicon Valley, ran after the release of the Senate Report:



Posted at 6:21 p.m. PST Tuesday, March 2, 1999

Y2K may spark unrest, economic pain -US Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The year 2000 computer bug may set off civil unrest in poor countries, undermine economic growth in Asia, Latin America and Africa, and disrupt global trade in oil and other commodities, a Senate panel said Tuesday.

While there was a low probability of an accidental nuclear weapons launch, the committee said missile systems and other high-tech weapons in other countries could malfunction. The Senate was also warned that terrorists might strike against U.S. targets next Jan. 1 to take advantage of weakened security.

``I have a nightmare of CNN cameras in villages or cities where there is no power, no telecommunications, the banking system is broken down, widespread rioting,'' said Utah Republican Sen. Robert Bennett, chairman of the Senate's Special Committee on the computer problem.


For the United States, Y2K disruptions should be manageable, the Senate panel concluded.

``The committee has no data to suggest that the United States will experience nationwide social or economic collapse, but the committee believes that some disruptions will occur, and that in some cases Y2K disruptions may be significant.''

Bennett said the U.S. military might experience some minor computer glitches, ``but its mission-critical, war-fighting capability will not be compromised.'' U.S. intelligence services would also be ready in time.

The U.S. health care industry may be the least prepared, according to the panel, which said the nation's Medicare system was in ``serious trouble''.

The committee complained that U.S. airports started preparations too late, and warned that shipments of goods by sea could be disrupted because the maritime industry was running behind. But it said a prolonged nationwide blackout was unlikely, although local and regional outages were possible.

In case vital services were temporarily cut off, the committee said Americans should stock up on bottled water, canned goods and other essentials, as they might to prepare for a winter storm lasting two to three days. People should also keep copies of their financial records in case banks run into unforeseen problems.

The committee said the most serious computer problems were likely to strike other countries next Jan. 1, because many of them started preparing too late or not at all.

The report singled out Japan, Mexico, China, Germany and Taiwan for falling nine months to two years behind schedule in preparing for the year 2000 bug. The committee also said that major oil producers Venezuela and Saudi Arabia were 12 to 18 months behind schedule.

``Disruption of flights and global trade between some areas and countries may occur,'' the committee said.

In a closed-door briefing for senators, Bennett outlined the Y2K threat to national security.

``There is a low to medium probability of terrorist exploitation of Y2K. However, we must remain vigilant in case some of our security systems malfunction,'' Bennett said afterwords.

But he added: ``There is a medium probability of economic disruptions that will lead to civil unrest in certain sectors of the world, particularly where their economies are already fragile or there is political uncertainty.''

He told senators there was a ``high probability'' that widespread computer glitches would compound economic problems in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

``In some countries it will be more serious than others,'' Bennett said. ``The unknowable question is what will be the impact on the United States.''



-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 10, 1999.

Thanks Kevin! U da man!

-- David (David@BankPacman.com), March 10, 1999.

"DWGI. We had a thread just yesterday about how many long time programmers hang out here. Last count looks like about 600 man-years total. Wonder how smart they are? <:)= "

Big deal. You could probably get 120 years just 4 of the "pollyannas" who regularly post here.

-- Gee (arent@we.proud), March 10, 1999.

SG -

I stand (actually, sit) corrected. Glad you caught my gaffe on "Apocolypse"; I realized the error only after re-reading much later and decided to just let it go. My comment re politeness was qualified with "for the most part", acknowledging that everyone has lapses. Politeness is somewhat relative in this instance; compared with the majority of newsgroups I've visited over the years, the Yourdon forum is a charm school. YMMV.

Moron Slayer -

As above, I acknowledge my error. I should not have indicated that I was speaking for any forum participant but myself. The use of "we" was inappropriate.

Both of yez -

Let's talk facts and options, rather than spelling and style.

What would be the impact to a municipal school system and its "customers" if its admissions and payroll systems are not remediated in time for the winter semester (start date: January 5, 2000)? What contingency plans can be put in place to handle information on 50,000 children and 2000 staff? What are the likely effects on the working populace with school age children. Please explain why I should not be at all concerned about this 4M LOC project which, as of March 1, has not finished assessment and has not truly begun remediation.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), March 10, 1999.

Sir Dick of the Dale,

Here's another recent mainstream article on Y2K. This is from ABCNEWS.com:

"Getting Ready for Y2K"

http://www.abcnews.go.com/onair/WorldNewsTonight/wnt990302_y2k_story.h tml

By Barry Serafin


B O U L D E R, Colo., March 2  Officials recently discovered Y2K problems that would have shut down a Boulder central dispatch center that serves police, fire, rescue and other agencies. The problems, which will cost $300,000 to fix, would have dramatically slowed response time.

Larry Stern, head of the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management, says other glitches could still crop up. If its a Y2K problem and we have a power outage, everybodys on their own, warns Stern.

Community Action

Concerns about possible disruptions of power, water, police, fire or medical services have prompted a community-wide campaign to avoid last-minute problems or panic.

Local Y2K organizer Kathy Garcia says there is no intent to create alarm. Actually, this is an opportunity. An opportunity for us to get to know our neighbors,

That happens regularly at meetings where neighbors share ideas.

At one such meeting, a man urged, Find out what the resources are in your neighbors. Who is a doctors assistant, who is a nurse, who has radio communications.

What is happening in the Boulder area is happening in an estimated 250 communities, large and small, across the country. There are still plenty of skeptics, but more and more people appear to be deciding that some prudent planning couldnt hurt.

Organizers here and elsewhere say there is no downside to planning for Y2K. They say it can only lead to closer-knit communities, better prepared for any kind of future emergencies.

American Red Cross Y2K Checklist

Check with the manufacturers of any essential computer- controlled equipment in your home to see if it may be vulnerable. Check fire and security alarm systems, programmable thermostats, appliances, consumer electronics, garage door openers, electronic locks, and any other electronics in which an embedded chip may control its operation.

Stock disaster supplies sufficient to sustain your and your family for several days up to a week. This includes having nonperishable foods, stored water, and an ample supply of prescription and nonprescription medications that you use regularly.

Have some extra cash on hand in case ATMs, credit cards, and the like cease to function properly. Plan to keep cash in a safe place and withdraw money from your bank in small amounts.

As you would in preparation for a winter storm, keep your automobile gas tank above half full.

In case the power fails, plan to use alternative cooking devices in accordance with manufacturers instructions. Dont use open flames or charcoal grills indoors.

Have extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves to keep warm. Dont get heat from gas-fueled appliances (like an oven), or from wood-burning or liquid-fueled heating devices that arent designed to be used inside a residential structure. If you do purchase an alternative heating device, make sure its approved for use indoors and is listed with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Have plenty of flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Dont use candles for emergency lighting.

Check your smoke detectors now. If they are hard-wired into your homes electrical system (most newer ones are), check to see if they have battery back-ups. Every fall, replace all batteries in all smoke alarms as a general fire-safety precaution.

Be prepared to relocate to a shelter for warmth and protection during a prolonged power outage or if for any other reason local officials request or require that you leave your home. Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for information about where shelters will be available.

If you plan to use a portable generator, connect what you want to power directly to the generator  do not connect the generator to your homes electrical system. Also, be sure to keep a generator in a well-ventilated area either outside or in a garage, keeping the door open. Dont put a generator in your basement or anywhere inside your home.

Check with the emergency services providers in your community to see if theres more information available about how your community is preparing for any potential problems. Be an advocate and support efforts by your local police, fire and emergency management officials to ensure that their systems will be able to operate at all times.

For more information, contact your local American Red Cross.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 10, 1999.

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