Infomagic: The Danger of Complacency : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From c.s.y2k:

On Sun, 4 Apr 1999 22:27:23 -0500, "SB" 

>April 4, 1999 is here and we have no news of y2k problems. It's time to >admit that there will be no problems at all.

I hope you were joking, Shek. I predicted that there would be _some_ failures in 1999 and some have indeed occurred (probably more than we have heard about publicly). However, neither I nor any of the other real mainframe experts have ever said the peak would be this year. The one or two who have predicted this are _wrong_. I continue to predict a "phalanx of failures" beginning at the start of _next_ year (although there will continue to be an increasing number of smaller failures this year).

This is because the vast majority of business computer systems are designed to keep _records_ of _events_ which occurred at some time in the _past_. With respect to 00 dates, those dates won't be in the past until _next_ year. Strangely enough, this particular characteristic of dates is the main reason why, all those years ago, we invented the name "data record" instead of just "data collection". To give you an example, how many dates can you remember from history or your own past compared to how many you think about for the future?

JoAnne notwithstanding, future-looking programs have _always_ been in a very small minority and we should not expect a high rate of failure at this point, even in accounting systems. At this point the failures which are occurring are very easy to deal with, mainly because the failure rate is still very low, but also because the failures are more likely to occur in individual, future-looking, programs which are less critical to the day-to-day business mission and can therefore be fixed at a more leisurely pace. For example, in an accounting system, a failure in the budget forecast program doesn't necessarily prevent the continued entry of invoices, purchase orders or general ledger transactions.

Note also that historical failures tend to be more disastrous than future failures. With future failures you generally have a certain time to fix the problem (the time between now and that particular future date). With historical failures, everything tends to stop working right now, and the effects are much more likely to propagate (for example to other systems dependent on the output). That is why next year's failures will be so much worse than anything we have seen to date. And there _will_ be vast numbers of these failures, too many to handle all at the same time.

There is an enormous danger inherent in allowing the pollys and the government/industry shills to convince you that there won't be a Y2K problem because most of the problems we have seen so far are minor. That's like saying the dam isn't going to burst because there's only that little leak down there at the bottom! This attitude leads to a complacency which is already beginning to drop the level of awareness of Y2K as a very real problem. This is exactly the attitude that caused Y2K in the first place, and it will inevitably lead to a reduction in efforts to fix the problem and to a resulting increase in the number of failures which actually occur.

The simple fact is that we haven't even come close to solving the problem, certainly not on a world wide basis. In my professional opinion remediation has already failed and we are in for a major global disaster. If anything, my outlook is _more_ pessimistic than before.

===================================== y 2 0 0 0 @ i n f o m a g i c . c o m =====================================

For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

(2Th 2:11-12)

-- a (a@a.a), April 05, 1999


That helps me to understand the question of these failure dates. Someone posted yesterday that there were few 2000 problems because it was not 2000 yet. Simple. 99% of the problem is year 2000. What is the date?

-- Mike Lang (, April 05, 1999.

Now, here is one for Y2K Pro to blow away. Go for it.

-- Whetherman (whetherman@storm.warning), April 05, 1999.

Look, folks, it was people like Infotragic that set these dates up to begin with.

Here are a few "predictions" from Info himself (thanks to -bks- for digging them up:

From September:


After the first major failures sink in in January, this will only increase. From now on we can expect _less_ remediation to be done, not more. Long before the end of next year, virtually _all_ of the world's non-compliant organizations will have given up.

And this from September:


Assuming just a "recession" this fall, rather than the depression I am expecting, the public failure of _any_ unemployment systems would be a major wake-up call for the sheeple. It could well be the trigger for the panic and the beginning of the downward spiral . . .

January 1999 _is_ extremely significant.

And another from September:


I expect a full scale global depression before the end of this year as Japan, South America and the derivatives and stock markets finally tank completely. In January 1999, the first major Y2K failures will cause noticeable actual business failures and will trigger genuine public awareness of the "possibility" of major problems in 2000 itself. Just to be on the safe side, enough people will empty their bank accounts leading to a complete collapse of the banking system around March 1999, further deepening the global depression. The problems will be exacerbated by "government help".

And from October:


No, the key industry is finance, and that will be the first to go. Even though banking really _is_ ahead of the pack it is still so far behind that significant failures _will_ occur starting next January. This will "prove" to an increasingly nervous public that they cannot trust their banks and the bank runs will start.

-- Hoffmeister (, April 05, 1999.

Infomagic last week: I'll expand on this in the next article in my Set Recovery On series. I've been waiting for the DOW to top 10,000 because the lack of an early stock market crash is one of the main reasons I am more pessimistic -- the higher it goes, the farther it will crash, and the closer it happens to Y2K the worse _both_ will be.

Hoff, you can nitpick all you want, but I believe the preceding to be an accurate assessment. What was missing from his earlier analysis was a feel for just how stupid and greedy people have become.

-- a (a@a.a), April 05, 1999.

It's not nitpicking. Personally, I don't care what Info predicts.

The point, however, is that it was posts such as his, and others by Ed Yourdon and Michael Hyatt, that set up the expectation for these failures to be occurring. It is not some Polly straw man that has been constructed.

-- Hoffmeister (, April 05, 1999.

Cory Hamasaki's take on this:

On Mon, 5 Apr 1999 18:47:41, (Bradley K. Sherman) 

> In article <4FD5DD63A7D5E00B.579AAD571924B556.0F5AF73D6A6C6A8D@library-proxy.airn>, > Mail: Y2000 infomagic com wrote: > | > | After the first major failures sink in in > | January, this will only increase. From now on > | we can expect _less_ remediation to be done, > | not more. Long before the end of next year, > | virtually _all_ of the world's non-compliant > | organizations will have given up. > ([ST_rn=qs]/getdoc.xp?AN=392127215&CONTEXT=9233 37481.1400242263&hitnum=8) > > The sound of 1000 fearmongers backpedalling furiously. > > --bks

Interesting. Ed Yourdon and others have reported that some remediation teams have been put on the bench. There was discussion as to what this means.

Some Pollys claim this is proof that the work is complete.

You cite InfoMagic predicting a giving-up.

I believe that the work isn't being done and this is not a good thing.

And this:

On Mon, 5 Apr 1999 16:57:57, "g.k. cooper"  wrote:

> Now we're starting to see a big push by the banks saying they are y2k > compliant with one caveat: They expect to have their systems done by > June 30. > > >

I'll check it out, coop.

But the new completion date around Washington DeeCee is July 31, 1999, not June, 1999. I expect that this one will be missed too.

By the way, did everyone catch the cartoon in ComputerWorld last week. It showed the IT staff at BankBoston being laid off, not because they were done, I'm still waiting for *that* announcement.

They were laid off because BB sold itself off.

Gone, adios, outa business. Fold the money and records into someone else's system.

...and the problems as well.

-- a (a@a.a), April 05, 1999.

Now I'm really confused. InfoMagic now seems to be saying, in the post above, that not only are no major problems to be expected in 1999, but not in 2000 either, and only when the '00' becomes "history", i.e. in 2001 will the whole y2k ceiling come down on us ???

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), April 06, 1999.


ref the 16 (err 12, err 9) unemployment systems that have problems. I'm fairly sure noone thought that the systems folks would use the subterfuges that were used because of the change in the calculations this would have caused. NOONE has opined on the actual cost of fixing the KLUGE that was used.


Some folks will do anything to hide the failures. we need to remmeber this.

-- Chuck, a night driver (, April 06, 1999.

I try to be kind and calm on this forum as much as practicable, but I have to say this:

Anyone, and I mean ANYone, who takes InfoMagic seriously needs to see a mental health professional. Stat.

As for InfoMagic himself...I shudder to think

-- Chicken Little (, April 06, 1999.

Come to think about it, I have been considering a good shrink.

Better to be prepared and then complacent tho than complacent and unprepared.

-- sue (, April 06, 1999.

Folks, I think that it is important in all this "predicting" to separate the predictions of when technical problems will actually hit versus reactions to them on the part of John Q. Public, which itself is very much a function of things like personal experience, news coverage, etc. I think that we would all agree that had the news media made Y2K a big topic starting January, and had portrayed the topic in a doom&gloom light, then we would in fact see a lot of major problems, including bank runs.

But regardless of when John Q. Public truly figures out what is coming, what is coming is coming. Last I checked, time continues to move forward at the rate of 60 seconds per minute. And exactly what is going to happen and when is anyone's guess.

-- Jack (, April 06, 1999.

Predictions have only one use, they provide an initial wake up call thereby letting the individual study enough for that individual to make their own decision as to whether or not to prepare.

As to whether any of the "hot" dates, so far, were impactful, it depends upon whether or not _your systems or files, or those that you need or depend upon, were impacted_.

It will _always_ be that way.

Talking of "probabilities" is a much more intelligent method when speaking of "hot dates" and y2k related problems. Predictions are like assholes, everyone has one, and they are meaningless - unless you are a TV weather forecaster, then you get paid for predictions.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, April 06, 1999.

Ivan Mingham (aka infomercial) is a flake.


And I see that most posters are missing the point, once again...

predictions were made...that cannot be changed. Ivan made some claims, Ed made some claims, Cory made some claims. Not vague 'maybe this will happen', but absolutes "we will see such and such on/by this date"...

They were WRONG.

What else might they be wrong about? ask yourself that one!

-- Mutha Nachu (---@oh,, April 06, 1999.

To be perfectly frank, I think we are seeing some people who are simply trying to milk this thing for all they can. IFM likes the attention he is getting, so does CH. Milne is in hog heaven. So they are moving their predictions back and back to try to stay in the limelight. Just how far will YOU allow them to be moved before YOU will decide they are faking? July 2001? September 2001? January 2002? Make up your mind, because there will be people out there trying to sell you some snake oil about Y2K problems at very late dates.

-- Paul Davis (, April 06, 1999.

I'm more concerned about what percentage of computer systems--both here and abroad--will be ready by January 1, 2000. It's not accounting software that I'm worried's manufacturing and distribution systems.

There is another important failed prediction that's rarely mentioned. It's the one made by many in the business community last year that Y2K remediation would be finished by December 31, 1998, allowing a year for testing in 1999.

-- Kevin (, April 06, 1999.

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