Please help me! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hello Everyone!

I am a GI from 1998 to present. I stalked up back in the fall of 1998 and in the first couple monthes of 1999. I have stopped now. I have enough things to help me live comfortably for six monthes and a little more drastically for a year.

I have not been on one of these boards since early February....I was wondering, from what I have read in the news papers it does not seem like it is going to be so bad afterall, BUT, I think are attention as a country and maybe even as a world is on a war in Europe and I just wonder if people are starting to slack off on trying to fix this thing.

Well, to make a long story short. I promised myself a two month break from this board. However, now I am back and need to be caught up on what is going on. I would appreciate it if I only got SERIOUS responses. That is one of the main reasons I took a break, things were getting out of control! If someone is going to come on here with some MAJOR story then they ought to have some evidense to back it up.

So I would appreciate it, like I said, if you guys and gals could fill me in.

One last thing, I want to know what happened to the BIG April first date. I thought this date was SOOOOO important.

Let me know!


-- POOH (, April 12, 1999



This was probably the biggest Y2K story since early February...


Senate Study: Y2K Risks Are Widespread

By Stephen Barr

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, February 24, 1999; Page A1

A report on the Year 2000 computer problem prepared by a special Senate panel warns that a number of foreign countries and U.S. economic sectors, especially the health care industry, appear at significant risk for technological failures and business disruptions.

The report, scheduled for release this week by Sens. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) and Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), includes a letter to Senate colleagues describing the problem of computers' ability to recognize dates starting on Jan. 1, 2000, popularly known as Y2K, as a "worldwide crisis" and as "one of the most serious and potentially devastating events this nation has ever encountered."


Much, much more detail available at the link.

-- Kevin (, April 12, 1999.

There's also a couple of threads today and day before yesterday about Euro and welfare system failures that went undetected for months. So the jury's still out on the 4/1/99 thingy.

-- a (a@a.a), April 12, 1999.


I'm still looking for the link to an L.A. Times story from April 1 or April 2 about how no problems were reported, but that many accounting systems systems still had not closed the books on their 1999 fiscal year.

While I'm looking for that, let me give you links to three threads about what we were or weren't expecting to happen in April. The first is from January 10, 1999 when you were still calling here:

"Is everything we guess about the late 1999 end game wrong"

...and these two threads from March...

"fiscal years reported as yr 2000"

"Will something really happen or just another April Fool's Day?"

This last thread contains comments from Ed Yourdon made prior to April 1.

-- Kevin (, April 12, 1999.

The link to the L.A. Times story has died. The following thread, though, contains this relevant quote from it:


As it turned out, Canada, Japan and New York easily passed their first test, although they cautioned that it was a tiny victory since the passage of April 1 tested only the portion of their systems that deal with the fiscal year. In addition, there is still the possibility of problems emerging as their systems look deeper into the new fiscal year.

The Year 2000 Project Office for Canada's Treasury Board Secretariat reported no problems with government computer systems. "So far it's been a nonevent," said Jim Bimson of the Year 2000 office. "We haven't heard anything today, but I'm not that surprised since we really have to wait a while for some transactions to occur. Most of the computers are still working in the last fiscal year."


-- Kevin (, April 12, 1999.


Here's a link to the full Senate report if you would like to review it... <:)=

HTML Senate Reort on Y2K with bookmarks

-- Sysman (, April 12, 1999.


The next biggest story since early February was that the federal government, after missing the September 30, 1998 deadline...

"Coming up short on Y2K - Many agencies missed last week's OMB goal for having systems fixed and ready for testing"

...also missed the March 31, 1999 deadline:


March 31, 1999


Senators to look at Y2K contingency plans

By Rebecca S. Weiner, National Journal's Technology Daily

Since federal computer systems will not be 100 percent Y2K-ready by today's governmentwide deadline, the Senate's special Y2K committee is planning a review of contingency plans and testing efforts next month.

About 90 percent of federal mission-critical computer systems will be Y2K-compliant, but the remaining 10 percent may prove the most troublesome. These include systems run by contractors or states to administer food stamps and Medicare payments, Defense Department systems and Federal Aviation Administration computers.

Sens. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, and Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who head the committee, plan to question White House Y2K czar John Koskinen and Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew on the government's plans for becoming fully ready for Y2K.

OMB's most recent report showed that only five federal agencies or departments are 100 percent Y2K-ready. The remaining have completed partial repairs, but the crucial testing phase remains.

Bennett and Dodd have said final end-to-end testing, which demonstrates how interconnected computer systems work together, is one of the most important aspects of Y2K readiness. The March 31 deadline was set to give the government enough time to test and make last-minute repairs before the 2000 date change.

Bennett repeatedly has said that a 90 percent compliance rate is not compliant because every aspect of mission critical computer systems must be ready for them to work.


-- Kevin (, April 13, 1999.

Dear Kevin,

The majority opinions of this board are that 1) the government can't tie its shoes without falling over and 2) the government is an active participant in positive Y2K "spin." In addition, anyone without 30 years of IS expertise is considered a nonexpert.

I find it somewhat ironic that the Senate Report is given such weight. If the U.S. Senate released a report stating there were seven days a weeks, I'd check my schedule book.


-- Mr. Decker (, April 13, 1999.

Pooh commented:

"I have not been on one of these boards since early February....I was wondering, from what I have read in the news papers it does not seem like it is going to be so bad afterall, BUT, I think are attention as a country and maybe even as a world is on a war in Europe and I just wonder if people are starting to slack off on trying to fix this thing. "

Pooh, this is EXACTLY what the powers to be WANT you to think!! In the past two months the government SPIN (propaganda) has been in full swing. The staged FAA test last week was EXACTLY that. The government has been reducing the number of mission critical systems it has to remediate regularly since August of 1997. It has gone from roughly 9100 to 6100.

The main factor that has changed is the amount of time left to remediate.


-- Ray (, April 13, 1999.


We've had no problem whatever finding contractors to help us when we had to 'drop back an punt'. A the vendor of a replacement system that would fix a Y2K issue failed to deliver in November. December they told us not to worry, we'd have it by Novermber 1999. So we decided to rewrite the application ourselves. Our greatest fear was getting sufficient contract staff to help us out - turned out to be no problem. Lots of contractors available because out here at least lots of Y2K projects were wrapping up during Dec 1998 thrr Feb 1999. Yep wrapping up, done, finished... So we had our choice of lots of good candidates to help us with this unanticipated remediation. Were on target and comfortable that we'll be OK. I've even been given tentative approval for vacation for the last two weeks of december...

Perhaps the calls for awareness worked. Either that or it was federal pressure on financial industry (I've been told, believe it or not, that Milwaukee area hosts some of the nations' largest check clearing financial operations.. So there would have been lots of 'early' pressure to get systems compliant.)

In any event, since a year ago, businesses have been chomping aware. All may not be perfect but a year ago the seeming lack of remediation terrified me. Now, I see lots going on and am aware that some operations have either completed projects or are wrapping up with internal staff. I'm cautiously optimistic.


-- john hebert (, April 13, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

You shouldn't find it ironic that the Senate Report is given such weight. Sometimes the government is more direct when it knows the comments it makes are more likely to be read by other members of the government, as opposed to the general public.

Consider the Congressional testimony given by these two government officials:


Experts warn of Y2K trade upheaval

Each nation's problem will become a global one



WASHINGTON -- Experts on the millennium computer bug warned Congress last week that international commerce and trade may face serious disruptions early next year because of computer failures in foreign countries.

Painting an alarming but uncertain picture, a National Intelligence Council officer and a State Department watchdog told a special Senate oversight panel on Friday that many foreign nations are not prepared.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that there will be Y2K-related problems in virtually very corner of the globe," Jacquelyn L. Williams-Bridgers, inspector general of the Department of State, told a hearing of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem.

"Faced with a relentless and unforgiving deadline, countries have to make difficult decisions concerning the use of scarce resources to fix a problem that has not yet occurred," she said.


The international transportation sector is particularly vulnerable, she and Lawrence K. Gershwin, National Intelligence Council officer for science and technology, said. "Global linkages in telecommunications, financial systems, the manufacturing supply chain, oil supplies, trade and worldwide shipping and air transportation will virtually guarantee that Y2K problems will not be isolated to individual countries," Mr. Gershwin said.

Among the difficulties the two officials outlined:

Both the Panama and Suez canals face the risk of disrupted operations should traffic management systems or ship steering mechanisms fail. Panama officials say no ships will be allowed into the canal on Dec. 31. A Norwegian firm is working now on fixing the Suez Canal's traffic system.

China probably will experience failures in several areas, including transportation and power generation. An estimated 90% of software used in China, even by government offices and state-owned enterprises, is pirated, making it very difficult to approach vendors for fixes. China is planning to conduct a nationwide aviation test. Senior officials have been ordered to fly on New Year's Day.

Central and Eastern Europe are believed to face vulnerabilities in Soviet-designed nuclear power plants, though Western experts do not know what specific problems they may have. Many vendors of the software and equipment stopped operating after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Russia Gazprom natural gas pipeline network is susceptible to potential Y2K outages. It supplies nearly 50% of the total energy consumed by Russia. While Gazprom has backup plans, it is unclear whether these measures are sufficient to deal with the scale of problems that could occur.

Major oil-producing nations are behind in fixing their Y2K problems. Oil production and distribution is largely in the hands of multinational corporations, but the sector's use of information technology is highly intensive.


-- Kevin (, April 13, 1999.

Pooh, I personally think our involvement in Kosovo is precisely to distract the country from Y2K. Think about it. WHAT financial reason would we have to be involved there? Desert Storm was about oil (and even my husband, a Purple Heart veteran of that "conflict" if you can call it that, would agree heartily). WHAT is there? Nothing. Why didn't we get involved with Rwanda? Afhganistan? (to go even further back) We haven't gotten involved in world conflicts for purely noble, idealistic reasons (stop the spread of communism for example) since Vietnam, maybe even since WWII. I really don't understand why we started this thing in Kosovo, except to divert attention in a MAJOR way....we just kind of pick and choose who we "help"....(some help, too.)

-- preparing (, April 13, 1999.

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