Still another city claims readiness : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Y2K no crisis for county systems, officials predict

Wednesday, April 14, 1999

By Jim McKinnon, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Allegheny County officials say they will have avoided what some are expecting to be a computer doomsday by checking and updating all of their systems six months ahead the predicted day of crisis.

So, when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, all is expected to be well around here.

"This means that come Jan. 1, 2000, the county's 911 phones will be answered, bills will be paid, paychecks will be written and the doors at the jail will stay locked," county Commissioner Mike Dawida said at a press conference yesterday.

The conference was called so that Dawida, who is running for the new office of county executive, and Fran Zovko, director of the county computer service division, could announce the progress that has been made toward heading off computer glitches at the start of the year 2000.

Many computers use only the last two digits of the year in identifying dates, such as "99" for 1999.

So, some believe that on Jan. 1, 2000, many computers will read the date "00" as 1900, which they say could lead to anything from minor inconveniences to serious problems.

"There really was some concern that the doors of the jail would swing open and [inmates] would run free," Dawida said.

Yesterday, Zovko and Dawida said the task of correcting any potential Y2K (for year 2000) problems is about 70 percent complete and is expected to cost less than $2 million, which is about 60 percent under the $5 million that was budgeted for the job, which included buying new computer equipment.

The county now has about 3,000 personal computers for use by about 7,000 employees and more than 500 outside users.

The system works faster, takes up less space and needs fewer than 50 people to keep it running. That's less than half the staff that once worked in the computer division.

The county has eliminated outside Internet service providers and serves as its own provider.

Some county systems, such as the cards used by jail guards to access inmate quarters, were fixed first, Zovko said.

All other county operations are expected to be glitch-free by June 30, six months before "doomsday."

-- Norm (, April 14, 1999


The city of Phoenix, Az. has mailed a monthly publication for the citizens of Phoenix called, notes. They are developing plans to minimize y2k problems. They plan to be as ready as possible when the new year arrives. They caution that many "embedded chips" may malfunction or shutdown. It is not always obvious which chips have dates built in.

A new compliant lighting system is being enstalled at Sky Harbor International Airport. All checkpoint alarms, baggage handing, fire and rescue vehicles have been make y2k compliant.

City is doing a $6.3 million upgrading of the traffic light computer system. They expect it to be ready.

The Water Dept. is reviewing procedures so it can operate its facilities manually in the event of computer or power failure.

While the city is taking steps to ensure that its systems will be compliant, it cannot guarantee that they all will function properly when the new year begins. Suggestion is made to check out the list of steps individuals might consider, in order to better prepare themselves, at the American Red Cross web site. link

A monthly status report will be available at the "Phoenix at your Fingertips" web site.

r banks

-- rbanks (, April 14, 1999.

red cross

-- rb (, April 14, 1999.

Now all I have to do is move to Phoenix and Pittsburgh and not leave the city limits for months.

The island thinking of these people is truly stunning and very illuminating about how "the shepple" view this problem.


-- PJC (, April 14, 1999.

"Yesterday, Zovko and Dawida said the task of correcting any potential Y2K (for year 2000) problems is about 70 percent complete..."

So much for their claim of compliance, my friend.

Oh damn, is it to late to spit out the hook...

-- Bingo1 (, April 14, 1999.

I read this forum because I have a NEED for information. I have been coming here almost daily for 15 months. I read most of the threads and posts. I have had the big picture from day one. I keep coming back to fill in more pieces of the puzzle. 95% of my coming to this forum is Y2k, period. My posts have all been about batteries, sterno, grain mills and other personal prep info I have picked up from the Mesa, Az y2k fair, the Phx weekend Town Meeting and the recent Phx Y2k Public Forum with Senator Bennett. For months I have claimed to be an 8. My preparations are at a 4 or 5 level but they continue. In times of trouble I believe people will work together. Some things I feared early on have gone away but the big questions remain and will not be answered until they HAPPEN. I appreciate the variety of info from all of you and lets keep it going until the "fat lady sings". PS...I would like to know how other large cities around the country are handling Y2k.

PPS... When someone posts insults etc I do a big time ugly post which is great satisfaction & therapy for me and then I do not hit the submit button.

-- rb (, April 14, 1999.

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