[Awa] An offer; A question; An opportunity.

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Sometimes timing seems suspicious, as if, one asks a question of oneself, puts it off to think about it, and suddenly evidence is everywhere related to it.

My husband and I both do web hosting and design for a living. I contract FT to a military-industrial conglomerate, and he now runs with only some of my help, a business he and I started years ago.

The last topic I was truly interested in, I ended up making email lists, BBS's, web sites about. Now they're common but then it was more than what was available to most, for awhile. I'm a practical sort so that was my approach.

When Y2K came along, I intended to make a site that would feature Y2K stuff. What I found is that I was spending so much time reading BYLLIUNS AND BYLLIUNS (as the late Carl Sagan would have said) of bytes of info, that I didn't have time to make the darn site.

Then I decided that actually, so many sites already have such massive info on them, there was no point in duplicating them.

Now reference sites for links are nice, but even then, that only points people to how to spend every waking hour for the next three years trying to figure this -- whoops, they're out of time.

So the last week, having spent more time in one block reading/posting in this forum than usual, I've been thinking about what I could do that would be useful to people here, people planning for Y2K.

The first thing is, the only things I'm *really* interested in are (a) preparation tidbits of all kinds, conversation is the value of this forum but I don't want to archive that at my site, and (b) humor, because the world -- let alone this topic -- needs as much of it as it can get.

Now people have asked Ed Yourdon about copying these threads to other public places. This is a public forum, the writing is public domain. So that shouldn't be an issue.

I am wondering if it would be considered (by the local yokels here in Yourdonland) useful if I did the following:

1 - Browsed the archives, cut & pasting very hands-on to-the-point prep info into files that I'll separate by category on a site. I would be, essentially, a SEARCHABLE and MINIMIZED hands-on PREPARATION archive of Yourdon's board. (Of course it is subject to my arbitrary assessment, editing, and condensing, and I would be ruthless about literally only including specific words on prep, experience with the subject, etc.)

2 - I'd like to take the books I have bought in prep for Y2K, and do the sort of 'review' on them that actually lists and condenses some of the most important, most relevent info. Not everybody can afford spending hundreds on books they don't have time to read, in addition to what they're spending trying to buy food et al, and this will only be exacerbated by panic and short timelines as we get nearer Y2K.

IF public awareness of this leaps before the end of the year, a lot of people with almost no money, no time, and little resources left are going to be panicking a helluva lot more than I did when I first figured this out mid-last year. Understandably. Imagine how YOU would feel if the kicked-in-the-gut realization hit you just as it also hit 150 million other people, many useful supplies were already gone, you had almost no money and little time to make any, and you didn't even know where to start.

We have "been there, done that." We could essentially take the majority of the "learning curve" out for many people by condensing the relevent points and conclusions we have come to re: personal prep.

Yes, there are sites which feature this, but again, there is SO MUCH INFORMATION, how does a person know where to start? And so much of it is links. "Gardening -- here's 1.2 bazillion links to sites which each will take you a week to read." How on earth does a person who's trying to GI FAST go through all that?

I think I (we?) could actually synthesize a good deal of info in this one niche category (personal prep) in a way that would be helpful to people. But it would be a lot of work/time on my part and I am already a two job toddler mommy working OT to learn ham/morse stuff and Y2K stuff and build a 2000sq' garden and so on. So I don't want to do it unless it really would be a value in addition to what exists.

People on this board, you tell me, what do you think would be most useful? If you owned a bunch of web space and could make something that would let you provide the "if I'd known then what I know now" to others coming into the field, what would you do, and how would you want to do it?

I open my plans to advice from those here. Is it worth it? Would anybody want to help? I have all kinds of software available to me, unlimited www space and traffic, etc. so I can do some things dynamically if necessary (but it slows down the server massively, so I'd rather stick to a simple text-based html site).

PJ in TX

P.S. No smart remarks from the peanut gallery about how the person who can write a book about anything wants to "condense" information. :-)

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 16, 1999


As a follow up, I want to add this:

I and most people I know prepping for Y2K have stuffed years of information into ourselves in months, reading obsessively in every spare moment to learn enough to make intelligent decisions. It is psychologically overwhelming to do this. I keep having to pull back for a couple weeks, not deal with Y2K issues, get a little more sane again, before coming back to reality and what study and prep I need to do. Lucky I've had time to do that.

For me this began last July. I knew I didn't have enough time or money. I felt dread, panick, fear, and morbid depression. No matter how many of us may be fine and even optimistic now, I know that at some point, nearly everybody I know who takes Y2K seriously has had some degree of these feelings.

Now imagine having all those same feelings, amplified by far less money and time and products available. THIS is the panic the government is rightfully worried about, though they will have caused much of it themselves.

JOHN DOE needs the Reader's Digest version. He does not have time to do the extensive research most of us have, or read 600 posts per day, or order books and read those, or whatever. He does not have time to read 35 web sites to glean tidbits about subject xyz. He needs something SUCCINCT so he can understand fairly quickly, make a halfway intelligent decision fast, and move on it.

That is my outline. Ideas are welcomed.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 16, 1999.

Do it! If I can help, with my limited knowledge, I will. If my time is helpful, I probably have more of that than knowledge. [Although others may disagree saying I need to spend the time preparing.]

Perhaps a succession of links, to minimize duplication of material would be better. Then others could submit links, with a synopsis, and you could just post them in one spot. Then updating would be the time consumer.

Does that make sense?

-- J (jart5@bellsouth.net), April 16, 1999.

..I'd be glad to help anyway I can

-- Sheila (sross@bconnex.net), April 16, 1999.

I can make a dynamic page where people could choose a category, post a link, and a paragraph of description about that links. I already have a page like that somewhere (but not for Y2K). However that would have to be an auxiliary to what I'm talking about. Because links in the end lead people to the same problem I'm trying to save them from: needing to read several tons of materials to piece together advice and info and tidbits enough to feel they know what they're doing and can make an intelligent decision and act on it. Good idea though. And yes -- time is a big issue for me. Do you use Word or Composer or any basic processor? I'd be willing to teach a few someones some basic html skills if they wanted to help format text and upload the pages. Then I could spend more time culling the info, if someone else was doing the formatting.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 16, 1999.

Do it. I'll help if I can. I write passible HTML...I have a Y2K document with links on my web site I know how to send stuff in email or FTP....if I can compile and/or /copy/send let me know...my email at the bottom is a real one.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), April 16, 1999.

Coincidentally Donna I had just emailed you about a separate but related subject you mentioned on another page, when I saw the above. If I do it, I'll ask for help, 'cause I'll need it. Still I wish I could get more idea-input from people. If you only had a few months until Y2K, not a lot of money or spare time, what are the first basics you'd want to be told so you could feel you understood, make a good decision, and act on it pronto for prep?

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 16, 1999.

PJ -

I think this is an excellent idea! I know of several people who are overwhelmed by trying to deal with places such as TB2K and EUY2K, but who would do very well with the sort of site you're talking about.

God Bless you, Arlin

-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), April 16, 1999.


I think it is a great idea. I would be willing to help. Will email you privately.

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), April 16, 1999.

Great idea PJ,

This site can get a little overwhelming and you always have the likes of No Spam moaning about off topic subjects so a more "pure" site like you envisage would be a godsend for many.

Lotta work - GO GIRL :)

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 16, 1999.


Great minds think alike! I have been thinking of doing something very similar, but more specifically for the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. We have some of the initial design done, but our programmer is still working on some difficult little dhtml-javascript problems. If you'd like to take a peek, check out http://www.y2k.am.

I'd be happy to share information with you. The more web sites on Y2K, the better! The idea came to me when I was doing my initial research and I had over 2,000 + bookmarks filed in various topic folders. Finally, my partner (and she's my sig. other) agreed to it somewhat reluctantly. You'll probably get yours up a lot sooner, though. There's a lot of design at www.y2k.am and I'm not sure why! I guess the graphic designer was a little too enthusiastic.

Good luck and let me know if I can help.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (info@giglobal.com), April 17, 1999.

PJ - sorry I took so long to get an answer to you--would you be surprised to know I was working on the yard most of the afternoon?

I'm a bit unreliable at the moment, waiting to see if we can sell the house. I can help sporadically, though. If the house sells, I'll have to disappear for a while but would reappear later. I'll e-mail you privately with my real address.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), April 17, 1999.

Awesome you guys. I think it would not only be a good adjunct to everything else on the web (and of course would link to everything else), but would also preserve for posterity the real value that Ed Yourdon's forum here has provided for personal preparation. In retrospect a lot of people are going to thank Ed. More if we can get this (and other things) into a super-succinct-summary-size that they have the time and ability to read and do something with.

My email is real - fire@firedocs.com. My personal web domains vary but the web design one, though dramatically out of date (like by years alas!) is www.paradigm-sys.com, if you care. (My resume's there too I'm sorry to say, so I'm hardly a private person. I revised it about a year ago to focus on web-stuff but my 'real' career has been general management.)

My interest in the site type isn't in extensive design, and I would likely avoid all problematic code for browsers, sticking to cgi-type dynamic stuff and plain html text, with a few graphics or photos when needed. I want it to be as fast as possible, as compatible with all browsers as possible, and as easy to print as possible. FWIW.

I bet we could set something up so people I clear could do direct entry into dynamic pages or whatever, so a whole team of people could actually be feeding tidbits, quotes, links, etc. into the final outline. Anybody who would like to be involved in the project, please email me and we'll talk more about it. I'd like (via private email) to run the outline (navigation/architecture of the site) past a group who could point out anything I missed, etc.

Also, I have to start somewhere, so I've decided to start with food (including everything related to food, such as storage, gardening, et al.) I'm already surprised at just how big a subject that is...

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 17, 1999.

Contact this woman and request her 'preparedness nuggets series'. This is a wonderful collection of information that took months to collect.

"Julianne Wiley"

-- (mass@delusions.com), April 17, 1999.

Hello PJ,

Have wanted to email you, can relate to the challenge you face working with your child pulling at you - I also have a 2 1/2 yr. old!

Quickly, I think introducing people to the idea of whole grains (even from the feed store!) and how flexible they are, emphasizing "guerilla tactics" like simple ways to grind and cook, cheapie home made solar cookers and cheap water storage (ie: used 55 gal. food drums, 750 gal. kiddie pools w/cover for $99, etc.). On a small budget this type of stuff has helped me - maybe others too. Thank you for taking on this project!

Bye for now!

-- Kristi (securx@Succeed.Net), April 17, 1999.

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