Chinese harbour secret weapon in war against the Y2K bug : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Chinese harbour secret weapon in war against the Y2K bug

No expensive upgrade needed, just a dusting to survive the arrival of the year 2000

Friday, April 30, 1999
Reuters News Agency

Beijing -- Behind the gleaming glass fagades and polished marble countertops of China's modern banks lies a secret weapon in the country's war against the Y2K bug.

Hewn out of wood, the time-tested desktop computer is portable, requires no power and can perform even advanced banking calculations. And unlike its modern, memory-hungry counterparts, the ancient Chinese abacus can survive the arrival of the year 2000 without an expensive upgrade. Just a quick dusting will do.

"No problems here," said a smiling China Construction Bank employee as she gestured to the well-worn abacus on her desk.

With only eight months remaining in the race to become Y2K compliant, the humble abacus and other low-tech traditions are emerging as China's best crutch in the event of a New Year's meltdown.

Full story at

With technology like this, Who needs pencil & paper?

-- a (a@a.a), April 30, 1999


Who'd they pirate the abacus from? And how was Bill Clinton involved?

-- Doug (, April 30, 1999.

I wonder how you do e-funds transfers with an abacus.


-- Z1X4Y7 (, April 30, 1999.

Has anyone actually watched an experienced abacus user?? There are shortcuts that you wouldn't believe!! C

-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 30, 1999.

Ummm. sorry. Meant to offer an answer to the e-transfer question. You use a person with a morse key (if it goes back that far) at each end of the transaction. If it doesn't go that far back. then you use packet radio, AMTOR, packet wire data, etc.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 30, 1999.

...The problem is, the abacus is hooked up to their nuclear weapons silos aimed at a church baement?...

-- churchorganist (, May 01, 1999.

Yes, chuck... a soroban/abacus-wielding 10-year old might be able to knock out a P&L Statement and Balance Sheet for a medium- size company in less time than it takes Windows 98 and Excel to load!!

-- PNG (, May 01, 1999.

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