UNIX and Testing tools

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

Our city just put some interesting information on their website. It's all in large (PDF format) files. I downloaded one last night. The following information was in response (12/08/1998) to a letter from a concerned citizen. I've typed the question along with the answer for convenience. I would appreciate any feedback from the big guys regarding the UNIX solution and testing tools and any other comments.

Citizen Question 1: How many lines of mainframe computer code does Denton Utilities have?

Answer: Although the City has many lines of computer mainframe code, this code will be entirely replaced by April of 1999 when we migrate from the mainframe ES9000 device to a UNIX based client server architecture.

Citizen Q3: On what date do you plan to begin testing your completed code?

Answer 3: We will not be testing replaced code to the same degree as any in-house developed code would be. These packages we are implementing are 'off-the-shelf' applications which are used by several utilities or municipalities throughout North America. This does not mean no testing will be performed. Internal testing (testing performed by the City) is being performed with either passive or active toolkits, depending upon the device and risk associated with non-compliance and the risk to the device. Vendor testing of systems will be done with whatever toolkits the vendor uses for testing compliance. When I ran the Y2K practice for Ernst & Young LLP in the Southwest area, we used a variety of tools including Bindview, Tava, WheelGroup, Network General Sniffer, and some public domain software. [Insert: notice he doesn't say he is using these tools now] In addition, an external auditor will be employed in the first quarter of the next calendar year to review our Y2K compliance work to date throughout the City and perform random testing and sampling to validate compliance.

Citizen Q4: how many third party software vendors supply Denton with software?

Answer 4: There are 32 vendors who supply software or hardware solutions to what the City has identified as 'mission critical' systems. Not all these are data processing systems, however the Library, Electric, Water/Wastewater, Airport, Solid Waste, Finance, City Manager's Office, and many other departments us outside software/hardware vendors to help them achieve their missions.

Citizen Q5: How many of those have supplied you with Y2K compliant upgrades?

Answer 5: All of these vendors of mission critical systems have supplied us with some form of Y2K compliance assurance in writing.

Citizen Q8: Will we be able to put a Propane generator in, in case you cannot supply electricity?

Answer: We do not anticipate any power problems caused by the Y2K problem. A great deal of attention both locally and nationally has been focused on the Y2K issue and electric power, and we anticipate compliance by the end of the calendar year. [my insert: is that 1998?] Our contingency plans for electric include having fuel oil available to run our own generators without relying on natural gas suppliers, and to isolate from the electric grid if necessary to bring power to residents of the City. Should you choose to install a propane generator is entirely up to you, but the City fully anticipates being able to provide power to Denton Municipal Electric customers.

Citizen Q9: Will we have drinkable running water? Can we install a well if you are not sure?

Answer 9: The water department system is a completely manual system, and will not be affected by the Y2K compliance issues. As automation is introduced into the water plant, we will assure it is Y2K compliant prior to implementation.

-- Shelia (Shelia@active-stream.com), May 05, 1999


Link to the above --- http://www.ci.dento n.tx.us/y2k/vendors.html

-- Shelia (Shelia@active-stream.com), May 05, 1999.

The two letters are in the PDF file: Correspondence from and to citizens and local companies (940K)

-- Shelia (Shelia@active-stream.com), May 05, 1999.

They made a good choice. UNIX is the most stable and oldest (thus fewest bugs) of all the currently used Network Operating Systems.

IBM dropped the budget for mainframe research to nil a few years back, and laid off thousands of people. Why? - no one was buying. Mainframes are not increasing their share of the DP market at all, fact is they are being dropped by many firms and government agencies. Now Cory H. will probably fuss at me about that statement, but I dare him in advance to post figures or a graph from any reliable source that shows mainframes increasing their market as a share of the TOTAL market, even as a share of the TOTAL market as server vs mainframe.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), May 05, 1999.

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