Only minor glitches found in Y2K test at base : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

May 13, 1999


Only minor glitches found in Y2K test at base

By Brian Friel

Officials at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi Wednesday reported only minor glitches in a two-day base-wide test of computer systems for Y2K problems. Col. Mike Bovich, vice commander of the Air Force Communications Agency, which ran the service's first base-wide Y2K test, said all systems appeared to perform their primary functions smoothly through a simulated rollover into the year 2000. The base also tested computer systems' response to three other dates that pose potential problems. "We are able to sit here and say that we rolled through all these dates, and in the year 2000, the Air Force should be able to function just fine," Bovich said. The base had tested individual systems before this week, but had never tested a full simulation of the century change for the entire base infrastructure, including voice and data networks and the logistics, finance, security, medical, contracting, training and personnel applications that run on those networks. The base also tested elevators, escalators, stoplights, and heating and air conditioning systems. Base personnel were instructed to conduct business as usual throughout the test. For the simulation, the base first switched the date on all systems to September 9, 1999, because "9999" is a stop code for some computer programs. After completing tests for that date, the base switched to Sept. 30, 1999 for the rollover into Oct. 1, 1999, which is the start of fiscal year 2000. Then the base rolled into Jan 1, 2000. On the second day of testing, computers were set to Feb. 29, 2000, since some computer programs may have problems with the leap day next year. Though system logs must still be reviewed thoroughly, Bovich said the simulation gives the Air Force confidence that it will beat the Y2K bug. Base personnel reported several glitches, however, including: The graphical interface of a security monitoring system that normally shows pictures of rooms when alarms go off in them began acting erratically in the Sept. 9, 1999 phase, and stopped working altogether in the Jan. 1, 2000 phase. The security system itself, however, continued functioning. Telephone systems, including 911, worked fine. But the billing system for the phone network assigned the wrong dates to phone calls. Though elevators didn't malfunction, the system that tracks where elevators are at any given time started using the wrong dates in tracking files. Bovich said the Air Force Communications Agency will provide other bases and Defense Department components with a report on the results of the Y2K test, since many of the systems tested at Keesler are used elsewhere in the Air Force and the other military services. He added that Air Force components are required to have contingency plans for working around glitches like the ones at Keesler. "We cannot afford to not be able to do our jobs," Bovich said. "This test raises our level of confidence. I expect Dec. 31 to end up being a big non-event, though we'll be at the ready to take on problems that arise."

-- Norm (, May 13, 1999


Just wondering if you beleive everything your hear from the government. I could start with a list of disinformation from our government in the past, but first Ed would have to install a much larger computer system.

-- BiGG (, May 13, 1999.

It's mid-year - nice to know they have finally STARTED integrated base testing at ONE facility. At no point though, were even 24 hour runs allowed and natural turnovers from date-1 to critical date to critical date + 1, since the whole thing (for 5 or 6 critical dates) was finished in two days. There are (based on experience in software testing) many, many problems left uncovered and unreported.

Also, this was (again) a single test in a single institution - the first such reported ever - and has no relevence at all to whether any other base has finished, or will finish its own recovery and testing. the fact that one group of computers tests even "moderately" okay - as this did - only means that they have several hundreds more to go.

It also means that they would have experience SIGNIFICANT troubles if theyremained unremediated - and emphasizes that - if this is the "good news" that has been reported - it can only be assumed that NO OTHER base has tested. Right?

Oh, by the way "Norm," there were significant problems reported, at the critical dates predicted by the supposed experts, in several systems predicted by the experts, and confirms that there will be (even after remediation) many errors left undiscovered and unexpected - which rather shoots down the "no problemo" attitude.

Sorry "Norm" - you have failed again to bring any "good news" to the forum, but thanks for trying.

I just wish it weren't so easy to shoot the "good news" stories down - I wish it weren't so trivial to show how far behind the government and military actually are in their attempts at manipulating public opinion.

Damn, now I'm getting discouraged. Can't you at least once bring up a story that really has good news in it?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, May 13, 1999.

I never slept with that woman....Miss Lewinsky.

-- Bill (, May 13, 1999.

I never believe there is a problem till the govt. says there will be no problem!.

"We are able to sit here and say that we rolled through all these dates, and in the year 2000, the Air Force should be able to function just fine,"

-- Johnny (, May 13, 1999.

Norm, when can we expect to see a post from you with a GOOD NEWS story from an INDEPENDENT 3rd party?


-- Ray (, May 13, 1999.

Only minor glitches REPORTED in Y2K test at base.

-- Prometheus (, May 13, 1999.

Good. 911 will work(maybe). They may need it.

-- Mike Lang (, May 13, 1999.


Suspect you all check in regularly with Today's release should terrify both the trusting and non-trusting when it comes to government releases.

-- Carlos Mueller (, May 13, 1999.

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