Milne: NONE of California's utilities are ready yet : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Subject:Why bks Will Be Singin' The Blues Soon
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PG&E is making no guarantees that the Y2K bug won't bite
May 11, 1999
The lights probably will stay on in the San Francisco Bay Area come Jan. 1, but Pacific Gas & Electric Co. isn't sure. That's its most recent assessment of its ability to withstand the year 2000 computer problem, as reported to the California Public Utilities Commission. PG&E officials concluded that with a few minor exceptions, "we anticipate that our mission-critical systems will be Year 2000 ready" sometime between July 1 and September.
"However, because achieving year 2000 readiness is subject to various risks and uncertainties, we are not able to make ... guarantees," they added.
The report noted, "we have yet to receive responses" from some of PG&E's critical suppliers about readiness.
PG&E's preparedness appears to be typical among California's utility companies, said Brian Schumacher, a commission official who has been reviewing Y2K reports.
"None of them, as far as I know, are ready now," he said.
Dear pollyannas.......
"None of them, as far as I know, are ready now," he said.
I know that you are too sub-cretinous to really understand, but...
He says that they all 'expect' to be ready sometime later.
They have failed EVERY expectation since they began. They expected to have a FULL YEAR for testing which was NECESSARY as it is the LARGEST and most COSTLY part of the entire remdiation. But, they will not have that full year for testing, will they? Nope.
What I REALLY love about this report is that it is right in the
backyard of that inimitable asshole, BKS.
At one time, they all but guaranteed that the lights would stay on.
Now, they come up with all this lame crap about not 'being able to make any guarantees." There are too many 'vagaries' in the remediation process. They 'anticipate' that they will be ready. Gee, that would be about a 100% rate of 'anticipating' readiness for the electric utility industry. NOT ONE of them has admitted that they will not make it and the citizens need to make serious contingency plans. NOT ONE has had the honesty to admit that it will not be done. This is in TOTAL
defiance of THIRTY yers of IT Metric studies which CONCLUSIVELY show that over 85% of projects of this scope and magnitude do not finish on time and actually AVERAGE 18 to 24 months late.
And whether they are near complianc eor not, they have not even
received response from whom? Their ****CRITICAL*** suppliers. What does ***CRITICAL*** suppliers meann, bks? Huh? Can you figure that out, boy?
BKS Spin: "Oh, their suppliers are compliant even though they have not responded because they are afraid of lawsuits."
More afraid of 'potential' lawsuits than of being cut off of PSE&G's vendor list?
BKS *******RICHLY****** deserves the fate about to befall him for his self-induced and INTENTIONAL stupidity. It really *is* a shame , though... I mean, the people who are dependent upon bks for their lives. There will be the lamentable and WHOLLY preventable gnashing of teeth and weeping of tears soon in the bks household and they will all be able to turn and point the finger at just ONE person...
Butthead Sherman, himself.
Whewww!! That was almost better than sex.
Paul Milne
If you live within five miles of a 7-11, you're toast.

--== Sent via ==--
---Share what you know. Learn what you don't.---

-- a (a@a.a), May 14, 1999


...of coursee what that fart-catcher Milne neglects to mention, is that NO utility wil guarantee service for tommorrow. Why ? Liability and service guarantees...

-- Y2K Pro (, May 14, 1999.

Just because they won't guarantee it, doesn't mean they ARE ready ... or will be ... in time.


Never thought I'd agree with Milne on much.

C'est la vie!

(We could sure use some well-publicized miracles out here).


-- Diane J. Squire (, May 15, 1999.

Yet another brilliant posting by Y2K Pro, the "village idiot" of this forum. I don't know of one utility that will absolutely guarantee service to its customers. Get real "Pro".

-- Amused (, May 15, 1999.

Do you MIND Amused, that comparison with PeeDog is insulting to Village Idiots!!!

-- Andy (, May 15, 1999.


Wonderful, just wonderful. But then again, have ANY said READY? FPL at 95% as of last week, good news I guess, a "successful" test, another at 94%, yea, we'll be ready. But then again, NERC says 75% AVERAGE. Note the key word AVERAGE. So, if FPL is at 95%, somebody is at 55%, to get this average. FPL has been at it since 1995, BEFORE MOST! 7.5 months to go. Yea, no problem, I guess, duh... <:)=

-- Sysman (, May 15, 1999.

Look, Diane and Sysman,

It's worse than that! Come 12/31, NO power company will be compliant! You would have to do end to end testing on PRODUCTION power equipment, and do it in the LONG, HOT Summer. What FPL has achieved is a thoroughly tested HOT SPARE!!! It won't even be carrying a load at the rollover! Thus they will avoid 'System Black' conditions when they bring back power plants AFTER they fail and are fixed. They really are limited in how much they can test even if they were "compliant."

-- K. Stevens (, May 15, 1999.

OK, let's take this one from the top.

A complete systemwide test of the whole grid(s) is not feasible. Even if it were feasible, it would still not constitute a guarantee that there are no problems, only that problems didn't arise under tested conditions.

Even within a given utility, a 'complete' test is limited. Those 200 or so utilities operating with clocks now set to 2000 are a step in the right direction, but not a complete step.

We also know that many utilities are still working on their business systems and awaiting delivery/installation of some hardware. The can and will conduct more nearly complete tests during scheduled shutdowns later this year. But we also know that by and large, the noncompliances being found are few, and minor, and we can do without them in a pinch. There may be exceptions.

But lack of utterly complete and comprehensive testing does NOT translate into a guarantee of complete failure. We're dealing with a degree of confidence based on detailed knowledge here. That degree can never reach 100%. How Milne and Stevens can conclude that 99.9% is the same as ZERO (and certain failure) is a mystery to me. This is like arguing that anyone who cannot be *conclusively demonstrated* to be 100% healthy must therefore be dead. And since such a demonstration is not possible, we're all dead and don't know it.

This position is not empiracally determined. It is blind dogma.

-- Flint (, May 15, 1999.

No, 99.9% is NOT ZERO.

The problem is, we won't BE at 99.9% We'll (probably, imho) be around 75%. Which is a LOT better than ZERO.

Unless YOU are the one of the 25% who DON'T get power for some period. I live in the upper midwest. January here is COLD. (Don't ask; if you haven't spent a winter up here, I can't eplain it to you!)

We cannot afford to be without power and heat, I've spent a truly HORRIFIC amount of money to be able to run without "utilities" for MONTHS if needed.

I would have MUCH rather spent that money on a nice boat. (Always wanted one; never had one...) But no, my "boat" sits out back of the house on a 4x8 pad, a nice 20kW gas/propane generator. We're ready to go, but I'd still rather have the boat... ;^}

BTW, the latest report from the "national water treatment whatever..." (from mid-April) states that the current estimate is that about 11% of the U.S. public will not have drinking water at rollover. Now, statistically, I suppose that's not so bad. Convert it to REAL NUMBERS, however, and it amounts to about 30 MILLION PEOPLE. Are YOU (and your family) going to be numbered with THAT GROUP? Do you KNOW? Got water stored? I was told (in no uncertain terms) that "you assume these people can't get water from 'outside'". My response was "No, I don't think that water can be transported to that many people IN A TIMELY enough manner for them to survive..."

Do not gamble with the lives of those who depend on YOU for their safety and wellbeing. If you LOSE, you'll 1) never be able to look them in the face again, and 2) have to answer to God/your conscience if they die, or are harmed.

Additional food for thought: when was the last time you heard about 30 million people needing assistance at the same time? How long did it take to get assistance to the largest group of people that DID need it (that you recall)?

"You're getting sleeeeepy... veerrrrry sleeeeepy...."


230 days remain. About 5500 hours. Get ready. Prepare. Something's going to happen....

-- Dennis (, May 15, 1999.


I "like" camping. Just not with so many people in such a crowded "campground."

Love hot showers even more.

Part of the problem, is we may not KNOW where the water problems, etc. will be, come the turn. And likely we won't receive conclusive assurances either.

I'm not willing to take that gamble. Too risky, IMHO.

Pre-preparation just makes the most sense. (And knowing what and where your alternatives are. Definately NOT at Paul's place).


-- Diane J. Squire (, May 15, 1999.

Diane and Dennis:

I'm certainly not arguing against preparation. I'm a cautious soul, and I've picked one year as my preparation goal. And I got there a while back, I'm just filling in the cracks as time goes by.

However, I will argue against obvious errors. Dennis says that according to NERC utilities average 75% complete with remediation, and then turns around and assumes this means 25% of people will be without power! And this is like saying if your gas tank is 75% full, you will have to push your care one mile out of four.

Dennis, you are making so many false assumptions here I hardly know where to start. You are assuming NO more remediation will be done this year, clearly false. You are assuming that ANY noncompliance will result in a power outage, clearly false. You are assuming that an averaged statistic translates into no power, clearly false. You are assuming that problems with the billing system will trip plants.

I'd suggest a trip over to the EUY2K forum. There are a lot of knowledgeable engineer types over there, and a wealth of good information. If you had this information, you wouldn't be here making false assumptions.

-- Flint (, May 15, 1999.

No, I *said* that *probably* IMHO, 25% would be WITHOUT power for some period. I did NOT say anything about NERC at all. Nor did I talk about remediation percentage. I just postulate that a quarter of the U.S. population can probably expect power outages of indeterminate (1-30 days, again IMHO) duration. That's it.

Nothing special, and nothing accusatory...

As always, MOO (my opinions only!)

-- Dennis (, May 15, 1999.


OK, sorry, *I* made the assumption that you were referencing the NERC report, since they reported 75% remediated right now. If you were instead picking a number purely ex-rectum, fine. But informed opinions are usually more accurate than uninformed opinions. You might well modify that number if you studied the matter a bit. EUY2K is a good place to do so.

-- Flint (, May 15, 1999.

Okay. See, I'm a computer consultant (or "rent-a-nerd", as some would say), and have been for the last 8 years. I've been in the computer field for over 25 years. I hold a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and am a member of the IEEE. My primary work (until recently) was in design and implementation of automated shop-floor data collection and control systems, design of custom communications protocols, robotic interfacing and programming (PLC's), integration of RF terminal equipment and bar-code I/O systems, and user training/documentation. Right now I'm just doing "standard" remediation. Boring, but it pays...

I HAVE been to EUY2K (it's in my "favorites" list), and visit them regularly. I have also been involved in personal Y2K research for the past 8 months, during which time I've come across some fairly startling information from time to time. Unfortunately, the information that's MOST relevent to my opinions is "anecdotal"; that is, it came from my peers and associates in the field.

Even though THEY are the ones who have DIRECTLY discovered the info, to anyone past myself, it's just hearsay. So I don't forward it, as it becomes rumors, and I don't spread rumors. BUT, many of those first-person experiences have gone a long way toward shaping how I feel. I must give that info more weight than "other anecdotal" information posted by "experts" that I know nothing about.

So, I hope you understand. I *do* consider myself relatively informed on the subject, and do *not* consider myself a "doomer". But in Wisconsin in Januray, the temps can reach 20 deg. below zero. I cannot afford to take chances with my family like that, ESPECIALLY knowing some of what I do.

-- Dennis (, May 15, 1999.

And this is like saying if your gas tank is 75% full, you will have to push your care one mile out of four. -- Flint

WATCH OUT for that nail in the road!

Oops ... another unexpected flat tire! (And cant phone a tow truck ... cells phones not working).


Electric Utilities and Y2K a.tcl?topic=Electric%20Utilities%20and%20Y2K

-- Diane J. Squire (, May 15, 1999.


The rumor stuff makes things hard all around. We hear secondhand that things are great and that things are hopeless, from people we've never heard of. Certainly I'd be more willing to listen to someone I know.

An a related theme, however, when it comes to power I think it's legitimate to play "name that device." And at that level, I haven't seen anyone come forward anywhere. We've heard that level of detail from several engineers who claim to have tested and found no compliance issues with most, no functional issues with the rest. But nobody I've ever seen has come forth and said "this device will fail, with serious consequences, and can't be fixed."

Certainly we've heard some people say essentially that they cannot possibly get around to testing everything in the remaining time, and must believe those who have tested the same devices elsewhere and found nothing. But this doesnt upset me much. I know we (where I work) pull about 5% of our widgets off the shipping docks at random and test them. We can't possibly test ALL of them, and if we find ANY problems with our random sample, we stop shipment until such problems can be explained and tracked down.

So far, my reading is that we have about a 50-50 probability that power outages may be abnormally high, stemming from a combination of y2k failures and solar flares. I think 25% of the US population experiencing outages begs a definition. I experience <1 second outages every few days (and sometimes strings of half a dozen within an hour). If you are talking about 3 days or longer, I find your estimate improbably high. But we'll see.

-- Flint (, May 15, 1999.

'when was the last time you heard about 30 million people needing assistance at the same time? How long did it take to get assistance to the largest group of people that DID need it (that you recall)?'

Not to make light of your point, but just to give a glimpse into the enormity of taking on such a task --- think Honduras.

-- Shelia (, May 15, 1999.

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