Have you read Mitch Ratliffe's latest piece:,6158,2268278,00.html

Look what he says about airports:

"Even in the last couple weeks, we've seen overstatement of Y2K problems at European airports, which the Times of London said we're "headed for millennium computer crashes." This alarming headline is due to the way the question about preparedness was put to the airports by reporters - "Have you tested all our equipment?"


Well, you don't need to test all your equipment. For example, less than four percent of all embedded systems worldwide are thought to be susceptible to Y2K problems, and less than one-half of one percent of embedded systems actually prove to be Y2K problems on average in companies that have talked openly about their systems." -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This guy's an idiot. How can he say it's not necessary to test the equipment???


And he's also now an expert on the economy and Y2K impact??


Here's another absurd comment regarding Credit Suisse bank downgrade ...


"Mayo fails to recognize that overseas banking is still largely manual, and that leading international banks and financial networks are making good progress." -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Based on my travels (3-4 months/yr for 8+ years, until I moved to Oregon - no travel now) ... the ONLY places I ran across ... where banking was TOTALLY manual was a small town off the Turkish coast, out-islands in French Polynesia and Seychelles. Oh yeah, when we were in Patagonia and on safari in Africa . (But, banks weren't available, so you did your "banking" at the front desk of the lodge.) I'm sure there are others ... I didn't travel the whole world.

But give me a break "overseas banking is still largely manual". What a ridiculous statement.

Remember the ole days when you'd use your AMEX or VISA and they'd take your card and run it over some machine to get an imprint??

Well, 6+/- years ago when we had a villa [actually a wonderful reburbished farmhouse] in the Vars region of France (a rural area bordering Provence & Cote d'Azur) ... they didn't do that ole imprint stuff.

When we got our bill, the waitress was holding a little machine at our table and punched everything in. They downloaded it each night. Bill and I were flabbergasted that they did this, and wondered why we were still doing that imprint stuff in the U.S.

What made this even more amazing, was how we found this place. We were in the middle of nowhere. Largest town in 10 mile radius must have had a population of 500. We were doing some biking. Went down a one-lane road, trying to find our way back to the village where our house was. Came across this little, tiny restaurant that had all kinds of fancy awards attached to the exterior. Decided to stop in. Absolutely delightful. Serendipity.

Nonetheless ... they were downloading AMEX & VISA there ... while none of us were doing it in the states!

As I recall, it was about 2 years later before I saw a similar system in the states. Not that people stood by your table with a machine ... but when we started to get AMEX/VISA register tapes, instead of those self-carboned imprints.


P.S. Obviously Mitch Ratcliffe doesn't do much travelling.

-- Cheryl (, June 02, 1999


A Formal Debate: Resolved that the economic consequences of Y2K will be severe and widespread. --------------------------------------------------------------------- June 2, 1999, registration & refreshments 6:30 P.M. debate 7:00 - 9:00 P.M., Auditorium, Bulmer Telecommunications & Computations Building, Troy, N.Y. Sponsored by Hudson Valley Community College and The Center for Economic Growth. ----------------------------------------------------------------------

John Westergaard of and Publisher/Editor of Westergaard Year 2000, will argue for the premise; Mitch Ratcliffe, Executive Producer, ZDY2K and Senior Analyst and Vice President of Programming, ON24 Network will argue against. For details go to

Sorry, I usually try and keep a measured public persona.

But Mitch Ratcliffe qualified to argue this issue. ROFLMAO

-- Cheryl (, June 02, 1999.

And, this is the sort of thing that you will see more of from pollyannas, because they have no where else to go:

"Well, guess what, it turns out that after all the money that has been spent and all the work that has been done, Y2K won't be fixed in time after all. BUT THE GOOD NEWS is that it DOES NOT MATTER, because Y2K IS NOT THAT BIG A PROBLEM. Oh, sure, expect minor inconveniences, maybe for a couple of days, but nothing major, nothing long lasting, and certainly nothing to be concerned about."

This is now becoming The Last Defense of the Pollyannas.

-- King of Spain (, June 02, 1999.

You know, I subtitled the latest State of Y2K at my site as "A Growing Sense Of Unreality ..." for a reason.

First, we had several of predictions from people like North, Yourdon, Jones, Hamasaki, and others, which didn't pan out. I wish you would go back and read what these people said (quite passionately) last year in making these predictions: if "everything" is as interdependent as they assume(d), then we SHOULD be seeing massive disruptions by now.

These predictions have failed, and rather than being left with egg on your face, you wiped it off and started screaming all the louder.

And then, adding to the sense of detachment, right in the middle of this friendly discussion, the BIGGEST COMPUTER CATASTROPHE IN HISTORY (the Chernobyl virus) hammered Asia -- and they worked right around it while we continued to argue.

Is it just me, or is that the theme from "twilight zone" that I hear treacling in the background?

(Murmee, murmee ... )

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (, June 02, 1999.

Mr. Poole,

Beg pardon, but I think you, as well as Mitch Ratcliffe are full of doo doo.

I spent $12,000 of my own money and 2-years of my life "trying to save the world". I met with major media back in the fall of '97 (including Technology Editor of Time Magazine) to explain embedded system situation. I was trying to target and build awareness with techies, engineers and CEO's. I wanted the problem fixed, and realized so many didn't know what part of the problem was. And, until they understood the problem ... it wouldn't get fixed.

They did nothing.

It took me over 6 months to convince my "ex" that the products they were producing that went on plant floors (his company had 85% of automotive market in their speciality), had potential Y2K problems with embedded systems. Not all - but some. I gave him reams & reams of technical, engineering info. (FYI -I designed customized software applications for the company.)

He argued. No No. You don't know what you're talking about. I'm an engineer. Blah, blah. When I explained about directors & officers personal liability ... he delved a bit deeper. Lo and behold. Y2K loomed it's ugly head. It took 6 months to convince him. He's a very bright man. And, he's an engineer.

It's a very complex issue. Because it's so specialized, even most engineers don't understand all issues. Because it's an engineering function, most IT people haven't been able to grasp the problem.

The people you attempt to discount, are the people who have raised awareness of Y2K issues so that companies and people understand the issues, technical aspects and dominoe affect.

Whether you agree or disagree with them ... and I realize that you disagree and want to discount them at every attempt possible ...

But, I ask you ... WHO do you admire has consistently, for several years ... attempted to build awareness of technical aspects to educate and encourage action to fix this problem?

-- Cheryl (, June 03, 1999.


Maybe Ratcliffe is not an expert in the fields listed within the majority of the posts contained on this site...But then again which of the other "Experts" are so knowledable of three critical areas: Power, Telecom and Manufacturing, as to allow them to make such bold statements about their readiness. I have been fortunate enough to be employed in two of three areas (5 yrs Power Industry & last 7 Telecomm - Wireless/Wireline, M.S.E.E., MSc Physics) and will never feel comfortable enough to make some of the guesses regarding Y2K's potential impact that have been posted here.

-- w_holst (, June 03, 1999.

<Maybe Ratcliffe is not an expert in the fields listed within the majority of the posts contained on this site

Glad you agree ...


"Resolved that the economic consequences of Y2K will be severe and widespread."

Whether or not you agree with Westergaard ... at least he's been involved with finance, investments for ages, and has been focused on Y2K impact for several years.

What's Ratcliffe's expertise? His bio was posted several months ago on ZDNET -- basically PC/IT stuff. But, that bio was pulled. Do you have a link to his most recent bio???

-- Cheryl (, June 03, 1999.

* * * 19990603 Thursday


I, and about a dozen other IT technicians/engineers of many more years of experience, ran RATCLIFF through the ringer last fall in another e-mail forum. He was discredited as a self-stating, certifiable know-nothing, in-total-Y2K-denial, corporate flak. We ignored him... he went away.

POOLE falls into this same category.

Ignore them and they will eat their own words--if their employers don't chew them up and spit them out first--when the Y2K TSHTF in unforgiving proportions.

Self-serving, self-reporting by corporate ( stock values! ) and government agencies ( hand-out constituencies ) is the major wrench in getting at the truth of Y2K ramifications.

Corporate-owned media--again, in the interest of protecting their corporate "parent" stock values--have absolutely no interest in performing investigative reporting about Y2K. The few reporters that have been sent to cover Y2K information and preparation gatherings, have been interns that have not a clue about Y2K. They film, then leave, not listening to the presentations for _intelligent_ follow up interviews to dig deeper.

The window of July 1 through October 1 will bring Y2K hens home to roost, so to speak. Actions will speak louder than the Y2K know- nothings.

Ignore the ignoramouses and avoid the stress. The dues/justice will be hefty for vanity and moral betrayals.

May their loved ones never forgive them, and the fore-smoten sucker- Luddites never forget their words, hence deeds.

Just my US$0.02...

Been there, done that...

Regards, Bob Mangus

* * *

-- Robert Mangus (, June 03, 1999. nose hasn't quite been rendered useless by the stench arising from this forum. Not quite yet.

And I smell hypocrisy on a level as high as has ever been exhibited.

You folks question and ridicule anyone, Ratcliff, Poole, whomever, who is not an expert in every single field of endeavor related to Y2k.

At the same time you champion people such as Ed Yourdon, Gary North, Paul Milne, and Cory Hamasaki, whose resumes are so limited as to be laughable; but you tout these people and their opinions as being gospel.

The other week Ed Y. voiced his opinion regarding the world economy, and the idiot choir chimed in, "yes, yes". As if Ed knows more about the world economy than those who run it. He's a computer programmer, not a world banker. DUH.

Gary North waxes eloquent about the power grid and computer networks, though he has ZERO experience in either, but the Doom Zombie Choir chimes in, "yes, yes". G. North is a historian ONLY, and not a very good one at that. DUH.

Hamasaki is a computer programmer by trade, but by virtue of his being able to post "reports" on the internet, all of a sudden he is an expert in pretty much any subject you can name. And the Doom Choir chimes in, "yes, yes".

Milne.....don't even want to talk about him. Special place in hell reserved for that guy.

Now. How you Doomjockeys talk about questioning qualifications is completely beyond me, or anybody else who has beans for brains. Your logic flat does not exist. I don't mean it's lacking; I mean, it does not exist. Ain't there. At all.

Clean up your own house before you go telling others how to run theirs.

-- Chicken Little (, June 03, 1999.

Chicken Little, can you possibly deny that, whatever their qualifications may or may not be, Ratcliffe and Poole are absolutely moronic??

-- humpty (, June 03, 1999.


-- Chicken Little (, June 03, 1999.


you don't get out enough. Take a walk in a park eh? Your stuck (cluck) in the cory paul gary loop. I am a prep type and rarely follow them anymore (like a year).

Does Gary even have a site up any more?

Good luck Chicken, oh, try meditation. works wonders.

Cluck luck eh!

-- Brian (, June 03, 1999.


Let me say how impressed I am by your delivery. Very strong. You just get that beak pecking at anything eh?

To bad your a year late.

Cluck luck

-- Brian (, June 03, 1999.


Thanks for your insight. Oh and thanks to steve and chicken, one and the same? Tough call (BWAHAHAHHAHAHAH)

-- Brian (, June 03, 1999.

Cheryl, you have a right to your opinion. Ratcliffe is more of an expert than you and probably on the same level as Yourdon. He said that not all equipment needs to be tested. Note the word all. Equipment does need to be tested but not all. Please read the words carefully, I know its hard for someone like you.

Mr Poole, you have a point - they wipe the egg off and continue to scream louder. Doesn't make sense. And to further their point of view they boast that they get it because they can "see" the true nature of our complex system. They understand the interconnected and systemic blah, blah, blah. It's us pollys who can see anything.

-- Maria (, June 03, 1999.


<Ratcliffe is more of an expert than you and probably on the same level as Yourdon. He said that not all equipment needs to be tested. Note the word all. Equipment does need to be tested but not all. Please read the words carefully, I know its hard for someone like you. >

Love that legal qualifier you & Ratcliffe use ... "all". I should know how this works. Last year spoke in Washington D.C. at the Watergate to legal audience at Y2K Litigation & Risk Assessment conference on embedded systems issues. I was one of only 2-3 non-legal professionals and speakers in the room. I listened to speaker after speaker explain how to use those qualifiers. How to say as little as possible in compliance statements.

<Ratcliffe is more of an expert than you ...

Not when it comes to embedded systems.


"But, as a bellwether of things Y2K, the Euro transition should provide substantial peace of mind to those concerned that the world's data infrastructure will come unglued on January 1, 2000." ...

"As a problem of similar scale, the Euro conversion is an excellent basis for making projections about the Y2K date roll-over."


January 7, 1999 Euro blamed for violent clashes at French post office 00bsGq&P4_FOLLOW_ON=/99/1/7/wrio07.html&pg=/et/99/1/7/wrio07.html

January 7, 1999 BLOOMBERG: Trouble with Euro Settlements

February 10, 1999 European Banks lost track of Billions of Guilders

April 12, 1999 Glitch causes 4 Billion Euro Overdraft

May 14, 1999 Euro Launch took British Banking to brink of Chaos Scramble for billions during two weeks of trading gridloc =www%2Enewsunlimited%2Eco%2Euk&uri=%2FThe%5FPaper%2FDaily%2FStory%2F0% 2C3604%2C50176%2C00%2Ehtml&userid=4G9Dbb01

May 14, 1999 Millennium 'Bug Bond' sought for 2000 Britain's largest banking groups are negotiating with the Bank of England over the scale of collateral needed to ensure that the central bank will act as a 'lender of last resort' if the financial system is threatened with meltdown by the millennium bug .... Negotiations have been spurred on by the banks' experience of the early days of trading in the euro when the entire European banking system faced repeated liquidity crises. .... An organisation made up of 170 of the world's most influential financial institutions, known as Global 2000, has started debriefing top European banks on the way in which the introduction of the euro was handled in the effort to build [Y2K] contingency plans.,3604,...

Euro Losses ready to Roll on as no ECB Moves NEW YORK, May 26 (Reuters) - Hours after Europe's single currency hit a fresh record low against the dollar, U.S. market analysts said the euro is destined to fall further, in part because European leaders appear ready to let it sink ...

Euro's dropped lower since then. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ------ "But, as a bellwether of things Y2K, the Euro transition should provide substantial peace of mind to those concerned that the world's data infrastructure will come unglued on January 1, 2000." ...

[Should provide substantial peace of mind??? ... LOL]

"As a problem of similar scale, the Euro conversion is an excellent basis for making projections about the Y2K date roll-over."

[Unfortunately, I think Ratcliffe's right here.]

Maria, you should take your own advice ...

<Please read the words carefully, I know its hard for someone like you. >

-- Cheryl (, June 03, 1999.

My God....MARIA, you have finally said something I can agree with. Pollys do not have a clue! In fact, I can't even say they have big brains, because so many of them have proven just how mindless they are. They have "blind faith" in the systems and have nothing with which they can prove thier theories. Lay some more "big brain" talk on us Maria, and then let's discuss the "logic" of your theories!

-- Will continue (, June 03, 1999.

Cheryl,, you are so cool. Bummer that Texas had to lose ya.

-- Lisa (, June 03, 1999.


What does this mean, Stephen?

I cannot find it in any dictionary....

-- J (, June 03, 1999.

The panel gave Ratcliffe the win in the debate by a 3 to 1 margin.

The Westergard nut admitted he writes reports based on inference - and explained that he meant if he hears a rumor often enough he thinks it is true. Anyone who writes anything based on Internet rumors is absolutely a mental case - esp. if they come from places like WorldNet Daily or Drudge.

And finally, France would be the worst possible example of any European country to be looking for doing anything by hand - as they had a government a few years back that tried to get everything imaginable wired together. Ever hear of MiniTel? They are the only place in the world I know of that went overboard like that - and must be considered a 'wild datum' for that reason.

-- Paul Davis (, June 03, 1999.


That's right. Nut cases like people that believe in a Constitutionally limited republic instead of the mob rule we now enjoy. By the way, WND was first on the Y2K National Guard plans. I know just fantasy. Believing politicians whose only interest in you is your now worthless vote for the statist status quo.

I read many of your technical posts and I agree with Gary N. You are a tree-person and can't possible see the forest. It was that type of thought process that has us to the wall in this incredible mess. You need to examine how you know what you know.

-- PJC (, June 03, 1999.

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