For all the newcomers, who here is a programmer? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Every now and then I think this forum needs a little perspective. There is a very wide range of professions frequenting this forum. To please the audience, (I know it will) please state what kind of programming, remediating or other areas of expertise, if you are in the I.T. field. People who are not, please do not reply so the forum viewers can get a feel for who is blowing hot air and who is not. If your husband or wife is a programmer, you qualify as an insider.

-- Feller (, June 05, 1999


22 years realtime mainframe experience, primarily in realtime airline operations (using Assembler (BAL) in an IBM TPF environment), with some banking (5 years) and rail (2 years) experience too. British Airways (London), Saudia (Jeddah), Amadeus/Continental (Munich and Miami), American (Tulsa), SNCF (French Railroad, Lille), VISA (San Francisco) - AN other airline, CO.

I take a keen interest in the Banking issue (they are going to tank IMHO due to the imported data problem and bank runs), and the overseas systems (Saudi Arabia, Germany, France will be various degrees of toast, in descending order) -


-- Andy (, June 05, 1999.


A bank called Firstar had an advertisement in the paper stating they were "y2k ready" and for more information to call 18772857827. I called and ask various questions but when I ask what the banks would do to prevent bad data from corrupting their good data, I was transfered to a supervisor. The supervisor did not know the answer but he was going to call the branch office and get back with me. I am still waiting for the callback.

-- y2k dave (, June 05, 1999.

Thanks Dave,

I very much doubt if you will get a callback as the problem is insurmountable, on a worldwide basis, in the time we have left (circa 111 working days).

The only way to solve the problem is isolation - which will in essence have the same effect, i.e. the banking system of systems will not talk to each other ergo Banking collapse.

For all his detractors Gary North has summed it up very very well in his imported data subset on his site at


-- Andy (, June 05, 1999.

Hey, Andy, did you get the message I sent to your E-mail concerning the Skolnik statements?

-- Betty Alice (, June 05, 1999.

30 years mainframe experience - Cobol, Assembler, CICS, Fortran, PL/1 working primarily in banking, government, and insurance. The last 19 years as a computer consultant. 2 major Y2K remediation projects - one state government and one for a major automobile insurance company. The government project covered an entire range of ancient code and technology. BDAM and VSAM files, MACRO and COMMAND level COBOL, Assembler, CICS and CICS multiplex

-- Jean (, June 05, 1999.

In-house applications programming, systems management, systems support on mini-computers, servers, mainframe, PeeCees since 1983...

-- Anonymous99 (, June 05, 1999.

* * * 19990605 Saturday

33 years experience:

Mainframe: COBOL, CICS, MVS, Fortran, PL/1, ALGOL, NEAT-III

PC/Network: Visual FoxPro, Visual BASIC, Clipper, Paradox, xBase

Military MOS: 3 years; incl. 1 year in-country Vietnam; Ft. Bragg, NC Special Forces.

Civilian: 30+ yrs; Manufacturing, banking, automotive multiplexed/real-time controllers, other financial.

* The last 20 years as a computer consultant.

* 4 major Y2K remediation projects: automotive; mortgage; PC/Network; AS-400

Self-imposed QUIT the "Y2K rat race," December, 1998--couldn't hack the moral implications working with impossible "management" Y2K- denial.

Regards, Bob Mangus

* * *

-- Robert Mangus (, June 05, 1999.

I am not but hubby is tech/telecommnications with big utility Co and his project is y2k.

-- Deborah (, June 05, 1999.

I started out programming mainframe and minis in the early 80's then moved on to PC's in the mid-80's. I've programmed in more languages than I have fingers and toes, setup networks, and can do anything to/with a PC short of a soldering iron. Been a full-time employee, consultant and self-employed commercial software developer in a wide-range of industries (banking, brokerage, fast-food, cosmetics, recruiting, tool-kits for other developers). Basically, I'm a been there, done that, hired-gun type of guy...


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), June 05, 1999.

33+ years programming and analysis for mainframes. COBOL, Assembler, Easytrieve, CICS, IDEAL, DATACOMM, IDMS, DLI, ABABAS, VSAM, ISAM. 6 regular jobs ('66 to '78), 35 contracts since mid '78. One year on Y2K remediation. I have done this not to earn a living, but to collect funny stories. I have personally experienced many of the outrageous situations depicted in Dilbert. I have seen companies on a regular basis trying to put themselves out of business. Y2K just gives them the extra edge to do themselves in.

-- curtis schalek (, June 05, 1999.

25 years experience, COBOL, Fortran, Pascal (yeah, I know...), C, CICS, JCL. Everything from mainframes to PC's. B.S. degree in electronic engineering, member of the IEEE. Major work in automated shop-floor data-collection and control systems, robotics interfacing and programming (PLC's), RF-terminal and bar-code systems programming and integration. Coding and documentation to MIL-spec as well. Systems analysis/programming, project lead, R&D. Been part of various Y2K remediation projects (nothing Earth-shaking though).

-- Dennis (, June 05, 1999.


I see you list Clipper. What 3rd party tools did you use? There's a good chance I worked on/wrote at least one of them...


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), June 05, 1999.

I'm building a Data Base to help defend humble Yourdonites. I don't want you guys to have to constantly repeat your backgrounds in the future when attacked by the trolls. Some threads in the future will show up as a list of all of you, in honor to all your hard efforts here on the forum. No newbies will mistake the pro's from the con's. If you don't want to be included yet have already "entered", feel free to mention below stating: Delete, Feller. Thanks

-- Feller (, June 05, 1999.

I started programming IBM mainframes in 1964 (7080) and spent about 16 years writing Autocoder, Cobol, Fortran and a few other languages. Besides IBM I worked on Control Data and Honeywell mainframes.

Back then we did what was called Serial Processing (two banks of tape drives) since disk drives were rare birds. It was not until 1966 that we received our first IBM 360/50 with 2314 disk drives. Pretty scary at that time.


-- Ray (, June 05, 1999.

16 years' experience. Programmer, analyst, engineer, manager, now a consultant. Mini, micro, and UNIX servers. On the job Y2K exposure. Been warning customers of impending "complexity train wreck" for four years, but only understood the significance of y2k since last July.

-- a (a@a.a), June 05, 1999.

Hi Feller,

But we could be making all of this up. :P

41+ years. Mainframes: 1958-1974, Minis: 1963-1985, Micros: 1976-1999 (yeah, they overlap -- so what?) OS development (several), Language design/implementation (several), Software/hardware utilities (many), embedded systems (small scale), computer architecture & logic design, plus, of course, many hundreds of applications, business and scientific. Certificate in Data Processing (DPMA) 1963.

-- Dean, CDP -- from (almost) Duh Moines (, June 05, 1999.

There are a couple of threads in the archives that were posted around the beginning of the year. Lots of techies posting their experience, etc.

I'm going to try to slog through the archives and find them. If anyone else finds them before me, feel free to post the link to those threads.

-- Tim (, June 05, 1999.

Here's one: msg.tcl?msg_id=000ab8

-- Tim (, June 05, 1999.

* * * 19990605 Saturday


> Robert, > > I see you list Clipper. What 3rd party tools did you use? > There's a good chance I worked on/wrote at least one of them...

I fell into dBase III+ while on a consulting assignment at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, circa ~1983(?). Tools were virtually non-existent in those days. Of course, with my COBOL and BASIC ( mainframe ) background ( 17 yrs ), I was a proficient and prolific "coder."

The only tool I ever recall using was the Shareware package called "Snap!"--a _very_ rudimentary xBase software application documentation tool. It was the only INDISPENSIBLE tools I ever used.

The other INDISPENSIBLE tools was efficient use of Cut and Paste! *wink*

Regards, Bob Mangus

* * *

-- Robert Mangus (, June 05, 1999.

Recent Associate's degree as Programmer/Analyst (12/97). Experience as a consultant (primarily creating databases using MS Access & VBA), currently working as a Y2k Project Coordinator, have had another job with the same title for another company.

-- Steve Hartsman (, June 05, 1999.

Found more techies posting their experience/credentials from the archives: msg.tcl?msg_id=000agp msg.tcl?msg_id=000b6X msg.tcl?msg_id=000bHg

-- Tim (, June 05, 1999.

20 years of experience programming in Cobol on HP3000 computers for large electronics companies. Worked on a Y2K project for almost 2 years at my former employer. They were making other massive changes to the system at the same time that we were doing the Y2K upgrade. They are headed for a train wreck, and I got out. Am now working as a contractor. I believe that almost every organization has cut so many corners that Y2K will be a 10.

-- Mr. Adequate (, June 05, 1999.

-- Mr. Adequate commented:

" I believe that almost every organization has cut so many corners that Y2K will be a 10. "

An interesting observation and one that should be expanded on.


-- Ray (, June 05, 1999.

First job in 1968 as IBM 360/30 mainframe operator. Already knew Fortran. Got paid to program starting in 1969. Been playing with micro computers since the Z-80 and 6502 - pre-PC.

A few of the regulars in my above man-year threads that Tim posted are no longer with us on a regular basis. MVI and Mr. Kennedy come to mind. <:)=

-- Sysman (, June 05, 1999.

avionics system tech six years on Hawkeye airborne early warning systems us navy,eleven years R.D engineering tech doing various aerospace and space related R&D defense, and robotic projects and embedded systems for Govt and fortune 500 companies.

-- y2k aware mike (y2k aware mike @ conservation .com), June 05, 1999.

I started out coding COBOL on HP3000's that connected to TURBOIMAGE databases, which were not relational in nature. I hated their manual master vs. automatic master when it came to one to many relationships. If the DBM didn't think things out in the design, establishing connections to the desired tables could be messy vs using a relational database and SQL. Towards the end of my HP3000 days, they had me using Speedware's 4GL tools, which reduced development time, but one still had to work around TURBOIMAGE'S (IMO) limitations. I'm surprized I can even remember that stuff now after not working on it for a few years :-)

-- Tim (, June 05, 1999.

Another couple of threads with some bits of programmers' bio info, if you sift through them:
Who are the veteran computer folks on this board? at

Poll of Y2k awareness at

and since my posting on the "Who are ..." thread mistakenly implied that I had all of 36 years of programming experience, let me restate:

I started programming on an IBM 1620 when I was 14, and on an IBM 7094 a little later. Since my first paying job in 1967, I've had about 30 years' professional programming experience on a variety of IBM, DEC, and Tandem mainframes plus a little PC work, using assembler and vaious higher-level languages.

Some of my programming has been of the systems programming type ("programming for other programmers") -- extensions to operating systems. I've written applications for the oil, real estate, and financial services industries. Have been a manager/installer/tuner of software sometimes.

Y2k - In 1979 while working for a small computer vendor I noticed, and pointed out to my manager, that a large suite of software would fail when the calendar year rolled over from 1999 to 2000. From 1985 until about 1991 while working for a leading supplier of electronic funds transfer software and processing, my colleagues and I recognized that two-digit year fields would be troublesome after 1999. We used windowing logic for years after 1999, though without standardized framing dates. About 1989, I fixed a calendar date translation subroutine that would have treated 2000 as a non-leap year. About 1991, my employer instituted formal Y2k education, review, and standards, and began remediation. Since 1995 I've recognized how the interconnectedness of computers with our everyday lives meant that the Y2k computer problems could have serious consequences for society.

-- No Spam Please (, June 06, 1999.


>People who are not, please do not reply so the forum viewers can get a feel for who is blowing hot air and who is not. If your husband or wife is a programmer, you qualify as an insider.

If you meant to imply that only those in the IT field, or married to such, qualify as knowledgeable on Y2k, you are wrong and that is offensive. If you did not, please clarify yourself.

-- No Spam Please (, June 06, 1999.

I started around 1978 with TI-59 programmable calculator (the one with the little mag cards that the calculator pulled throught with a little motor, for storing progams and data.)
Basic, True Basic, Microsucks QuickBasic & Professional Basic
dbase III+, FoxBase (briefly), Clipper 5.x
FoxPro (briefly) Borland C (briefly)
Microsucks Visual Basic and Access (BASIC)
Almost all work has been contract (temp) jobs.

Microsoft shit is what pays my bills, but I do not enjoy it. It is cumbersome, buggy, unstable, and MOST IS NOT REALLY Y2K COMPLIANT, AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED.. I'm sticking it out through this year, but will reevaluate what to do after that.

If you are using or developing with Microsucks, back up often, and check your data and check it twice, from now on though at least 2000.

I go along with Yourdon's comments about applications coming in late and over budget, or cancelled.

I don't have any expertise with mainframes or chips. But if they are as screwed up as Microsucks Windows and NT, we got "troubles in River City." Some problems can be fixed in a few hours, others in a few days, others will take weeks and months. The length of time required has no necessary correlation with the criticalness of the mission. It's going to be "interesting times."

-- vbProg (, June 06, 1999.

Hey! Lookit all these 3000 people!

Can anybody here help me with the Fantasia PCL/graphics package??

Also, I am trying to figure out why fails in batch mode sporadically, while not in interactive mode.

I'm really interested in some knowledge bartering.....

-- lisa (lisa@work.on_a_HP_3000_969-400), June 07, 1999.

Hey No spam: I wanted for this one questionaire to be for programmers so we could reassure newbies of the content and background of Debaters on the forum. By no means do I underestimate the validity of those who do Y2k research, for I am one of those people. Like the layers of material found on earth, the lower you get the more substantial the foundation becomes for support. I assume programmers (those in the trenches) can verify the challenges they are facing moreso than non- programmers. Those who study and do Y2K research may not have 100% accurate information and may somehow redundify a conclusion I'm trying to draw. To get to the bottom of why I started the thread, it seems to me the viewers (or newbies) of the forum may not all be enlightened to the degree of expertise the regulars here have under their belt. When one can acknowledge or match the backround with those who debate here, one can draw a less questionable conclusion of the debates validity. Now that Ed Yourdon has left, we need little grey area and more black and white to keep this forum afloat.

I believe all the rest of us are Y2k investigators, otherwise none of us would be at this forum for any length of time. I hope you feel more reassured of my intent and will not take it personally. We need opinion leaders. We all cannot be opinion leaders. That would be defined as chaos.

Sincerly, Feller

-- Feller (, June 07, 1999.

I couldn't program my way to the bathroom although I am an IT professional. I work client/server as an network/desktop technician, mostley Microsoft OS's. I have been in this business (consulting/contracting) since '94, before that I was an Electronic Technician and before that a bumb (according to some). Don't confuse me with a CET, I don't know (or remember) enough to pass that exam.

Hi Diane!

-- MidwestMike_ (, June 07, 1999.

Currently, I am a Software Engineer with 16 years experience in the IT field. I have worked as a programmer, analyst, and consultant. Platforms are IBM AS/400 and System 38, Data General, Honeywell, and Burroughs (now Unisys, I think). Languages are COBOL, RPG, Fortran, Pascal, ADS, and COOL:2E. I never admit to knowing Basic. Throughout all of those years I have worked on both Military and Civilian systems in the areas of Administration, Manufacturing, Logistics, Order Processing, and Insurance. Plus a couple of others that I'm still not allowed to mention (due to a Top-Secret security clearance).

-- DJ (, June 07, 1999.

Feller: Okay. :-)

-- No Spam Please (, June 08, 1999.

28 Years

Started in 1971 doing Operations / Programming Applications / Tech Applications. * 1st generation Honeywell box (vacuum tubes) using Assembler. * IBM 1401 using Autocoder and BAL. Assorted collating equipment and sorters. * IBM 360/50 w/48k memory using BAL and COBOL * IBM 370/145 DOS w/POWER using BAL and COBOL (conversions from BAL to COBOL. BDAM QSAM ISAM QISAM * Univac 418-III RTOS system w/64k Fastrand Drum / Tape system using Assembler / Fortran. * Comten 3670 Assembler * IBM 370/158 MVS COBOL, BAL, DYL260, Total, Mantis, VSAM * IBM 370/168 same as above * Amdahl 3xxx series COBOL, CICS, DB2, IMS * Hitachi 3xxx series (IBM MF clone like Amdahl) COBOL, CICS, DB2 * IBM 3xxx series COBOL CICS-(Command / Macro) DB2 VSAM IAM * Wang VS-7380 through 16000 - COBOL, Proc Lang * Novell Client Server systems using Windows 3.x/95-98 MF COBOL / C * MS SQL-Server 6.x using Windows 3.x/95-98 Visual Basic / MF COBOL / C / C++ * IBM Token Ring Client Server using OS/2 2.x/3.x MF COBOL DB2/2 * Intel and Motorola embedded processors using Assembler / C * Intel platform PCs.

- Educated at University of MN - BS in Computer Science. - Have taught COBOL and Structured programming techniques. - Built my first computer in 1978 - Altair 8080 kit. I am very hardware aware and inclined (love digital - hate analog). - Built my first Text to Speech processor using Allophone technology in 1984 - Designed and created Remote Print Queue manager, Terminal Emulator, Encryption / Decryption products. - Analyzed and implemented Star Topology financial Institution networks with packet / bundle technology. - Primary career function seems to revolve around Financial Systems Analysis and design (I will work on literally any platform in any capacity for the right contract). - Currently a consultant working in the Financial Services field dealing with design and implementation of Y2K compliant systems. - Heavy Banking / Insurance / Investment background. - Multiple language disciplines including COBOL, CICS, SQL, C, C++, Visual Basic, Basic, Mantis, ASIST, Fortran, DYL260/280, BAL, 80xx Asm, Easytrieve/+, DB2-QMF/Supfi and a boatload of 4-GLs I don't even want to start rattling off.

= Neither Doomer or Polly =

I am a Husband and father and a Veteran USN.

6'4" tall, Brown hair/eyes, Shoe size 14, Waist size 38 - oh ok, make it 40. Geeze..

Yours in COBOL... Dino!

-- COBOL Dinosaur (, June 09, 1999.

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