Bank, emergency officials: Y2K preparations nearly setgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
By Ross Kerber, Globe Staff, 06/26/99
With about six months left before Jan. 1, 2000, local banking and emergency officials say efforts are nearly finished to protect their computer systems against disruption from the software problem known as the ''Y2K bug.''
Work has progressed to the point where any disruptions over New Year's weekend are likely to be no worse than routine glitches that plague most data networks, planners said yesterday at a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Few of those slowdowns are ever noticed by consumers, said UST Corp. vice president John G. Fallon. An advertising campaign to boost consumer confidence, Fallon said, might read, ''We're the banking industry. We screw up all the time. Trust us.''
Overall, 98 percent of the country's banks have made satisfactory progress fixing their software, said Paul Connolly, the Boston Fed's chief operating officer. The rest are being pressed to catch up, he said.
The Fed and other financial regulators won't specify just which institutions need improvement except for a handful of the worst laggards, a position that has drawn criticism from some who want more specifics. But federal planners say they don't want to create panic about the status of banks that are still likely to meet their deadlines. Below-average banks are being made to feel ''inspired'' to improve their work, Connolly said.
The so-called Y2K problem stems from software applications that use just the last two digits of each year to keep track of the date. Such programs might misinterpret the ''00'' of the year 2000 as the year 1900, causing computer systems to malfunction or shut down.
As a result, companies like Boston Edison and Bell Atlantic have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to update their codes.
Both companies have said recently they expected to have completed reviews of all their mission-critical systems by June 30, leaving the remainder of the year for further testing and to develop contingency plans in case of unforeseen difficulties.
The biggest test will come at the stroke of midnight Dec. 31, when planners expect up to 2.5 million people - more than twice the usual crowd - to be on hand for Boston's First Night celebration.
Officials from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the Boston Police Department vowed they would be ready to handle the crowds even if the lights go off.
For starters, almost every member of the Police Department's 2,279 employees can expect to work through the long New Year's weekend, said Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans. Also, MBTA officials said they would have extra trains running and said they had prepared two emergency power plants in South Boston to run - with a 52-hour fuel supply - to keep subways and trolleys moving should they lose power from traditional utility sources.
Officials from Shaw's Supermarkets Inc. and the Federal Aviation Administration also spoke of having extra staff on hand. In all so many people will be on duty that Thomas Kinton, director of aviation services at Logan Airport, wondered whether First Night crowds might really be as big as expected.
''I don't know where those two million people are going to come from,'' Kinton said. ''I want my people working that night.''
-- Mild Mannered Reporter (Clark@super.duper), June 27, 1999
"With about six months left before Jan. 1, 2000, local banking and emergency officials say efforts are nearly finished to protect their computer systems against disruption from the software problem known as the ''Y2K bug.''"
Efforts are nearly finished? I'll go along with that, in other words they've given up, they're "finished."
With less than 100 working days to go they would have been better saying "we've finished our efforts..."
Alas, this is not to be.
It's tits-up time.
-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), June 28, 1999.
They're nearly finished....no doubt about it.
-- Will continue (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 28, 1999.