My little rant : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

It makes me wonder.

The latest testimony is up on the Senate Y2K site, yet it has been a yawn on the forum. There is LOTS of information on the site to give a pretty good indication of the status of states and cities. Yet the forum members from the states haven't checked it out. As a Canadian it shouldn't be my place to point this out but it has made me disappointed in the investigative nature of many on the forum.

All along there has been more than enough information posted on the net to shut up any polly and make anyone sit up and take notice. It has been the choice of many to yak yak yak without looking for the real information.

In a free society the government shouldn't have to do your research and feed it to your head.

Sen. Robert Bennett has stressed that if you are going to stockpile information, and IMHO that is what folks should do. Instead of trusting the press, go right to the source and find out what the score is. Find out the company you work for or is important to your town, look for the SEC filings. Talk to your community leaders. If you don't understand or trust what you hear post it on the forum.

Start thinking folks.

-- Brian (, July 22, 1999



You already know that I'm more optimistic than most, and it's exactly for this reason. I've been in close contact with my utility directors since last summer. I like to think that I was responsible for my town FINALLY mentioning Y2k updates on their website. [I sure nagged them about it enough, and I point out any broken links as soon as I notice.] Last summer, progress was unclear. THIS summer, if the electricity stays up, I know we'll have water, sewage, etc. under control. I've checked on the local supermarket progress during this period as well, and observed as they checked with their suppliers. I still know several programmers working at the local electric company, but they're not working on embedded chips, so I can't guarantee that the September tests will work as planned.

I had great honest communication with my utility folks for a year. I understand that others haven't received the same honesty, but I must ask how much they've nagged them for answers. When I see posts that state "What locales, John Koskinen?" I have to wonder why folks aren't exploring their locales on their own, rather than expecting someone in charge at the Federal level to know about each and every locale in the nation. I've always purported (correctly or incorrectly) that Y2k will affect us FIRST in our own backyards. We need to address our local circumstances BEFORE we move on to our counties, our states, our country, and then overseas.

My town and the surrounding cities are remediated already. I know that because I've worked on the problems and know others who have. We're all out of work now due to these "problems" being corrected and freezes implemented on other maintenance work. Percentages of locales being ready mean NOTHING if you're in the percentage that's NOT ready. Percentages of errors per LOC mean NOTHING unless one knows that ONE error could be a show-stopper.

If a recession means we're out of work for 6 months, it's already happened to contract programmers across the nation. We get calls daily from other contractors in Chicago, Toronto, etc. who have the same "work has dried up" tales to tell.

-- Anita (, July 22, 1999.


I did look at those charts and the latest report. What I found did not make me happy. Basically, the report confirmed what I already knew, so it wasn't worth mentioning.


-- DJ (, July 22, 1999.


Was it my response here that annoyed you so much?


I tried for over 15 minutes yesterday to obtain the information that you mention from the web site and was unsuccessful because the file was corrupted. I even updated my Acrobat Reader to see if that was the problem (another 20 minutes).

I just haven't been able to read it yet. When I do, I will check to see if there is any local information pertaining to me. When I've read it, I will post a comment here. Our local newspaper reported that the city officials say that local government is ready (of course they still haven't finished 4 out of 9 mainframe systems, but those will be finished by November). Recently, I posted about a mutual fund which I have a small sum of money in and how LAME I thought their recent Y2K statement was.

Is it okay with you and Anita if I DON'T BELIEVE THEM?

-- nothere nothere (, July 22, 1999.

The reason we are not more interested in those reports is that they are primarily coming from sources that 1) are not independently audited, 2) have every reason in the world to lie, 3) have a history of lying when the truth would serve. Frankly, only bad news from reputable/credible sources that would prefer the news to be good can generally be trusted anymore.

-- MinnesotaSmith (, July 22, 1999.

Brian said,

"All along there has been more than enough information posted on the net to shut up any polly and make anyone sit up and take notice. It has been the choice of many to yak yak yak without looking for the real information."

Very true, but if Brian is referring to the persistant trolls who attempt to disrupt this forum and who waste so much space and cause so much hate and discontent, he should realize that they are not interested in real information. They have other purposes.

Anita, it's great that your town has apparently fixed everything. It is very rare. Hope your county and your state and your government and the rest of the world have done as well. If so, it will be a bump in the road. Else.........?

-- de (, July 22, 1999.


It is a yawn to me mostly because I don't need to see anymore evidence from the Senate. The report back in Feb was enough to change my future plans forever. Also the govt tends to use some stupid Adobe application that makes it a big hassle to download stuff. If this intentional? Who knows. When the last report went up someone (Steve Baxter?) downloaded it, printed it out and scanned it back in and uploaded it. It doesn't seem worth it at this point. In a matter of weeks all this debate will be moot.

I am here to stay focused and to keep informed about recent developments. The government is not saying anything new. The CIA has not retracted anything. In interviews Bennett is letting fly some juicy and very doom-gloom quotes (for a politician).

As you say "All along there has been more than enough information posted on the net to shut up any polly and make anyone sit up and take notice." There are now hundreds of Y2k web sites loaded with docs and stats. The forum has evolved into something else. More of a clearing place for information from obscure but reputable sources. Such as the IEE. Or a place to discuss and quell assorted myths and rumors. It has also become a place for people to observe the socio/economic phenomenon of Y2k.

The experience of Y2k is changing all the time and you can expect this forum to change with it - or become obsolete.

-- R (, July 22, 1999.

Here's an article about the GAO report: yk_cities_3.html

"Big U.S. Cities Slow On Y2K Readiness"

-- Linkmeister (, July 22, 1999.

[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

Friday July 16 1:31 AM ET

Big U.S. Cities Slow On Y2K Readiness

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Many big U.S. cities -- including Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington -- are leaving themselves scant time to complete preparations for possible year 2000-related computer glitches, the audit arm of Congress said Thursday.

In addition, nine states are ``behind'' in efforts to ensure their most critical systems do not fail when the year 2000 dawns, said the head of a Senate panel monitoring the issue.

The nine -- which reported having completed work on less than 70 percent of their most important systems -- are New Hampshire, Ohio, Alabama, Louisiana, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, California and Hawaii.

On a local level, only 55 percent of the smallest counties surveyed -- those with a population below 10,000 -- say they have countywide emergency plans to cope with possible 2000-related disruptions to vital services, the National Association of Counties reported.

At issue are fears that some computers may crash or scramble data by misreading 2000 as 1900, the result of old space constraints that pared the date field to two digits.

Any such glitches, known as Y2K problems, could disrupt the provision of water and waste treatment, emergency services, transportation systems, city government services and the operation of public buildings among other services.

The problem could also boggle systems that hinge on date-sensitive microchips, such as traffic signals, radio communications and 911 emergency services that rely on global positioning systems.

Dallas and Boston were alone among the 21 biggest U.S. cities to report completion of efforts to deal with the so-called Y2K problem, the General Accounting Office said. The GAO is the audit and investigative arm of Congress.

Nine cities -- New York; Houston; Philadelphia; San Diego; San Jose, California; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; and Milwaukee -- said they expected to complete preparations by Sept. 30.

The remaining 10 -- Los Angeles; Chicago; Phoenix; San Antonio, Texas; Detroit; San Francisco; Baltimore; Columbus, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; and Washington -- said they expected to be ready by Dec. 31.

Joel Willemssen, head of a GAO arm that tracks information systems, voiced concern about the laggards. He made his comments in a letter released at a hearing of the Special Committee on Y2K issues.

``Completing Y2K activities in the last months of the year increases the risk that key services will not be Y2K-ready in time for 2000 because there will not be enough time to deal with unanticipated complications,'' Willemssen said.

``Given the amount of Y2K work remaining to be done in the last months of the year, contingency plans are critical to ensure that cities will continue to provide key services through the year 2000 date change,'' he added.

The Senate panel displayed a chart showing that only 43 percent of the 21 cities' key systems were said by the cities themselves to be ready as of July for the date change.

The GAO carried out the study by interviewing city officials by telephone from June 28 to July 9.

Sen. Robert Bennett, a Utah Republican who heads the special Y2K committee, said he feared that many state and local governments were ``leaving little room for testing, contingency planning and unexpected problems.''

``I hope these statistics aren't as bad as they appear,'' he said in a written statement.

``Only very efficient executive-level management and contingency planning can sustain us through the upcoming historic date change,'' added panel Vice Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat.


-- Linkmeister (, July 22, 1999.


Are you looking for work currently? I have no doubt there are several contributors to this forum who are either part of projects looking for good people, or who are aware of some. Cory also seems hooked into a number of such projects. You may well find that many of these are death marches, but at least they pay.

-- Flint (, July 22, 1999.

To those that hate PDF files

Yup I hate them to! Curse to the Adobe corp. for such a web unfriendly idea.

-- Brian (, July 22, 1999.


Yes...but it didn't annoy me. I simply questioned why you hadn't looked at your town/city website, obtained the E-mail address of the folks in charge and maintained contact with them before this time. If one attends a Y2k meeting for a particular locale, I don't think it appropriate to extend the questioning beyond the locale. If one attends a Y2k meeting (or even hears of a broadcast from the Federal level), I don't think it appropriate to extend the questioning to individual locales. Each is specific to their function.

de: Yes...I am indeed lucky, but I make absolutely NO extrapolations based on MY locale to extend to the rest of the world. I have friends and family world-wide. Their situation may not be the same, and WILL not be the same.

-- Anita (, July 22, 1999.

The July 15th Senate hearing on state and local government preparedness:

-- Linkmeister (, July 22, 1999.


Yes...there are many of us looking for work. I'd been offered a permanent position after my non-compete clause ended with the City of Fort Worth, yet now that the time is almost up, I've heard that new obscene F word...freeze. I'm not in a position to travel out-of- state. I just moved my mom down here 2 years ago and she goes apeshit if I can't get over to see her every few days. In addition, my daughter is moving back home August 1. My room-mate is eligible to travel, yet he hasn't been made an offer, despite the resumes he's sent. I know others who might be interested in out-of-state contracts and would send on to them any information provided.

-- Anita (, July 22, 1999.

Senator Lugar's statement on the GAO survey:

-- Linkmeister (, July 22, 1999.


I HATE it when I forget something. I AM available to telecommute to any area of the country, and have software in place to accommodate several types right now. It's my normal method, even on contracts locally.

-- Anita (, July 22, 1999.

Chart on the readiness of key services in the 21 largest cities:

-- Linkmeister (, July 22, 1999.

What makes me uneasy about these figures is that the reason why Washington D.C. is so far behind... idx.html that, if I recall correctly, D.C. did not begin working on Y2K until the summer of 1998. I also know that Indianapolis did not approve its $12.6 million budget to fix Y2K until August 1998. How many other cities waited until the second half of 1998, or even 1999, to begin working on Y2K? It's said that Y2K projects at organizations typically last about 2 1/2 years.

-- Linkmeister (, July 22, 1999.

Good point Linkmeister. And thanks for your thoughtful attention to Brian's request.

To be honest Brian, we began with mandatory completion dates *last* year, and have seen them systematically pushed closer and closer to the very last day of the year, allowing no time for testing!!! They play with the numbers and spew meaningless percentages at us, all the while disagreeing amongst themselves. They offer absolutely *no* far- reaching public statements and the country is void of leadership in any form coming from the highest office in the land, we have become numb with the spin and lies. They have now handed us a gloomy outlook and at the same time inform us that the largest problems will be created primarily by selfufilling prophecies (?). Expect localized problems but contact utilities and services for yourself, just to be sure (duh). Prepare for a teeny snow storm but know there may be very serious disruptions....we can't be sure about most of it, but we know there is no need to panic, however we really don't know why, exactly, at this time, which is why we suggest you all do your own investigation and then prepare accordingly, but don't get carried away.

Okie-Dokie. Thanks for all the help.

I'm just so glad we did our own research, formed our own opinion and then proceeded to take action *last year* in implementing our own contingency plan, which excluded any need to rely on a community or our government to keep us alive. If I had to continue showing up at city council meetings, holding their hands and keeping the embers hot beneath them, I'd loose my mind. Anyone needing to do this in *JULY 1999* has my most sincere sympathy. Anyone who believes what they're being told in *JULY 1999* and is betting their lives on it, also has my sincere sympathy. Good luck!

Hope of turning Pollys around is a waste of valuable time. Newbies have been screwed out of time by our President. If anybody is still 'on the fence' what with the wealth of information available, they may not be smart enough to prepare in the time remaining (other than for the snow storm fluff and spin).

-- Will continue (, July 23, 1999.

Last time I checked, Cleveburgh was bigger than CowTown, Ohio, and they aren't even on the list. Must be they didn't report.....

Chuck, who has seen the data here, and is appalled at the fact that the major concern is to see to it that the party is bigger htan the Bicentenial party a couple years ago.


-- Chuck, a night driver (, July 23, 1999.


One thing for sure, we know where you sit :o)

A few things thought.

Bennett has said to prepare for an Ice Storm, this is a step in the right direction as the Quebec storm was over a month in duration.

If people are going to do their own investigation they have to have a place to start. That could be here on the forum. Better late than never you know. It just seems to me that the attacts are getting worse on the forum with out substance and both sides are guilty of it. Now it might be getting to be more like a broken record but the idea of research must not be abandoned. There is no sense in becoming a "Flint" thinking that "I am OK, so what is the problem?" And this does apply to GIs as well as DGIs. The world doesn't just stop outside of your head.

I have never been afriad of Y2K. That is because of previous experiance. Others aren't so lucky.

So if there is risks out there they should know so folks can see the need to stay warm, fed, and hydrated.

Ranting will not achieve this, information will.

-- Brian (, July 23, 1999.


Any other recent links we should know about?

-- Linkmeister (, July 23, 1999.


Well here are a couple more. It would seem that folks dispise PDF files.
This is a problem. During the weekend I am going to reformat and post the first report.
Of the two below the first is most remarkable.

Important Progress Made, Yet Much Work Remains to Avoid Disruption of Critical

And of course the dirt on the Cities. Here is the GAO report on the 21 Cities.


L.A. fixing its water - waste water systems by November?

Also I plan on being a little more attentive to posting info in the future.

-- Brian (, July 23, 1999.

Hi Anita,

Thanks for responding.

I have checked the local media for reports from my area, as I stated in my previous post. I have checked the web sites of my locale. The city appears pretty clueful because they have a web-site team, but they don't expect to be compliant until this quarter (mission-critical including 911). The county doesn't even have a search function on its web site. The electricity supplier gives the same happy face that everyone else gives, and the sanitation authority has not web site (unless you want to count the union of utility workers employed there). The banks can say all they want to, but I know of at least two meaningful malfunctions in the last 4 months. Were they Y2K related? Who knows?

I can't afford to take chances with these bozos no matter what they say (although if they wanted to bore me with discussions of how they remediated the code or replaced X systems with X other systems, I would really listen intently). I have a 1 year old child who I have to make sure has life's necessities until he's grown.

My point about Koskinen is the following: Macro information starts from Micro information. If he can make a statement about the macro status he must know something about micro status. Why not say which places are in trouble where and how, just like the GAO report does? What is the harm in telling people in LA that they may not have potable water flowing from their water come January, and being LOUD about doing so?

BTW, my city was not in the GAO report.

-- nothere nothere (, July 23, 1999.

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