Is Alaska Ready? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Fron yesterday's Anchorage Daily News []:

[for educational purposes]

Software woes halt progress at Merrill Field FAA expects new tower to be in operation by mid-October

By PETER PORCO Daily News reporter

Merrill Field's new $5.7 million towerawas completed more than a year ago but remains empty for lack of a key component to its air traffic control system.

The component - a new software package that governs voice communications among controllers, flight stations and aircraft - has failed several field tests, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. But the glitches have been repaired, and the system will be coming on-line nationally, said FAA spokesman Mitch Barker in Seattle.

It should be ready for installation in Anchorage by mid-October, said Ray Ballantyne, air-traffic manager at Merrill Field.

Ballantyne said it had been possible to move into the new tower and install the old voice-communications system. But that would have entailed cutting open the new control consoles, which were designed for the new software.

"It was our choice,"Ballantyne said.

"Software can develop unanticipated problems," Barker said, recalling how Denver's new airport opened late because its state-of-the-art baggage-handling system didn't work.

"Modernizing a nationwide air traffic control system, you must anticipate these things several years down the road," Barker said. "Sometimes all planning doesn't mesh the way we'd like."

The software - called Enhanced Terminal Voice System - governs the switching of communication channels.


Merrill Field is the busiest small-plane airport in the world.


"Oh yes, my Precious, we shall see". Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkein

-- Nelson Isada (, August 15, 1999


Gollum! Empty tower awaiting compliant software. Such imagery ... awaiting the Lord of the Rings. Remember, the dominion of men was long, obscure and full of dark trials to the elvenwise.

-- Tolkien fan (those@were.thedays), August 15, 1999.

"One Ring to rule them all, And in the darkness bind them"

Time to read that again-been 3,4 years. Advanced technologies can be dangerous to the uninitiated. Anybody else feeling a wee bit "faded" lately?

-- Sam (, August 15, 1999.

Ah Sam, such memories...first read Tolkien in '66 before shipping out to it on a couch during the summer near the beach smoking some unusual tobacco, drinking a common red wine, and listening to the Doors. That was a crazy summer. Seems the times they do repeat themselves...and I just couldn't resist buying the Trilogy at Costco as I passed by the book section:)

-- too fat to be an elf (, August 15, 1999.

The great Trilogy describing Good vs. Evil, and the books which awakened many teenagers to the fact that Government can become Dark and Evil. The lessons therein are spellbinding for adults, even more so.

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken:
The crownless again shall be king.

Great, great, great, awesome, engrossing books!

-- Tolkien fan (time@read.again), August 16, 1999.

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