September 9, 1999 and the groups that will be monitoring it : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

There's an article in the Kansas City Star about the non-importance of September 9th and about groups that will nevertheless be monitoring that day:,business/3773d168.903,.html

-- Linkmeister (, September 07, 1999


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]


Don't worry about No. 9, No. 9, No. 9, No. 9


Date: 09/03/99 22:15

There's going to be a lot of hype next week about the "string of nines" factor. Ignore it.

Some wonk who must have looked at computer code for too long decided a while back that the world was going to have a bad day Thursday because the date will be 9-9-99. After all, the reasoning goes, a string of four or six or more 9s was used by some computer programmers to signal computers to purge a program or to shut a program down.

The reasoning is based on flawed thinking, not flawed computer code.

Because computers look for six numbers in the date field, they'll read the date as 09-09-99, not as a string of nines.

We're betting the day goes by with nary a glitch.

However, at least three Year 2000 monitors are using Thursday as a dry-run test of their abilities to track the bug:

* The United Nations-backed International Y2K Cooperation Center, a global clearinghouse for computer bug data, will rehearse a plan aimed at keeping up-to-the-minute tabs on how the world is faring as it enters 2000.

Reports will be updated in real time on the center's Web site -- -- and ultimately will reflect information from 170 or more national Y2K coordinators. During the test, 15 countries will take part.

* U.S. officials will get a first look at a $40 million Y2K Information Coordinating Center designed to give federal agencies a round-the-clock view of potential problems. The center also will share Y2K information with the public and private sectors.

* The North American Electric Reliability Council, a trade organization, will rehearse an emergency drill to test operating, communications and contingency plans.



-- Linkmeister (, September 07, 1999.

There's going to be a lot of hype next week about the "string of nines" factor. Ignore it.

Very well put. Too bad every news story about Those Dratted Nines doesn't start the same way.

-- Lane Core Jr. (, September 07, 1999.

Hmmm... I'm getting a premonition here... Thursday... september 10... pollies... laughing... Sept 9... no glitches... doomers are morons! Morons! Doomers... defensive... look we already said! Pollies... you're just backtracking! You were wrong, wrong! Hah hah ha

-- Typhonblue (, September 07, 1999.

Another article about the non-importance of September 9th, and about the groups that nevertheless will be monitoring the situation:

Sept. 9 Will Test Y2K Contingency

Associated Press

September 2, 1999

Y2K planners in business and government will have a chance to rehearse their end-of-millennium routines when the date 9-9-99 arrives next week.

Government agencies, banks, electric utilities and other companies around the United States will be watching closely for Y2K-like computer trouble next Thursday. Other countries will have teams in place as well.

The fear is that some computers may translate Sept. 9, 1999, as a "9999" stop-program command. although few Y2K advisers expect major problems such as widespread electrical outages, no one is ruling out the possibility of smaller disruptions.

"Nobody can definitely guarantee you that there will be no glitches,'' said John Koskinen, President Clinton's Y2K czar.

"We're going to monitor it."

Y2K planners and some industries are taking advantage of the situation to test their readiness and backup systems for New Year's Day, when the real Year 2000 bug may hit.

"It's good to run through any complicated exercise like that so people aren't seeing this kind of deployment for the first time in December,'' said Gerry Cauley, Year 2000 program manager for the North American Electric Reliability Council.

Up to now, most of the attention has been on Jan. 1, when computer programs recognizing only the last two digits of a year might read ``00'' as 1900. But several other problems could occur before then, Sept. 9 among them.

The electric industry will conduct a major drill, beginning Wednesday night, to make sure its thousands of workers understand procedures for Dec. 31.

Some banks will spend Thursday testing techniques to spot and report Y2K trouble, while President Clinton's Y2K advisory council will collect status reports. An international Y2K group will monitor other nations.

Just in case problems do occur, the Coast Guard will add supervisors to keep navigation reliable, and the Transportation Department is assembling a team normally mobilized only during natural disasters.

Airlines decided against setting up a command center, concluding that failure is unlikely, and will simply keep watch, said Thomas Browne, executive director for the Aviation Millennium Project in Washington.

The September date was picked partly out of confidence that nothing will go wrong. The electric industry went through a smaller drill on April 9 - a date that was problematic because it was the 99th day of the 99th year. That day passed with no reported troubles in electric and other industries.

One reason for the confidence this time is that 9999 is not a widely used end-of-file or end-of-program marker. Also, dates are more likely to appear in computers as 090999. And a 9999 problem is relatively easy to spot and fix within the millions of lines of programming code.

Problems are likely to be limited to billing and other business information programs that run on older mainframe computers, sparing home users and systems that operate power grids and other infrastructure

Using two digits for the year, on the other hand, is a more common technique. So the new year could disrupt financial transactions, airline schedules and power grids. Another potential problem is Feb. 29, 2000; some computers might not recognize that it is a leap year.

Still, studies have prompted confidence among Y2K planners.

"For the most part, the fears are unfounded," said Bruce McConnell, director of the International Y2K Cooperation Center, a clearinghouse established by the United Nations and the World Bank. "I'm not saying there won't be problems, but the kind of problems will really be a blip."

Copyright )1999 NLP IP Company -- American Lawyer Media. All rights reserved.


-- Linkmeister (, September 07, 1999.

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