9/9/99 glitch strikes company in Peoria

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9/9/99 glitch strikes company in Peoria

-- spider (spider@usa.net), September 14, 1999


link didn't work

-- Moore Dinty moore (not@thistime.com), September 14, 1999.

9/9/99 glitch strikes company in Peoria So far, the Illinois firm is the only known casualty of a misread date on Thursday Friday, September 10, 1999

---------------------------------------------------------------------- -- By Steve Woodward of The Oregonian staff

The 9/9/99 "myth" isn't a myth, after all.

Jerry Kilpatrick, an authority on the Year 2000 computer problem, had just made a wager on a talk radio show in Peoria, Ill., that Sept. 9, 1999, would produce almost no problems.

Some folks expected older computer programs to misinterpret Thursday's date -- 9/9/99 -- as a "9999" end-of-file command, causing computers to freeze.

Most programmers pooh-poohed the idea, arguing that computers should read the date as 09/09/99.

No sooner had Kilpatrick, a former programmer, pooh-poohed the idea himself when the show's phone rang. A co-worker called to report that a Peoria company's computers had crashed when a program misread the date as an end-of-file command. You just lost the bet, the co-worker said.

"I never expected a programmer to be so stupid as to link a date field with an end-of-file marker," Kilpatrick told The Oregonian on Thursday. "Who in their right mind would have done that?" Kilpatrick is information technology team leader at the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center, a quasi-governmental agency that advises manufacturing businesses. One of the center's clients, a metal fabrication shop with roughly 75 employees, had installed a new, off-the-shelf information management system five or six months ago.

On Thursday, one of the system's programs went to a date field, grabbed the "9/9/99," stuck it in a data file, and the rest was history.

When the system crashed, workers at the company, which Kilpatrick declined to name, scratched their heads. But a light bulb went off in the head of the consultant who had installed the software.

He looked for a 9/9/99 date problem, found it and fixed it within 30 minutes. No data were lost.

Kilpatrick has the interns at the extension center combing the Internet for any other reports of 9/9/99 failures. So far, the tally is zero.


-- I wasn't here (I never@posted.this), September 14, 1999.

Bad link, Spider. Please try again.


-- TruthSeeker (TruthSeeker@SeekTruth.Always), September 14, 1999.

I've had problems with links. The window in the form to post an answer word wraps and breaks long links. I tried it without the http:// but it did not work. http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/www.oregonlive.com/business/99/09/bz09 1006.html

-- spider (spider@usa.net), September 14, 1999.


-- spider (spider0@usa.net), September 14, 1999.

9999 glitch in Peoria

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), September 14, 1999.

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