Novice Computer User 'finds solution to bug' : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Got a good chuckle out of this story. story

Novice computer-user `finds solution to bug' South China Morning Post

The threat of millennial chaos may have been warded off at almost the last moment thanks to a solution to the Y2K computer bug developed at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

That, at least, was the assessment of university officials this week as they unveiled what is said to be a revolutionary solution to the problem that threatens to send computers around the world into a tailspin because of their inability to recognise the change of date between December 31 and January 1.

Because computer dates include only the last two digits of the four-digit year, computers must be reprogrammed to understand that the year-end change from 99 to 00 represents a one-year increment to 2000, not a regression to 1900.

The solution developed by Ben-Etzion Yaron - an administrator at the university, not a faculty member - compresses the four digits of years in the coming century into two symbols by the use of special algorithms.

According to university officials, the system has already been used to eliminate computing bugs in the listing of faculty sabbatical schedules for the 21st century.

Mr Yaron said the time needed with his programme to make make databases compatible with the next century - while not harming existing databases - was only 15-20 per cent of the time needed to run other programmes.

Although the programme is applicable to all databases, according to Mr Yaron, it cannot cure bugs in computer components embedded in equipment, such as medical devices.

Billions of dollars have been invested around the world to head off the problem, but implementation has been uneven.

Mr Yaron said the programme could be used as a back-up for other programmes that had been used to deal with the bug and to make corrections that might be needed.

Mr Yaron himself is a computer amateur whose only formal training was a six-month programming course he took 27 years ago. He heads the manpower and payroll section of the university's department of computerised information systems and deals with computers as part of his army reserve duty.

-- John Ainsworth (, September 18, 1999


Ummm... have we heard this before?

More garbage spoken by people who wouldn't recognize a computer if it fell on their head.

-- Y2KGardener (, September 18, 1999.

Hi John,

This was posted a few days ago. See Solution to Y2K Problem Developed At Hebrew University for more comments. <:)=

-- Sysman (, September 18, 1999.

I took the "Silver Bullet" stories of last year in the USA as indicators of desperation. So, I think that means that Israel is now where the USA was last year. Ooops.

-- Lane Core Jr. (, September 18, 1999.

Sorry for the repeat post. I jes didn't see the first one.

And, Lane, you're probably right. Maybe people in the US are getting half a clue about this Y2K thing?

-- John Ainsworth (, September 18, 1999.

I've been following this guy a bit. The information provided initially was VERY all-encompassing. Now, it seems that this tool was targeted to COBOL and the only release available runs on Windows. The test was performed on 400 programs, encompassing 400,000 lines. These are VERY small COBOL programs. In addition, the tool takes 4- digit centuries and converts them to 2-digit non-numeric dates. Did I miss something, or was the problem all along that the centuries were vaguely represented as two digits? Who converts them to 4 correctly presented digits BEFORE this tool changes them to something else? Who converts all the databases to accept 2 non-numeric digits when they expect numeric digits? What about IMS databases, that accept something quite different? The more I learn about this "silver bullet", the more I see that it's not made of silver at all.

Lane: I wouldn't make any generalizations about a country's progress based simply on whether individuals within their populace think they've found a solution.

Here's more on this "solution"?

-- Anita (, September 18, 1999.

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