4th Quarter said to be start of increased glitches. Will geeral public notice or only accountants and programmers?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Will there be an obvious increase in spreadsheet and payroll glitches, or will industry cover these up until we hear from GI insiders?

-- churchorganist (swedemusic@webtv.net), September 27, 1999


The 'bugs' we've seen so far have been few enuff to remain out of sight to joe bag-o-donuts, I'm sure the Feds fiscal year (10/1/99) will bring more, but will it be enuff to be noticed by the herd? dunno. the SLeeple may not stir till 'the holidays' and then it will be an ugly site. But that is exactly what I've expected for the past year.

-- Dan G (thepcguru@hotmail.com), September 27, 1999.

I suspect that there will be no real alarm bell ringing event between now and New Year's. The momentum of the herd may build slowly to a panic in December as a critical mass of concern is reached. It's what happens after January 1st that's important, and particularly what happens overseas.

-- cody (cody@y2ksurvive.com), September 27, 1999.

If you've been following the news items in this forum, it seems like there is a slow, but steady, increase in the number of glitches and problems -- some of which clearly have nothing to do with Y2K (like Hurricane Floyd) but are interpreted as precursors or harbingers of Y2K, while other glitches look and smell like Y2K bugs, even if they're not. As an old relative of mine said, "If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, there's a pretty good chance that it IS a duck." Well, that may not be entirely accurate with Y2K glitches and problems, but I suspect that's how some people are interpreting it.

And each of these glitches catches the attention of a few more people. Sometimes it's only one or two people who notice, or who are affected; sometimes it's a dozen, sometimes it's a couple hundred, or even a couple thousand. None of these incidents is big enough or catastrophic enough for the media to make a big deal out of ... but it gradually adds to the overall awareness and concern about Y2K.

The big question is whether this will continue in a steady fashion, or whether it will escalate more quickly in the last three months. And an even bigger question is when it might reach a critical mass, so that the mainstream community begins that much-feared thundering stampede down to their local ATM machine.

I don't know the answer to such questions -- I'm far too involved, and far too close to the situation to be able to stand back and observe as a dispassionate scientist. But I sure do hope that some social scientists ARE watching all of this, so that we can perhaps learn something from it in the future.


-- Ed Yourdon (HumptyDumptyY2K@yourdon.com), September 27, 1999.

Just to give you the flavor of what is happening in many places, I will tell you a short anecdote that happened this week in my place of work. I don't think anyone will mind... it doesn't reflect badly on my (high tech)company.

Late last week one of our employees was closeted for a couple of days in his cubicle, installing Y2K upgrades to our main database software. He put a sign across the entry warning people not to disturb him. Today (Monday) one of our databases -- the one the engineering department uses to track bug in our software -- was non-functional. It took most of a day to get it up and running again.

This particular database problem was caused by two programs from two companies needing to interface properly. They weren't, but now they are...it appears. One extra day was wasted keeping things in running trim. Some non-critical functions were postponed. Efficiency didn't suffer much. Outside my company nobody will know, except maybe the wife of the guy who had to wrestle with the problem today.

This particular problem was solveable within acceptable parameters. Work didn't really suffer. A certain percentage of problems won't be so well contained. It will require a fairly severe or chronic breakdown before it is visible to the public. Only a miniscule percentage of problems will get reported in the media. Only a small percentage will actually affect productivity. But multiply this scenario hundreds of thousands of times in the next quarter and productivity will slow down somewhat, and costs will accrue. On 1/1/2000 things will accelerate.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), September 27, 1999.

Seems to me the media might record individual events, but it is up to you to determine if the sum of the events has a meaning. The news broadcasts in general have no opinion and are not honest in presenting all the facts to form a valid opinion. I'm horribly pessimestic after realizing the relationships between the board members of the biggest corporations in the nation, the producers of weapons, and,the owners of broadcast media. They are mostly one in the same. Love thy independent news source. Love thy visionaries. Most people of good sense can admit they are wrong. Maybe 4th qtr. is 10/99 new Fed fiscal year. Gov expects panic. I could never understand why. I could never figure out when. (PS Ed--got solar panels recently. Wasn't hard ...the guy said they are only short on supply after scary y2k news articles.) In big city going north before long. When? Does anyone care to advise?

-- Formulationy2k (Viks2000@aol.com), September 28, 1999.

Will there be an obvious increase in spreadsheet and payroll glitches, or will industry cover these up until we hear from GI insiders? --------------

Huh............what do you expect here.....the Prez of Nabisco to shout out "Hey guys, we got a faulty spreadsheet here......quick, call CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS RIGHT NOW!!"

There's nothing to 'cover up'..........Ya know what companies do when they get a glitch.......they FIX IT......they don't need to call the press!

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), September 29, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ