IEEE TAB Year 2000 Technical Information Focus Group : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

IEEE TAB Year 2000 Technical Information Focus Group

-- Lane Core Jr. (, September 28, 1999


Wow, interesting reading to start the day. Being a faux techie, my take is that this report provides an engineering framework to determine and reconcile the knowns and the unknowns.

What is really fascinating about all of this, is that with less than 100 days to go, even the IEEE does not really know where this "event" and the cleanup aftermath will fit on the 1-10 scale.

I buy into the issue that it all depends on where you live, where you bank, where you work, and your level of interconnectedness with the world systems.

Thanks for the post. I would be interested to see your comments.

-- Nancy (, September 28, 1999.

Lane, thanks for this great link. Worthy of careful reading.

There is a fascinating "Year 2000 Technical Information Statement" at

From pages 6-7:


The underlying "reason for the problem with the problem" is that not anybody can realistically answer any of the following questions with any degree of quantitative specificity or certainty:

-Which systems of what type in which economic sectors and applications are most at risk?

-How many of those systems (in which locations) will be identified far enough in advance?

-How many such systems problems will be completely, correctly and effectively resolved?

-What critical infrastructure systems, if any, will fail partially or completely, and when?

-How bad will the overall impact become, as each systems failure cascades upon anothers?

-How long will be the actual total duration of the various impacts, from fatal to inconvenient?

Ultimately, the "reason for the reason for the problem with the problem" is that the predictors dont have the appropriate tools or techniques to evaluate the many intricate risk factors clearly, consistently or measurably. It is arguable that we dont even share one consistent conceptual framework under which to classify any information gathered, or even a single consistent base of terminology; one set of common definitions to compare and contrast or even describe or discuss the distinct parameters that could clarify the issues.

Without such a common conceptual basis to share information rationally (let alone a common mechanism to exchange the information in the first place or a common methodology to evaluate it) the entire technical communitys best available estimate of the problem is no more valid (or invalid) than any individuals best guess.

*end snip*

If there is a DGI engineer in your life, refer them to this site. The IEEE is sort of the Voice of the Almighty to an electrical engineer.

-- Lewis (, September 28, 1999.

From page 24:
Figure 11 attempts to depict the notion of the cumulative effect of time on unresolved Y2K issues after the advent of the Year 2000. As time goes by, the aggregation of unremediated systems will tend to hasten the urgency of the problem. As these issues tend to cascade upon one another, the central tendency could migrate into more socially critical sectors as time passes. This leads to a central conclusion of this Technical Information Statement. The longer lasting are technical failures, and even more important, the longer lasting are the impacts or effects that are allowed to escape a given organization or control entity into the external world, the more cascading and ultimately more destructive the Y2K problem will be.
I'd be surprised if this ever shows up on CNN....

-- Tom Carey (, September 28, 1999.

I printed two copies with great anticipation. After reading one, I've concluded that, while there are some provocative statements made and some qualitative perspectives worth noting, there was also alot of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo. They didn't succeed in quantifying this damn thing any better than we have. (By the way, if I hear one more plane-falling-out-of-the-sky beliefs attributed to the doomers I'm gonna barf.)

-- Dave (, September 28, 1999.

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