The 1972 reset: Does this work? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Greetings, Pete here. My brother has just told me that all one needs to do is reset the clock on the computer to 1972 and everyhthing will be fixed. Seems too simple. Does this do any good?

-- Pete (, October 09, 1999


Try to find an OS that will go back that far. In microsoft 1980 is the beginnig of time. BTW is'nt it 1976?

-- jeff (, October 09, 1999.


I guess it all depends on what the application is. In some cases, it will work, but in other cases.... like calculating interest .... you be the judge.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 09, 1999.

It works quite well in traffic-light systems. Many towns have used this method. 1972 IS correct, BTW.

It does NOT work in many VCR's. It does NOT work in many software applications. It has its place, but it's no silver bullet.

-- Anita (, October 09, 1999.

1972 Cool , does it work with Allen Bradley PLC's too ?

-- Jeff (, October 09, 1999.

The 28-year rollback works with systems that care only about the day of the week and not the year. There are probably some systems that do date-stamping but the essential functionality only cares about weekday.

Candidate systems are traffic lights, security systems, bank vaults, elevators and the like. Definitely a situation where you must check with the manufacturer first.

-- Flint (, October 09, 1999.

Even if the underlying hardware and software supported it, it would be awfully confusing for operators to constantly be seeing dates in the 70's on screens and printed reports. It would make the system wide open to human error.

-- Y2KGardener (, October 09, 1999.

Might work on some things, but any application which uses recorded data may well look at what you typed in yesterday (10/08/99) and get a little confused on the arithmetic if what you type in today has a date of 1/1/1972. You know, little applications, like quicken or lotus. And I'm not sure how the SSA will compute retirement benefits if the check date is 1972, and the retirement date is 1999.

-- just another (, October 10, 1999.


First, some devices don't produce screens or printed reports. Second, many of them that do are used only by a few people who could learn the difference if required. And third, it may be possible in some cases to just add 28 years to the output year before displaying. You need to examine on a case-by-case basis.


clearly, we're talking about embedded systems here. Of course this won't work with business software.

-- Flint (, October 10, 1999.

responding to the original post:

Simply setting the date back 28 years is only part of the "setback solution" your hardware has to be made compliant as well and as has been pointed out already, 1980 is the beginning of time for most if not all "PC" stuff.

In the world of mainframes or larger applications running on different OS, this method of setting the clock back 28 years is known as "encapsulation".

someone correct me on this if I get the description wrong, but basically:

In a "properly" encapsulated application, your display screen shows the current date.

You enter date info in today's date and year.

When this info is "processed" by the computer, it subtracts 28 years from all the dates and processes the info, then it adds 28 years to the result.

then you get an output with the current correct date. fun huh?

However, I recall some bits of threads on C.S.Y2K where someone had a test date from an encapsulated system show up as : 1944

Several people debated how this could have occured. the most obvious answer appeared to be that the application subtracted 28 years and then subtracted again, instead of adding..oops.


Have your brother turn the clock back on *his* computer to 1972 and then please report back to us how well his theory holds up.

-- plonk! (, October 10, 1999.


This technique works for only a narrow class of devices. Asking someone to try it on a computer known not to support it does not mean such devices don't exist. You're being foolish.

As a remediation approach, encapsulation has very limited applicability, but not zero.

-- Flint (, October 10, 1999.


Exactly my point and thank you for elaborating on it!

As for my advice, well, yes it was foolish, but the original poster's "brother" is the one who said it would work, not me. I hope there are not many "brothers" like this one working as PHMs. Hope Springs Eternal.....

As an aside on encapsulation, I asked electric, gas and telco if they had used encapsulation (at a Y2K town meeting recently).

All three said yes! I wonder what they used it on?

well, hey, they were just PR people.. althought the electric guy was actually an account manager.

-- plonk! (, October 11, 1999.

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