How many people are preparing, thanks at least in part to the POLLIES??? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

People come to this forum looking for info about Y2K, especially in terms of what THEY should do, if anything, to prepare. (Once the decision is made, of course, the TB2000 Preparation Forum is a great place to hang out at. And of course, Stan Faryna's 14 DAY PREPARATIONS threads and posts are the best place to start.)

I'm sure that a lot of people have been convinced to prepare by a lot of the articles, links and commentary from the so-called "doomer" posters, those that are convinced that Y2K could be a big mess, with potential problems that could affect computer controlled power, water, sewage, phones, banks, businesses, etc., etc. The arguments usually go something like, even if the ODDS are not real high, the STAKES are, and for that reason it just makes sense to prepare "just in case".

What I was curious about, though, is how many people have read through the argments put forth by the so-called "polly" (short for "pollyanna") posters, and THEN BECAME CONVINCED TO PREPARE, simply because they found the arguments presented to be so silly? (You know, like "It's all been fixed", or "If Clinton says everything is going to be fine, that's good enough for me", or "If we don't see big Y2K problems in 1999, we won't see them in 2000", etc., etc.)

I have always wondered if maybe by offering the kinds of arguments that they do, the pollies have ended up getting MORE people to withdraw cash from banks, store up food and water, buy generators, go see what the latest Gary North commentary is at, etc., etc.

Thanks for your input in advance....

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), November 12, 1999


The louder the Pollyannas wail and bay at the moon, the more people look at the issue.

-- snooze button (, November 12, 1999.

I've found Ms. Y2K Pro to be especially helpful in motivating me to get ready...

-- ImaBigFan (of, November 12, 1999.

Hi Kingie:

Only speaking for myself, ya understand: I can assure you that the type and quality of "polly" arguments against y2k have firmly convinced me that they are mistaken.

It seems to me that people who have reasoned thru their position, who have given any matter deep and serious thought, and who can articulate that position with calmness and conviction -- have probably come as close to the truth of the situation as they are able.

In computer matters and y2k in particular, I am devoid of the skills it would take to TRULY understand the I have been dependent upon industry professionals to explain it for me. I've placed the most store in those whose credentials and experience suggest REAL expertise -- AND, who can talk about the problem rationally and calmly while acknowledging their own areas of weakness.

Ed Yourdon and Cory Hamasaki come high on my personal list for this reason.

For the same reason, some of our resident pollies convince me that they truly misunderstand the situation -- hysteria, failure to deal with negative information, extreme reliance on name-calling and waste-of-bandwidth posts characterize the lower end of pollies. The higher end of pollies, it seems to me, are often blinded by their focus on specific systems, their failure to acknowledge their own areas of weakness, and (often) a sense of arrogance and superiority -- which clouds their lack of real experience in the field.

(People who are REALLY accomplished in ANY discipline seldom come across as arrogant or egotistical -- they are more frequently the humble and kind souls.)

So, yeah -- the pollies convinced me. More by WHO they were, than by WHAT they said.....

-- Anita Evangelista (, November 12, 1999.

I've tried to avoid religious issues, but sometimes it is in order to drive the point home.

When all the happy-face press releases really started rolling out, then I knew for sure something is wrong. Also, after reading tons of ignorant comments written by pollies on this forum, I knew that I had better get moving. I think the recent response by Clinton has confimed my beliefs even more. When he says something, chances are the opposite is true. I knew he was a liar when he first was running for office. I mean the Vietnam issue, come on folks. Bush himself warned the American public about his lies (to fit popular opinion), but it fell on deaf ears. I don't trust all this technology. I'm in the middle of this technology only because I'm forced to make a living down here on earth. But where's the end? Does this technology just keep on getting better and better as we depend more and more on it? Do the pollies really believe this? Will the golden age be all this technology without God? Is this what mankind is learning? That we simply don't need God. This talk about coloning people, genetic technology (people living 120+ years) curing all these diseases and so on is getting too scary. It says, that we are fully capable of solving our own problems. If y2k turns out to be a non-event and nothing significant happens in 2000, then whether we like it or not, that will be the message. Somehow it doesn't sound right and it doesn't sit well with me. That's what bothers me about y2k being a non-event. Not what the pollies think, but the very fact that mankind will only then continue on the path of technology, leaving God totally out of the picture. What will happen if no lesson is learned?

If there's anything that I've learned on this forum is this: Mankind's brillance never ceases to amaze me. That's why I'm preparing.

-- Larry (, November 12, 1999.

some version of the br'er rabbit story...

"please don't throw me into the briar patch."

-- clayton (, November 12, 1999.


I work for State Gov't, so when I have experienced gov't ineptitude first-hand. (I worked in the private sector for 11 years before working for the State. I can tell you that "CYA" is more important than getting the issue fixed in the first place. This has occurred in my dept. more than once: Chernobyl virus, Y2K, and the Bubbleboy virus.)

With that kind of gov't ignorance at work and with the lack of logic that the pollies have been posting, it would be difficult for a logical person to NOT seen what is at risk, and to take time to make preparations for those risks.

For anyone who is new to Y2K, please read Stan F.'s link to 14 days of preps. Especially check out the HTML link to the Senate's Executive Summary report (pages 4 & 9), it is EXTREMELY sobering. In that report, the Senate finds that there is a good probability that we will have trouble with oil production, distribution and billing, not to mention is other sectors as well.

Stan, could you re-post your 14-day preps link again, please?

God bless those who prepare. God watch over those who don't.

-- Deb M. (, November 12, 1999.

It was definitely a polly thing in my case. GN (quick, eveyone hold up crosses and put rings of garlic around your necks) suggested going to polly sites to look for good information as opposed to opinions, hopes, wishes etc. I did. I found no real information and a strong tendency to avoid direct questions.

Pollys even now are not considering the effects their silence is having on newbies who are waiting for a response to the Kosky 3 day preps for the public, 3 weeks for states and business. People arguing over the definition of "bombast" probably don't make them feel any more comfortable.

I might have ended up a polly if I'd seen more questions answered. The FAA appeared to have lied about their compliancy as did the DoD yet the pollys would imply I was an idiot not to believe everything the pollys said. Various government agencies went from year 2004 or 2005 completion dates to 12/99 shortly after the article stating the govt had hired PR firms to put a positive spin on things. No polly would tell me why I shouldn't question these changes. Only that I shouldn't. They all seem to claim IT backgrounds yet none have addressed the "how many IT projects come in on schedule" problem.

So yes, when I was still a fence-sitting newbie, it was definitely the pollys who pushed me away.

-- thomas thatcher (, November 12, 1999.

Anita, do you play pinochle?

I agree. Everytime I start wondering about Y2K and if I am wasting money I come back to this forum. Reading posts by both sides convince me to prepare more. Partly because of what pollies say and how they say it.

-- Mr. Pinochle (, November 12, 1999.

The pollies obvious blindness to the real facts of the matter certainly help a lot of us prepare. They prefer their mindless polly drivel and completely ignore the real horrors we will face in less than two months. The more denial I see, the more sure I am that millions upon millions will die.

-- (its@coming.soon), November 12, 1999.

I think I may be the exception. Both my brother and I GI'd in 1997 from some trivial comments made by a polly -- a 500 lb Wall St Gorilla-type polly. He seemed non-chalant about the fact that '97 was getting late to start a major remediation but to me it sounded profound. It took me months of passive GI activity before I found good sources. I used to prowl tech stock chat rooms on Yahoo trying to see if anybody else was nervous. Finally somebody steered me to Yardeni and then Yourdon. However, it was that fateful day when I clicked on the curious hotlink called the "forum" on Yourdon's site that I forfeited my sanity. I'm not gonna swat that fly!

Tinfoil to all...

-- Dave (, November 12, 1999.

The more they make fun, the more I the store and bank that it is.

-- bardou (, November 12, 1999.

Me! Thank you all. Hatti

-- Hatti (, November 12, 1999.

The absence of any rational, factual argument to the contrary helped convince me that this is going to be far more than a bump in the road. None of the "Pollies" have been able to supply the kind of information that I would require to feel that we have a "non-event" coming.

-- Mad Monk (, November 12, 1999.


I started posting here last July. I was inspired by Andy Ray and a challenge he posed. I don't know where the thred is now but I did save the original post. You can read it below. Over the past few months I have done everything I could think of to protect my family from what may happen in less than 50 days now. I hope everyone will re-read my findings below and give a big thanks to Andy Ray for saving my and my family's life.


I guess I would be what you would all call a newbe. I have been reading postings on this forum off and on for about a month now. I've been cruising other sites for about a year. Please forgive the formatting, as I have never before attempted to post anything to one of these before except a quick one liner to someone wanting info on a stove.

I would describe myself as a fence sitter. Not quite sure what to think of all this stuff. I've read a number of news articles that seem to leave one with the belief that Y2K wont be much more than a few days of inconvenience, and a number of web articles that claim it's TEOTWAWKI.

The "GI" position seems to be, everything is going to stop working and you better be ready to stash and grow your own food and protect it and your family from those that haven't. This is usually followed by a " But don't take my word for it, do your own research" type of statement. That's not too helpful as a search on Y2K will net you about 250,000 responses, and most of them seem to give the same general links with general facts like "If we lose 40% - 50% of the worlds computers, we're in deep s&*t!" Well I don't think anyone would deny that but how do we know it will happen?

The "Polly" position seems to be, there is no evidence, historical or otherwise, (unless you can find them some) that proves that anything will happen, so "Don't worry, everything is going to be ok. Koskinen (or the head of the FAA, or who ever) said so just the other day" Well I must say, I have never met a government official that I would trust as far as I could throw them. Please don't quote government officials in an attempt to make a point that you want any intelligent person to believe. Other than that, it is hard to find facts to support or prove a negative or non event.

The other day I ran upon this posting from Andy Ray.

Okay, since no one could produce a single independently verifiable "Y2K-doom embedded IC," we will consider that matter settled for now. In a continuing effort to identify one verifiable catastrophic failure of anything in use today, I ask the following: Can anyone produce the manufacturer, part number, a procedure for verifying Y2K non-compliance, and one current application or platform for an industrial controller (since these have been a hot topic lately). To ameliorate the request, I include the following Example of a Y2K compliant system: Example:

Manufacturer: Allen-Bradley Part Number: 1747-L511, 1747-L514, 1747-L524 Procedure: Attempt to roll the real-time clock for powered down/powered up 991231/000101 rollover tests. Results: No real-time clock in SLC 5/01; 5/02 processors, only a free-running clock. Platforms/Applications: SLC 5/01, 5/02 are part of the A-B Small Logic Controllers family of processors. Uses are varied and industry-wide.


Regards, Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, July 06, 1999

So I took the advice of the "GIs" and now the challenge from Andy (a Polly?) to do some research on embedded chips and systems. Now I have read on other sites that 3% of these will fail. Some others I found said up to 15% will fail, but no verifiable facts. The way I figure it, if 3% of these fail then 3% of the total systems will have problems or become unusable (assuming we agree that all of the non compliant chips are found in an equal amount of computers). A 3% slowdown in everything would cause some problems, but not the end of the world. So I went to 3 different websites of 3 different companies. I'm sure there are more but I just used the one Andy used "Allen-Bradley" and the only two I could think of Texas Instruments and Motorola. I've put the addresses below so everyone could look into the horses mouth. I don't know how to make a hot link like you guys do, so you will have to forgive me.


Allen-Bradley Of their 199 listed date sensitive items they listed, 89 (or 45%) need to be fixed or replaced.

Texas Instruments Of their 121 listed date sensitive chips, 37 (or 30%) are not compliant.

Motorola They only list their non compliant chips totaling 72. I guess if it's not on their "Black status" list, your ok.

Based on this little bit of data, we must conclude that 30% to 45% of the embedded systems (and the computers they are part of) will have problems. This excludes any software problems. If this is true for all the manufactures, We will be seeing problems everywhere for some time. Even if a company doesn't fail, if everything just slowed down or services are reduced by 30% to 45% until they get fixed, we're in deep S&*T! Remember, the companies involved in doing the fixes will be slowed down too and would be overloaded under normal circumstances.

GI'S I come from the days of Woodward and Bernstein and figure there's some kid out there wanting to make a name for themselves that would want to get to the truth. I guess that's just not the way it is any more. I mean, this was not that hard to find once I knew what to look for. I haven't seen any facts like this in any news article or web posting I've read so far. Let's start finding and posting facts folks not just other WebPages that support your view with links to others that support them Etc..

DOOMER'S For those of you that are in to this for the thrill, I hope you get everything you are hoping for. I see a lot of posts on firearms and weapon of choice. Recently one on the benefits of a 22mag for shooting people as opposed to an AR-15 (or any .223) because of lower report and less muzzle flash. I just got to say, when you grow up and do get into your first fire fight (and if you survive) you will find it less cool than you thought. Unless you are a cold blooded killer. Let me tell you what to expect when it does happen. Everything slows way down. You try to drop to the ground but gravity doesn't pull you down as fast as normal. If you have more than 300cc of urine in your bladder, it will be out of your bladder and in your pants before you do hit the ground (this is a self preservation reflex, don't blame yourself). Then the only thing you can think of is how will your family take it if you don't make it. Then training or instinct takes over and you aren't you anymore. Rational thought, feelings, everything, gone, and you fight or run. I prefer to run if It's an option (stats show an 80% better chance of survival) but maybe I'm just a weenie. If you stay and fight it goes on and on and on forever, then 10 or 20 seconds after it started, it ends. One way or another it will end. Then (if you survive) you have your hole life to look forward to sleepless nights interrupted by nightmares. Gee, I hope my weapon doesn't have too much muzzle flash. There are literally tens of thousands of men and women in this country that have far superior training and experience in this sort of thing than anything you will read in Solder of fiction or see in a Rambo movie. The only battle you can truly win is the one you don't get into. All others are a varying degrees of loss.

POLLY'S I must admit, after I read Andy's post and the follow up posts, I thought the facts would come to Andy's rescue. But I guess that just isn't so. Andy, did you look at that website that you referred to in your post? You should, 45% of their date sensitive stuff doesn't work. Thank you so much for helping me off (pushing me off) the fence. To answer your post, I have found not one but 198 bad chips from 3 manufactures. I would guess there are many more, but you only asked for one. All in all I hope your right and everyone else ends up eating humble pie. I'll be the first one to take a serving, thank you.

ALL I guess now I will be considered a "Doomer" or if I'm lucky a GI. Oh well I guess I can live with it. Sorry if I offended anyone here, that is not my intent. I'm a bit shook up from all this info I found and need to digest it and act fast, but that's my problem and my fault. I would like to ask everyone to try to stick to the high road. I don't believe Dr.Yardon created this forum as a place for people to go to and through barbs at each other (I know, I know, practice what you preach). I think he did it so ideas and facts could be traded freely. I have more that I would like to say but I think this is enough for now.


Grandpappy and Faith,

I love your posts, they are very helpful and fun to read. I hope others will follow suit soon.



Get a life. At least Andy is trying to prove something he believes is true, you're just mean and deceitful. The end DOES NOT justify the means.


-- DOC (DOC@...), November 12, 1999.

Oddly enough, this topic has some substance to it. When I first came to this forum, I was fairly pessimistic, and heavily prepared. There were often days when I just couldn't see any possible way to escape disaster. I'm not saying posters here were solely responsible for changing my mind, but three general themes here got me thinking, I'll say that:

1) The propensity for pessimists to "support" their positions, in debate, almost entirely with personal attacks, and almost never by addressing the points raised in critique. I thought, surely if they had a good case they could defend it on its merits, as adults, rather than just calling names and attempting to intimidate "the enemy."

2) The extremely selective "research" being done. Only pessimistic material is welcomed here. Those who present anything else are invariably subjected to vituperative attacks. I thought, surely if the preponderance of evidence supported a pessimistic position, there would be no need to ignore 80% of the material, nor castigate those with the temerity to notice this.

3) The consistently illogical interpretation of diametrically different information. The market is going down? That means doom. Oh, it's going up? Well, that means doom too. Companies are overspending their remediation budgets? That means doom. Oh, they're underspending? Well, that means doom too. Companies are hiring remediators? That means doom. Oh, they're laying their remediators off? Well, that means doom too. $100 billion is being spent? That means doom. Oh, a trillion is being spent? Well, that means doom too. The government says there are problems? That means doom. Oh, the government says the problems are minor? That means doom too. People are panicking? That means doom. Oh, they aren't panicking? Well, that means doom too. Companies aren't making contingency plans? That means doom. Oh, they are making contingency plans? Well, that means doom too! And so on ad nauseum.

I thought, surely if these people are rational, sooner or later they'd realize that these arguments are contradictory and self- serving. When *all* the evidence is *forced* to mean the same thing, then this isn't research, this is religion.

-- Flint (, November 12, 1999.

After I read that posting by Flint, I thought "I gotta go out right NOW and buy some more kerosene." Thanks, Flint!

-- Cosytoes (, November 12, 1999.


Why did my post get deleted? and right after I posted, Flint made a post and it's gone too. I wanted to comment on it but POOOOF! what happened? Check the number of answeres listed on the link page against the true number of answers here.

-- DOC (DOC@...), November 12, 1999.


So you mean personal attacks like the listings of percentages of embedded chips from DOC's posting above? I must admit that if I were suffering from polly-myopia I guess I'd kinda feel attacked by that, in a way.

And did you ever consider that most of the material with any substance whatsoever might might merit your term of "pessimistic"?

-- eve (, November 12, 1999.


OK now it's back. I don't even want to know but thanks.


You posted after me. Please read my post and it will answer your first two questions (points).

Your third point does carry some weight though. I believe it is caused by the fear of impending doom. Trying to foresee the future is not one of my strong points so I don't look for pre-events as some do. What happens will happen. all I hope for is that I will be ready when they do happen.

-- DOC (DOC@...), November 12, 1999.


[did you ever consider that most of the material with any substance whatsoever might might merit your term of "pessimistic"?]

Did you ever consider that you are thinking in circles? The only material you consider meritorious is pessimistic. Therefore, only pessimistic material has merit!

I tried to point this out. When Chrylser did initial tests and their assembly line stopped, their punchclocks failed and their security system wouldn't let them out, everyone trumpeted that as proof of doom. When Chrysler subsequently *demonstrated* that all those problems had been solved, nobody saw fit to post or comment on it! It had lost "substance" or "merit", right?

If you consider ONLY pessimistic material to be substantive, you have painted yourself into a corner.


I recommend you read (carefully) my reply to eve on the "stuck dominoes" thread, which is still hanging around on the current answers. Your information is good; your interpretation of that information is not well informed.

-- Flint (, November 12, 1999.

Thanks everyone so far, but thanks especially to you, DOC. Yeah, I now remember the thread on which you presented the results of your research, motivated ironically by none other than Andy Ray.

Meanwhile, Flint, I hope that your OWN extensive personal preparations for your family (NOT for Y2K, of course, just in case ... well ... well, you know, just in case) can be looked upon as a model to strive for.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), November 12, 1999.

King of Spain,

By chance.... do you like to wrestle in chocolate pudding?

-- (, November 12, 1999.

Excellent thread, KoS. You're missed at Bokonon's chat room...

-- Mudwrestling (fan@the.pit), November 12, 1999.

K.O.S.- your post was interesting, but I don't think it applies to me, it actually applies to my wife. she was getting a bit wary of SO MUCH good news about Y2K in the media that she began to not believe it.

At least she's helping with the preps now, its more fun. There's planning, budgeting, making meals for various groups of family, testing ANOTHER brand of pasta (?).


FLINT- you also raise some interesting points, doing a 180, if you read the financial pages, ANY activity in the Stock Market(s) seems to have a "postive" spin on it.

If stocks went up, hurray! and here's why....

If stocks go down, its a "correction" (? never did understand why they use that word, it implies that the stock is overvalued and the price is going back to where it "should" be)

I recall a brief story in the Tribune recently about one day where "stocks went on and WILD RIDE and "RALLYED" 200 points on the Dow". Later they mentioned that the market ended up down, like 80 points at the end of the day.

So it works on both ends of spectrum.

People see what they want to see. Everyone has filters.

personally, I try to not let someone set my agenda for me. (one reason I don't vote)

-- plonk! (, November 12, 1999.


Flint, I desperately want to be proven wrong on this. I always have. That is why I tried very hard to come up with positive assessments. I've been searching for a year and a half. That is also why I try to spend time discussing things with yourself, Hoff, and Decker. It's really not to try to one-up you guys. It's for me to learn -- to learn if there could actually be a way out of this mess; something I might have overlooked. I have really tried so hard to find something really credible and at the same time significantly optimistic -- punching the keyboard as my eyes were filling with tears, and finding only a glimmer of hope here and there, only to have it torn away by something else I'd come across later.

Please take my and others' motives into consideration when we discuss these things. You will responses will start to reflect this, and you will perhaps gain credibility thereby.

-- eve (, November 12, 1999.


In a pinch, certainly chocolate pudding could be used. In fact, my Y2K preps include de-hydrated chocolate pudding, which I absolutely would use if TheEndOfMudAsWeKnowIt occurred.

But, truly, I am a mud man. It is just so ... earthy.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), November 12, 1999.


I can't deny there's a big mess. There really is. At a minimum, overworked geeks will be fixing things until they drop, for weeks on end. Remember that those hundred of billions of remediation dollars weren't all wasted. One hell of a lot was fixed. Remember also that embedded remediation has gone *much* better than originally anticipated. Finally, remember that the new implementations (the source of far more difficult problems than simple date bugs) are mostly behind us. Some struggled, keeping Homer Beanfang very busy. But the "interconnectedness of everything" didn't play out the way the determinists predicted. Even the worst implementation problems (which, for those who experienced them, will almost surely exceed the impact of the worst date bugs) were only a temporary, non-domino setback for their sufferers. The vast majority of all problems so far due to new implementations and returning remediated code to production, have been contained and haven't affected customers (but have in the worst case reduced profits or caused losses for a quarter or three).

Yes, I know many here are bound and determined to sweep everything to date under the rug. But don't lose sight of the fact that everything to date has been a *whole lot* of problems. And we muddle through. You can make an excellent case that if the worst isn't already over, it can hardly get much greater from now on. Which is a *whole lot* from a bug-count perspective, but really not much from an infrastructure or economic perspective. You, like most here, have your vision focused narrowly on the bleeding papercut. It looks awful. It's really bleeding, yep. But in terms of total health, it's small. Look at a larger world.

-- Flint (, November 12, 1999.

Flint, what you just wrote is a prime example of what this thread is discussing -- the fact that pollyanna arguments can get downright silly. You have just made sweeping statements, as if they were some kind of Done Deal. Along the lines of, "Yes, it was a tough battle, and we really had to roll up our sleeves, but we were able to do it, thank goodness the embedded systems were basically OK, certainly 'interconnected' worries were overblown, ...".

You write as if it is June 2000 and you have 20/20 hindsight. In truth, you do not know if this is going to be the case. It is but complete speculation on your part, nothing more.

49 days.


-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), November 12, 1999.


Gee, Flint, the more you write, the more you've only succeeded in convincing me beyond any doubt that you are the one with so narrow a focus that many times it doesn't seem like a focus at all.

Perhaps you're really not being serious with all this talk, and that it's just some form of amusement for you. In a way, you seem too intelligent to even believe it yourself. Of course, gullible innocents could be taken in, which would be a shame.

I know, this is abstract. But to take on all your unsubstantiated assertions and out-of-context selections point-by-point would be like crushing hundreds of ants when there are thousands more coming from all directions, each unrelated to the next. I just don't have the time.

We'll still talk, Flint, but I'm losing interest. So go ahead and fire another random dozen back at me (spray and pray, as they say), as I'm sure you will; maybe I'll respond, maybe I won't. It really doesn't matter much anymore.

-- eve (, November 12, 1999.

Subject: How many people are preparing, thanks at least in part to the POLLIES???

No, the pollies don't concern me, other than they can be a huge source of amusement as well as the discourse for those trying to educate them. I haven't done any preparation out of the ordinary. I have a kitchen full of food, always do. A bunch of cylinders of propane, always have, dozens of candles, always do, keep my bank statements always have etc, etc. I don't think there will be many problems in the U.S. based on the capitalist principle - don't let anything interfere with the profit, internationally is another game altogether. So far, I haven't taken any extraordinary measures and I don't know how to cope with expensive gasoline other than a Geo Metro which I already have two. Gas is $1.40 in my neighborhood. Pollies have there own life and it hasn't affected mine.

-- Guy Daley (, November 12, 1999.


"Look at the larger world". Fair enough. Off the top of my head, here's what the "larger world" looks like. Or am I only seeing the pessimistic side? If so, please enlighten me.

Roughly half of the world's industrialized countries have done little or nothing. Some rather important countries are among this group--Russia, China, India, Italy, etc.

Now, I've read all the accounts from spokespeople in these countries that they're now on top of things. Yes, we started late, but we're OK now, thanks for asking. I want to believe them, but find it impossible to do so. Do you?

Roughly one-third of SME's in every country has done little or nothing, according to virtually every survey I've seen. Perhaps the data is old? Or SME's aren't reliant on technology, so it's not a big deal? Or it only takes 3 days to FOF? Again, I'd like to believe these things, but just can't bring myself to do so. Do you?

It is precisely the "larger world" that concerns me. That you base your optimism on the "big picture" astounds me.

-- Steve (, November 12, 1999.

yes, the pollies have made me prepare. Although it's tiresome to see (impossible to prove) "credentials" tossed around, I've been a programmer and technology start-up businessman for about 20 years.

Software, folks, is an ugly business; as is the creation of anything. It may look great on the plate, but don't peek in the kitchen -grin-

One of the most interesting and provacative comments I've read was (Yourdin's??) that, in the future, programmers will have to be licensed. I'm not a big government fan, by any means -- but that's an excellent idea! People who haven't worked in the industry have no idea how much "bad code" there is out there; with more being written every second. And to those who say: "Sure! But it works, doesn't it??"...I say: check back in a couple months, ok?

Yes, indeed, the pollies have made me prepare. The most instructive, thoughtful posts I've found here have been from people who (to me) were obviously knowledgable.

That said, I would be delighted to be "wrong"; I'm sure the pollies can't say the same...

-- doug (, November 12, 1999.


Thanks for asking intelligent questions, rather than accuse me of making sweeping generalizations while chanting slogans. Talk about cognitive disconnect!

["Look at the larger world". Fair enough. Off the top of my head, here's what the "larger world" looks like. Or am I only seeing the pessimistic side? If so, please enlighten me.]

Hey, I read all I can and think about it as best I can. So long as you're making that effort, that's as enlightened as you get.

[Roughly half of the world's industrialized countries have done little or nothing. Some rather important countries are among this group--Russia, China, India, Italy, etc.]

I regard this as a kind of sophisticated half-truth. "Countries" don't do things, individuals do. My employer has plants in India and Italy. These are fully remediated. Do they not count because of their geographical location? What does it really mean to say that a "country" has done nothing? I intend that as a serious question, for which I don't have a clear answer. It most clearly seems to mean that the government of these countries has done little to repair their own organization. But it doesn't tell us much about the businesses in those countries.

It is a convenience of expression to say that we import coffee from "Brazil". All this means is that there are coffee growing and exporting firms physically located in Brazil. If these firms can continue to function without interruption, does that count even if "Brazil isn't compliant"?

[Now, I've read all the accounts from spokespeople in these countries that they're now on top of things. Yes, we started late, but we're OK now, thanks for asking. I want to believe them, but find it impossible to do so. Do you?]

No. I don't think they know what they're talking about, they're merely saying what they know will make people happy, without knowing what it means. But bear in mind that there are literally millions of "things" going on in these countries. The details are important. We tend to generalize badly about distant affairs. If someone asks if the US is compliant, we think immediately about details like what progress and problem reports we've read from surveyors, reporters, SEC reports, a wealth of detail. The notion of lumping the entire US together isn't meaningful. Yet we do this with Italy or India without a second thought.

[Roughly one-third of SME's in every country has done little or nothing, according to virtually every survey I've seen. Perhaps the data is old? Or SME's aren't reliant on technology, so it's not a big deal? Or it only takes 3 days to FOF? Again, I'd like to believe these things, but just can't bring myself to do so. Do you?]

Partially. The evidence is that most small (1-5 person) businesses (there are millions of these) can remediate in an afternoon, inexpensively. They have written little or no code themselves, so their remediation consists of purchasing upgrades to any software running on their PC that relies on dates. For most, it's not insane at all to wait and see what fails. For much packaged software, a call to the vendor (or website check) is informative as well. And those who have done nothing are way overrepresented at the small end of the SME scale. This danger may be exaggerated.

As for the 3-day FOF, this has become a shibboleth. Of course, it depends on the problem! I think the original point (now lost in the sloganeering) is that most date bugs (not all) are fairly easy to find and trivial to repair. What we've heard repeatedly is that code remediation is numbingly boring. Not hard. Hey, it failed encountering a 2000 date. You know what failed, you know what you're looking for, you know how to find it. It's not like an implementation bug, which could be anwhere, could be a design problem, could require you to change whole business practices. *Those* are NOT 3-day problems.

However, it's also important to recognize that the 3-day scenario assumes near-complete remediation and decent testing. You went through your million lines of code, and reduced the date bugs from 20,000 to 2,000. NOW, the problem has become manageable (but still a nightmare in the glass rooms).

I expect the incidence of actual date bugs to increase as we hit 60- day and 30-day lookaheads. We might actually *read* about someone who experiences such a problem. But most SME's haven't written much code, and don't even have an IT department. It's all off the shelf.

There is a tendency among the Jacks of the world to categorize observers into either the "overwhelming problems" pigeonhole, or the "no problems" pigeonhole. And since I don't expect problems to be overwhelming, I'm accused of saying there won't be any at all. This is far from the case, though. I even anticipate macroeconomic impacts from the problems. But not collapse, or anything close to it.

-- Flint (, November 12, 1999.

It is so dry and so hot out here in the desert -- don't think we'll ever have mud again. Isn't it almost Thanksgiving -- tired of running the AC.

My whole entire family is polly's and have always prided myself on being a rebel. Actually, common sense lead me to the preps and conclusions I've reached. Is there any common sense anymore?

-- claurann (, November 12, 1999.

A rational explanation for making Y2K preparations UO

Stan Faryna

Got 14 days of preps? If not, get started now. Click here.

Click here and check out the TB2000 preparation forum.

-- Stan Faryna (, November 12, 1999.


Well, you read over Flint's posts, and you would swear that common sense never met his acquaintance. An "educated fool" if there ever was one.

Do you sandwrestle?

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), November 12, 1999.


Ever been to the mud baths in Calistoga?

As to the Polly question. When someone gets my ire up, I tend to do exactly what they don't want me to do. Always have had a little rebellion in me (now I am paying for it of course my mom tells me my 3 yr.old is just like I was Uuuggghhhhh!!)


-- itsnotjustthewater (, November 13, 1999.

EVERY single day!!!

I glance over their post and responses and it just reminds me to go out and pick up a another case "JUST IN CASE"! :)

I wouldn't feed the trolls, but it is oh so much fun!!

I figure that all you have to do is judge how worried they REALLY are by the vehemence of their postings. Their DENIAL is at stake. Some of them must be scared Spitless.

Go king of Spain!!

(And have you ever watched Jello Wrestling? You don't have to wash off before you...........)

-- DavePrime (, November 13, 1999.

I see nobody has a word of disagreement with the substance of what I wrote. Personal attacks only. As I said, if your position is that weak, why worry so hard?

-- Flint (, November 13, 1999.


I do not usually get involved with parsing wars or disagreements because I don't have the time. Before 6:30 am, and after 11:00 pm, are normally the only hours I have available to review the board and I just dont have it in me to engage in extended rhetoric.


Sweetie Pie, I disagree with your take on SME's. My experience has been with SME's.

I have been with 2 small manufacturing companies A and B. Company A is aprox. 27,000,000.00 company. Company B is aprox. 7,000,000.

1. Yes we do normally run canned software, but

Both manufacturers run robust ERP software that integrates the various business functions into one platform. There are aprox. six layers each associated with the SW & HW.

Network OS (Unix/Novell/NT) etc.

RDBMS - Relational Database

Enterprise Resource Planning Package

Third Party ERP Software (Report Writers/Manifest Systems/EDI/Bar- coding, ETC.)

Work Stations OS (Dos/Windows xx)

Network Client Software

MS Office apps.


Network Servers

Hubs/Multiplexers/routers/splitters/switches etc

Work Stations  PCs

Print Servers/Fax Servers/

Printers/Faxes and other peripheral devices

Manufacturing Equipment  embedded chips concerns.

Company A is extremely customized. Company philosophy hard core bottom line. President  Jock with a Marketing Degree from Stanford  MIS budget negligible. Repetitive manufacturing environment. 7,000 skus w/avg. Bill of Material of 34 Line Items.

Company B very vanilla (but zillions of custom reports). Very supportive of technology advancements, with decent IS budget. Shop floor manufacturing environment. 33,000 skus w/avg. 4 Line Items.

A couple of little issues with the canned software Y2k fixes (B):

Macola Software just released (Oct 28, 1999) the conversion tools necessary to convert ALL modules to their compliant windows version, 2 months before the roll-over  Flint, it was scheduled for release over a year ago (kept having technical problems with it)!!!! Even if I hadnt taken a temporary work-around, (which still took a week to finish/ and then a month to tweak) the Macola Business Partners we are required to work with are already so booked-up they are scheduling client upgrades into Feb. 2000. Thats the canned software environment us small guys are dealing with Fint.  Oh and flint, thats just the software part. Its all dependent. I had to upgrade 80% of our hardware to enable the canned software to run with no complications.

Both Companies are in a quagmire when it comes to upgrades/enhancements/fixes. They are dependent on their vendors for support, if/when they incur problems they do not have the staff to fix it. They will be waiting on their vendors to arrange on-site visits and/or phone support (which during normal circumstances can take 24 hours to get the ball rolling - these vendors have 100,000s of customers). Within reason both could possibly continue to try and manufacture, but it would be a logistics nightmare. Productivity would virtually go down the toilet. Without the systems Order Entry/Scheduling/Purchasing/Inventory Control/Shipping/Accounting they might be able to make a couple of End Items but there it would end. They are both Just In Time manufacturers with very high inventory turns. Average lead-time for raw materials aprox. 8 weeks.

In our spare time Chris and I build PCs. Most of them are for friends/relatives/ and their small companies (less than 5 employees). My husband also has his own small company (8 employees). These small entities all use Micro Soft  off the shelf, and have Custom Access programs designed for them. None of them had a clue that they were at risk (but were running the latest versions, how could there be a problem?). None of them have a clue how to troubleshoot their systems, download and install patches etc. They would be dead in the water. We have tried to help them.

I realize that not *all* small companies are dependent on software and hardware. Just the ones I know and they all had issues beyond there ability to deal with.

-- *************** (, November 13, 1999.


Thanks for the input. I don't know if the 60% of SME's who *have* done something are or are not overrepresented among those who *needed* to do something. Maybe it's random? I'm not trying to argue (without any information) that most SME's gave a few moments of thought to the problem, and those with most exposure did most about it. That would assume a certain amount of reasonable caution and understanding, and I don't know how common that is.

I have no doubt that many SME's will hit the wall over this, and those who can't adapt Real Fast have had it. I find it difficult to believe that every business that either reports having done nothing or hasn't responded to surveys will die. I find it even more difficult to believe that those that die won't be replaced in due time. In the interim, as usual, I expect a world of downtime, shortages, higher prices, screwups, delays and the like. Not fun, not the end of the world either.

-- Flint (, November 13, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

The only thing I remember seeing about Y2K, prior to "getting it" in January this year is an article featuring my bank in a local throwaway newspaper, which was stacked high in the bank's lobby. I didn't give it any more thought until a high schooler friend of mine had to research Y2K as part of a school project. I fed Y2K into a search engine and started off by visiting the Cassandra Project, where I "got it" immediately in a flash.

When confronted with an important decision, I have made a point to seek out opinions which are alternative to the ones that I currently hold. Therefore, I spent the next several months seeking out positive information about Y2K. I lurked on mainstream optimistic Y2K sites, begging them to convince me that the problem had been solved. Far from providing me any hope, they managed finally to thoroughly persuade me that the problem was very real, that few companies or agencies had conquered it, and that remaining time was too short to do the job of fixing it.

It was only after I gave up all hope that Y2K would be OK that I quit visiting only the polly sites and focused instead upon preparations for my family and my neighborhood.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), November 14, 1999.

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