How My Company "Fixed Y2Kgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
How my Company Fixed Y2K
Sins of Omission
The problem is solved primarily by how it is perceived.
I work for a company that has about 400 computers running Windows95 or Windows NT, linked by 3 networks. The corporate offices told us to use a Y2K fix called ******. I ran a test program on 5 computers that said the computers were still not Y2K compliant. I was told that ****** was the program that corporate gave us to use and if it failed then that was corporates problem.
When I voiced concern that we could have hundreds of computers down or spitting out bad data, I was told that we installed ****** so we could tell corporate that we were compliant and they in turn could tell the stockholders we were compliant. The goal was not to actually be compliant. The goal was to allay stockholders fears. The Y2K patch for Win95 and Office has not arrived nor does anyone seem to care. The service pack for NT to make it compliant was supposed to be service pack 3, then 4, and five. Service pack six is really supposed to fix it. Wheres 6? My supervisor (as well as the other corporate officers) does not see Y2K as being much of a problem, therefore it doesnt warrant much attention. FOF is no big deal. How many other companies fixed their systems the same way we did?
How I came to Y2K
In 1990, I read a snippet about the problem computers would have when their clocks rolled over to 2000. I thought that the problem would easily be solved in the ten years remaining. Id check in once in a while to monitor Y2K progress and was confused why it was essentially a nonexistent problem. I thought it might be mentioned during the 92 presidential campaign. I was concerned when it was ignored again during the 96 campaign. I chose to assume that the solution was steaming right along. No big problem. No big news.
In May of 1998, I had a job as a researcher (I was the entire research department) for a national radio show. I got the go ahead to look into Y2K for an upcoming series of shows. My credentials allowed me to contact virtually anybody I wanted to. Id make up a wish list of the best people I could think of and then call em up.
I read the May 7, 1998, Newsweek article by Steven Levy, Will the Bug Bite the Bull and called Bruce Webster from The Washington DC Year 2000 group. I figured that the co-chair of an organization made up of people who are actually trying to solve the Y2K problem would be a great starting point. It was.
On June 2, 1998, C-Span broadcast a panel discussion about Y2K hosted by The Center for Strategic and International Studies. The panel was made up of a pretty good sampling of Y2Ks Whos Who:
Peter deJager, Ed Yardeni, Howard Rubin, Keith Rhodes, Alan Simpson, Bruce Webster, and Senator Robert Bennett.
I talked to everyone on the panel except Senator Bennett.
I also talked to Rick Cowles, Dennis Grabow, Caper Jones, Joel Willamssen, a couple of folks from HICFA, Karen Anderson, and Jim Lord.
Some of the people I talked to told me some startling things off the record.
? A contingency plan involving airdrops (using helicopters) of food and water for Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and New York.
? There exist strong elements within the government ready to lead when the Y2K crisis hits. What was unnerving was that it was made very clear that these elements were not from within the Clinton Administration. I get nervous whenever the unelected decide to lead.
? Embedded chips represent an unknowable and possibly unsolvable problem.
I read Ed Yourdon, Gary North, and daily checked Westergaard 2000, Y2K Newswire, and numerous other Y2K sites. I also monitored Russ Kellys Expert Ranking site. I logged 400 Y2K hours and stopped counting. I still spend a couple hours a day monitoring Y2K.
The only conclusions I could come to based on everything I had learned were:
Have a minimum of 1 to 3 months supply of food, water, fuel, and cash.
What concerned me then and now are the thousands (millions?) of people living paycheck to paycheck who are unable to make any preparations whatsoever.
I put up a website containing the Y2K info Id collected and literally contacted everyone I knew so they could have a heads up and start preparing. For those not on the net, I sent 132 page packets with a video copy of the CSIS panel from C-Span. I ran up a huge phone bill. I spent a lot of money on postage. The data convinced one couple in Arizona to prepare. Everybody else refuted, ignored, or denied the data. My familys and my wifes familys response was to call us extremists.
The most confounding aspect of this whole experience was that the information I collected came from the best sources anyone would possibly want. My sister talked to some guy in her IT department and he told her that they were compliant so no problem. She works for a huge import/export company and international trade is extraordinarily vulnerable to Y2K problems. All the systems involved must work perfectly or there is no transaction. Her source of Y2K information was inexplicably more credible than the dream team Id spoken with.
Ive found that:
? People believe that Y2K will be OK without one shred of hard data supporting that belief.
? People dont want to believe anything that might interfere with their status quo.
The radio show was cancelled before the Y2K series aired.
Is chaos the result desired by this government? For what gain? It is irrelevant if we achieve chaos through design, incompetence, or stupidity. We still must live in and through chaos. The real shame is that if in 1998 we were told to buy just a bit more every week we could have achieved preparedness not only for ourselves but for those we could help.
Now we must hope that our government was grossly stupid in allowing Y2K to happen. We must hope we are governed by fools. If they are not fools then I dont know what it will be like to live under a system that desired chaos in order to enforce tighter controls against the individual to quell the chaos.
-- Fractal (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 13, 1999
Fractal. I do believe they are fools. Thanks for your story.
-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), November 13, 1999.
Thank you for posting your experience, there are thousands of stories like yours waiting to be told, but the stories will come too late for them to do any good. The best any GI can do for themselves now is to keep prepping and have your life in order.
-- bardou (email@example.com), November 13, 1999.
"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." -- G.B. Shaw (I think)
Either way, I'm sure that it's been noticed that CEOs, CIOs, et.al., are not necessarily the brightest bulbs in the box.
-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 13, 1999.
Love your name :o)
Sounds like you have done a bit of history watching Y2K wise eh?
How any one could ignore Bennett's statement about the power grid going down if Y2K were June 98 escapes me or Joels GAO reports, he was always blunt about the government situation specially back then.
Now of course some of the hype back then is water under the bridge, but alot of new issues like health have taken its place (power loss).
Anyway something you may be interested in, Chaos Theory.
Chaos in the 21st Century (A lesson)
-- Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 13, 1999.
There are two systems needed to run our part of the operation where I am employed. One was checked thoroughly, the second well. I voiced concerned about the O/S on a reboot asking for the date in a two digit format for the year. MIS guru asked company and told dept manager they say its ok. Different administration, voiced concern manager told he had signed y2k ok from higher manager and when system goes down he can have the higher manager and MIS guru fired because they signed off.
Gotta love those managers looking out for the big picture.
-- squid (Itsdark@down.here), November 13, 1999.
Its also been noticed that not all the bulbs in the box have been dim. The bright ones have jumped the box and left the scene. I can't say that I blame them. They will be the scapegoats if they stick around, no matter how hard they worked for remediation. If the company stock plummets, they will be calling for the CEO's head. Always been that way and always will be that way.
Thanksgiving is almost here. And each of us needs to thank our God(s) that we are among the few fortunate that have had some warning, and the brains to take it and run with it. My family is as ready as one can be and I am grateful to this forum and Ed Yourdon. Mostly I am grateful to J.D. Balninger of Countryside Journal for tipping me off in early 1998. I immediately went to the computer and did a search. Within the week chubby hubby and I were both preparing. We have lived where nature could quickly kill you and we have some idea of what one needs to survive and also to live. There is a difference! So it did not take us long to formulate our lists. All we had to do was think back to the times where you had to have all of your supplies for the year on your shelves before freeze up. If you forgot anything...tough! You did without until the Spring thaw and the barges could come in once again. Don't forget to LIVE while you are surviving. If you are finished with your preps, start thinking about those things that could make a difference in your life. For me its books. I have spent a lifetime buying books and then giving them away as I didn't have space for all of them. Now I am haunting yard sales, book sales and 2nd hand book stores gathering up paper backs for the WINTER OF DISCONNECT. If there are hungry people wandering my roads, I will HAVE to disconnect in order to mentally survive. For me, books allow me to do this. I also hand weave rugs so I have made sure that I have a year or more of supplies and that my loom is warped and ready to go. While weaving is when I do my serious and innovative thinking. So make sure that you have some materials for your hobbies. or whatever it takes for you to DISCONNECT now and then to keep your mental balance. And for you who live in the north. Its not just a case of keeping warm. Cabin fever is a REAL problem if you don't have any artificial light. It will be much harder on you than we who live in the far south and have sunny day after sunny day and much longer days of daylight that up north. We don't get the long twilight of evening in the summer here, but neither do we go through the terribly short days of winter. I am rambling as usual.
-- Taz (Taz@aol.com), November 13, 1999.
Bill Clinton is fully prepared to inject America with Martial Law. This explains the stance Government has taken with Y2K. What perturbs me is the cowering of the "leaders" in religion, business and among us as neighbors and friends.
If such gelatin of backbone persists, our liberties and wealth will be lost as surely as Clinton is an enemy.
If your faith does not match your preparations, you will be doomed to an unspeakable future. Only miracles can cushion the blow ahead. It is now time to believe, to pray, to love and to fight.
Read the parables of Jesus Christ. They each tell us the key to the days ahead.
God be with you.
-- Joseph Almond (email@example.com), November 13, 1999.
Fractal, Good post, man! You wrote: "There exist strong elements within the government ready to lead when the Y2K crisis hits. What was unnerving was that it was made very clear that these elements were not from within the Clinton Administration. I get nervous whenever the unelected decide to lead." That's food for thought, but what do you do when the elected are leading you over the cliff, and the rank and file "unelected" decide not to follow?
-- Jay Urban (Jayho99@aol.com), November 13, 1999.
Here's a priest story. He's a good guy and all, but he had a two- minute talk last January with his adult group and said, "Look. People thought something was going to happen when 1900 rolled around and nothing did happen. . . . So don't worry about this stuff."
Talk about mistaking 00 for 1900!! Another preacher used y2k to get his congregation to think about being prepared for the next time Jesus drops out of the sky. Prepare!!
-- Becky (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 13, 1999.
Me eyes not as good as they used to be! you could help if in the future you would break your thoughts up into smaller paragraphs. I would be forever grateful. Just a thought: enjoying every day, no fear, at peace and ready.
-- Tommy Rogers (Been there@Just a Thought.com), November 13, 1999.
There exist strong elements within the government ready to lead when the Y2K crisis hits.
Yep. I rather suspect a large group of dot mils, et. al., are planning something. The whiffs of smoke have been there... for those with eyes to read.
*Hope* they remember their spirit... and whats important.
(Added HTML paragraph tags for easier reading)
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), November 13, 1999.
its impossible to believe that those in high places are totally unaware of whats about to happen. as dum as many of them are, i'm certain they *know*.
what i dont know is what their exact plans are for afterwards, but things like martial law arent too far from possibility.
-- lou (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 13, 1999.
Fractal, interesting findings. Two questions: 1. What was the name of the Y2K fix program? 2. What was the name of the y2k test program you ran afterwards that indicated there was still a problem?
-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), November 13, 1999.
Fractal, thank you for sharing your story!!
Taz -- I never mind your rambling!! I too am a die-hard when it comes to books. A couple months before I got it, I donated all my paperbacks to a church bazar. When I finally got it I slowly began stocking up. Thanks to this forum I haven't dug into my stash -no time. I have done the same for my children (fun and educational, thank god I kept all my text books from college)
-- learningisgood (email@example.com), November 13, 1999.
Very interesting post, Fractal,
What is of particular interest is the notion of non-administration entities preparing to take control -- or at least that's the implication. This is bothersome because it seems to contradict that which many of us understand as a plan by Mr. Clinton to allow Al Gore to 'lead us from the darkness' and become a national hero thereby winning the presidential race next year.
If entities outside the Clinton administration are countering that position, can you tell us who they are? Are you suggesting military takeover not directed by Mr. Clinton?
Personally, I believe Mr. Clinton is extremely intelligent and has built perhaps the most powerful administration in our history -- in support of his own personal agenda. I do not see him as dumb, but rather sinister. He is a confirmed liar and master in the art of generating decoys. He plays the world as collective fools.
Please expound on your paragraph: "There exist strong elements within the government ready to lead when the Y2K crisis hits. What was unnerving was that it was made very clear that these elements were not from within the Clinton Administration. I get nervous whenever the unelected decide to lead."
Thank you for taking time to present your article here.
-- TA (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 14, 1999.
RE: "There exist strong elements within the government ready to lead when the Y2K crisis hits. What was unnerving was that it was made very clear that these elements were not from within the Clinton Administration."
I was interviewing this gentleman early on in my Y2K awareness. I was still naive enough to be dumbfounded that this calamity was rolling inevitably upon us. In frustration I asked something like:
"Isn't anybody in this (Clinton's) administration paying attention?"
His response was that there is no leadership within the Clinton White House.
He then went on to compare F.D.R.'s Churchill's ability to inspire action.
I asked him if the whole government was asleep and he said:
(I'm paraphrasing here. I don't have my notes in front of me)
There are strong elements in the government who are prepared to lead us out of this mess.
I asked him Where?
He responded with, "the Pentagon."
He was very clear that these elements would surface after Y2K. The interview ended shortly after that. He started rambling about nutcases taking off to the hills with AK47's.
I thought (late 1998) that Colin Powell would show up pre-Y2K and rally everybody with patriotism and preparedness and republicans would run roughshod over the techno-geek veep. This obviously didn't happen. It appears the repubs have lined up behind an ex-president's son.
What I meant by:
"I get nervous whenever the unelected decide to lead."
It's weird enough when our elected representatives try to drive the bus but military/bureaucats shouldn't handle anything sharper than an orange.
-- Fractal (email@example.com), November 14, 1999.