Y2k fails to compute for county

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11/24/99 -- 6:47 AM

Y2K fails to compute for county By GARY SPROTT of The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA - Any way you call it, the Y2K curse has struck close to home.

Simple software snag?

Or portentous omen that come Jan. 1, we'll be living in caves and eating cold beans from a can while monkeys run the planet?

Any way you call it, the Y2K curse has struck close to home.

June Fasse knew something was wrong when the notice from the Hillsborough County court system arrived at her Town 'N Country home this month. It said a mediation hearing had been set in her dispute with a former employer.

``It said, `Fourth of January 1900,' '' said Fasse, 70. ``I knew there must have been a computer problem.''

Software problem, it seems.

``What was happening was when you looked on the [computer] screen, it showed 2000, but when it printed out, it said 1900,'' Court Administrator Mike Bridenback explained Tuesday.

About 15 to 20 mediation notices were sent before employees caught the problem, he said. No one called to report the mistake; Fasse just assumed the date was supposed to be Jan. 4, 2000.

``We're sending out corrected notices,'' Bridenback said.

Such ``little glitches'' won't be unusual, said Scott McPherson, Y2K coordinator for Gov. Jeb Bush.

``We're expecting it to be frequent enough that people will just chuckle at it,'' he said. ``It's just one of those goofy things.''

The Social Security Administration had a similar mix-up after President Clinton announced the agency was Y2K compliant.

``It's those kind of bugs in the system that fortunately don't impact people's lives in any great way but are really just kind of a nuisance,'' McPherson said.

Bridenback said it took a few days to track down the glitch. During that time, court employees hand-corrected the dates on mediation notices as they came off the printer. A little Wite-Out did the job nicely.

Which makes you wonder if this might be a good time to buy shares in correction fluid companies.

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), November 24, 1999


White out :::: information white out :::::: static, come in, all we have is white snow, static ::::::: prepare for a snow storm

-- winter storm (coming@your.way), November 24, 1999.

DISCLAIMER: Not an actual event YET!

Y2K NEWS ASSOCIATION -- January 3, 1900

A chemical plant today released a cloud of deadly gas killing several hundred residents. Thousands are reported to be suffering from the affects of the poisonous gas. The Widget Chemical Corp. where the release occured, produces many industrial cleaning solution products. A spokesman for the company said "We have no comment until we can contact our attorneys." However, an unidentified source said "the problem is not related to a Y2K failure."

Local police assisted by the County Sheriff Department have evacuated the entire town of 53,000.

Emergency Management officials for the county have said that problems like this may continue to occur for sometime not only locally but nationally. The Director of Emergency Management said, "We're expecting it to be frequent enough that people will just chuckle at it. It's just one of those goofy things."

-- the Virginian (1@1.com), November 24, 1999.

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