Mail Processing Equipment(I'm Quietly Optimistic) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Sorry for taking so long to get back but We've been going through changes in the fingers house.

I finally read through all the internal info about postal systems and called a few bud's who are in the big plants and from what I've read and heard I feel that INTERNALLY, the post office will be able to handle it's mission of getting the mail there. Now I know there's been talk about late deliverys lately but some of that is due to new systems being placed on line and the startup problems being ironed out. Another factor is the dramatic increase in volume's bought on by the holidays.

The biggest problem system I saw which was the Aircraft Contract Data Colllection System (ACDCS)which has been remediated(so I'm told) and the old PDP 11/45&11/83's have been replaced with DEC Alpha's. And the software runs ok.That's good but damn them Alpha's are expensive.

The next problem the Level 10 Technicians are still scratching their heads about is the large number of 286's, 386's, and 486's floating around in all the offices.They've got bad bios'. Management glommed on to those as the newer PC's came on board and they use them for all sorts of admin tasks which are not MAIL MOVING related like staffing schedules, interoffice correspondance, backstabbing, stuff like that. The word I get is these parasitic PC's will be a maintenance headache for US but YOU as Joe Public won't see it.

The only other system which we have control of internally which might and probably will have problems with is timekeeping. So the drones who doccument how long a letter carrier was on this leg of his route will have lots of manual number crunching to do. Joe Public won't see that. But another part of that system which cuts payroll checks might squat and they've got work arounds in place for that contingency. If they are needed and really work remain to be seen.

Now that's the good news.

The bad news is we are so dependant on infrastructure which the PO has no control of that we might have problems. I read one contingency doccument which stated if one air transportation hub went down for an extended time(Which was undefined) that depending where the hub was the delay in transporting mail could result in delivery mail volumes being reduced to 28% of the pre-failure levels.Dallas? Atlanta? Denver? LA? which one? What that means I can only guess but I'd bet that the letter I needed was in the 72% that didn't make it on time. Do I get any takers on that? I thought not.

So there you have it. Like we used to say in the NAV, We got our S**T in one sock. But there is so much out of our control is our sock big enough? And for that matter do the guys we depend on have their S**T in one sock. I guess we'll find out in a month or so.

-- nine (, December 07, 1999


Thanks for the update, nine. Sounds like the news is "sorta" good.

-- Vic (, December 07, 1999.

nine -- that's great news, all things considered! Let's take it "one sock at a time." Much appreciated update, keep us posted as we cross the date barrier.

-- BigDog (, December 07, 1999.

This is great news...and I wonder if those 286, 386, 486's can be fixed with those ISA cards we discussed last night?

About the only risk (in addition to the core infrastructure) is that EVERYONE is considering the Post Office as a backup of last resort if transportation gets really screwed up. It could be worse than Christmas rush the first 6 months of next year but, hey, we'll live with it!

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@It's ALL going away in, December 07, 1999.


That means all my bills we be delivered without delay?

-- Familyman (, December 07, 1999.

Oh, I'M sorry -- Flint says doomers never consider good news to be "good".

Hmmm --- bad news, nine. So sorry to hear it.


-- BigDog (, December 07, 1999.

Oh Boy! I can see it now...

My friendly postman will continue to shove bills at me even though I'm out of a job and the bank lost my savings...

Yep, that figures. Great news. Uh, huh...


-- Jeremiah Jetson (laterthan@uthink.y2k), December 07, 1999.

A sincere thanks for the update, nine. Did ya ever check into that mouthguard for those teeth? {Maybe some of the pressure's off?}

-- flora (***@__._), December 07, 1999.

sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me...

-- dinosaur (, December 07, 1999.

My Dad's worked for the PO for 16 years, having retired from the Navy after 20 years. He says when they submit stats on equipment performance, they get told "That's not right, go back and do it again" until the higher ups are please with the now incorrect figures. Bottom line is, even if specific equip fails, they'll crank the mail through the old fashion way (like alot of it is still done, by the way in his Norfolk site), and lie .. uh, I mean fudge (sorry Dad!) the stats into whatever is politically acceptable regardless of fact. When higher ups invest big bucks in a system, you can be damn sure the peons will give glowing stats on it, and you can be pretty damn sure that the stats glow because the peon was pushed to lie his a$$ off about it as well. Bottom line being, the mail still gets there. This is my Dad's "insider info" on how the post office operates.

-- Hokie (, December 07, 1999.

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