Malaysia to Monitor Millennium Rollover from High-Tech Command : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

12/8/99 -- 1:13 PM

Malaysia to Monitor Millennium Rollover from High-Tech Command

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Amid the roar of power saws and tangle of computer cable, workers put the final touches Wednesday on a Y2K command center to monitor Malaysia's transition to the new millennium.

Come New Year's Eve, technology gurus, police and National Security Council officials will gather at the million-dollar National Y2K Operations Center for a round-the-clock vigil over the Southeast Asian nation.

From the control center, authorities will watch for power failures, computer crashes and any minor disruption in 132 districts throughout Malaysia's 13 states. Surveillance will continue nonstop from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4.

If all goes according to the flow chart, outlying districts and state Y2K centers along with key government agencies will file detailed hourly updates to the capital's command post via the Internet.

``If the Internet shuts off, we go to fax and phones. If that fails, we've got radio communications. Short of that, messenger boys will be on standby,'' Noriyah Ahmad, chief coordinator of the National Y2K Project Team, said during a tour of the facility.

Malaysia, which aspires to be the Silicon Valley of Southeast Asia, has said it does not expect any major meltdowns related to the millennium bug. Experts agreed that, after a slow start due to the regional financial crisis, Malaysia's critical computer systems are prepared to handle Y2K computer glitches.

But just in case, the nation's leaders plan to be ready for any problems that might arise from the arrival of the new year - the legacy of computers programmed to express years with just two digits, so that 2000 could be read as 1900, causing crashes or garbling data.

Thirty telephone lines were installed, with private lines reserved for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the National Security Council, the police chief, hospitals, airports, and companies in critical sectors like power and telephones.

On New Year's Eve, telecommunications minister Leo Moggie will make live telecasts from the control room.

``Ideally, they wanted a place with a helipad. That's the only thing we couldn't provide,'' Noriyah said. ``The VIPs will have to land in the parking lot.''

Malaysia has enlisted an American public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton, to spin its messages to the press.

Ahead of a nationwide drill Dec. 17, workers were feverishly finishing the Y2K command center, where plastic tarps still covered the floors and the air was thick with glue and varnish.

``It's either going to be a mess or a big party,'' Khairul Azmy Kamaluddin, a health ministry official, said above the noise of a power drill. ``We just hope it's not going to be havoc.''

-- Lots (breaking@y2k.News), December 08, 1999


`Ideally, they wanted a place with a helipad. That's the only thing we couldn't provide,'' Noriyah said.

Hmmmm, guess they wanted something for a quick evacuation.....

-- hamster (, December 08, 1999.

"Malaysia has enlisted an American public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton, to spin its messages to the press."

-- Dishonesty (vogue@time.ends), December 08, 1999.

Liars-- they're all liars!!

"I shall not tell a Lie"

g. Washington-

-- d----- (, December 08, 1999.

More re International Y2K :

12/8/99 -- 2:54 PM

Turkish Y2K committee calls for closing Bosporus strait

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's chief Y2K committee is calling on maritime authorities to close the Bosporus strait to large ships on New Year's Eve to guard against possible accidents due to the millennium bug.

The committee is asking for Turkey to bar ships over 3,000 tons from crossing the narrow waterway, committee official Hasan Coban said Wednesday. The strait divides the city of Istanbul and controls access to the Black Sea and Russia's southern ports.

It was not clear if the government would agree to the request, which calls for blocking shipping for 12 hours from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1.

Officials at the Maritime Affairs office said a decision would be made within a week.

The committee is also asking that ships over 660 feet long be barred from sailing through the 19-mile strait unless they provide authorities with certificates showing they are free of the millennium computer bug and give assurances that their cargo is not dangerous.

Modern ocean-going ships rely on scores of computers for the most basic of tasks. Automated systems control steering, navigation, propulsion, communications and even fire alarms.

``Traffic is already chaotic in the strait and if the 2000 problem will contribute to that, we have to take measures,'' said Behcet Envarli, president of Turkey's Data Processing Association.

Coban said the committee was particularly concerned that if shipboard computers fail, ships could smack into the coastline of Istanbul, which is lined with houses.

``What will happen if the rudder is locked?'' Coban asked. The ship ``will crash into the shore.''

During the past decade, there have been some 200 shipping accidents, some of which have caused oil spills and fires that have occasionally shut down the Bosporus.

Nearly 3,500 ships pass through the Bosporus each month, carrying some 440 million barrels of oil a year.

-- Lots (breaking@y2k.News), December 08, 1999.

Gotta admit, I get a kick out of these high-tech command centers. The phrase "high-tech" is enough to set my teeth on edge anyhow, the word "command" is awfully hopeful, since commands to make it work may become increasingly plaintive if things unfold badly. "Center"? Well, I guess so, but it kind of presumes that the rest of the world is focused on it, whereas in reality the Command Center (let's try "Whimper Locus") could easily be irrelevant.

If I were designing a Whimper Locus it would not be high-tech, it would be lit by gas lanterns or kero, and all records would be kept on whiteboards and on paper. From time to time we'd take a polaroid flash of the whiteboards, for later documentation, and designated scribes would take notes.

Then we could focus on the problem, and not on rebooting our WinTels or trying to figure out howcome our project-planner software suddenly failed just as we were trying to dispatch aid crews.

Design your Whimper Locus to handle the problem, not to make a great photo-op.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), December 08, 1999.

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