Does anyone have some reasonable guesses as to whether the Internet will fail and for how long? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I was wondering if any knowledgeable folks out there would care to hazzard a guess as to the chances the Internet will fail at rollover. Can it stay up if only a few cities or regions experience blackouts/IT-glitch issues? How much is needed to trash the web? I'm hoping, but not planning to continue making my living on ebay come the 1st.

-- ebaydealer (, December 18, 1999


Remember that the Internet was designed to re-route messages around non-functioning nodes, originally with the objective of keeping the network up in the event of a nuclear attack... with that kind of overall system architecture, it's relatively unlikely that the ENTIRE Internet will be down.

But this is a classic case where "localized" failures means "as long as it's some other poor turkey, I don't give a damn." When you look at it from your own selfish perspective, you need to keep in mind that:

1. If you're accessing the Internet from home, then if your local telco is not functioning and you don't get dial tone, then chances are you won't access the Internet (unless you've got a cable modem, in which case it's your cable supplier that you're dependent on)

2. If your ISP is down, then you won't access the Internet (unless, of course, you've got two or three completely different ISP's). Why could an ISP be down? Power outage, building inoperable, Internet gateway not functioning, non-compliant server OS, non-compliant routers, etc.)

3. If your ISP's email system is non-compliant, you may be able to access the Web, but perhaps not email (though many of us have alternate e-mail facilities that we can use).

4. If you're trying to access a site that requires through a common trunk line (e.g., accessing a European site will usually require traversing one of a very small number of trans-atlantic access paths), then a failure of that access path may cause the alternate routing to be so slow and error-prone that it's essentially unusable.

etc, etc. All of us know what it's like on a bad day, when there's static on the phone line, the ISP is up-and-down like a yo-yo, our favorite sites (like this forum!) are overloaded, etc. I suspect we're going to be dealing with those kinds of problem, but amplified considerably.


-- Ed Yourdon (, December 18, 1999.

Since the internet is world-wide, I don't expect it to totally fail. The parallel is the prediction that says the entire electrical grid is going to go down. No, I don't think so, but I won't be a bit surprised to see many scattered outages.

Also, keep in mind that a few small US companies have acquired generators, and as long as the phone lines stay up, they intend to keep their servers online, and it wouldn't surprise me, either, if that's the case in some other countries, as well.

Finally, remember that some Sysops will MANDATE that all servers are unplugged for the rollover. See the thread about MIT officials asking everyone to shut off the computer equipment. I'm sure that other institutions will be quietly following their lead, so it's important not to assume wide-spread failure just because you can't log into a site on December 31 (MIT will shut down a lot of systems on Dec. 30).

Sorry that I can't provide any specific percentages -- I'll leave that for the more linear thinkers. (:

-- (, December 18, 1999.

The internet WILL be unstable probably from the 28th through the 4th. However I expect peak instability from 9pm of the 31st eastern time to about 6am of the 1st.

This is even without any computer failures. Tens of thousands of computers and routers will be shut down or cycled on or around the rollover, as it approaches the local timezone. Thousands of servers will be fully shut down for the entire rollover weekend.

If Y2K does affect us due to power, old router O/S code or servers being non-compliant the outtages will last well into the first week of the year or much longer.

Don't be surprised if you cannot even get online right at the rollover, at least for a few minutes.

-- hamster (, December 18, 1999.

Thank you, Ladybuckeye and Hamster. I was already figuring I would have to unplug everything on the night of the 30th and leave it that way at least until the 2nd.

I don't expect total grid failure, either. I'm as much into doom and gloom speculation as the next person, but that sounds just too fantastic. Where I think we'll have real problems, is down the road with oil, since many power companies use the stuff, and without power in some places, we may have more of that Internet instability. I also do worry about terrorism both from domestic and foreign sectors. Not only do we have the less than bright terrorist in Seattle, we had the two who were just arraigned in Sacramento for wanting to blow up a propane refinery, and the maroon arrested in Florida earlier this week who wanted to demolish the Tampa Bay's electrical infrastructre. Those "isolated incidents" that the feds have been blathering about for months are sounding more terrifyingly real every day. I'm in a safe place, but lots of my friends and colleagues aren't.

Where's the donut eating troll pop up from anyway?

-- ebaydealer (, December 18, 1999.

>Where's the donut eating troll pop up from anyway?

If we don't feed it, maybe it'll go away?

-- (, December 18, 1999.


It looks like most Universities will unplug their servers [probably on the 30th]. I wouldn't be suprised to see many commerical firms do the same. Fail is not the word. Not there may be the word.

Best wishes,,,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (, December 18, 1999.

I, myself, have been wondering about thay "Doughnut" person suddenly appearing. He/She suddenly popped up on another post, saying he/she had been gone, but were "back" to help "straighten" things up, like he/she was in ca-hoots with the Syosps. I have lurked here for over a year, I have never seen that handle.

-- Little to offer but opinion (, December 18, 1999.

I have been told by a good friend to shut down pull plug by 11:00 pm on the 31st and stay off for at least three days. That is what I will do. He has never steard me wrong in the past. He is so good he can fix any problem over the telephone now that is good.

-- Susan Barrett (, December 18, 1999.

Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts is an old timer at this forum -- troll? Maybe. Lots of folks have these fond memories, though....

-- Anita Evangelista (, December 18, 1999.

Ed, are you lurking as Bag of Donuts? If so, how did you ward off Lady Logic . Geez, this Sci-fi is beyond me. I bought your book, enough, already! I got the beans, rice, flavoring! Got bottles of water up the wazoo. Are you hoppy now? Thank you. Paranoid beyond belief. Hope for a small "bump".

-- Totally Un Tech (, December 18, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ