Planning a "Bugwatch" for Rollover? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

The attached is from George Ure's site at It helped answer a friend's question about what to be looking out for, and it might answer some questions for you too. I encourage you to visit the site, read the rest of this report and the other material there.

You can get GMT(Greenwich mean time)/CUT(Coordinated Universal Time)/ZULU(military time) from your shortwave radio by tuning one of the freqs where it is broadcast (I usually use 5.000 at night or 10.000 in the daytime). If you hear what sounds like a weird electronic clock ticking TONK TONK TONK when you tune in, you're there. Just wait until the minute is over and you'll hear the "At the tone the time will be" time announcement. I keep a cheap digital 24-hour clock set to CUT on the radio desk for reference, since a lot of broadcast schedules are set up that way. You can figure the time difference between your local time and CUT for your own time zone to see what to be watching when.



Plan Your New Year's Friday Bug Watch!

You will have plenty of time to get out of harms way and rest a lot easier if you remember how the International Date Line works. When the Big Day gets here, remember that places like Fiji and Guam are going to be into Y2K long before you and me. Me especially 'cause I'm on the West Coat - 8 hours after Big Ben before it gets here. So let's do a little math, shall we?

Fiji is in Y2K a whopping 12 hours before Greenwich England.

Being in Seattle, I get to Y2K 8 Hours after Greenwich. This means (12+8=) 20 hours before my midnight, Y2K starts happening. That's when I go on Bug Watch.

Here's where military (or Zulu, or Greenwich Mean Time, or Coordinated Universal Time) time is useful (although you get it drilled into your head flying and in ham radio, too...)

Remember that midnight is 24:00 Hours. 20 hours earlier is (24-20=) 04:00 - 4 AM. Here's a little lesson in how it will come together mostly on the Friday before the big Times Square deal. Points to watch are included.

When and what to watch for Friday Dec 31:

OK. So Y2K begins at 4 AM Friday, December 21 Seattle Time (7AM Eastern time) out in Fiji and the Kamchatka Islands. I don't expect anything to happen here, but if a tourist plane has any problems, it could be a foreboding kind of thing.

At 5 AM Seattle Time (8 Eastern) , Y2K arrives in the Solomon Islands. Still not worth worrying about.

by 6 AM Seattle Time, Y2K Hobart, Tasmania, Guam, Sydney and Melbourne in.Australia. Now we will see how much - if anything - goes wrong there. I'm looking at power and phones. Remember as the big event hits, the local clocks will roll over, but the GMT clocks that run phone systems and power plants may still not fail until hours off. Still, problems in Oz will be a serious thing. Big problems would get me to rate the Y2K event at least moderate as I size up whether to hold or fold my normal port later in the day..

7 AM brings on Tokyo in. This is where we start getting down to it. If Y2K comes through Japan without a mess, then I will be tempted to downgrade risks to light. No big deal...maybe. But if they have a lot of problems 15 minutes into the hour, then again time to adjust the ratings. Multiple large power outages and I start wondering about going in to work. If Japan goes badly, it's a safe bet lots of other stuff is undetected and waiting in the wings to sour.

8 AM brings Beijing, Hong Kong in. Same thing here. If the power stays on in all of Asia, I will breathe very easily. Big power failures will be a concern. The status of power in Asia will have a lot to do with what time I get to work on Friday.

9 AM brings Bangkok. Look for me in the office with my Yachtboy, portable 2 meter ham rig, scanner, LCD TV, and the Porsche backed into a parking fear level will be driven by Asia Y2K reports.

10 AM brings Dhaka in. Low risk region in terms of the global economy. I'll be very productive at the office - golden time if all is running well.

At 10:30, India's biggest cities arrive in the New Year: Bombay, Calcutta, etc. Moderate risk - and again just a tuning of the track established by Asia. Still just another ultra high output work day if the power stays up in Asia..

11 AM brings Islamabad, Tashkent in. Here's when I start perking up my ears to see if I hear anything about Russian nuclear power plants. Somewhere from here on, you could have a melt down. That would be serious and, coupled with big power outages in Asia, and telecommunications problems, losses of satellite infrastructure, for example - and it's maybe time to check mets and weps. If all that happens, I'd plan to leave the office before lunchtime. Otherwise, get back to work.

12 Noon (3 Eastern) brings Abu Dhabi in. Oil flow reports should be amusing.

13:00 (1 PM, 4 Eastern) brings Moscow in. Still sizing up whether there's a nuclear accident of consequence. Big melt down pushes me toward the exit. All calm, all quarters, and I might have a beer for lunch - a pizza and beer will be the way to end the year, right?

14:00 (2 PM, 5 Eastern) brings Israel in. Need I tell you what to look for here?

15:00 (3 PM) brings Paris and Berlin. If the power stays up in Europe, and their phones work - a wonderful thing this new millenium will be!

16:00 (4 PM, 7 Eastern ) brings London. What could possibly go wrong here except terrorism.

17:00 (5 PM, 8 Eastern) Azores and Cape Verde Islands.

18:00 (6 PM, 9 Eastern ) Mid Atlantic. Nothing much there to fail...

19:00 (7 PM) Buenos Aires arrives. If the power goes out here, not a major deal - but a concern.

20:00 (8 PM, 11 Eastern) Y2K in Atlantic Canada. Eh?

21:00 (9 PM, Midnight Eastern) Watch the east coast US celebrations on CNN. If there's a terrorist attack on a big public celebration (Hey, you think Osama bin Laden will take the day off?) then you might want to get outa Dodge for a while.

If I'm still around town, and the weather is great and everything remains cool, I might have a beer in here. No beer till we make it safely to 9:20 PM Pacific though if there are issues like failing power, phones, and satellites.

The key thing is not to wait for the rumors of something happening. This is your chance to be proactive and show your stuff. You can have a massive failure in Japan and still have time to put 400 miles of concrete between you and harm if things really go badly. If you here something bad about Japan, you still have time for a last trip to the store. Wait till Moscow melts a nuke, and no, the store will probably be filling up fast. Look to the leading edge of events and sense the wind.


-- Lee (, December 19, 1999


"Being in Seattle, I get to Y2K 8 Hours after Greenwich. This means (12+8=) 20 hours before my midnight, Y2K starts happening. That's when I go on Bug Watch."

I hate to rain on your parade but when midnight hits Greenwich it will be 4pm in Seattle. (Midnight GMT *minus* eight hours = 4pm PST)


-- LunaC (, December 19, 1999.

It's not my parade that's getting rained on- I don't live in Seattle ;-).

That's why I keep a second 24 hour clock set to Coordiated Universal Time, so I don't have to fight with the numbers- it's too confusing. See the tables at for North American time zones (standard and daylight savings) and their relationship to GMT (or CUT). Me, I'll just look at the other clock, thanks, and be grateful to have a few extra hours to see if trouble develops elsewhere in the world.

BTW, even though it's been mentioned on the fora before, just in case anyone missed it there or buried in Mr. Ure's article: the reason this is important is that some large networked systems run on ZULU/CUT/GMT, _not_ local time. There might be system failures at midnight ZULU/CUT/GMT, AND OTHERS at midnight local. Notice I said MIGHT BE. The really fun thing about all this is, no one really knows... .

-- Lee (, December 19, 1999.

the situation MIGHT be worse than that. Some devices are shipped from various manufacturers and value added resellers with the local time of the manufacturing plant or final assemly plant on the machine. A system with components from the far east, europe, and our own east and west coasts could possibly have different problems "unrelated" that manifest themselves over the course of the day and into the new year as midnight passes for each component or subystem.

-- tree (, December 19, 1999.

According to the Gary North page I just read, (Dec. 19), MIT is shutting off its 20,000 computers on December reason being the potential that other Internet sites, perhaps at 0730 New Zealand (or) Japan (or) China (or) etc., might foul up the entire Net, including servers and computers, (be they MIT or yours or mine)....they are pretty smart over there at MIT, and I would guess have a good reason for NOT being on the Web over the rollover....damn, sure spoils my on this's GN's link, not sure if I can make it "hot"........

-- Queen of Hearts (, December 20, 1999.

From today's Electronic Telegraph:

On the bug case

ACCOUNTANCY firm KPMG and the British Bankers Association have set up a web site to collate worldwide information about year 2000 computer problems. The site costs #2,000 for a single user.

The year 2000 starts at Christmas Island on December 31, at 10am Greenwich mean time. According to the Central Intelligence Agency the countries providing the greatest risk include Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Ukraine and Egypt.

Tel: 0171 216 8800, 0171 311 5456

-- Old Git (, December 20, 1999.

(See above)....sorry...."hot" made it here it is again:, it is from the 18th....

-- Queen of Hearts (, December 20, 1999.

Heart Queen,

If it were just Gary North, I would discount it out of hand. However, he is probably correct on this (for once), as it is reported in the Boston Globe.


-- Al K. Lloyd (, December 20, 1999.

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