At what point do we admit we were wrong about Y2K? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

December 28th, 1999.

So far all the Y2K predictor dates have come and gone silently. It was pushed by Yourdon, and several others that there would be significant problems when we started FY2000 (June of 99 for most US states).

Then there was the GPS rollover.. Most experts expected nothing, but a few 'board members' piped up.. nothing, nada, zilch..

Then people predicted bank runs, runs at the grocery store etc. as the rollover approached. I still don't see it. Many of our food stores in the northwest were half empty in the days leading up to Christmas. I visited them, in order to see what the trend really was.

Let's face it, none of the above happened, right? My local COSTCO, Sams, etc.. are stocked to the roof (literally) with goods. There are tons of items just gathering dust in the warehouse stores.

Dec 28th.. NO JIT problem whatsoever. No bank runs whatsoever. These were major components of the Y2K scare, right?

Several people pushed Gold.. Well, that never saw a run up either. A whole new class of suckers bought into that one as governments and banks did their best to dump gold reserves. Gold dealers made a fortune I'm sure.

Now I'm hearing, "Things might not happen on the rollover, just wait till Feburary, March, April, June.. 2000. Then it will REALLY happen". Give me a freakin break already. The real concerns are the embedded chip issues and critical systems that affect safety, food delivery, communications, etc, RIGHT?. NOT some rinky dink application system that blows up in Utica and takes out some 70's database.

Yeah, I did the prep thing. 'Spent thousands.. It's just good sense to be prepared for emergencies, but so far I don't see a damn thing.

At what point do you square your Y2K estimations with what is actually happening in the real world? Surely Y2K must affect the common man to be significant, or are we going to subsist on press clippings about remote failures ?

I'm going to give Y2K the first week of January. If I see nothing, then this was a big waste of time.


-- Bryce (, December 28, 1999


Bryce, Didn't you read RC's post or Infomagic's release, both 12/27?

-- Hokie (, December 28, 1999.

Needless to say, it's still 1999. But to answer the question: If the death toll tops 20,000 I'll freely admit I didn't think it would get that bad that fast. Next?

-- harl (harlanquin@aol.hell), December 28, 1999.

Date: Tue Dec 28 1999 01:24 cornucopia (Stargold And don't forget Raggio's statement on what BrigadierGeneral Ed Wheeler in Birmingham said:) ID#340233: Copyright ) 1999 cornucopia/Kitco Inc. All rights reserved Brigadier General Ed Wheeler in Birmingham to discuss the Y2K status. Gen. Wheeler is one of the best informed public figures on Y2K. He has consulted 24 State Governors and Legislatures, and is on the Oklahoma Y2K Task Force. He has an impeccable 35 year career with the US Army. My first question to General Wheeler concerned a statement he made in January of 1999, urging people to stockpile at least SIX MONTHS supply of food-stuff for Y2K. I asked him if he still stood by that statement. His reply was, "I now recommend a ONE YEAR food supply".

I will summarize briefly his MINIMUM IMPACT evaluation of Y2K.

1. Serious shortages of food, gas, oil, merchandise.

2. Higher prices.

3. Interruption of Services.

4. Unanticipated Disruptions.

General Wheeler is particularly concerned over the status of foreign and domestic oil/gas production. Among the Y2K non-compliant segments are 1. Foreign oil fields, 2. Foreign pipelines, 3. Foreign Ports and Ships, 4. Domestic Pipelines, 5. Domestic Refineries. These all translate into a serious threat to gas and oil supplies around the world, including the United States. We are likely to see severe gas shortages and exorbitant prices.

Among other concerns, General Wheeler mentioned these alarming facts:

1. The FBI has cancelled all leaves for its personnel during the roll- over. ( 16,000 FBI agents will be on duty. WHY? ) ( WorldNet Daily, 7/8/99 )

2. Ship captains are being told to "find a port" on 12/31/99. ( Business Journal, 2/18/99 ) WHY?

3.This "non-event" is consuming hundreds of billions of repair costs ( some estimates exceed $1 Trillion ) .

4. Three US Senators have stated that Y2K could disrupt the economy of the US and the world. ( Bennett, Hatch, and Dodd ) .

5. The Federal Government has set up an underground bunker for a Y2K strategic command center near Washington D.C. WHY?

6. The US Energy Department recommended on 4/22/99 that oil be stockpiled for Y2K. WHY? ( Reuters News )

7. The Red Cross recommends a minimum food supply of two weeks per family. WHY?

8. US Senate says that 70% of the States are NOT READY for Y2K. Alabama is 49th on the list!

9.In his State of the Union Address, President Clinton called Y2K a "big, big, problem". WHY?

-- Andy (, December 28, 1999.

I can understand you concerns.. gee I am prepared and I HOPE nothing happens :) but as a little person and a mum of 6.. I read through what is happening in the "real world" try maybe and I gotta wonder.. If my government is telling me "there is nothing to worry about & no need to prepare" why are THEY so worried??

-- Excell Ent (, December 28, 1999.

I read Infomagics post.

He assumes that it is inherent that crashes? Why? is overvalued, obviously. But what about Sun, or Microsoft, or Cisco? Their business is growing at 100-200 percent a year. Sometimes that's a 200% increase per year in sales? Real dollars right? Why shouldn't the stock triple/quadruple, etc?

I bought The fourth largest trafficed internet site, and lost my butt on this investment. The shares are trading at 15 bucks each even though B&N did MILLIONS in sales over Christmas.. Overvalued!!?

This is a blanket generalization that shows me that Infomagic just doesen't understand basic supply and demand.

There is no such thing as an "over-valued" stock. The price of a stock is determined thousands of times a day. It is worth only what the next guy is willing to pay for it. This is the MOST FAIR system of pricing I've ever seen.

Soon, you won't need a computer to buy things over the internet, you will just click on your remote control and order it over the TV.

It's amazing to me that we all sit here using the Internet to communicate and then claim that it's all hype and overvalued.


-- Bryce (, December 28, 1999.

Bryce -- YOU get to admit YOU were wrong when any of the following occur, whichever comes first:
You are about to starve to death
You are about to die of thirst
] You are about to die of dysentary or cholera
You are about to die of exposure (heat or cold)
You are about to die for lack of meds
You are about to die of lead poisoning (at 1000 fps +/-)
(I've probably negelected to include several more)

-- A (, December 28, 1999.


Hostile and not logically stated. Like I said, I've prepped, I think everyone should.

This board has succeeded in spreading a lot of fear about things that have not come to pass. All I'm stating is that there has to be some practical limit on what we say 'Y2K' is. Some kind of checkpoint that keeps this from being an recurring cult.

Obviously, predictions made so far have been dead wrong. A good part of my life and money has been spent thinking about this and buying into this.

There is a cost to sitting around worrying about armageddon.

-- Bryce (, December 28, 1999.

Bryce - be srious for a minute will ya.

You don't give up your supplies after one week!!!!

Read on.

This is a very likely scenario!

Someone else,forget who, posted this projection - seems pretty fair to me... Week 1 Dec 31st-Jan 8th primary embedded failures (some water/sewer, chemical plants, manufacturing) - Unknown level of impact...could be a 1 (unlikely but possible) or a 7-10 (unlikely but possible) figure a general 2-3 in most areas but a 10 in others.

Week 2-14 The unraveling of the economy-JIT failures, processing, accounting glitches. Fuel goes through the roof... rationing is probable. Stock market contracts, puffs then implodes for 2 qtrs. minimum. Longer if fail scenarios in production facilities remain troubled. This will be a 5-9 on the scale. Oil and chemical plants hold the key here. 40% of small businesses have done nothing for y2k. 10% of these will fail outright within 6-12 weeks. 7-26 million will be added to the unemployment rolls by June 2000. Govt. steps in but can't stem the tide. National emergency declared in most states by mid Feb.

Week 15-52 Slow then moderate recovery mixed with new fail scenarios keep anxiety very high. Level drops some to 4-7. Market starts back on recovery but will take yrs to recover fully.

-- Andy (, December 28, 1999.

By all means Bryce, sell your stuff and buy some moree stocks. That's the only prudent thing to do at this point.

You are so right - your reasoning is so sound. You sound like a real brain. Go ahead and get in there, the market is going to 36,000!

There is nothing on the horizon that could possibly alter your analysis! You are one of the few, rational, omnipotent people on this forum.

Go Bryce! Go Bryce! Go Bryce Go!

-- Gregg (, December 28, 1999.

Do you give up on a marriage before it happens? Do you quit college before you graduate? Do you give the baby back before she is grown? Do you only read the title of a book and not the book? Do you leave before a play is finished? Do you......

How can you know what you've thought is wrong until it happens. Good grief.

And, this is how I look at it for myself. There is enough information to concern me GREATLY. I care about my family, friends and community. If I'm prepared, who cares if I'm wrong. I did what I knew that I had to do and followed thru and was committed, until the final curtain falls. There is enough information to show me we are at greater risk than we were in the past. Greater risk causes me to wisely be prepared. Who knows what else is coming down the pike....

-- Sheri (, December 28, 1999.

OK Andy,

Your timeframe seems alright to me. At least there are dates attached that I can actually VERIFY against. I'll use your timeframe.


I've made a hell of a lot of money by ignoring doomsayers that have said the stock market is overvalued.

THEY HAVE SAID THIS FOR FIVE YEARS!!! If I would have listened, I would be a lot poorer now. I would have missed out on the greatest stock run-up in our times.

As for being a 'brain'. What's wrong with squaring false predictions with what actually happened? Ever hear of accountability?!!

Several people have been sucked into changing jobs because of Y2K. Moving to the boonies, etc.. BS predictions have hurt real people.

-- Bryce (, December 28, 1999.

Bryce -- I would not even consider reconsidering until at least mid-2000.

But, I would advise reading (or re-reading), for example, Infomagic's parting shot for the year. As he says, in a sense, you could consider his stock market prediction has come to pass, in that the AVERAGES are up, but the AVERAGE stock is not. The new money the Fed is desperately pumping in goes to keep the averages up. As others have said, look at new highs vs. new lows, advance/decline lines, etc., and you will see a market in trouble, if not at (near) a top.

If it's not Y2K, then it's gonna be a crash. A depression could be triggered by one or both.

So, six months minimum. And, as I have said before, ON OTHER THREADS, if (likely) things are still in a decline as of six months, count on years further decline.

-- A (, December 28, 1999.


Yeah, I'm very concerned as well. I hope nothing major will happen. I don't know what will happen, but I'm getting the sneaky suspicion that I've been sucked into a kind of cult on this thing though.

Thank God the rollover is happening soon. I'm going to follow Andy's timeframe and keep my eyes open.

-- Bryce (, December 28, 1999.

First, I was wrong. I hadn't seen InfoMagic's followup when I posted above...

Second. Bryce. "Accountability" Call me a fool, but in my book that one's synonymous with 'responsibility'... Now, as far as following advice is concerned, who is responsible for your actions? If you really, truly believe that you've been given bad advice, then by all means I suggest you sue the advisor for every cent you paid for it. Some courts would also award you damages equal to the amount you lost for following such dismal advice.

And some juries would laugh you out of court for attempting such an idiotic follow-up to acting on bad advice in the first place.

My personal suggestion, backed by nothing more than the fact it's freely given, is that you re-evaluate your friendship with whoever it was that held a gun to your head and made you buy things "just in case."

And if you persist on believing everything you read without making your own judgements about it, then I have to tell you there really is a Santa Claus. He just doesn't like you.

-- harl (harlanquin@aol.hell), December 28, 1999.

Bryce: Not saying you don't have brains, but if you made a lot of money, count it to luck, not brains. Unless you have a good grasp of technical analysis and trading and know that you are counting on a technical situation, not fundamentals. And know when to sell as well as buy.

-- A (, December 28, 1999.

I can only speak for myself. If anything that applies to me also applies to you, then take it for what it's worth.

For the past two decades, I've always tried to store enough food to see me through a protracted crisis. The reasons for this are simple: Food is cheap, presuming you buy staples (rice, beans, canned foods, etc.). I've been through *several* crises, including a devastating divorce that nearly bankrupted me. And, I've been cursed with rotten health, and bad luck, including a near-fatal car wreck (a "not my fault" wreck -- rear-ended at an intersection).

Thanks to more than one overlapping mess of injuries, illness, and poverty, I've had several occasions where I *needed* my stored food simply to survive.

I've also experienced quite a few power interruptions, several that were fairly protracted. A "three day storm"? Hell, my power got zapped for a long time by a three *hour* storm! When an "event" causes widespread utility problems, the workers get spread *very* thin.

Now that I depend on my computer to write software and magazine articles, I *need* electricity. While I've always *wanted* to get a generator due to the frequent outages I've experienced, I always assumed that they were impossibly expensive. The y2k thing provided the impetus for me to find out that I could get a genset for a *very* modest price. I wish I'd found out sooner!

I've always wanted to live in the country, too. Because my wife managed to land a job teaching in the small town where she grew up (at twice the pay she was making at the other school, yikes!), it was a no-brainer to move here, y2k or not.

Now, we've got an acre of *rich* soil for a garden, a nice little pond full of bluegills, a beautiful old barn, chickens, ducks, and geese, and some goats too.

All of this came at a price that is a *fraction* of what "city folks" would gladly pay for a modest house on a tiny lot.

So please, tell me what I've sacrificed to prepare for what may or may not come next year? How much has it cost me?

Finally, it's been beaten into the ground repeatedly by countless other posters, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the insurance metaphor. How much do you spend for car insurance? Fire insurance? Major medical insurance? How much have you "lost" if you never file a claim? Chances are it'll be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Would you be prudent to *drop* your insurance policies?

Now, consider that we *eat* our "premiums". We have *indescribably* better eggs and poultry than any cliff-dweller could possibly imagine *exist*. We have a beautiful homestead where we can relax, garden, hunt, fish, and entertain friends (they *like* the respite from the Big City when they visit, and *hate* having to return home).

Unless your preparations consist of the truly weird, I'd have to wonder how you define "a big waste of time".

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 28, 1999.


I'm responsible for my own actions. But there comes a time, that after reading messages on this board for a year or so.. that you say.. "hey wait a minute, the goal posts keep shifting". The Y2K dates keep shifting..

I believe it's called mass hysteria. It's not like this has not happened before to people.


My take on the market is that there is a rotation from industrial stocks to tech stocks. People realize that techs are growing a lot faster than 'shell oil', the 'airlines', textiles, etc and are reotating their money into techs.

This is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'd say techs are a bubble if people stopped buying cell phones, computers, internet access, and shopping online. I don't see any kind of revenue problem for techs though. All I see is dramatic sales growth and earnings growth. I've got some Lockheed Martin stock (taking a beating). Great company, it is gigantic. There just is not the interest from the investing community. I'd like to sell it and buy a tech that can grow.

Don't get screwed up over the advance/decline line. Most companies ARE NOT growing. Kind of like Lockheed. That doesen't mean they are sick or something.. They just too big for their market. That's OK, as long as you are in stocks that grow.

For now, that's techs. Next year it might be something else.

-- Bryce (, December 28, 1999.

Hi Bryce.
You seem an intelligent fellow. Make your own decisions without reassurance from other forum dwellers. After all, your reality isn't necessarily (or even likely) shared by everyone here. Maybe some of the prep spending was wasteful, maybe not. Was this a complete waste of time? Didn't you enjoy the discussions at least a little bit? I enjoyed reading your posts.

-- mil (, December 28, 1999.


If they made millions and you lost your ass wouldn't you have to agree the market is overvalued or is your money is undervalued.

Infomagic has it slightly wrong, instead of it should be

If your prepped RELAX as much as possible,have a beer on CAPNFUN.

-- capnfun (, December 28, 1999.

"For now, that's techs. Next year it might be something else."


-- Andy (, December 28, 1999.

BTW, one factor in the bubble is the gross distortion of the market cause by government (taxation) and banking (Fed) policies/laws. Under a rational system, stock values would be determined by DIVIDENDS (or realistic potential thereof). Dividends depend on earnings and growth. Dividends provide a link to REALITY in valuing a stock -- stocks as well as utilities. The excess value of a stock over its dividend value is some growth factor value, but most nowadays is the hype (tulip mania) value. At the present prices of the bubble stocks -- how many CENTURIES at reaonable sales and earnings growth will it take to justify their present prices? (Realistic capital gains depend on earnings and dividends.)

Sure, Bryce, you can play the game -- if you're still in, "Bryce be nimble, Bryce be quick" -- and hope you are right near the exit door. Now, you may have cashed out, but there's a lot of yuppies, who think they are so cool and so rich, who are still holding (either personally or in company plans, whatever). When the crash starts, the on-line lines and the phone lines to the brokers are gonna be jammed. All sellers and no buyers (at present high levels) Even if they have stops with their brokers (and they probably don't -- because the market is never gonna quit -- right?), the prices are gonna blow right by the stops. They won't then feel (be) so rich. Will they be jumping out of skyscraper windows? (No, nowadays they're sealed). Maybe one last couple of lines of coke and driving their SUVs off the road. :o)

-- A (, December 28, 1999.

OK Andy, Your timeframe seems alright to me. At least there are dates attached that I can actually VERIFY against. I'll use your timeframe. -Bryce

Bryce- Think about what just took place on this thread. Do you even realize how easily you were "brought back into the fold" so to speak? Re-read what you had written in your original question. You spoke of strong feelings you were having as a result of all the failed past predictions, then 5 minutes later you are swayed into being "content" by hearing yet even more "predictions". Are you honestly comfortable with that?

I really don't intend this to be taken as a criticism of you. It was just an interesting observation. Do with it what you please.

-- CD (, December 28, 1999.

Hello Ron,

I've had a few power outages here in the NorthWest. That's for sure. I suppose there is value in the feeling that you are prepared come what may.

Hello Mil,

We are all going to experience this first hand (or not). I'm just glad that the rollover is happening sooner than later. I have to admit, I must like being here or else I wouldn't stay :-)

-- Bryce (, December 28, 1999.

Bryce: "I'm responsible for my own actions. But there comes a time, that after reading messages on this board for a year or so.. that you say.. "hey wait a minute, the goal posts keep shifting". The Y2K dates keep shifting.. "

Glad to hear it; there's been a distinct lack of personal responsibility going around these days. And FWIW, I hope you're right- this was all a big waste of time. But it sounds more like you're looking for justifications. You really want to be able to tell someone "I told you so," is that it? Tell me I'm wrong, here. You aren't really that $#@! shallow, right? CD made a good observation up there.

Dates shifting? Ye, verily. Whenever I find one problem, fix it, and move on, I'm looking for the next thing that can bite me in the ass. But I do like to think I've prioritized a little bit, so I'm taking care of the most immediate concerns first.

Look, there isn't one single solitary thing that I'm responsible for that I know will fail. Why? Because if I 'know' it's going down, I'd have fixed it by now.

Bryce: "I believe it's called mass hysteria. It's not like this has not happened before to people."

True enough. But I'd say you were still wrestling with the intellectual roller coaster ride that we've enjoyed for the past 2+ years now.

Look, take a week off from y2k. Yeah, I know, that's damn near impossible, but it's not like anything you do in the next 3 days will make much of a difference if you've already spent thousands. Then, hopefully maybe possibly, you can come back and breathe part of a collective sigh of relief. And Then you can bitch about all the food you've got that isn't going to spoil soon, etc.

I certainly hope so, in any case.

-- harl (harlanquin@aol.hell), December 28, 1999.

I just couldn't sit by and not put my two cents worth in. I got to reading about y2k ten months ago. I compare this anxiety to a very good book. Say you have read this book for some time and just can't lay it down to even do your normal eveyday duties. But, where is the last chapter, alright who has my book, somebody has my book and I want it now! This is how I feel, but still relizing the last chapter I'm, in reality, living the last chapter. So be patient my friend and watch with you eyes wide open. We as a people will never witness this kind of an event again in history. History will record how we react to this in history books. Good luck to all of us.

-- clyde king (, December 28, 1999.

In my opinion I feel you are suffering from what we all are to some degree. It can be labelled pre-apocolytic stress syndrome or PASS if you are fond of acronym's. Similiar to the stress caused by any lead- up period of time coinciding with a known event (i.e. marriage, divorce, nuclear war) we become somewhat like two people.

On one hand we are angry, frustrated, and anxious that we may have made a personal error by perhaps wasting time, effort, or money in preparation for a non-issue. On the other hand we are simply scared s***less about what is staring us right in the face. The former of these personalities is in denial. It's an extremely confusing state of affairs internally. One becomes skeptic, angry, and arrogant in order to protect our inner fortress.

You seem like an extemely intelligent individual. You've spent time reading and analyzing this thread as well as many other's I'm sure.

It's time to sit back for a moment. Clear your head. Write a list of pro's and con's if you must. YOU are ready for the worst. On the other hand what is the worst that will happen to YOU if Y2K becomes a non-issue? Nothing I suspect - other than anger at others for your own actions for some period of time.

No one here is attempting to mislead or brainwash you. I have been a lurker on this thread for months and feel blessed by the the many essays, advice, and general good intentions of most who particpate. I am ready. I am confident. But I have a MAJOR case of PASS and I wish it would happen already - for good or bad.

In my humble opinion your feelings are completely normal considering the realities of what will come to pass within several days. Given that what I perceive to be your personality, if you didn't feel the way you do I would be worried.

I wish you good luck in the new year and hope you can become at peace within yourself - you'll need it.

-- Witch Doctor (, December 28, 1999.

We will never admit we were wrong. We will just get more acrimonious with those who disagree with us, and keep pushing the date back. I suggest if we don't see any big problems by Feb 2003 things are going to get real bad because it will be obvious there is a gubmint coverup.

-- Butt Nugget (, December 28, 1999.


None of my predictions have materialized. I hope it stays that way.

-- GoldReal (, December 28, 1999.


Companies shouldn't expect all Y2K problems to show up on January 1. According to Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah), "It's going to take several months for the whole thing to play out. And if we are in trouble, it will have to cascade and build over a period of several months and we won't really know until March or April of 2000."



Government's top Y2K expert predicts failures for weeks, months

July 30, 1999
Web posted at: 12:06 PM EDT (1606 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Don't expect the Year 2000 technology problem to disappear after Jan. 1. President Clinton's top Y2K expert said failures could extend well beyond New Year's Day.

Although John Koskinen predicts there will be a national "sigh of relief" in the early hours of Jan. 1, he also anticipates scattered electronic failures over the first days, weeks and even months of the new year.

Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, said in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press that some failures may not become obvious until the end of January, the first time after the date rollover that consumers review their monthly bank statements, credit-card bills and other financial paperwork.

"It won't evaporate until after that," Koskinen said. "Clearly, this is more than a January 1 problem." But he also slightly hedged his predictions: "None of us are really going to know until after January 1."

Unless repaired, some computers originally programmed to recognize only the last two digits of a year will not work properly beginning in 2000, when those machines will assume it is 1900.

Some computer systems may shut down quickly with obvious failures, and others may gradually experience subtle problems or degraded performance that may take weeks to notice.

"The more difficult problem will be where the system looks like it's doing it correctly but it's doing it all wrong," Koskinen said.

Some failures won't be recognized until the work week starts Monday, Jan. 3, as employees return to their offices and turn on their computers for the first time.

Repaired computers also will need to recognize 2000 as a leap year, even though most years ending in "00" don't need to adjust for Feb. 29, he said.

A new $40 million Information Coordination Center being organized down the street from the White House will operate until March, sharing information about failures with states, federal agencies, corporations and foreign governments.


[snip] The Committee is greatly concerned about the international Y2K picture. Several countries of strategic and economic importance to the U.S. are severely behind in Y2K remediation efforts. Regions of the world of most concern to the Committee are Eastern Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia and South America. When considering strategic and economic factors, and the status of Y2K remediation efforts within specific countries, the Committee's greatest concerns lie with China, Russia, Italy, and several of the countries from which the U. S. imports oil. Severe long and short term disruptions to supply chains are likely to occur. Such disruptions may cause a low to moderate downturn in the economy, particularly in those industries that depend on foreign suppliers. In addition, there may be a request for humanitarian relief from developing countries that have not addressed the Y2K problem.


-- Linkmeister (, December 28, 1999.

I will feel about the same as I do when I make my car, home, health and life insurance payments without having "used" them over the past year, smart. Preparations (food, water filters, wood for the stove, etc...) can and will be used regardless the outcome. My friends and family may have a little fun with me, if we are able to stumble through this. The time spent here was informative and it even provided a few laughs. Three more days and we will see.

-- Bill (, December 28, 1999.

Bryce You, like many others have done well to prepare. Y2K has never really been an issue about one day. Many of the serious and well meaning programmers and systems technologists have pointed to potential scenarios and trigger dates that could be a problem. E.L.Core wrote a year or two ago about not "Chasing the red herrings". Look-ahead date problems have always been a concern, but they mostly tie in to the financial aspects (billing, amortization etc.) of interdependent financial systems (not that this should be taken lightly). This constitutes only one of many Y2K potential issues, and has never been considered the prime concern. For each of these trigger dates there have been errors (GPS in Japan, bills sent with 1900 etc.) but they were manageable (as most thought they'd be). The primary and focal concern about Y2K has always been

#1 cascading faults in primary systems after 01-01-2000 either because of no remediation, or flawed remediation, and attempts to process "bad" data. Most of the western world's profits are based on JIT sourcing of raws, parts and inventory which will suffer terribly if systems produce bad data. There have already been numerous reports about these types of problems (Hershey's, Midland, Whirlpool, Volkswagen etc.) These have cost companies hundreds of millions to date and at least one chapter 13 bankruptcy. What will the effect be on you if we have all infrastructure working, but you lose your income because of a business failure.

#2 Embedded technology (which has some read-ahead issues) but will play real havoc in some systems. This has always been the wild card, embedded systems cannot be fixed quickly especially under a fix on failure scenario. If we go through the first 3 weeks of 2000 without major embedded problems (oil, chemical, water, power) the full Y2K outcome will be less than a 9 or 10. But we are still not home free.

#3 Out-right system failures either due to bad data (cascading or otherwise) or hardware failures due to invalid date interpretation. Problematic but fixable.

There are many other points or issues I haven't talked about but the point I'm trying to make is Y2K is a full deck of cards, it will not be over until it plays it's hand. This has always been a 3-4 year scenario 1999-2001 or 2, and those who have said otherwise really never understood the total impact of Y2K and systemic failures. Maybe we've fixed enough to keep our heads above water, but I won't stray far from the life boat until all the Y2K cards have been played.

-- Polly-Morphic Doomer (, December 28, 1999.

BRYCE, Your comments about a "Big waste of time" sounds to me like you are a greedy money grubber. The love of money is the root of evil. You wanted the advantage over your fellow man by prepping for Y2k. Then you looked with envy at those who stayed in the stock market. You will never be satisfied. If you get back in the stock market and then TSHTF, you will be envious of others who didn't jump at the first bad signal. Do you look back on all the insurance premiums that you paid and didn't collect on? If we all knew axactly what was going to happen with absolute certainty, then we all could take advantage of those who didn't know. When someone gets something for nothing, then someone else gets nothing for something. Just be thankful that you had the information of the probability of Y2K problems and acted on it. Money isn't everything. Be content with what you have. Be thankful that you didn't have to collect on your insurance and if nothing severe happens, then also be thankful. Herb

-- herb (herb01@PRODIGY.NET), December 28, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

When to Admit It's Not Serious

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), December 28, 1999.

Your question was one I'm sure most of us can say has crossed our minds. Interesting to hear the opinions of others. Without your question, the opportunity of hearing the responses wouldn't be possible. I hated to spend the money we spent in preps. If I had to do it again, I would absolutely choose to again do the same. Even if Jan. 2000 is mild, the possiblity of gas shortages and rising fuel prices will effect the economy. If severe enough, as others have said, then definitely a recession or depression follows. A well stocked pantry will be a blessing to many if they loose their jobs or grocery store prices climb out of sight. (It happened in the 70's and can happen again.) My husband worked for a large airline company that went under about 10 years ago. The year before it finally collapsed, we could have read the obvious signs preceding it and chose to be optimistic believing it wouldn't happen. Tough times followed and as the saying goes, a recession is when your neighbor looses his job and a depression is when you loose yours. Prepared for the worst and praying for 2000 to be but a slight ripple.

-- Mary (, December 28, 1999.

For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes -- not that you won or lost -- but how you played the Game.

-- Grantland (Rice@herald.trib), December 28, 1999.

Bryce, I started prepping for y2k under the assumption that we would lose our power grid at 12:00:01 on New Years Eve, and that is would take weeks to fix. I don't know how I came up with that, something North said and I think I embellished on my own. In any case, I don't like hearing it will take months from Jan 1 for problems to manifest themselves either. BUT..I'll hang onto the preps..what the hell, at this point. We should have *some* idea though as we head into the weeks following rollover,..I..think.

-- kritter (, December 28, 1999.

I read you CD, interesting point.

I guess I don't care about the cost. It's a little embarassing when friends drop by and see cases and cases of materials on my rack shelves, guns, etc.

My wife and I are both software engineers. No, I've never coded a boneheaded two digit date! I'm the one that might be called in to fix this crap if it happens though.. Comments from friends are making us out to be kooks.

I have to say, it's good knowing I'm prepared. Yeah, I guess I've got PASS.

As for being greedy, I grew up in a poor home. My brothers and I lived two weeks on a sack of pinto beans when my Dad lost his job. No matter how many hundreds of thousands I've made, it never seems to make me feel very secure. I've always felt I was one step from being broke again even though this doesn't square with reality anymore.

I drive a beat up ford truck, even though I could buy 20 corvettes if I wanted to. I live conservatively and donate four thousand a year to charities like CCF. My only goal in life is to make sure things are alright for my immediate and extended family.

I want to make sure that I'm not wasting my resources or time though, hence the questions.


-- Bryce (, December 28, 1999.

It sounds as you are amply prepared for what may arise. If you overprepared, you can probably still use what you bought over time. If your friends make fun of you, and Y2k turns out to be a big nothing, then freely admit you overprepared, are not sorry, and give away some of the goods to charity. Your friends will respect you for your forthrightness. You are to be commended for thinking honestly about your status. As for following anyone's time frame, I wouldn't follow anybody but yourself. You are at a point now where you can relax and enjoy life because you don't need to worry about preparing. Some of us have not prepared at all and wonder if it will be worse. You have prepared and wonder if it will be better. You have displayed a rare and refreshing attitude here -- self doubt. Congratulations on being mature enough to question your own behavior and attitude.

-- A friend (, December 28, 1999.

Bryce, as far as preps being a 'waste of money', I hope you bought food that you'll use regardless of Y2K effects. My friend who was GI and now thinks BITR figures that because of current (not future) oil price increases, an investment in food now is apt to have an effective return of 20% over the next 6 months. It makes sense to me, and sounds like a better return than I was getting in the market.

-- Tricia the Canuck (, December 28, 1999.

I will admit I was wrong if it turns out that I underprepared. (You should overprepare for potential emergency situations...)

-- Mad Monk (, December 28, 1999.

If this is a cult as Bryce suggested, we sure are a strange conglomeration of people - computer programmers, IT people, writers, housewives, househusbands, military, religious zealots, devout people, new agers, healers, survivalists, militia, hermits, mentally disturbed folks, government workers, electricity experts and on and on.

-- Sheri (, December 28, 1999.


Your interpretation of the stock market is more reminiscient of Vegas than New York. "It's worth what the next guy will pay"?!!! You've fallen hook, line, and sinker for the Brokerage Firm's PR, who profit on your trade regardless of your profit/loss.

Have you thought about the statement you are making?

The reality is that if you hold stock in said company, and said company goes belly-up, then what assets do they hold that will make up some of your loss? If you say "nothing" then your stock is worth "nothing" except an immoral servitude to the old "There's a sucker born every minute!" Is this the belief upon which you base your future, your security, and the morale development of your children? Yuck.

-- Hokie (, December 28, 1999.

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