** Paging King of Slobovia **greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Rollover/Back-Up Forum : One Thread
Remember our little discussion of the last few days regarding the "complete meltdown" of the aluminum smelter due to a leap year problem which I called an urban legend? Looks like I was right! As I stated, there was indeed a minor problem related to a leap year issue but the effects were greatly exaggerated:
The Tiwai Point New Zealand Aluminium Smelter 31 December 1996 leap year computer error
A system error occurred at the pot-cell micro-computer level due to an indices overflow on the 366th day of the year in 1996, ie just after midnight on the morning of 31 December 1996. Subsequent corruption of memory prevented the correct restarting/downloading of data from the supervisory computers, necessitating the manual resetting and reloading of each of 612 individual pot-cell micro-computers.
Because of the two-hour difference between New Zealand and Australia, staff in New Zealand were able to warn their counterparts in Australia of the problem Tiwai Point had experienced within that 2-hour time frame, enabling the Tasmanian (Australia) smelter to correct the problem in advance of midnight.
While this was a significant operating issue on that day for the Tiwai Point smelter, the system error did not result in business interruption in any sense - metal production continued despite several cells failing earlier than expected. It should be noted that cell failure is a normal event in the running of any aluminium smelter and their systems are designed to handle this eventuality without risk to people or to the production process.
Source: Year2000 New Zealand
Be sure to read that last paragraph several times since comprehension seems to be a bit of a challenge to you! "No business interruption in ANY sense!" Also, note what most people have been saying all along about process control systems -- failures are normal events and the entire system and process is designed to cope with failures "without risk to people or to the production process".
Too bad we can't access your original "factual" post that included such things as $1 million losses, complete shutdown of the process, metal hardening in the pipes resulting in massive repair work, etc.
Now, what was that you were saying about grasping at straws...
P.S. - Note the date that the problem occurred -- Dec. 31st, not Jan. 1st. I will accept your apology for the 'pollyanic piece of crap' insult when you can compose yourself!!
-- My Full Name (My@email.address), December 29, 1999