Australia says Y2K bugs could take months to fixgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
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Thursday December 30, 6:26 pm Eastern Time
Australia says Y2K bugs could take months to fix
By Jane Nelson
CANBERRA, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Australia said on Friday it still faced disruptions because of the Y2K computer bug and some problems were expected to take at least three months to fix.
The rest of the world will be eagerly watching Australia and New Zealand, the first developed nations to move into 2000, for any major Y2K failures.
Some problems would take weeks to emerge but the bug should cause little disruption to the economy or major infrastructure, said Ian Campbell, parliamentary secretary to Australia's communications minister.
``I think the only thing you can guarantee is that there will be some problems,'' he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.
``What we have sought to do for the last two and a half years in the federal government is to ensure that there are no significant failures that affect the economy or people's livelihoods or way of life,'' Campbell said.
``I think that in Australia we can be more confident than just about any other nation in the world that that will be the situation as we go through the date change tonight and the coming weeks.''
Campbell will be in the Emergency Management Australia office in the capital Canberra on Friday evening to monitor the Y2K situation as the country moves into 2000.
The millennium bug causes computers that are not Y2K-compliant to read the year 2000 as 1900, which could lead to mistakes or computer shutdowns.
Australia has spent A$12 billion (US$7.8 billion) on Y2K preparations and has focused on eliminating problems in critical areas such as energy, communications, banking and finance, transport, health and hospitals, water and government services.
``That will leave some systems that will fail, but those systems shouldn't affect the way that the government or major infrastructure in Australia works on the night and in coming weeks,'' Campbell said.
``My advice is that there will probably be Y2K-remediation work going on for at least the next quarter and could well be right through the year because people will discover errors that have been made as they occur over coming months.''
Any Y2K problems will be entered almost instantaneously on the government's website -- www.y2kaustralia.gov.au -- allowing the world to keep a close eye on the country's major sectors as the clock ticks past midnight.
(A$1 equals US$0.65)
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