SF Chron - So Far So Good, But People Can Still Prepare for Potential Glitches at Home or Work

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So Far, So Good on Computer Front But people can still prepare for potential glitches at home or work Benny Evangelista, Chronicle Staff Writer Saturday, January 1, 1900 )1999 San Francisco Chronicle

The world survived the year 2000 problem last night, but that doesn't mean you should totally relax.

Monday is the day that experts say the real Y2K computer glitches will surface, when workers return from the holidays and students go back to school.

A problem-free weekend should not be used to forecast the days or months ahead, said Y2K consultant William Ulrich, president of Tactical Strategy Group Inc. in Soquel.

``The only thing we will know over the weekend is whether the power stayed on, whether any nuclear plants shut down, whether the water supply and phones are holding up and whether we shot any missiles at each other,'' he said.

So, what should you do to be Y2K ready on Monday morning and in the near future?

Here are a few suggestions offered by Ulrich and Y2K experts Herbert Gottlieb, president of Attest Systems Inc. of Novato; Robert A. Martin of Mitre Corp. of Bedford, Mass.; and Kelly Green, senior editor for the Help.com online technical support service of San Francisco's Cnet Inc.

-- First, ``Take a deep breath and don't panic,'' Gottlieb said.

-- Closely monitor Y2K developments over the weekend and evaluate how they may apply to your life. Bay Area residents will know of the problems that crop up, because other parts of the world already will have returned to work before the sun rises here.

-- Monitor news for transportation problems and be prepared to switch travel modes or routes.

-- If possible, call in to work to see if your company is open for business and your building is fully functional. Water or heating problems in a highrise, for example, could shut down the building. Also check whether your child's school is open.

-- If you use a computer, turn it on to see if it works. If it does not boot properly, you have a problem.

-- If it works, check the date displayed by the computer. If the computer reads the date as the year 1900, manually reset the year. For example, if you use a Windows operating system, double-click on the date on the right-hand corner of the screen. That will bring up a new screen that allows you to change the year to 2000.

-- Before opening any existing documents, start new documents to test whether your word processing, database, spreadsheet and other programs recognize the correct date. ``It's just like a jet pilot: He goes out and checks the wheels and makes sure a bird hasn't made a nest in the jet engine,'' Martin said.

-- Before opening any e-mail, make sure your antivirus software is up to date to scan for any malicious viruses that may have appeared during the weekend or even overnight.

-- If you have received any attachments with e-mail, be very careful about opening it, even if it is from someone you know. It may contain a virus. If you need to, call the sender to make sure he or she sent the attachment.

-- With anything you buy, check the date on the receipt to avoid problems in case you have to return an item. Also, pay close attention to whether the automatic scanners are ringing up the correct prices.

-- If you are going to hop on an airplane, call the airport or airline to make sure the flight is not delayed or canceled because of Y2K problems.

-- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers for police, fire and medical services by the phone in case the 911 system is unavailable or slowed by the volume of calls.

Ulrich said the next month should be a bellwether for Y2K problems.

``My sense is we should know if we're pulling out of it by late January, or digging deeper into it,'' Ulrich said. ``It's going to take about three weeks to figure out whether the international supply chain is going to be causing us grief.''

)1999 San Francisco Chronicle Page A15

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), January 01, 2000


Good advice

-- (cavscout@fix.net), January 01, 2000.

The San Francisco Chronicle is one of the worst newspapers serving a major metropolitan area in America. And why should they be giving Y2000 advice when their own writer posts this on "Saturday, January 1, 1900 )1999" [sic].

-- Truk (truk@loa.moc), January 02, 2000.

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