Koskinen Press Briefing 2 AM 01/01/2000 on CSPAN (I referred to this in previous post..

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Press Briefing by John Koskinen - Saturday, January 01, 2000 2:00 AM

Press Briefing by John Koskinen - Saturday, January 01, 2000 11:00 AM

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


Sorry Sheri the links aren't working.

-- Butt Nugget (catsbutt@umailme.com), January 01, 2000.

Checked my post after I posted and found I had them wrong...here is the link to the whole page: Link I was referring to the 2 am one

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

My typing is not going too well this AM - up too late! LINK

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

From above 2 am. briefing...

QUESTION: Can you comment on the criticism you faced a year and a half ago that you were too optimistic on this? Any "I told you so's"?

KOSKINEN: Well it is always pleasant to look back and figure out who was right and who was wrong. I think as I've said on numerous occasions the people who a year and a half or two years ago thought we had major risks and perhaps even the world as we know it was going to end were people where I did not disagree with them in terms of the definition of the problem. It really has been a major problem. My disagreement as I noted at the time was not that I was sure we would do certainly this well but it was clear to me there was no way to assume that there was no way that this problem could be solved. It obviously has been a complicated one because you are not only talking about individual companies, but you are talking about all of the interconnected networks that exist here and around the world. And it is easy to understand why some of those people, many of whom were programmers by background  understanding the complexity of systems and looking at a wide range of pieces  would say that there is no way the world is ever going to be able to get its act together. I've spent 25 years of my life managing turnarounds and crises. You don't do that if you don't feel optimistic about your ability to work through it, so I've tended to be optimistic. But we've done a lot of work and a lot of people have worked very hard to get from here to there. In many ways some of the people who were most concerned two or three years ago served as an important backdrop for this issue because when I started in the early spring of 1998 a lot of people in the United States and organizations were not treating the problem very seriously. And as I've noted the World Bank did a survey and three-quarters of the countries of the world had no Y2K plan at all at that time. So I think while it has turned out that perhaps I was more accurate in the long-term perspective of where we were going to go I think a lot of people pushing hard to get attention paid to this issue served a very important function.

QUESTION: The test we went through today was about embedded chips and infrastructure, but does it make you at all any more confident about Monday when we move into the software issue?

KOSKINEN: It does to the extent that the embedded chip problem has been much more difficult to ascertain and deal with because the chips are all over. There are as many as 50 billion of them out there, and that was one of the reasons people thought we'll never find them all and if we do we'll never be able to fix them all. So the fact that we seem to be doing well in that regard, although I would stress that in some countries they are going to see their embedded chip problems emerge over the next few days, means that clearly we've been able to test complicated systems and find problems and remediate them.

But the information processing challenges are in some ways more complicated. Everybody knows where the software is, but you are talking about in many cases millions of lines of code. Social Security has 50 million lines of code. Medicare, Medicaid, we're running 50 million lines of code. That's a lot of code when you start going line by line. And so I think that again, I am an optimist and I'd like to - I'm sure you would too  fold up our tents and say this has been a great effort and let's go home. I think it is still too early for that. By the time we get to the end of the day Monday or Tuesday, if things are running as smoothly then as they are now, then I think we can say that there has been an amazing accomplishment. But I don't think we can say that now.

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

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