WASHINGTON POST: "Companies Await Back-to-Work Y2K Test" - 'A computer at a video rental store in Colonie, N.Y., charged a customer $91,250 for returning a tape 100 years late'

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Companies Await Back-to-Work Y2K Test

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Amy Joyce
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, January 3, 2000; Page A2

Businesses and government agencies are girding for another crucial Y2K test today as financial markets reopen and many office computers are turned on for the first time in the new year.

After a second day of monitoring computer systems that have been operating through the rollover into 2000, officials said yesterday that they had found no significant problems because of the Y2K programming bug. President Clinton's top Y2K adviser, John A. Koskinen, said officials "have no reports or indications there will be any significant problems" today, which he called "an important and significant day" for assessing the Y2K readiness of the business world. He cautioned, however, that there likely would be "small glitches."

Reports of minor problems continued to trickle into monitoring stations around the world. A computer at a video rental store in Colonie, N.Y., charged a customer $91,250 for returning a tape 100 years late, forcing owner to recalculate fees by hand, the Associated Press reported. Data-processing systems in Israel and medical equipment in Scandinavia also experienced minor problems. And in South Korea, 900 families near Seoul lost heat for several hours Saturday after a heating system in their apartment complex malfunctioned because of a Y2K error.

With so few Y2K problems encountered, several firms and government agencies decided yesterday to close or scale back monitoring operations. Montgomery County, for example, canceled plans to operate its "command center" today. Koskinen said the U.S. government probably would cease its 24-hour Y2K watch tomorrow. Stock markets in Kuwait and Egypt were open yesterday and reported no Y2K computer problems. "We haven't heard of any problems at financial markets either in the United States or overseas," said Margaret Draper, a spokeswoman for the Securities Industry Association.


-- John Whitley (jwhitley@inforamp.net), January 02, 2000


Let's hope that things continue to be this smooth. Tomorrow (Monday) could be real interesting if it isn't.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), January 02, 2000.

The customer should have asked to look at the screen, probably said that he returned the tape almost 100 years EARLY, meaning a negative late fee, and then asked for his $91k.


-- Mikey2k (mikey2k@he.wont.eat.it), January 02, 2000.

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