Why are people jumping to conclusions on Y2K?

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Potential Y2K problems were mainly in two categories: (1) Embedded systems/automated controls (2) Computer software

Just because there were few problems so far in category (1) does not mean there will be few problems in category (2). What's the rush to jump to conclusions?

Category (1) was closely related to the year rollover. Category (2) problems will take more time to develop -- most computers were not even operating during the year rollover.

While Category (2) problems may amount to a "bump in the road", there's very little data available today to reach that conclusion. Conclusions without supporting data are just opinions. Lot's of opinions on the internet, it seems.

-- Richard Greene (Rgreene2@ford.com), January 03, 2000


Actually there is data from "(2)". "(2)" has been in effect since the first remediated systems went on-line over the last few years. Since they first remediated systems experienced post 19xx dates in the last few years. Since organizations went into fiscal 2000 over the past year. Obviously the biggest test is now, but "Category (2)" has been under examination for a while. And, pretty much so far so good. Can't comment post rollover yet of course, but the data from the pasty several years has been positive. This is not opinion.

I admit that could change in a heartbeat, as operating in 2000 is very different than looking at 2000. But we'll see.

-- Mike (mike@noemail.net), January 03, 2000.


I'm not a psychologist; this is a layperson's take: I think people have a natural need for closure. So, jumping to conclusions "closes out" the uncertainty in the subject's mind; it's a stress reliever of sorts. Others are able to resist it; they allow a situation to play itself out first.

-- eve (123@4567.com), January 03, 2000.

I understand the drive to buy oneself more time to save face, but the facts are that most date-aware programs are more likely to have problems before the Rollover than after--consider, for instance, an inventory management system that looks ahead three to twelve months. In point of fact, most companies have had Y2K problems--they just fixed 'em or worked around 'em. This is it. This is the show. There ain't no more than you have seen so far.

Y2K: Simple problems, spread across time; solvable, with good interim workarounds, and minimal effects on society.

-- Jim Thompson (jimthompsonmd@attglobal.net), January 03, 2000.

Within Category (2), there are principally two kinds of calculation errors: look-ahead and look-back. (Of course there is a small proportion of other kinds as well.)

What Gartner Group and the others have mostly not recognized, is that there are probably at least ten times as many look-back errors as look-ahead errors. The reason is very simple: there is data to refer to in the past, because it has happened; there is no data in the future, because we haven't gotten there yet.

What is more, the look-ahead interval calculations begin to go wrong when the leading edge crosses the Jan. 1, 2000 boundary. Because these intervals are of varying widths, these wrong calculations begin happening at different times. The more they are spread out, the easier to fix in isolation, and the less we see reinforcement effects.

By contrast, the look-behind interval calculations all begin to go wrong right at the Jan. 1, 2000 boundary. The erroneous results are now all beginning to flow into the data stream. What is dispersed is the manifestation of visible results. We still don't know their density. Richard is right; the densities of Category (1) and (2) bugs are independent. Watch and see.

-- Spirit (moving@on.the.waters), January 03, 2000.

Richard--People jump to conclusions because the vast majority are idiots.

-- Blew5M (gaf@mindspring.com), January 03, 2000.

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