CNN Top Story Quotes Yourdon & North: "Y2K worriers: Too soon to say all OK"greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California
Y2K worriers: Too soon to say all OK
(CNN) -- Even though the Y2K doomsters have been proven wrong, or so it seems, they're not admitting it -- at least not yet.
"It is possible that bugs will manifest themselves in coming days and weeks," says Ed Yourdon, a computer programmer and author who for years has warned the world -- on his Web site and in his book "Time Bomb 2000" -- of a calamity stemming from the rollover to 2000.
Issuing a warning similar to that of the U.S. government's own Y2K experts, Yourdon told The New York Times that while many large companies and utilities have cleared up their Y2K defects, there was less work done by smaller firms that use older software.
Minor glitches persist
A few examples of minor glitches around the world seem to prove his point:
A customer returning a movie to a rental shop in suburban Albany, New York, was presented with a $91,250 late fee after computers showed the tape was 100 years late.
Employees at a video rental store in Florida used pen and paper because computers failed.
In Tokyo, about a dozen small brokerages reported Y2K-related glitches in a record-keeping system. They were quickly fixed.
Ten small Hong Kong companies reported minor hardware or software problems possibly caused by Y2K.
Yourdon also told the Times that problems might not appear until later in the week, or later in the month, when companies try to print invoices or payroll checks.
And he ridiculed a string of company "Y2K compliance" reports issued prior to the rollover, telling the newspaper it was like "letting high school seniors grade all their exams," adding, "It was very difficult to get independent verification of what had happened."
Gary North's expansive Y2K Web site speaks of one billion lives being threatened in the rollover, a forecast dubbed the "most off-the-wall Y2K prediction" by the Kansas City Star. The newspaper describes North as a Christian-oriented historian.
Despite such criticism, North is convinced trouble is still ahead.
"Things will not break down all at once in early January unless the power grid goes down and stays down. But the domino effect will create ever-increasing institutional noise and confusion throughout January and beyond. Your check will not be in the mail," he writes on his site, which he began three years ago.
Residents of refuge say they'll wait
The skepticism shown by Yourdon and North is matched by residents of a refuge in the hills of Floyd County, Virginia, who agree it's too early to say the danger has passed.
"I'll wait three months before I think the coast is clear," said Ken Griffith, who established the Rivendell refuge in case of a Y2K-related breakdown in infrastructure.
Griffith, a 28-year-old Virginia Tech graduate and former computer programmer, said damage from computers unable to recognize 2000, reading it instead as 1900, could come over time.
"Y2K may not be so much acute as it is chronic," said Meril Stanton, who moved to Rivendell with her husband, Doug, and six children from Houston last spring.
Rivendell residents -- about 22 families live on the former farm -- fear a domino effect in which small, scattered computer glitches compound one another and send destructive ripples through the economy.
'I may have to eat my words'
In Crossville, Tennessee, Tim Wilson said the December issue of his twice-monthly Y2K News Magazine was its last, but that he thinks fallout from the Y2K glitch is far from over.
"I never said the world would end or that everything would break down that night," Wilson said of the rollover. "The problem was not that night and weekend but in the next few weeks and months."
Obviously, only time will tell if prophecies of disaster will come true. So far, they haven't, leading Yourdon to admit to the Times: "I may have to eat my words, publicly and with great embarrassment."
Yourdon writes for IDG magazines, a partner of the computing section of CNN.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report, written by Jim Morris.
-- Dancr (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2000
You can't blame Ed or Gary. hey they were right. I heard on Art bell that Clinton and Greenspan made a deal with the Aliens to fix everything. They gave us the stuff in the first place and it was still under warranty. In exchange they can snag a few more of us this year. So if you find yourself being probed in that special place later this year, remember it's for the good of all of us!
-- Biff (email@example.com), January 03, 2000.
That makes about as much sense as anything else I've heard. I will be be sleeping with one eye open. Thanks for the tip.
-- Gary (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2000.
I'm glad to see we are finally getting to the 'bottom' of this.
-- Chicken Lil (email@example.com), January 03, 2000.