New Essay: "Move Over Rodney Dangerfield -- You've Got Company" : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I must be a glutton for punishment -- I've posted another Y2K essay on my web site. It's on the top-level page of the site; remember that you may need to tell your browser to reload or refresh whatever it has stored in the cache.

If that doesn't work, just try retrieving


-- Ed Yourdon (, January 06, 2000


Fixing to go read it Ed, but before I do I Respect You.


-- salene (, January 06, 2000.

Ed, if you apologize for anything until this thing has played itself out, I'll be disappointed in you :)!

-- John Whitley (, January 06, 2000.

If you waste your time discussing anything at all with Teddie Hoffman I will kill myself... ;-)

-- Michael Erskine (, January 06, 2000.

Well Ed, I'm giving this whole thing one quarter to play out. I saw two Y2K failures yesterday. One in a school and one in a restaurant. The restaurant bill was dated 1/5/100 and the school's computers had been down for three days.

Don't horsewhip yourself yet. Who knows? You might get the last laugh, but I hope not.

-- (I', January 06, 2000.

Ed, no offense intended in prior post. It was "headlined" the wrong way. Sorry....And you do have my "respect"....but quit tugging at your tie.

-- Larry (, January 06, 2000.

Hope everyone takes media with grain of salt. Salt, anyone?

-- Haven't Read it yet, but (, January 06, 2000.

I'll always respect ya in the morning.

-- Porky (Porky@in.cellblockD), January 06, 2000.

You have my utmost respect for sticking your neck out and sharing your knowledge. You showed possibilities, never twisted arms, and you made it a point to encourage people to do their own homework and make their own conclusions.

I didn't have resources to prep as many have, but the mental/psychological prep was just as valuable.

Thank You Ed

-County Employee in Arkansas, Hoping to Get Paid Tomorrow

-- Lisa (, January 06, 2000.

Which reminds me that I was in a Canada Post outlet today, for the first time this year, where the clerk [who knows me] asked me slyly if I was "disappointed with Y2K?" "Nope." I said, "I'm pretty happy with it myself. How was your Y2K here?" "Okay," he said, "except that the computer terminal to the [central] mainframe wouldn't work when we came in after the New Year. We called in and they told us it was affecting all the terminals in all the outlets. But they got it fixed."

If you don't ask, they don't tell :).

Meanwhile, the data errors are steadily accumulating...

-- John Whitley (, January 06, 2000.

I read your book. I studied your essays. I spent many hours researching the issues and I came to my own conclusions. I have been in the software business 30-years and I take full responsibility for my decisions to prepare. My dad has a closet full of spam and I have a room full of water... (Anyone need two 300-watt solar generators?)

These were my decisions and I am responsible, not you.

I for one still "respect" you. Hang in there... Don't let the jealous ones get to you.

Jim Hempleman

-- Jim Hempleman (, January 06, 2000.

I quickly skim-read your article, Ed, and it's just as informed, forthright and authentic as the rest of your contributions to the public discourse. Well done.

And yes, it must be because you are a glutton for being forthright and engaging in difficult discussions that I respect you and what you say so much.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you publically for taking the time and energy to e-mail me a personal reply to my concerns about things taking a different shape, a month or so ago. I was touched by your efforts to reach out on a personal level to someone you didn't know at all.

The world would be a muchly improved place if there were more authentic people like you. Particularly when they embrace and engage uncertainty the way you do.

Thanx again.

-- Chuck (, January 06, 2000.

Ed I am not a techie but as a bean-counter (and for an MIS division for six years) for 20 years I've always worked side by side with the MIS types. What you wrote was bang on for everything that I have ever seen as to what happens in a major project.

People that don't have some concerns right now just don't know.

-- Dana (, January 06, 2000.

Sounds like it hasn't just been ME intensely working at the keyboard this past 24 hours or so...

I'll take a look.

In the meantime, Ed and others, please do check in here, when ya have a moment.

We're just getting ready to roll


-- FM (, January 06, 2000.

I respect you Ed...I'll even take you home in the morning to meet my Mother. ;>

-- Mabel Dodge (, January 06, 2000.

Don't even think about being humble. No way. The game is just starting.

On my way too.

-- mike morris (m., January 06, 2000.

I'm glad I was scanning the site. On my way too.

Hey, the game is just beginning, the card have been dealt and we're turning them to see what we've got.

I don't want to take anyone's side: I have too much to lose if the trolls are on target, but damn, people, this is the game of all time. We can only pray, play and try to be grateful that we live in interesting times (as the curse says)

Mike gone to read now....

-- mike morris (, January 06, 2000.

Thanks Ed,

You know I wish you were in error. I would prefer it that way. Common sense recognizes, that probably won't be the case. I'll always appreciate your "call to arms" over a problem you recognized and "in my opinion" definitely helped alleviate. At this point, your efforts can be observed in how few major failures we've seen. Thanks Again!

-- Michael (, January 06, 2000.

Thank you Mr. Yourdon for your comments.

My greatest concern about the pessimism that you an others expressed leading up to Y2K is that it did not did not seem to show enough respect for the capacity of programmers to fix problems and the capacity people to adapt quickly should problems occurs.

The fact that Y2K was a non-event is a testamant to the remarkable capacity of human beings to deal with adversity and to avert disaster.

-- Thank You (, January 06, 2000.

Geez, what a bunch of brown-nosers.

-- cin (, January 06, 2000.

When it came to the Y2k "prophets" I felt that you at least had the humility to admit in advance that you might be wrong.

Now some of the others I had no respect for: such as Michael Hyatt claiming that all GPS receivers would fail last August unless they were upgraded.

No, everyone has to make their own decision and live with the consequences. Those who cleaned out their 401k account and maxed out their credit cards are living with the consequences of THEIR decisions.

On the other hand, I did not feel that a good argument for a Y2k BITR was presented -- just a lot of happy talk. Therefore, I hedged my bets and prepared for problems within my means. Now am prepared for other problems which may develop if not from lurking Y2k problems then from natural and other man-made disasters.

Mikey2k "glad-my-last-name's-not-Hyatt"

-- Mikey2k (, January 06, 2000.

Clear and succint as always.

Perhaps, many computers and software never really depended on the date format as much as we originally thought.

Just as a test, I did nothing to my old 1994 486 machine running Win 3.11 for Workgroups and did not update the software running on it. Today's date is 01/06/:0 and after rollover it went to 1980. But all functions are normal for spreadsheet, word processing, data sorting, graphics, internet, etc.

I for one believe the current situation is not as widely reported. Reports of software snafus keep coming in six days after rollover.

Key indicators now seem to be the stock markets and commodity prices.

If I were you I would not apologize to anyone - you and Jennifer did some original analysis and published your conclusions. Freedom of Speech in America entitles everyone to express their own opinion.

The prudent path was up to each of us to prepare to a level of our own determination. It was not in vain. I continue to appreciate and learn from the fresh persepective and interchange of ideas on the TB 2000 forum.

Thank you for all your efforts and best wishes.

-- Bill P (, January 06, 2000.

How does everyone call Y2K a non event? Do you know how much time & money organizations have spent?? The software code was broken !!! We were ready & have been fixing problems all week !!! Cash not posting , invoices not printing, software vendor fixes...... Yes the bad chips did not happen ,,, but the software had to be fixed!!

-- I.S Manager (, January 06, 2000.


Was my "hot link" changed by accident? Somehow, my link came back to this forum.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt.

I'll try again. Here goes:

Roll Call: Forum Regulars Please Report in Here


-- FM (, January 06, 2000.

Ed, I wish I could give you all the credit for helping me remember the reasons that I have always found a need to be prepared for emergencies but I can't. I'm not one who has forgotton that meat, milk, vegies and grains don't just magically appear in a cellophane wrapper, or that electricity, gas and money is something to be taken for granted.

I didn't figure on blaming the government or anyone else if those things didn't keep showing up and I sure can't figure out what kind of infintile mentality would blame Ed Yourdon because the easy life is still here or that he might have merely pointed out some weak links in the plastic threads that hold our dreamlives together. I guess if one never participated in the bloody barbaric operation of killing their own chicken, gotten their hands dirty scratching the ground and planting seeds, stocking up for winter, or getting ready for a growing season, they might consider your warnings to be pretty terrifying. I guess that's why they call them pollys! God help them if their silicone JIT system ever fails them. Why would you want to scare those people like that Ed. Shame on you.

Just the same, I'm certainly grateful to you and others who have taken the time to wrap your minds around a situation that is this complicated. Does anyone else have the brains to do what Ed Yourdon does. I don't think so. Hope you don't quit doing what you do so well and being who you are. Your kind is definately needed.

Mediocracy never did recognize genius. Don't sweat it!

-- Robert J. (, January 06, 2000.

I great piece, Ed, thanks. As Cory always said, "whatever happens, it will be a surprise". And I'm afraid it's going to be a surprise that keeps on giving...

One question though. The e-mail from the 'illiterate' guy you posted, was that Hoff? :)

-- a (a@a.a), January 06, 2000.

Anyone seen that trend analysis someone was talking about doing? Still a few days to wait on that one... I guess.

Ed, Tell me to stop picking on Hoffie, please.

-- Michael Erskine (, January 06, 2000.

Hey Rodney, err, Ed,

I noticed in another thread that you offered to forward your hate mail to one of the posters here. May I suggest that you forward it to IBM instead... <:)=


A recent internal publication issued by International Business Machines Corp. focused on the Y2K problem, advises employees around the world to make personal contingency plans and be prepared on personal finances, including putting aside some extra cash.

The special 1999 issue of IBM's Think magazine, headlined simply "Understanding Y2K," also advises workers to be flexible about vacation plans and to be prepared for unusually heavy workloads in the fourth quarter of 1999 and first quarter of 2000.

"In planning for the transition to 2000, nothing is being taken for granted, and few scenarios are too far-fetched," it warns.

For personal living preparations, it largely relies on the recommendations of the American Red Cross, available on the Internet at safety/y2k.html.

"Stock non-perishable foods, water and medications you use regularly," the IBM publication says. "Have some extra cash on hand; fill your gas tank a day or so before New Year's Eve; and have blankets, gloves, flashlights and extra batteries on hand in case of power failures." (It suggests candles are hazardous.)

While the document says "there's no reason to panic," it also suggests that employees "should talk to your personal bank/credit union/health-care provider about whether they are ready." It also cautions people to "beware of rumours," particularly spread over the Internet.

While personal preparation suggestions are often cited by Y2K skeptics as coming from the lunatic fringe, it's quite another thing coming from IBM or the Red Cross.

But IBM acknowledges it has been essentially near "ground zero" in the whole Y2K phenomenon. In 1964, it reminds us, IBM introduced the System/360 mainframe, and used a two-digit year to conserve space on punch cards.

Indeed it is a former IBMer-- Peter de Jager -- who became dubbed the Paul Revere of the Y2K crisis when he issued his call for action in a 1993 article in Computerworld magazine, headlined "Doomsday 2000."

Last March, Mr. de Jager declared Doomsday had, in fact, been avoided, asserting that the world had at least broken the back of Y2K enough to avert the most far-out "end of the world as we know it" apocalyptic scenarios.

That doesn't mean there won't be days or weeks of disruptions. What's remarkable about the IBM publication is its repeated reminders that "all markets, all businesses, all governments and all communities are interconnected."

In fact, IBM's graphic descriptions of Y2K interconnectedness and interdependencies aren't radically different from the dire falling- domino theories of such Y2K doomsayers as Dr. Gary North and Joe Boivin.

"It's not enough to convert your own business, because you're not ready until your entire supply chain is," IBM says.

"It's not enough to live in a Y2K-ready neighborhood unless all its interwoven threads -- businesses, schools, neighbourhood associations, police and fire departments -- are ready. Y2K will throw these interconnections into sharp relief."

The publication warns of the billions of embedded chips contained in such diverse technologies as oil-drilling equipment, airplanes, medical devices and microwave ovens.

It says efforts to find and fix embedded chips will continue "well after Jan. 1, 2000." Mr. de Jager calls embedded chips the wild card of Y2K.

But Y2K, according to IBM, is not primarily about the way we code dates in computer software, hardware or components. Rather, "it's mostly about how information technology has spread throughout our economy, society and personal lives."

IBM recognizes that opinions about the consequences of not being Y2K- ready "range all over the map. Perhaps the biggest problem with Y2K is that no one knows exactly what will happen."

From its interaction with customers around the world, IBM does not see anything to support predictions of a global recession or some kind of "digital winter."

It says large U.S. organizations "should be ready," although it is "less certain ... how small businesses and less developed nations will fare... Many are on the move now, but they've got to pick up the pace."

IBM met with some internal resistance when it began one year ago -- relatively late in the game -- to gather data on contingency plans. It eventually came up with 10 scenarios "that could possibly go wrong -- from applications and systems failures to disruptions in utilities, telephone and public mail services." It called the exercise sobering.

That's why businesses have developed contingency plans and why individuals should also regard some personal preparations as a form of insurance against disruptions.

The Red Cross suggests having on hand at least a three-day supply of household staples. This is consistent with the most conservative Y2K- preparation gurus, who compare any possible disruptions to a weekend storm. There are plenty of Y2K experts who argue for a month or many months of supplies.

The Red Cross Disaster Supplies Kit checklist includes storing a gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, non-prescription drugs, various sanitation items such as toilet paper, tools such as flashlights and battery-operated radio, a non- electric can opener, warm clothing, extra eyeglasses or contact lenses and much more.

Canadian Y2K gurus would add to the list a supply of firewood for a fireplace or wood stove.

Don't wait until the final few weeks, since such supplies could be unavailable, scarce or very costly.

Coming from prominent Y2K gloom-and-doomers, such survival contingency plans might appear ludicrous. But when they come from IBM and the Red Cross, maybe -- just maybe --there may be cause to take at least the teensiest bit of personal preparations.

Besides, even if Y2K ends up a blustery gust rather than a raging storm, there's always the possibility a major blizzard or other act of God could strike.

Residents of Eastern Canada who suffered through the ice storm almost two years ago would have welcomed having a lot more than the Red Cross' three days worth of provisions. Mr. de Jager told CTV News last week that two or three weeks of provisions would be prudent.

As of tomorrow, there are just 100 days until the turn of the century.

-- Sysman (, January 06, 2000.

Ed we were all misled as to what to expect. We know that computers have problems with bad code especially y2k bad code. What we were not privilage to was how corp America and The Govts of the world would work around these date handicapped machines. I read over 10,000 documents and technical white papers on the y2k problem put out by Govt and Industry experts. What has happened is that in order to keep the power base in tact they rigged a good work around to keep phones, Banking and power up the most critical of the infrastructure backbone. This workaround I believe will only last for a temp time frame before major cracks in the nothing y2k bad happened opens up to public exposure.

The Major spin machine is going full tilt. Nuke power plants all over the world are having some complications, at this moment we dont know how serious they are but they are not life threatening yet but has anyone been monitoring around those plants and independently verify that its still ok the Media is silent. They say that no planes will fall from the sky from y2k directly but how about those planes in gridlock above the east coast for 90 mins or longer running low on fuel. I bet the pilots and at controllers dont think this y2k bug is funny or a non event, Ill bet they were freaking today. Wonder if they had to call up the awacs or e2c's to help land those planes. I wonder if air traffic around the world is being affected this same way. What about our eye's in the skies if they are working correctly. I hope so but we are not out of the woods yet. Dont feel alone Ed you are up against the biggest and most clever propaganda machine since wwII Germany. Ignore the feeling to be apologetic, The y2k just may produce some real show stoppers yet. You did the right thing warning people to prepare based on solid technical facts it was the most loving thing to do. The code is not even close to being fixed, they have just found clever little workarounds to keep it floating. Ill bet the electric and phone people are keeping there fingers crossed that they can keep this workaround going long enough to really fix it properly.

I predict that we will see major bounces in the world markets and a major infrastructure failure that wont be able to be ignored. They will of course not allow anything to be blamed on y2k, they will find other things to blame it on. Y2k is a major security risk and threat to the powers that be and they know it and will do there best to control public preception. They will try not let Y2k unseat there power no matter how bad it might get. Remember the world runs on digital (oil) Money if that data gets fouled up things will go south quick. Stay Prepared everyone if no show stoppers happen by march or may then you can let down your readiness and donate your excess supplies to a worthy shelter and call y2k over. God bless you and your family Ed for sounding the call to be prepared, may God give you and extra measure of blessings and favor for your love, courage and commitment to the Lord to warn his people of the potential for danger. Only those who really love took the wise advice the rest are fools blinded by the flash of mammon and technology. who continue to build their house on deceptive sand instead of on the rock of Love and truth. As I said before Y2k is God's Love test for humanity. God wanted to see if people would work together for a common good or would a stiff neck attitude prevail. The results of this test will not be known until the middle of the year. Keep hope for the best, New Years successfull rollover was a good start lets see how we make it thru the next Phase of y2k.

-- y2k aware mike (y2k aware mike @ conservation . com), January 06, 2000.


.....Does this mean I get a refund on the book? (G)

.....All kidding aside, you have nothing to apologize for, and those that, for whatever reason, hold you in contempt are simply showing their own asisinity. I don't believe you've twisted any arms; in fact, if anything, you were the epitome of "the balanced approach" in a continuing world of uncertainty. We have all fared well so far in what could have been a much worse scenario. As I posted yesterday, in my mind, the jury is still out. Even if things should become no worse than they currently are, you'll still owe no apologies.

-- Patrick (, January 07, 2000.

mr yourdon, you have my respect!

-- ed (, January 07, 2000.

Whatever the outcome, Ed Yourdon has earned my respect. Watching Ed return to this forum after his "Sayonara", restore the link from his homepage to this forum (even eliminating the caveat "this forum is no longer moderated by me"), pitch in to help the sysops keep the place picked up, continue posting essays on his site, joining the forum post-rollover watchers, and being unfailingly gracious to those who assault his character, has revealed Ed's true nature and intent to anyone with eyes to see. The surest way to earn respect is to demonstrate it towards others. This is what I will remember about Ed Yourdon long after y2k is a distant memory.

-- (, January 07, 2000.

Ed: Thank you for taking it on the chin to warn the world. Prophets are never liked. I also have appreciated very much the contribution of your daughter in the financial field, which is my field.

I think that our society has a basic sinful nature that comes out whenever people can make noise without accountability. This happens in traffic and in people who post blind email messages. This environment seems to attract strange persons, with which we all suffer.

I have provided one of my cutout email addresses to avoid spam. However, you know my name and my real email address.

-- Alfred Hill, CPA (, January 07, 2000.

Nice essay. Something that's just struck me (from reading it) is the inconsistency of our own attitude to our governments.

1) When the men (mostly) in charge said "I believe that there is a big problem." we crowed and gloated and took them at face value, even though they were silently prefacing that with "I don't feel important or secure enough, therefore I need more budget, therefore I'm going to say..."

2) When they said "It's all fixed." we refused to believe them, even though saying so was against their best interest, as it meant an end to their Bottomless Budget Bucket and inflated importance.

Why did we assume that they'd been honest or cunning in selling up Y2K, but then suddenly became dishonest or stupid in talking it down? It doesn't make sense either way.

Yes, hindsight, hindsight. But we didn't show a lot of foresight, so we might as well look back and work out where we went wrong.

(Disclaimer: Still watching and waiting. But we're not escalating yet.)

-- Servant (, January 07, 2000.


Since the "critics" appear to want to evade the fact that individuals made the (usually rational) decisions of which your opinions may or may not have played a role, their rantings are most likely a reflection of their own psychology. That is, their state of mind is partly a result of reality-avoidance; they evade the fact that individuals ultimately make and are responsible for their own decisions.

Ed, your contributions have been simply astonishing. And however things ultimately play out, to me your honesty and integrity will forever shine.

Thank you,

-- eve (, January 07, 2000.

Just for the record, would you mind adding your comments to this thread?

I'm curious: Why are *you* still checking this forum?

And to all the rest of the High Priests of TB2000 (Andy, RC, Flint, Decker, Spider, SH, Walter, Uncle Bob, Old GIT, Ludi, A&L, North, and so on (appologies to those missed)) why not let your guard down for a few lines and provide us some insights into who you are as people (paraphrasing from the seminal line from Deep Impact, "you were once people before Y2K").

I think we can all agree on one thing (pollies and doomers alike) we are here are we not, so for the record lets at least lets call a truce in the thread and all learn bloody well why we are all here.

So, just one rule, please no mudslinging in the thread please, light banter only if you must say something about the other side. Please check your M1 tanks, AK47's, Super Soakers, pee shooters etc. at the door. You can pick them up when you leave and continue your battles elsewhere on TB2000. Ok?

-- Interested Spectator (is@the_ring.side), January 07, 2000.


Johathan Swift wrote:

When a true genius in appears in the world you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

Given this, it appears you can be considered a true genius and it is my pleasure to respect you as one. I am (was) a doomer and prepped to handle almost anything that would get thrown at me at my location in a big city for 6 months. I have you to thank for that and I don't regret having done it (I'm now finllay ready for earthquakes). I have learned a lot, and are now seriouly considering a move to a small town (I'm an amateur astronomer and have always dreamed of being in the country where you can actually see the starts)

However, in keeping with your sentiments about postmortems, I have requested the same of others here and submitted my own hypothesis about why we were wrong in our original assessments.

I think here is where I find your responses very thin and lacking substance. You seem bent on still trying to convince people you were correct and did nothing wrong. I think this approach is going to get you into more trouble over time.

A new approach is needed, one that questions everything we did to get to our original assesments to begin with, if we wish to truly learn from the experiance so as not to repeat it again.

I think you do not help your case by reiterating the arguments from the pre y2k era, now. Doing so is to assume they were correct, but the problem is that the very strong perception is that they are wrong because of the "evidence". So I believe you will never convince anyone that they are correct now, even if you are. We need to examine all the assumptions that went into the original assessments more closely and see if they were indeed correct to begin with.

For example, I submit the facts about the number of small/mid size businesses that prepared was correct, but the interpretation of the facts is incorrect.

Is that something to complain about now? Obviously not, we would not and could not know this until now. But in keeping with your concept of postmoterms, it would be very valuable to first see if my hyphothesis are correct, and if so why was this missed before y2k. Somebody was obviously not paying attention. A lot of somebodies I would say. But why?

And with respect to emebeds, I think the whole issue was fundementally misjudged from top to bottom, and that is truely amazing. I am not so presumptious to assume that only I can determine this and I am sure many have said this before y2k and after y2k, but I find the lack of serious rebuttle by the "doomers" to this actually rather revealing.

With resepect to just thesse 2 examples, the Emeds and the the small businesses, I have explained my thoughts about why I now think they were a non issue at length in the following two threads and refer you to them for your comments.

Why nothing was ever going to happen with the embeds

Serious Question on Embeddeds

WRT to the small businesses and their ripple effects, Here is my take on the small and mid size business situation:

Hyatt: Y2K will not be a one time event...

-- Interested Spectator (is@the_ring.side), January 07, 2000.

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