THE OREGONIAN [online]: "Computer program delays some checks" : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Computer program delays some checks

The Associated Press
01/07/00 7:56 PM Eastern

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Food stamps and other benefits were delayed in processing for one day by the first major Y2K glitch found in a Oregon state government system , which is using a computer program so obsolete that only two remain in operation nationally.

State Department of Human Services spokesman Mac Prichard said the problem was fixed on Friday.

The agency had planned to replace the old program on Jan. 22, but the same delay in benefit payments would have occurred on that date with or without Y2K problems, said John Cuddy, who oversees the agency's computer systems.

Officials had chosen not to replace the system before New Year's because it didn't want additional disruptions in the midst of intense Y2K preparations.

"We believed that this system would work acceptably, and second, we wanted to have our whole environment as stable as we could," Cuddy said.

Aside from Human Services, Ohio State University is the only place in the nation that still uses the old program that keeps track of more than 80,000 tapes of computer data at the Oregon agency. The tapes contain everything from addresses of child support recipients to data on Medicare.

The old program keeps track of each tape's date, location and content. The system also tells administrators when a tape contains old data and can be erased and reused. The data on all the tapes is backed up elsewhere.

The Department of Human Services consulted the author of the computer program and, at his direction, used a series of remedies.

Tests in 1999 showed the program would work, Cuddy said, but after New Years, the department noticed the system was getting dates of some tapes mixed up.

The department stopped erasing old data tapes until the new program could be installed.

Cuddy said one-day delays are fairly routine even when the system is working normally because some jobs often take longer than expected.

)2000 Oregon Live LLC


-- John Whitley (, January 07, 2000


What's the deal with Oregon? Are they less competent with Y2K repairs or less competent at hiding Y2k glitches? Regardless, they are 2% of the 50 Excited States and account for over5% of the Y2K bad news.

-- Think It (Through@Pollies.Duh), January 07, 2000.

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