HUNTSVILLE TIMES [Alabama]: 'We've never gotten a satisfactory explanation. It certainly wasn't Y2 anything' : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


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Potholes crater the way of the world

"Murphy's Law'' says that if anything that can go wrong, it will.

Mr. (Ms?) Murphy was overly prone to generalize. I'm working on a refinement. This one says that what goes wrong is primarily what it never occurred to you to worry about.

Take Exhibit A or, rather, Exhibit Y2K. Everybody knows now that the problem was all overblown, or so we say, but here, a week ago last Friday night, was darn near the whole Huntsville Times reporting staff running around town to see what might go wrong and to see the people who were in charge of seeing what might go wrong.

We had precautions to protect our printing process, we had a plan to reflect life as it was at the close of the 20th century, we had special deadlines, we had a terrific buffet to feed the hungry staffers who were working rather than celebrating. The planning worked. We had power, we had fine stories, we had fast and excellent work by reporters and photographers and editors.

We did not, we discovered as 1999 morphed into 2000, have the year-end stock listings from the Associated Press in readable form. We had missing information, bad information, garbled information and nothing at all like the perfect test pages we'd received and downloaded weeks earlier.

The result in the New Year's Day paper was pretty much a mess, over five pages intended to give investors a definitive look at stocks' and mutual funds' performance for the year. We reran the whole thing, right, on Saturday, as I hope you saw.

We've never gotten a satisfactory explanation. It certainly wasn't Y2 anything. More like Why, Lord? Exhibit B...

[remainder snipped]

You can write Joe Distelheim at P.O. Box 1487, Huntsville 35807 or Phone 532-4495. Fax 532-4420.


-- John Whitley (, January 09, 2000

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