InfoWorld - How Y2K Affected One Leading Technology News Web Site : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

January 20, 2000

How Y2K Affected One Leading Technology News Web Site

I read InfoWorld's site every day (along with various other tech news sites), and, needless to say, this particular story was of great interest when it first came out a few weeks back. A sample:


InfoWorld Electric would not have survived the New Year's Eve party.

I know many IT professionals used year-2000 problems to justify the move to new systems, but in our case it was more than rationalization -- it was the plain simple truth. Our old site would have suffered the hangover of death.

After rolling back to our old site, we began assessing our problems. We started by analyzing Electric's year-2000 problems.

Could we remediate our old site by the end of this year? Could InfoWorld Electric carry us through the millennium rollover, allowing us to, in the meantime, design a brand new site that was far better than what we launched with? Did we truly have the luxury of time? Our analysis revealed that time was not on our side. We needed to have a working Web solution system in place by early December, and it needed to be able to endure the New Year's bash.

We had a repair window of approximately four months, and we got a bum deal.

We had six Web servers running on hardware more than five years old. The majority of our servers were SGI Indy or Challenge boxes running Irix 5.3.

We were also running Netscape's Communication Server 1.1, Oracle 7.3.2, and Apache Web Server 1.2.6.

The majority of commercial products running our site were dated, and all our servers were running at capacity.

Could we remediate all the commercial hardware and software? The answer was "No." At the time of investigation, compliance was unknown for Netscape's Communications Server, Version 1.1.

Netscape had not and would not test the communications server software for year-2000 compliance.

Could we have found a work-around? Probably, but it was not the smartest solution for us.

The real monkey wrench was not the commercial applications, but rather our own customized code.

Upon review of our existing scripts and programs, our best developers wanted nothing to do with the remediation.

Many of our scripts would need to be modified, and other portions of the site, such as scripts to publish content and move log files, would require entire rewrites.

There's more, of course, but you get the idea. Shows you the pervasiveness of Y2K.

Drew Parkhill, CBN News, Y2k Insights

-- Lee Maloney (, February 10, 2000

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