Y2K experts refute Millennium Bug's damp squib image

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Y2K experts refute Millennium Bug's damp squib image At the same time as reports are coming in that Norway's national rail service was belatedly hit by a Millennium Bug attack, Y2K experts have defended the expense of testing of the bug worldwide. According to reports, 29 high-tech trains refused to start on the last day of 2000. The problem was temporarily fixed by putting back the clocks on the on board computers, but the event has called into question claims by media across the world that the bug turned out to be a damp squib.

The breakdown also justifies the stance taken by Y2K experts Robin Guenier, Tim Johnson and John Ivinson interviewed in today's News in View, that the bug was active all through 2000 and well before.

Robin Guenier, who headed up Taskforce 2000, the first UK organisation charged with raising awareness about the Y2K issue, noted that companies started to experience problems long before the new millennium.

He said: "1 January 2000 was never going to be the date that things started to happen. Numerous things started to happen in 1999. There were point of sale problems, the banks had problems with ATM machines. The passport office had problems which were probablyY2K problems and that was back in the summer of 1999."

Ovum consultant, Tim Johnson agreed that he saw companies beset by date change issues throughout last year.

He said: "A lot happened behind the scenes. Every company I talked to had some kind of little incident. Many weren't serious but one or two were. For example there was one bank that spent two weeks worrying about whether they would be able to run their payroll systems. There were lots of things like that that just weren't publicised."

Independent analyst, John Ivinson, who worked with the UK government sponsored watchdog Action 2000, suggested that problems were covered up to avoid bad publicity.

He said: "We have no idea what went on in private enterprise. There is a very good reason for this. Most MDs and CEOs would not welcome having any publicity to do with their IT systems. They didn't want the world to know that there were problems within their organisations."


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), January 02, 2001

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