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U.S. is "Just About OK for Y2K"

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the fun-with-titles dept.

United States 220

whostudios wrote to us with the current CNN headline news, stating that the White House has deemed that US will be OK for Y2k. Besides having silly rhyming involved in it, it's an interesting report. What do you folks think about all of the whole Y2k fears?

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Hype (1)

thrash_ (34661) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544535)

Nothing but pure, unadulterated hype. It's been blown WAY out of proportion, and people like the Red Cross who tell people to prepare for the worst, are doing nothing but raising the fears of the people. It's the worst kind of FUD.

Y2k is so way too bogus .... (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544536)

ITS at work made us all upgrade our suns to make the 'y2k compliant' - I lost 2 days work .... if we'd left it worst case the machine concievably might have crashed on Jan1 - a day when I will be on vacation, and then beenrebooted ..... afterwards my delete key didn't work (I guess it wasn't y2k compliant :-) [really needed a new xmodmap]

I can't help feel that for the bulk of us the cost of becoming 'y2k compliant' exceeds the possible damage caused by not being --- probably by several orders of magnitude!

Y2k is Bunk (2)

JediLuke (57867) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544537)

The only problem i forsee is the fact that some things will say Jan 1, 1900 and say that day was a monday and 1/1/01 is a thursday, thats the only problems...

There was however a sewage plant in van nuys that backed up and flowed over into a neighboring i'm not sure what to think...go Nitrozak

Re:Hype (1)

drivers (45076) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544538)

Nothing but pure, unadulterated hype. It's been blown WAY out of proportion, and people like the Red Cross who tell people to prepare for the worst, are doing nothing but raising the fears of the people. It's the worst kind of FUD.

You should ALWAYS be prepared for a disaster. The Red Cross, being a group that helps people in disasters, is doing a good thing, I think.

The significance of Y2K has been overblown to the general public though. (It is an I.T. problem but we've been working on it for years. Y2K is no surprise.)

Always be prepared.

US OK, but what about the rest of the world? (2)

Jason Cain (17031) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544539)

I think the US will probably be prepared for Y2K, by and large. However, I'm not so sure about other countries.

There are just so many details to consider. For example, at the hospital my dad works at, they have spent tons of time and money correcting potential problems with all sorts of medical equipment (X-Ray machines, heart monitors, etc.).

Do you think everyone else will take this seriously enough to prevent major problems? Perhaps some of our fellow Slashdotters from around the globe can comment on the situation in their countries.


Re:Hype (2)

PD (9577) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544540)

If you're being paid to be prepared, then do your job. This means policemen, firemen, hospital workers, the CDC, and the uniformed services of the government.

The rest of you, don't cause any trouble with all that stockpiled ammunition and champaigne! The millennium party is going to be excellent, and you've got 13 and 1/2 months to get ready for it.

I agree, but . . . Re:Hype (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544541)

"Scaring" people into keeping a week's worth of food and water on hand might not be unforgiveable.

I live about two miles from the San Andreas fault. It's generally considered a really good idea for people in 'quake zones to have a few days' supplies on hand, to make things easier for everyone until utilties are connected.

But it took the threat-I-don't-quite-belive-in of Y2K trouble to get me off my ass and buy peanut butter, crackers, batteries and bottled water.

What we really should worry about are the bozos who are going to make trouble for religious and political reasons. You know . . . the ones too weird to get invited to cool parties! :-)

Of course! (1)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544542)

I've seen upteen number of people on game shows and talk shows make fun of y2k. Or they outright said (with the camera zoomed in) I'm not worried about y2k!

Of course they're trying to make you feel safe.. maybe you shouldn't be so gullable.

I say, why not take a bit of precaution. The red cross is right to tell people to "prepare for bad weather."

In the end, all you have is faith. Personally, I'm betting on some problems.

I know too many dumb programmers. How many do you know?


Re:Y2k is Bunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544543)

There was however a sewage plant in van nuys that backed up and flowed over into a neighboring i'm not sure what to think...

It's good for the flowers, really ;)

But what if they're just SAYING that (2)

Lowpass (13180) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544544)

Of course two months before Y2K they're saying that everything is A-OK. They also told us we could survive a nuclear attack if we just "duck and cover."

Uncle Sam won't tell us if the national infrastructure is going to disintegrate on January 1, because people would run on the banks, horde food, and stock-pile arms. They have to say everything is OK because of the consequences.

Of course, I think the whole Y2K thing was blown way way way out of proportion by the media. I agree that nothing major's going to happen, but what if it did?

Perfect excuse to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law and turn America into the police state that the Suede-Denim Secret Police have been planning all along!!!

Or at least a good excuse to "pick up" a new VCR.

Re:Hype (1)

Khan (19367) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544545)

Let's see....canned food...bottled water....12 guage shotgun with about 50 slugs (no buckshot here). Yup! I'm prepeared :P Oh yeah, I'll be on an airplane that day, too. I can't wait til this entire stupidity is behind us. I hope our children will be able to look back at this in history and laugh at us. Cause I sure as hell will be.

Re:Hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544546)

Yep, spin control, which this administration seems to be the masters of.

A relative of mine works in a rather large financial institution (read Bank) that recently sent out bogus Y2K Compliance statements to their customers. They are afraid there will be a run on the bank that will zap their available currency reserves.

Pesonally, I believe the damage from hype, paranoia and panic will do much more damage than the actual Y2K problems. Thus the soothing reassurances of Big Brother.

My thoughts? (4)

Keelor (95571) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544547)

The following are not what I'm afraid will come with Y2K. I'm not afraid that...

the power grid will come down. This has been rather thoroughly tested. What may (probably will) happen is that there will be local blackouts. Some could be serious, but I doubt that many people will be killed as a direct result of lack of heat.

the banks will lose everyone's money. Banks have had to look past December 31st, 1999 for a while. My credit card doesn't expire until September 2000, for instance. Again, there _will_ be localized problems, but I doubt that anyone will permanently lose a significant portion of their income.

nukes will accidently go off. This is actually the one I'm least sure about, as I think there is a tiny possiblity that Russian (possibly other country's) nukes will be launched due to some bad data. This is pretty small, though, and (on a rather foreboding note) I think that the US should be able to shoot down any stray nukes before they cause significant damage.

What am I afraid of? People. There are people right now that have enough guns, ammo, and other so-called "survival" equipment to outfit a third-world country. Many of these are not the most stable people to begin with. I'm afraid that when Y2K occurs and nothing significant happens, a few of them will decide to use their guns and ammo in what will already be a rather tense situation. The possiblity of riots due to the lack of Y2K problems should not be ignored. If you have friends that fit in this group, invite them to a party and make sure they pass out or something ;).


Re:I'm first =P. (0)

PD (9577) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544548)

If I had some moderator points I would make that one funny. But, you forgot to put the smiley faces in, and too many people would get overly worked up. Oh well, it made me laugh.

big deal... (1)

spiral (42436) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544549)

>New Year's fireworks won't be misfired missiles

The fireworks may not be US missiles, but that doesn't mean that we won't get nuked.

While I don't really expect anything THAT nasty to happen, it's pure crap to suggest that everything will be fine because the US thinks they have their act together. The global system as it stands is so heavily integrated that an oops in one part of the world will likely have a serious impact on everyone else. The recent Asian market crash should have made that quite clear.


The world is going to end! (3)

cronio (13526) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544550)

Some things that will happen during Y2K:

1) Earthquakes. Lots of them.
2) Hurricanes. Lots of them.
3) Floods. Lots of them.
4) The Apocolypse's horsemen will ride the earth.
5) The Messiah will come, but it will turn out he has no power, and will perish with the rest of us.
6) The Antichrist will come.
7) The Supreme court will announce Microsoft innocent, and the apocolypse will come.
8) Every computer, everywhere (except those running Linux or some other flavor of UNIX) will crash.
9) After being announced not guilty, and after all the computers crash, Microsoft will reveal that in order to fix the problem, you must buy Windows2K which will arrive in about a year.
10) WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

If anything else is going to happen, please notify me so I can stock up more food and buy more guns.

Why don't we admit the truth... (1)

DoktorMel (35110) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544551)

Most of us (myself included) don't understand all the issues involved with this problem well enough to comment intelligently about it. If people _did_ understand the issue, there wouldn't be guys going around collecting money for vetting Macintoshes for "Y2K compliance."

Interesting... (1)

son of spAm (106734) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544552)

The Y2K problem exists because many older computers and software programs recognize only the last two digits of the year and could mistakenly interpret "00" as 1900.

So that's what all the fuss is about... :)

Actually, I think the entire problem can be summed up as "annoying but not serious", with one exception.

It may just be the result of media hype, but my major concern is how some people [] might react to the new millenium...

Y2k OK? Well, what they don't know.... (2)

Rahga (13479) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544553)

Nobody really knows what's going to happen. Nobody. Too many unknowns. So, the computer experts take a back seat to the washington sugarcoating and marketing machine. And, of course, everything comming from there is going to look positive and good. Reminds me of Leslie Neilsen in "Naked Gun", standing in front of a burning fireworks warehouse, saying "Move Along. Nothing to see here. Move Along."

Humans Will Break More Often Than Machines (1)

LHOOQtius_ov_Borg (73817) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544554)

The company I am IT Director for has spent exactly $0 and 0 hours of time confirming our Y2K compliance, and I'm sure we'll be just fine. Anything that breaks then, we'll fix it, or replace it. We're lucky enough not to have any time-dependent critical systems, unlike, say, a bank...

In terms of Y2K issues, I'm much more concerned with humans than machines. It is much more likely that some stupid religious zealot from some doomsday cult will nerve gas Times Square (the city of NY has been running poison gas assault drills in conjunction with FEMA, from what I've read in the print media) than that mass chaos will erupt due to some computers breaking. When disasters (such as hurricanes here on the east coast of the USA) hit major metro areas and wipe out power systems (and therefore all computer systems in the area) human response teams manage the crisis rather well. I think any Y2K related crashes (say a power grid goes down, or a traffic grid, or whatever) will be handled with similar efficiency by the emergency teams.

What is more difficult to respond to is a situation in which panicky humans are making a bad situation worse, and the Y2K hype essentially guarantees this - and if the problems are human-initiated rather than systemic, this will make the situation even worse. Also, humans are more likely to unleash NBC attacks on population centers than faulty systems, so they're much more likely to cause the real damage.

Don't worry so much about the stupid computers, worry about the stupid humans...

Personally, I plan to be out in the countryside with no emergency rations but far away from potential sites of stupid human antics...

Your world is going to end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544555)

What will be most amusing is watching all the morons who've 'prepared' for Why2K _after_ 1/1/00. What will they do next, after the sky hasn't fallen...

the biggest Y2K problem... (2)

annarchy (31562) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544556)

The biggest problem our country faces on Jan 1 is not computers or technology. Its a bunch of crazy-ass people!

Well, the world is gonna end anyway, I may as well strap a bomb on my back and head down to times square! Kabooom!

Its obscene, that even governments play this fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544557)

Almost 15 years ago, people complained about the 2 digit years. Soon their after, people pointed out a potential errors that could result from the continous use of it... showing that they weren't mere "shortcuts", but also a lack of design insight. But on top of that, people have let fraud salespeople sell them y2k solutions... like the idiots we laugh at, in books, that were sold the statue of liberty... by guys, who didn't just sell the statue of liberty to 'one' person, but to several.

Re:I agree, but . . . Re:Hype (0)

infojack (25600) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544558)

you have angered god, somehow.. not sure how.. , but now you must pay! and since god is a base 10 organism the year 2000 is the best date to pick, good thing he's not a base 8 creature or most people wouldn't know which year to be scared on.

Re:US OK, but what about the rest of the world? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544559)

Ya i've wondered about this too; esp countries who's economies we might depend on. Which is why i said earlier in the week too much interdependances could be bad. Hopefully other countries took it seriously tho.

Re:But what if they're just SAYING that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544560)

Glad i'm not the only one worried about that =) (he says in a half laugh, have nervous voice).

hahahahahaha. (0)

Spirilis (3338) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544561)

*insert-insane-laughter-here* I HAD to make that my /etc/motd :-)

Re:US OK, but what about the rest of the world? (1)

SPLurge (113214) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544562)

I'll have to concur with you about the medical equipment. I don't really see a big problem with datestamping X-Ray's. Even if the function became unusable, how exspensive would it be to use good old masking tape?

Red Cross (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544563)

The Red Cross is telling everyone it's no big deal, just do your normal week's shopping, and fergitaboutit.

Still, those 911 systems give me pause. Pueblo, CO tested theirs, and discovered it won't work. Could you imagine what would happen in LA if E911 didn't work? Why, it'd be riots, just like the R.King thing.

That's what worries me. That, and international shipping, and those darned electronic switches on our railroads, and maybe the RAM valves in each of our oil wells, and the Saudi oil distribution system, and our totally decrepit oil refineries, and the 30,000 different computer systems in the IRS, and and ...

i heard something... (1)

cinchel (49321) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544564)

...about the rest of the world, i was talking to my father in law about Y2k and he was telling me: (qoute from email)

What I was saying was that there are a number of countries (probably 100 to 110) who have no preparation for Y2K and that this would result in those countries going on manual status at the first of the year until computer concerns could be solved (about $200 billion worth in the next year). Amongst those are some that have missles in silos. Now, we think of hackers in the U.S. as being guys looking to be either a nuisance or to make a quick buck. But what if a terrorist organization decided to hack into one of these computers and launch a missle. Probably be easier than hacking into your home computer. Arming the warhead would be more difficult since they use mostly input codes, but a launch would send a message that they were not to be trifled with. Possible targets include: China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel.

i never thought of this before but it seems very likely.

What me worry? (1)

Enmity_qXp (112246) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544565)

power outages, atm machines gone crazy, sewage treatment plants overflowing.... yadda yadda yadda. In my building the worst thing that may happen is the desktops will think its 1900 (until i go around and manually set them)

lets face it kids, y2k is just big media hype.

i was doing research into y2k issues with our suppliers and one had a very simple policy:

"No matter what happens on January 1st, we will still be able to bill you. Pencil and paper made it through the last millenium change, and we see no reason to think this one will be different."

this my friends is a good policy.

I tend to agree (4)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544566)

Massive power grid failure seems unlikely; ditto for banks falling apart altogether as well as for the nukes.

There may be some problems in third world nations where they may have gotten some old System 34/36 systems shipped in, that will burn up on Jan 1st, but if they're just barely automated, stepping back to non-computerized methods isn't liable to be that much of a problem.

I am a bit less worried about the "people" problem.

  • There have been fewer religious "millennial paranoia" movements than I expected (and I was anticipating there to be some. [] ). Yes, there are crackpots. But they've been remarkably quiet.
  • The serious crackpots are going to all load up with guns, and head to a deserted spot in Montana.

    Ed Yourdon says so :-). []

    Supposing thousands of crazed lunatics head, heavily armed, to Montana next month. What's likely to happen? They're liable to accidentally shoot each other. This might make next year's Darwin Awards [] as one of the dumbest things of 1999.

  • I agree with Yourdon's assessment that New York City is liable to be a bad place to be on New Year's Eve; if you put vast numbers of partiers wanting to hold "the blowout of the millennium" in one spot, problems are a given.

Why it's not gonna be a big deal. (1)

Bwah (3970) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544567)

The systems people are SCARED about crashing are mostly embedded.

While not all embedded systems operate in the manner I'm about to describe, lots do.

Basically they use a clock that is just a counter (like the UNIX system clock) and reset at convient times. For example heavy machines. You have to PM the machine every so often. When you perform the maintenance procedure you reset the clock. When the machine detects a certain clock value, it shuts itself down to prevent damage due to lack of maintenance.

Note that the date doesn't matter. It's a trivial example, but very very common. More so than using a data cause it's easier (read as SMALLER) to code .


Found real problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544568)

I worked on my churches y2k committe and we surveyed all our equipment. We found 3 problems:

1. the computers (which have been properly upgraded and software upgraded)

2. the phone system which had to be replaced because it would have totally failed Jan 1, 1999

3. the Alarm system, which has date features we don't use, so it doesn't get updated until after Jan 1, when the alarm company has time to do it.

If we had ignored it, it would *not* have been the end of the world, but pretty inconvient.

A lot of opinions with little facts (3)

fizzz (30154) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544569)

The impression I most often get whenever I hear about the Y2K bugs that'll bring the end of the world is that whoever is talking has no idea what they're talking about (or, even worse, they have no idea what their sources are talking about).

Still, as a CS grad, I have a pretty good idea how it must feel trying to convince someone, and oneself, that a complete (to be defined) system will behave exactly as it should in less then 2 months. I mean, if I spend hours debugging code I write because it's behavior is erratic, I'm not sure I'd like to prove (to be defined) that someone else's code will not display a behavior I can't predict (this is probably a NP problem :-)) ...

Generally, I think the world will keep on spinning and most people will encounter, over the next few months (if not years), a few instances of the problem (be it a VCR not working or a credit card refused). But in no way will humanity crash. Worst case, there'll be a few extreme cases with serious consequences (say a plane crashing or my town lacking electricity in the middle of winter for two weeks, which some will remember living through a few years back) on which all the medias will be glued for 1~2 weeks before everybody agrees it was a sad and predictable thing; and then forgets about it.

I strongly doubt that statistically speaking the Y2K will have a major impact on the number of deaths in 2000 or cost more to any government then recent natural disasters (be it flood, hurricanes, earthquakes).

Remember that this year we've had a few hurricanes in north america and in Asia, major earthquakes in Turkey, Greece and Taiwan, incredible floods in south america and Asia, ... Good luck convincing me that the Y2K bug can cause more damage (financially, emotionnaly, etc. ) then any of these.

However, no matter my rambling, we'll only know for sure in a few months (say a year or two at max for all major repercussions to show up).

P.S. #1: This is of course only my opinion. There are probably some readers who actually made a living out of fixing such problems. I'd be very interested in reading their opinions.

P.S. #2: Of course, I won't be able to live with myself if Slashdot doesn't load up at midnight... :-)

Y2K AOK? I don't think so. (2)

CentrX (50629) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544570)

Although I must say that it has been definitely blown out of proportion, the whole Y2K issue is not to be taken lightly. Countries are very reliant on eachother and any problems in one country can affect many other countries. Apparently, the national governments of Western countries have readied themselves appropriately and well. However, the governments of other nations do not seem so well prepared. Russia, the Ukraine, Indonesia, and China are all unprepared for Y2K. The CIA and the State Department predict that these countries may suffer "significant failures." The State Department plans to withdraw government employees [] and their families from Russia and three ex-Soviet states on concerns over Y2K problems. These countries cannot be ignored. State and local governments (in the U.S.) are also have problems preparing for Y2K. Many of the nation's emergency call centers are not prepared [] for the Y2K turnover. Also, some states are not prepared for the Y2K design defect, Alabama, for one, that just over half of its systems are prepared for the Year 2000 (article [] ). This is certainly not an issue that can be taken lightly. Some people tend to think that, because something is on television so often, it must be just hype (most of it is). Sometimes it's not. Not to worry though, I'm sure that we will come out OK, as that is always the believe of the mob.
Chris Hagar

somewhere between hope and hype (1)

ShinGouki (12500) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544571)

ok, the title's cheezy, so what :P

i'd have to say that while most people hope that the changeover goes through without a hitch, yet EVERYONE seems intent on the fact that the world's gonna end, i'd have to say in reality it's probably somewhere mildly in between the two.

no, planes probably won't fall out of the sky and no, the electrical cord on your toaster won't try to strangle you without provocation.

most probably, you'll see a few hours of power outages in random places depending on the readiness of your local power company. isp's probably will have a little trouble (at least the lazy ones who refuse to upgrade their software ;P) and a myriad of other little things may go wrong but nothing really catastrophic, in the states at least.

the only major fear that i'd express is the thought that some countries (mostly russia) that have nuclear capabilities, but may not have the funding necessary to get everything cleared up by jan. 1st and as such could possibly experience some scary situations. but at the last i really cannot say how worried we should be about something like this since i, for one, have absolutely no idea what the state of readiness is in these countries.

but like i said, for the most part, lots of little things should go wrong...just annoying stuff that we don't have the time nor the temperment to fix yet, there's the possibility for a massive disaster of apocolyptic scale, but i, for one, will assume that it's a slim possibility...mostly because there's not a damn thing i can do about it and it'll help me sleep better in the later days of december if i'm not worried about russia's government computer systems accidentally blanketing the states with nukes on jan. 1st...not to mention, i'm also assuming that this is one of those "high priority" items that they probably got started on fairly early :)


What's the Big Deal? (2)

mochaone (59034) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544572)

I've alreadk implemented mk K2Y changes. Whk are kou people still kelling about this stork?

Re:US OK, but what about the rest of the world? (2)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544573)

Well, if anything, we out here in the rest of the world simply are not as desperately in need of a little apocalyptic action as you Americans are. Unlike you, this is not our first Millenia change, and while we had quite a good time shouting about the end of the world last time, we are now taking the cool approach. In general, everyone seems to agree that you Americans with your bunkers, canned beans, spam, and weeks of drinking water are, well, funny.

Most people here seem only moderately cautious. While the consensus seems to be against flying (who wants to be on a fucking airplane anyways?) I haven't heard anyone seriously worry about anything else. Partially I think its because we are less dependant on our machines (we don't eat out when our dishwashers break for example), and partially because we have a more rational approach to life (in general: you have to admit there are more crazy people ala militias, abductees, heelers etc in the US).

Also, I think because the idea of machines is less embedded in our culture and our psychee, to the extent that our mass psychology does seek an apocalyptic event to end the millenia, we are less likely to read it into a few computer failures.

We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.

Re:My thoughts? (1)

apathetic (71190) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544574)

sorry any nuke coming at us won't be able to be shot down in time, remember the discussion awhile ago about the ABM treaty, no NMD (nuclear missle defence) for the us, even if we did the testing is like less then 1/7 and that was with nukes with a know tradjectory (sp?). feel real safe eh? shouldn't matter, the us and russia share (norad's i think) nuclear missle detection system.

Re:Y2k is so way too bogus .... (1)

OneThreeSeven (101738) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544575)

ITS at work made us all upgrade our suns to make the 'y2k compliant'

Look at the bright side. At leas you got a new workstation!

No, there IS reality to it. (2)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544576)

There are systems that would "blow up" if remediation work wasn't done; the famed "billions of lines" of COBOL [] code, for instance.

You may not see any of this on UNIX systems where the "problem date" is in 2038; that does not diminish that there are huge quantities of "bespoke" applications, custom software written for this department or that within companies, where the code has stayed running far longer than it was designed for.

Linux may not have much of a ``Y2K problem;'' [] there are a whole lot of database-oriented and COBOL-oriented applications that do, or (hopefully by this point) did.

Y2K -is- a problem - for Gnu Software and others. (4)

Parity (12797) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544577)

I think that the GNU Y2K readiness list [] is a bit disturbing. CVS-1.8 and 1.9 are not ready, and no newer version is listed as having been tested. Groff is not ready... ouch...

I also fully expect that there will be major and expensive breakdowns of computer systems. There is far too much stupid code out there being relied on. I had the same reflex as nearly every programmer... 'Ahh, it won't matter except for silly things like sorting your checkbook by date.' I still don't really know -why- it matters, but when people have done readiness-testing (setting the date to Dec. 31, 1999 and watching it rollover) computer equipment has done things like stop a power plant from working. Why? Probably some linkage between database functions and power functions. Or a failure in a cron-like system. Who knows.

As programmers we think it's 'obvious' that it isn't 'really' a problem. But it is a problem. It's just like when it's 'obvious' that it can't be -your- code that introduced the bug... until you step through it with a debugger and realize that it is. You can argue until you're blue in the face about why it shouldn't be a problem, but the empirical evidence disagrees.

Well, Lawyers, Liars and Perl [] gives a better explanation of why there are Y2K issues even in modern code better than I can do.


Gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544578)

Im still waiting from a statement from Al Gore on the y2k readiness of his personal code. _UF

Ultimate Y2K Solution (1)

OneThreeSeven (101738) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544579)



bamk notice (1)

nuttyprofessor (83282) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544580)

Last year I received a notice from my bank
that said:

"Our goal is to ensure that January 2, 2000
is just another business day for Bank of X."

Anyone see the problem with this statement?
Needless to say, I no longer bank there.

Too much hype (1)

Gurlia (110988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544581)

Y2K reminds of M$ marketing: way too much hype, but when it comes, there's nothing much to it. :-)

I'm not ignorant of the possibility of problems, but I don't think anything major will happen. Much like M$ promises with each new release of winbloxe to revolutionize the way we compute. Well, the winbloxes came and went, and the world still went on as before.

Sources of information (1)

lanner (107308) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544582)

I just love the places that we are picking up all of our information -- from politicians, priests, news agencies, and he with the many guns.

Every company is entity different. Some are smart, some are dumb, that is just the way that it is.

I know of one little Phoenix company that is going to have Y2K problems serious enough that I really think they will go under within one months time. The problem is that they were not willing to pay for qualified IT personnel. My manager and myself jumped ship when they could just not meet salary demands and we got tired of trying to fix all of the old equiptment and systems. Such is life.

Re:My thoughts? (1)

BlackSol (26036) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544583)

I too am afraid of the public. With all the hype in the media about Y2K and banks losing money, people may choose to withdraw large sums of money out of banks and stocks.

I feel this may have devisitating economical implications. Imagine the losses as the stock market goes down and the banks have no money.

One important fact remains... (1)

ElDaveo (90306) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544584)

One thing that came out of this report (or related research... I don't remember) is that only 50% of the US 9-1-1 systems have passed Y2K readiness tests. The idea that half of the country will be relying on a "fix on fail" philosophy for emergency services kinda sends a shiver up my spine.

Developed World OK, Third World, Not (2)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544585)

Other countries that have highly developed information systems, such as Canada, the UK, Germany, France, ... are likely in a similar position to the United States. Some exposures, to be sure, but also some significant competence to cope with it.

The places that are more likely to have problems are "Developing" nations in Africa and Asia, as they lack the expertise to grapple with the bugs.

On the other hand, those "underprepared" nations are simultaneously new to automation, and may have relatively few truly critical automated systems. If they have to move back to pen and paper, it's not that huge a leap, as computing was new anyways.

Note as well that multinational companies have contributed to Y2K infrastructures in many such places; after all, if Nike can't get shoes shipped out of Thailand, they can't sell them to US consumers. That makes it worthwhile for Nike to invest in the Thai infrastructure. (Names picked arbitrarily... I don't know if Nike has many factories in Thailand...)

Small Business (1)

Xenu (21845) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544586)

I am worried that many small businesses will discover that their accounting software isn't Y2K compliant and go bankrupt due to cash flow problems before they can fix their systems.

There are a lot of software packages installed over the past 20 years that are tailored for specific types of businesses and were sold and installed by consultants/companies who may not be around anymore.

These small businesses do not have a technical staff and probably do not have the source code for their applications.

What do they do when they try to generate the invoices for 2000-01 and the system croaks? I've heard of complete databases being lost due to Y2K problems and the inability to extract and migrate the data to a Y2K compliant database.

Re:i heard something... (1)

Godevin (88959) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544587)

But what if a terrorist organization decided to hack into one of these computers and launch a missle. Probably be easier than hacking into your home computer.

Of course, of course. Because, as we all know, those computer are on the Internet. Why wouldn't they be? :)

3rd world? Try Italy. (1)

ElDaveo (90306) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544588)

The Italian government first recognized Y2K as a potential problem *very* late in the game. I would not be surprised if they, along with other European countries, suffer moderate disruptions due to their failure to recognize this problem.

Oh, and... (2)

Parity (12797) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544589)

To reply to myself, I also think that any Y2K
problems will be resolved within a week or two.
It may cost some expensive consulting hours, but
it'll get done.


Re:Found real problems (1)

shogun (657) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544590)

2. the phone system which had to be replaced because it would have totally failed Jan 1, 1999

Can you please explain why the system would have failed at the start of this year? Too many 9's in the year string?

Think Globally, Act Stupidly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544591)

I've been following the Y2K stuff pretty closely, and it looks to me like we can expect "minor" disruptions in many services, off and on through the 1st quarter of 2000. It will be worse than it has to be, because it's a lot cheaper to lie than to prepare.

What really worries me, is the impact on international economics, when a few major ports and refineries go down. Not only will some systems lock up unpredictably after Jan 1, accidents will probably become a lot more frequent. And I also expect that more than a few revolutionary and insurgent groups are primed and waiting to capitalize on these instabilities, in areas where there is already trouble.

I would really be surprised, if we don't see the already too-fragile global economy go through a depression next year, of suficient depth to seriously affect U.S. commodity prices and employment figures.

The one scenario that I can not see as viable, is the happy happy joy joy one, where nothing at all happens. That would be nice, but I'm afraid its just a little tooo conveenient.

Y2K is a joke in your town... (1)

imac.usr (58845) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544592)

(apologies to Flavor Flav)

Well, of the dozen or so computers in my house, all are either running Linux, NetBSD, Mac OS X Server, or Mac OS, so I think I'm covered. Only one machine is a concern, an ancient 486 whose motherboard may or may not be ready, but if it fails, I can always pick up a newer and faster board on ebay. In other words, no biggie.

At the National Institutes of Health (where I work), the local newsletter featured comments by scientists asked about their Y2K readiness. Most basically said "I'm busy researching something, don't bug me with this meaningless problem." Sigh...

IIRC, there was an article a couple of years ago comparing the estimated costs of fixing the Y2K "bug" versus the estimated cost of using an extra two bytes in all that source code over the years (in terms of storage and complexity), and found that by doing it all now, we're still saving money. Go figure.

Re:Y2K -is- a problem - groff (2)

Bobort (289) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544593)

It really sucks that groff isn't y2k-ready. I'm curious as to how it fails--if it stops working altogether (unlikely, I presume) then nobody will be able to read man pages.... If it just screws up and gets the date wrong when you tell it to print the date, that's kind of annoying but hardly serious.

It would be nice if they had more detailed descriptions of the problems with the 'not ready' stuff.

Hmmm (1)

Crowdpleazr1 (80140) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544594)

Well, I spent a considerable amount of time making sure that Ameritech (midwest baby Bell) could have a phone ordering system that was Y2K compliant. In many cases people's phones would have been cut off because the system would have assumed that they had not paid for their service. So not preparing for it is stupid if you are a programmer type. Hardware people have considerably less to worry about, but should still be double checking with their vendors and updating their firmware/software just in case.

The guy heading up our Y2K readiness at Ameritech had a friend in a Fortune500 company that said that they were completely cutting off their French branch and redirecting their customers in that area because the managers of that office refused to do Y2K testing. Supposedly, that office was being isolated on the company WAN and as soon as something wrong happened there, all management was going to be fired. The reason? Extensive testing in other branches proved that customers would not get proper service without Y2K software fixes. Don't know how true that story is, but it's still something to think about.

No big problems. Lots of little ones. (1)

qrshag (110622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544595)

That's the gist of the latest quote I heard from the guy who's heading up Y2K stuff for whatever branch of the UN is dealing with it. (This is someone in the US, who's got decent credibility and a clue). The basic idea is that nothing catastrophic happens, but lots of teeny tiny little things go wrong, resulting in about the same amount of grief and annoyance as if one really big one had happened - and requiring a lot more things to be fixed.

I'm inclined to believe that. I'm not inclined to believe people who say that nothing will happen - things have been breaking due to Y2K problems for literally years (remember when credit card companies first started issuing cards with expiration dates of 2000?) and I see no reason that things would abruptly *stop* breaking on 01/01/00. :) But I'm not inclined to believe that it'll be the end of the universe either. The truth almost always falls between the two extremes.

So, what to do about it? Yeah, I'll probably try to stock up a little bit on food and toilet paper and stuff like that. Having successfully met our goal of moving to a tropical island *before* Y2K, my wife and I aren't worried about the heat going off (there isn't any, nor is there air conditioning; we don't need it) or things like that. Utilities? Hmmm. That spiffy new RADSL hookup we're getting might have a bad day, but that's all new technology and should work if there's power. Transportation? Dunno. The buses might have some trouble, sure, but our bicycles shouldn't undergo any sort of SMEF.*

So I'm about as concerned as I'd be if a hurricane were coming. But not a whole lot more. And I don't have to work that day - our servers are colocated on the mainland, and if anything breaks, there's nothing anybody here on the island can do about it, so there's no point in coming in. :)

*Sudden Massive Existence Failure. From Douglas Adams' "Starship Titanic."

A few words if I may... (1)

HamNRye (20218) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544596)

As a contractor who works on a lot of Gov't projects, I will say as little as possible and still try to get my point across.

IRS/Social Security: Half of the Y2K testing that they claim to have completed, they haven't. If you plan on starting benefits in Jan. or Feb., 2000, I would make a point of getting a statement of earnings before Dec. 15. This can be used to help them manually determine the benefit amount that you should recieve. If you already recieve benefits, there should be no change. If nothing else they can manually write checks for the amout you got last month. They have quite a few COBOL systems that have not yet been updated.

Power: Well, here it runs on linux for the routers, and the program was written in '97. Power is A'ok.

Military Systems: They've never had those machines right. I mean Geez! How many Script Kiddies can you allow into a place before you fix the statd vulnerability???? But on the bright side, all systems attached to big weapons have major failsafes. Of course there might be a problem or two that may make some things difficult to fire, but I shall say no more.

Well, those systems are the only ones I know about. But the basic premise is "Keep the higgeldy piggeldy out of the parlor". In english? Sure. If there's going to be a mess, do it where the people won't see. We have been told that the front line systems are the priority, but of course they won't run without the mainframes...

I'm just glad that this president is a better liar than the last one... My advice? Expect your government to get really inconvenient for about 3-4 months. "I'm from the government, and I'm here to borrow your laptop...."


"And in time, we won't even recall that we spoke
Words that turned out to be as big as smoke
As smoke disappears in the air
But there's always something smouldering somewhere."
~Declan MacManus

Re:My thoughts? (1)

BigBaldGuy (71082) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544597)

Actually, we don't have a comprehensive missile defense system in place. There has been at least one test of a beam weapon designed to shoot missiles out of the sky seconds after launch, but actual deployment of that system is years off, if ever.

Having said that, the Russian and US missile commanders are setting up a joint command post of sorts in Colorado for the new year, and each side should be able to destroy its own errant rockets if the need arises. (Anyone with more knowledge care to talk about this?)

It's all about litigation (1)

vw_fan (113222) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544599)

I've been on a y2k project at a major manufacturer for the last year and a half. While I haven't seen many showstoppers, there have been some interesting bugs pop up. But the real impetus behind this whole thing is due diligence. Companies are more concerned with showing that they made an effort to correct bugs than actually fix them. That way, IF and when glitches occur next year, they can cover their butts when the lawsuits hit. Major catastrophes? Doubt it. Localized problems? Likely.

Worst Case Scenario (1)

Lord_Sloth (101482) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544600)

<RANT> "Oh no, the (pick appropriate option from list)[company/country/entire space-time continuum] is going to [explode/die/open a warp to an evil alternate universe] because we aren't Y2K complient" So your computer might [lock up/crash/return a wrong date value] over the changeover, so what, computers [lock up/crash/return wrong data] all the time anyway, normally it is a [bug in the code/SCU(Stupid Computer User)] that makes it happen, but one more Windows crash shouldn't worry you. Here I will make a Prophecy: If you are running Windows, your computer will crash on the 8th of Jan 2000 If you are running Windows I am probably right, your computer will crash, I know mine does, but thats hardly a reason to get into your bomb shelter, c'mon, be serious. </RANT>

Y2K Paranoia (1)

CrayDrygu (56003) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544601)

Some of it's valid. There are, indeed, programs out there which have a problem with the date.

My school has finally reached the last straw with their Y2K compliance paranoia. My AP Computer Science course (which, despite the title, seems to focus on programming) which is scheduled for next term may be cancelled, because the version of the Borland C compiler they have is so old, Borland won't even test it for Y2K compliance.

Now, from what I understand, there shouldn't even be an issue here. Except maybe for date functions within the language, a compiler shouldn't have any Y2K issues. They just don't care about the date! And if a program you compile with it has Y2K issues, that's *your* problem, not the compiler's.

They think they can get away with cancelling it because there's only 9 kids in the course. If they do, well... they'll have to deal with 9 very irate kids.

Y2K fears, thank god we're ready... (1)

schematic (2337) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544602)

I don't know about you, but it has always been my personal belief that when Y2K comes 'round, the computers aren't gonna be pleased. I think the world's computer systems will become very angry that they do not work right any more and will cause havok and suffering for all of humanity. I'm very glad that the US is ready, but let us hope our computers aren't persuaded into war by foriegn countries. (Peer pressure is damn tough)

As you see, we are doomed to live our lives out carefully plodding our steps as to not piss off our computers. If we screw things up, the systems we have so painstakingly created might get pissed off and kill us all. Who knows, maybe the BSoD is just a computer poking fun with the user to relieve stress... The world may never know.

(In case you couldnt tell, I was _JOKING_. No reader of /. would be stupid enough to actually believe this anyway)

Why Y2K might be scary (But I'm not afraid) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544603)

A lot of people think that Y2K is scary because software might have bugs. But the software engineers among us know that ALL software has bugs, in every field, all the time. Thus, some people aren't that frightened.

The problem with Y2K is that you might have a convergence of bugs; many systems experiencing a bug at nearly the same instance. Maybe you should be a little afraid...

We've all seen software bugs do all sorts of bad things. We've seen bugs take down chunks of the power grid. Sure, it sucks, but we got over it. Now, throw the phone system going down at the same time. Things look worse. Throw in vendor-supply bugs for the necessary fixes. Worse still.

However, everyone's been so spooked by Y2K that a lot of the potential problems are fixed. Even if very real problems do exist and do happen, they won't be much worse than the latest bug on comp.risks.

Re:US OK, but what about the rest of the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544604)

I have found the easiest way to combat BS is to call it so.

This is BS. Pure BS.

the Y2K problem (1)

keil (83681) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544605)

The real problem is that the people who created the problem, the ones writing books and giving lecture series, will have to find new work. And the newspapers and evening news will have to find a new ongoing story. I think we need a poll for the next big thing. Eurodollar? Abnormal weather patterns?

... keil

Why2K? Who 2 Kares? (1)

mykey2k (42851) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544606)

I just don't get all the people buying pure unadulterated shit from purely fanatical magazines chock full of COLT, GLOCK and other gun ads, not to mention the pre-fab bunkers that are both above ground and below ground for a whole lot of money.

Me? I purely don't care. I don't care. I don't care. Ask me if I care, and I'll say no.

Think I care? Screw it. If the world ends, it ends. We all got to die someday -- might as well have some company!

Let people kill themselves in the streets due to mass stupidity and people guarding their land. They're the ones not Y2K compliant playing like 1800 or 1900 in the Western USA and not 2000.

I still don't care.

Prepare? It's winter here and we get snow often. I go shopping once a week. It's not like I'll have a month of food on hand, but a week, just like the week before, and the week before that and next week and the week after...

Who cares? I sure don't.



Re:Y2K -is- a problem - for Gnu Software and other (1)

/dev/kev (9760) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544607)

CVS-1.8 and 1.9 are not ready, and no newer version is listed as having been tested.

Uhhh, cvs 1.10 is listed there as "claimed OK".

IMHO, the most worrying are fileutils 3.16 and 4.0 and gawk 3.0.3, which are "mostly okay". I use both of these things on a daily basis (esp. fileutils), and while gawk has the later version 3.0.4, only 3.0.0 is listed as okay and 3.0.3 is still in common circulation.

Most of the not okay list isn't too bad, I think, but only just - groff and g77 worry me the most...

cmu y2k (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544608)

I personally never gave much though to y2k until I saw an email from a member of the cmu faculty listing the "y2k procedures" for campus. Interestingly, if you want to be on campus from 1/1/0000 to 1/3/0000 you must deal with roaming security officers that will be checking badges to assure you are supposed to be there. Makes me wonder what they'll be doing at the SEI :)

Re: CVS (2)

Parity (12797) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544609)

Uhm, oops. My bad. I did a 'find in page' but I guess I did it wrong, case sensitively or something. Good to know that CVS 1.10 is fixed. I kinda figured CVS would get prioritized by someone anyway. :)


we're not REALLY doing that well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544610)

No y2k problems left? hah! You know how the gov't makes y2k progress? They reclassify their non-compliant servers as non-critical, thus creating the illusion of progress. ex: "last month we were 75% done, now we're 95% done" (change in percent due to not counting old, non-compliant servers)

Here's the truth:

Sr. PR exec to press: "we're 100% y2k and have been for months"

Sr. Manager to manager: "I already told the VP we're yk2. Make sure we are"
Manager: "ok"

Manager to IT staff: "I already told the Sr. Manager we're y2k. Make sure we are"
IT Staff: "Are we getting any additional staffing to help fix y2k problems?"
Manager: "NO"

IT staff to IT staff: "we've got lots of y2k work to do, and I'm afraid to touch anything on old server x, that thing's such an obsolete, out of date, hacked-up mess!"

Y2K: The Burning Building (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544611)

The same programmers and IS professionals who are stockpiling food, buying guns, and building survival shelters in the wilderness are the only people who raise the fears of Y2K disasters. Those people who are closely related to fixing the problems are only aiding the general public in rationalizing their Y2K fears. If you saw a firefighter running away from a burning building, would you want to be anywhere within 1000 yards of said burning building? I didn't think so...

the real problem (1)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544612)

we are a virus with shoes.
you and i and that weirdo over there are the real potential problem.

Re:No, there IS reality to it. (2)

taniwha (70410) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544613)

I agree that there are real Y2K problems (and other end-of-epoch problems like 2038) - my point was that the Y2K panic has gotten way out hand - to the point where it's causing more impact that any real bugs are likely to

However we should be putting our efforts into places where the effects of potential bugs are large compared with the costs of stopping them - for example life-critical systems (hospital stuff, air traffic control etc), places where companies might lose large amounts of money or get sued (banks) etc etc

Y2K-like bugs have been with us since there have been computers - at least 10 years ago I read a news article about a little old lady of 105 who got a note from her local elementary school suggesting that now was the time to enroll ....

Re:US OK, but what about the rest of the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544614)

I found the easiest way to combat BS is to call it so.

This is BS. Pure BS.

If things were *not* OK... would they admit it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544615)

Just something to think about.

What will happen on Y2K (1)

drivers (45076) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544616)

What will happen on Y2K, I promise!

Windows NT and Windows 95, and 98, as well as Macintosh computers, will occasionally crash for no apparent reason

Loading web pages may time out, or report 404 not found errors, other times it will be slow

You may get busy signals attempting to call AOL

Your 40X CDROM drive may fail to read at 40 times regular speeds

USENET will be flooded with SPAM

Airlines will lose some customers' luggage

The Postal Service could mix up your mail with your neighbor's

Beanie Babies and Pokemon shortages are expected leading up to Y2K

Millions of people will not show up to work on January 1st!

Many businesses will not even open

:) - for the humor impaired

Stuff like this scares me. 911 system NOT ready! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544617)

Here in Las Vegas, the Clark County commission just announced yesterday that the 911 system may (i.e. "we have no clue") have problems because it has been found not to be Y2K compliant. Gee, thanks. They waited until November 1999 to discover this. Way to go. I wonder who else is sitting on bad news until the last second; or who simply will never disclose that things are gonna break until it happens? I'm preparing for what I expect to be many many small inconveniences which will all add up to a collective big headache.

Re:Hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544618)

That's odd; by my calcuations, we've still got -1186.5 months to go...

Re:Your world is going to end (1)

L0rdJedi (65690) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544619)

I can't say that I've prepared very well yet, but a friend of mine has. He's very worried that bad things are going to happen (such as riots). He's stocked up on guns, ammo, food, water, and medical supplies. If nothing happens, he'll go on with his life. But, if something does happen, he will be the most prepared out of all the people I know (at least right now, I plan on getting stuff together this month).

Better safe than sorry.

it's impossible to tell (1)

Coolfish (69926) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544620)

Anyone who knows anything about computers knows this: computers are complicated. Computer systems are so damn complicated, no one in the world can understand one completely. It's impossible to predict, then, just what exactly will happen to hundreds of thousands of computer systems all over the world. It could be just a fart, it could be more. We'll just have to wait and see.

Re:Your world is going to end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544621)

Well, I do love to cook. Really, I *love* to cook. All of my girlfriends have gained weight. All of them warned my wife about it and she is still within ten pounds of the weight she was when we met. Unsurprisingly, I love the stuff that goes with cooking -- I think that breweries are really interesting, I am interested in food safety, I love nice, sharp knives, and I love cooking equipment. Know how Y2K is going to affect me? I think that next year I am going to be able to pick up a lot of canning/preserving equipment, grain mills, and pressure cookers for a song at garage sales around here! Perhaps some nice lanterns and camp stoves as well. If I am *quite* lucky, perhaps some black iron pots and ovens that I can give to my eldest son for cooking (he is headed in the right direction)!

I am not worried. I always have food and cash around (grew up in the Belgian Congo, then moved to Rhodesia)(yeah, smart, real smart), ditto with the heavy guns, and I can always do the cooking outside. And I live in Texas, where residential neighborhoods have more guns than small Central American countries, so I am not worried about riots, at all. Everyone on my street has already gotten together and made sure that everyone will know where everyone is (so that we can shoot any looters) and in case anyone needs CPR (only a few of us know it) and so on. Everyone is going to have a full tank of fuel and a month of medication and so on. I don't think that there will be any problem.

Re:Worst Case Scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544622)

Didn't like this "[ ]".

Re:bamk notice=~s/m/n/ (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544623)

"Our goal is to ensure that January 2, 2000 is just another business day for Bank of X."

Anyone see the problem with this statement?

I don't see the problem, and if you really closed your account because of that, I hope you didn't make a total fool of yourself by saying so to the teller.

IEEE's take on Y2K (1)

QuasEye (98125) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544624)

For the IEEE's (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering) appraisal of the Y2K situation, check here. [] Basically, it says that there's nothing serious to worry about, and since they're the authorities on this type of thing, I think I'll trust 'em.


Hard work and the "American Way" (1)

SpazAttak (104723) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544625)

"The report shows that our hard work in this country is paying off..."
I'm sorry.. did I miss something? Isn't it our laziness and complacency that got us into the whole Y2K mess in the first place; programmers without the forethought to consider the repurcusions (spelling?) of certain shortcuts and then not caring when the possibility of problems was pointed out to them? As I recall 10-20 yrs ago some ppl tried to make fuss about the exact same issue and it was quietly swept under the rug (I remember some news magazine reporting something to that effect.. don't have the source)

and one question: What makes us think that just because some of us (US ppl) were cutting corners and taking shortcuts, that the rest of the world (CNN ref. Mexico, Canada, Saudi-Arabia, China) were making the same mistakes?

Just curious...

Well, where I work.... (1)

sqrlbait5 (67782) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544626)

I'm sure our accounting software is nowhere near Y2K compatible. I took a look at the source code (written in Turbo PASCAL of all things) and from what I can tell the program only uses 2 digits for the year, so I'm going to make sure I'm far far out of town when everybody goes back to work the following monday. I let my boss, the crazy/luddite accounting lady know, and still nobody will pay me to fix the stupid program so guess what? I'm going to let it be Jan. 3rd and ask for double my current wages before I sit down with the crazy accounting lady and tell her why I have to rewrite her 15 year old program. It'll be a great day for a raise...kinda like the day I had the whole network unplugged while rewiring...oh well, it'll be interesting either way...

I see the problem ... (2)

fable2112 (46114) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544627)

1/2/2000 is a Sunday. Sundays usually aren't "business days" for the purposes of banking. 1/3/2000 or (more likely due to holiday) 1/4/2000 would have been OK as "just another business day," but if a bank can't read a calendar properly, I don't think I'd want to entrust my money to them either :P

What s/he meant... (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544628)

I think what they were saying is:

1. They meant January 1, not January 2.


2. January 1st is not a business day. (It's a Saturday).


Re:Why2K? Who 2 Kares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544629)

The shelter thing bugs me. I have an older house here in San Antonio. It was build by an Air Force major (? -- no one could recall and I wasn't interested in finding out for sure) who put in a proper shelter. As in eight feet or concrete sealed with tar in sand under a concrete cap and twenty feet of rubble. It has a well, a hand cranked air cleaner, an old generator that fired up after a little cleaning, and so on. I tossed out the K-rats when I got in. The house was not sold with this -- the guy died fifteen years ago and the last owners never pulled up the carpet. I did and found a door. Fiberglass -- bah! I think that I am ready for the second coming downstairs!

Re:Developed World OK, Third World, Not (2)

MillMan (85400) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544630)

3rd world? Are you kidding me? They're so desperate that this won't even have an impact, except for maybe the small elite in power. How many 3rd world countries even have electric power for more than 1% of the population? They're third world countries partly due to the fact that they have NO infrastructure to begin with!

So what if Nike's plants go down? The starving and unrespected workers won't have to work 12 hours a day for a few weeks?

Learning a Lesson (1)

mindstorm (105447) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544631)

Perhaps the whole Y2k issue should teach something about being humans. We fsck up. That's our nature. We are imperfect beings who are limited by our humanness. Only a higher being (if you believe in one) can be perfect.

Thus the things we create are limited by our humaness. Those who do not understand this are doomed to commit hubris repeatedly.

I'm just as much of a /. geek as the rest of us here. Friends accuse me of being a turbo nerd. But there are times when we get too wrapped up in the "coolness" of the technology we fail to see the global long-term effects.

But on a postive note: my best hope is if when the lights go out, and the beepers and wireless phones don't work, and the e-mail stops, people will redefine their relationship with technology and reconnect as human beings without the mediation of gadgets.

Oh, great... (2)

Millennium (2451) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544632)

You know what's even worse about that report? The title. What on Earth posessed someone to name it "Project Megiddo"?

If you're doing a project to combat violence by extremist apocalyptic religions, the LAST thing you want to do is give it a name which references any kind of apocalyptic scripture at all. That'll just get them even more frenzied ("See? Megiddo! It's happenning!") Were they trying to mock these religions? That would just piss them off more.

The world would be a lot better place if more people gave their actions just a little bit of thought before acting them out. Geez...

Wrong, wrong, wrongitty wrong wrong wrong! (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1544633)

The Apocolypse's horsemen will ride the earth.

NO. WRONG. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse will ride at Churchill Downs. Get your bets in early; Pestilence is a 20:1 long shot, but that's where my money is -- a word to the wise, eh? [wink]

WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

True, we are: Death by punctuation. It's a horrible fate.

Every computer, everywhere (except those running Linux or some other flavor of UNIX) will crash.

One word: BeOS. Their time_t is 64 bits, and it always was.

The Antichrist will come.

The Antichrist lives in the apartment next to mine. She listens to Annie very loudly: "TAH-MAH-RAH. TAH-MAH-RAH. AH LUV YA. TAH-MAH-RAH." I am a peaceful and God-fearing man, but this woman must be assassinated. NOW.

The Messiah will come, but it will turn out he has no power

The Messiah is already here. His name is Wayne Coyne, and he leads a small but powerful coterie of saviors known as the Flaming Lips. They RULE, my friend.

Re:Y2K -is- a problem - for Gnu Software and other (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 14 years ago | (#1544634)

Possibly a divide by 0?

Somewhere in the code it may divide something by the time, which it translates to 0. This is sometimes why whacky stuff occurs.
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