Can we change time? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Since time is truely relevant, is it possible to perform a coordinated 1-2 year time "setback" something like daylight savings time is changed? This would allow additional time to resolve this problem and avert a potential "meltdown".

-- Darrell W. Barber (, March 12, 1998


I had read a suggestion some time ago from New Zealand I believe that we should turn the clocks back to 1976 as that would keep the days and leap years in sync. I thought it was a great idea. Unfortunately it doesn't answer the problem of the embedded chips. It also messes up calculations requiring dates - such as how old are you? how much time left on your mortgage? and so on.

I think it could be used on non-critical systems to buy some time to fix those later. (But knowing most businesses they would wait the 28 years and run into the problem again)

-- Rebecca Kutcher (, March 12, 1998.

If we "rollback" two years, then how do we know how old anyone born in 1998 is? After all, there would then be 2 1998's? When would they eligible for: a) school? b) retirement benefits? c) driver's licenses? d) voting? e) pretty much anything else age driven?

That's just one problem, but it's a big enough one to keep a "rollback" from being a viable option.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, March 18, 1998.

For some computer systems, it turns out that rolling the clock back 28 years will work -- because the pattern of leap years and days-of-the-week repeats every 28 years. However, this requires extra "bridge" software on the input and output "boundaries" of a computer system, in order to translate "real" dates back and forth to the "minus-28" time where the computer is doing most of its processing. Also, there are various situations where the strategy won't work at all ... and most of all, it's generally not relevant for the billions of embedded systems that we've installed in manufacturing process lines, oil rigs, nuclear reactors, satellites, VCR's, etc etc etc

-- Ed Yourdo (, March 18, 1998.

Something that might be worth considering is adding a 13th month to 1999. That should still allow comparisons involving dates to give proper results. The only problem would be if the software does edit checks which do not allow months outside the 1-12 range. The months could be extended right up to 99, allowing more time for fixes. Let's use our imaginations instead of freaking.

-- Amy Leone (, June 26, 1998.

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