Will Bill Gates come to the rescue?

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Someone mentioned that in the last "moments" of the situation that A Bill Gates or other IT guru will come to the rescue with some system that can be installed at nominal fee which will solve the theY2K problem. What is the chance of this happening?Thank you.

-- John R. McLellan (jrmc1@ibm.net), August 27, 1998


In a word: zero.

"The Y2K bug!" is inaccurate. There are bazillions of Y2K bugs in myriad systems, with nothing in common other than that they revolve around mis-handling of dates on or after 1/1/2000. The only fix is for a human being to read the code, spot the errors, and correct them. In almost all cases doing so is trivial -- but there are so many bugs and so much code that it's inevitable that some will be missed, especially since many organisations haven't even started yet!


-- Nigel Arnot (nra@maxwell.ph.kcl.ac.uk), August 27, 1998.

The best thing we can do with silver bullets is to melt them down and use them as currency.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), August 27, 1998.

Bill Gates is a big fat idiot who got rich by stealing great ideas from other people. I watched an interesting show about this last year on PBS, dealing with the history of computers. The odds of Gates coming up with a silver bullet are ZERO!! He deserves what he is getting from the Federal Govt.

-- Harold (harry@back.com), August 27, 1998.

Let's see.........

Windows 95 is non-compliant, so are a lot of other products

Windows 98 is not only non-compliant, but appears to have an annual roll-over problem -- not really severe, but it certainly shows that Microsoft isn't paying a lot of attention.

I just spent a few hours downloading patches to Outlook Express and IE 4.0 to plug up security holes. (found by other people, of course)

Bill Gates? Nah, I don't think so.

A good short sell?

-- rocky knolls (rknolls@hotmail.com), August 27, 1998.

This isn't Bill Gate's problem. It isn't his to solve - and there's no way he could do it anyway. He's having a hard enough time trying to bring all of the Microsoft products into compliance - let alone worry about the rest of the world.

-- Chana Campos (chana@campos.org), August 27, 1998.

Why is it that people that post the most obnoxious childish blather on Yourdon's forum have never read Yourdon's book? They just don't get it.

Dearest Harold, while name calling and insulting seem to be in vogue in the pop media, your statement about Gates and silver bullets is absurd. It is true that Bill Gates chances of developing a silver bullet are near zero. I would suspect that your chances of developing a silver bullet are vastly closer to zero than Bill's.

The chances of any person, team or comapny developing a silver bullet are close to zero due to the fact that the Y2K problem has so many different types of problems(CPU, OS, software, chips, clocks, etc.). It would be like asking somebody to create a single handheld medical device that will kill all unwanted bacteria, fungi, and viruses (leaving benificial bacteria alone), set broken bones, heal burned skin, re-attach retinas, do CAT scans, remove excessive ear wax, and preform breast augmentations.

Grow up and contribute something positive if you are capable of that.

-- R. Watt (rkwatt@hotmail.com), August 27, 1998.

If Bill Gates comes through and fixes Y2K he really _is_ the antichrist.

Send all flames to antichrist@oneworld.com

Ok, so I'm not a comedian...

-- Pastor Chris (pastorchris@lifetel.com), August 27, 1998.

Oh for a second I thought you said "Wild Bill Gates to the rescue", to strains of the William Tell overture (or the Bill Tell overture) no doubt.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), August 27, 1998.

It is not my intention to flame Mr. Gates. He is in an interesting position and has used it in an interesting way. While it is true that Microsoft could never solve the year 2000 problem, it is also true that masses of people in America expect him to do or say something profound about the year 2000 crisis. He could have told people how difficult it would be to get businesses year 2000 compliant. Instead he has (until quite recently) laughed off the year 2000 problem as "trivial" when asked about it.

Soon, small businesses across America and around the world will realize they are doomed and have very few options. One option is to adopt Windows NT 4.0 or NT 5.0 in their businesses and then upgrade all their software. This will cost a fortune. Bill Gates and Microsoft will see their net worth go up by a factor of 3 or 4 by the time the year 2000 hits.

Bill Gates is good friends with Warren Buffet. Warren has bought 3,800 tons of silver (worth now 500 million dollars). I suspect that Bill Gates will find his own way to shelter the value of his wealth. IMHO, Bill Gates and Microsoft will do very well as we transistion into a new economy.

-- David Holladay (davidh@rdcbraille.com), August 27, 1998.

I see you have elevated Bill Gates from the position of mere mortal to computer God. A common mistake, in fact most children make it. It's time to stop putting blind faith in everything from technology to government and start realizing how vulnerable we all are. Developing all this technology was not quick, it took thousands of years. Just 200 years ago there was no electric grid. What makes you think fixing it will be quick?

-- Amy Leone (aleone@amp.com), August 27, 1998.

Nope. Mr. Gates won't come up with a solution, because he can't. The reason? Well, the y2k problem is not a 'bug' (meaning an error in a program causing it to produce incorrect results), but a _design flaw_, meaning that most programs and systems must be redesigned, or at least rebuilt, to correct the flaw.

Attempts at automating this have been only partially successful, and then only on a limited subset of programs.

Just the other day, I heard of a local stock broker who had told a bunch of friends that she's not worried, because someone will produce a product at the last minute to fix the problem, and get filthy rich. I take this theory as the current conventional wisdom among the financial set.

Once again proving that the financial crowd is clueless, but authoritative.

My credentials: 17 years programming, quite a few of them in Wall Street banks.

Good luck, and don't let your guard down when anyone starts popping off about silver bullets.

-- Brady Wiseman (bradywiseman@compuserve.com), August 27, 1998.

Aparently my remarks were not clear. I was NOT saying that Bill Gates will solve anything. I was saying that I think there will be a mad rush to buy Windows NT for small business right before the year 2000. I think that this will enrich Mr. Gates and Microsoft corporation. I did not say this was any kind of year 2000 solution.

There were previous remarks on this thread to the effect that it would make sense to sell Microsoft shares short. I was trying to say that is probably a bad bet. If you want to earn money on the year 2000 crisis, buy precious metals. For more info, see the book advertised at //home.att.net/~Cwaves

Good luck.

-- David Holladay (davidh@rdcbraille.com), August 28, 1998.

Bill Gates, our savior. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...hee hee. Hoo boy, that was a good one! I haven't had a laugh like that in a while.

-- Ted Markow (tmarkow@agate.net), August 28, 1998.

Will Bill Gates come to the rescue?

I check, and both the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy say no.

-- Nathan Hale (nospam@all.org), August 29, 1998.

Of course Bill Gates has a secret plan to save the world. That's why he's selling his own shares of Microsoft, because he plans to get rich(er) from fixing the Millenium Bug. Everyone knows Pee Cee Wee Nees can fix millenium problems, with no problems.

Sorry, been reading too much Hamasaki.


-- Lee P. Lapin (lplapin@hotmail.com), August 29, 1998.

The knowledge base in Microsoft and Bill Gates is virtually all related to PC software. They do not have people who work on mainframe legacy software, computer languages, etc. Their employees wouldn't know a Cobol from a snowball. And, think about the 25 (40?) billion embedded systems. Suppose, just for argument's sake, that someone invented a silver bullet. How long would it take to shoot it at all those systems? .............................................................

-- Dan Hunt (dhunt@hostscorp.com), August 29, 1998.

Right now I think good ol' Bill is kicking himself because he has to wade through red tape to unload stock in his own company. I'm sure he's buying up tangible wealth as we speak and hiding it in that huge vault of a house he built.

Can you imagine the lawsuits Microsoft will face when, oh, IF the court system is still alive and well in 2001?

Here's a "what if" to think about.

What if the Fed is trying to strike a deal with Bill to be the point man on y2k and thus the anti-trust litigation? Gates, no matter what you may think of him, is responsible for a large area of growth and employment in the northwest and beyond. If you think about it, there must be some reason for pressuring him. He's gonna make a great fall guy either way.

Oh, and regarding the desktop market... I may have a Silver Bullet.

I am partial but...

Think Different. Buy a Mac. Save t

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign@aol.com), September 02, 1998.

darn it... that should read

Think Different. Buy a Mac. Save the World.

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), September 02, 1998.

But I hate Mac's....

The only reason Gates is being sued by Reno is that Netscape paid Clinton more money earlier than MicroSoft did.

But look at it differently. What if MicroSoft is being sued now to get it in the public's eye as a "bad guy" evil money grubbing villain software company too rich to to work blah-blah-blah. That's the image Clinton's media's cronies are presenting. Now the Y@K crisis appears, and the government has total failed to be ready. Who are the public going to blame? Bill Gates or Bill Clinton?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (cook.r@csaatl.com), September 02, 1998.

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