What do you think of these 8 questions posed by a Y2K skeptic?

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Some skeptic who says he is a computer professional posed these 8 points on a board. Do you agree or disagree with them? "Some Y2K insights about the so-called "problem":

1.All electric generators in the power plants can be started, and connected to the grid manually.

2.No embedded chips and PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) contain "Year." All of them calculate "hours."

3.All PC computers 5 years old and less (including some of the 386s) accept year 2000.

4.Windows 95 and Microsoft Office 97 are fully compatible with year 2000.

5.Few accounting softwares may have problems with 2000, but the replacement or upgrading is easy.

6.All networked computers have daily backups, so no data will be lost.

7.As you know, the credit cards with expiration date 2000 and beyond are available. It means there is no "Banking problem."

8.All bank data is subject to a daily backup, so no data will be lost."

-- A. Pang (hth@earthlink.net), January 04, 1999


"1.All electric generators in the power plants can be started, and connected to the grid manually."

I was under the impression that generators need power (from other plants) to be started in many cases. Nukes DEFINATELY need the grid. I'm concerned about embedded controllers in the transmission lines, but don't have a clue here...

"2.No embedded chips and PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) contain "Year." All of them calculate "hours." "

Actually, many (most) controllers DO use date. The chips are usually general-purpose, and the date is in there, although not visible in the application. The trick is WHAT date. If date is not being used, it is probably not set to the right date. It will die someday, but not necessarily on 1/1/2000.

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@anonymous.com), January 04, 1999.

I will step up to the plate and give this one a try.

1) A modern generator plant is a lot more than a source of heat, steam and a rotating generator. There are many, many systems that must be functional for the whole system to work. There are temperature monitors, fire-suppression systems, vibration detectors, etc. etc. Many of these systems will fail on the century change. Usually, when some of these secondary, but critical systems fail, then the generator stops. If there are enough of these problems at the same time, the grid goes down. If the grid goes down because of hundreds or thousands of problems around the country, it will stay down for a while, since all the assurances that we can bring the grid back up are based on one or two small, localized problems.

2) I do not know how to answer this, except some systems do know the year, and they will fail on 1/1/2000. There are numerous reports of failures when system clocks are advanced to 1/1/2000. A water plant in Australia that dumped all its fluoride into the water, various sewer pipes that divert fluid from treatment, various electrical generators that fail. About 2%-8% of embedded chips fail and need to be replaced.

3) Yes, it is true that PC's can accept the year 2000. But there are so many other issues (such as BIOS problems, RTC problems, operating system problems, application problems) that are well documented. Just because you can punch in "2000" does not mean that your electronic mail and networking system will be working on 1/1/2000. The whole area of PC Y2K problems is so well documented that I will let readers find good resources on their own.

4) Microsoft does not have Y2K bugs. It has "issues". Go to their web site to read several thousand pages of "issues". There are rumors that Microsoft will be issuing a CD this month to help people with the "issues" they face with Microsoft software.

5) Accounting packages are easy to install on PC's, but not on mid-range or mainframes.

6) Yes, backups are being made. But if your main processing software is fouled up, you may not be able to conduct your business. A few months ago, due to a restored backup with errors, we could not use our accounting system at my workplace for a few days. We did not ship product during that time period. We just waited. We had plenty of time to make additional backups during that time. But making backups did not put us back in business.

7) The problem with credit card acceptance is mostly in the small boxes in near the cash registers in retail establishments. Many of these failed with "00" credit cards. these bad boxes are now out of circulation. While a good step, this says nothing about whether your bank's mainframe will survive the year 2000. And even if it did, your bank still can have problems from Japanese and European bank failures.

8) Backups are a great idea. But backups cannot save you if your processing is messed up, and your software cannot read your databases. Nor are backups any good if power blackout prevent you from using your computers.

I hope this helps.

-- David Holladay (davidh@brailleplanet.org), January 04, 1999.

The guy who posed these questions is an ignoramus - he may well be a computer professional as he claims to be, I would not want him working with me in any way shape or form if this is the way he thinks - I'm not going to waste my time rebutting his points, the evidence is all around for those who choose to do their own research.

As for the banking question it is so pathetic I can only sigh, not even worth a laugh.


-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 04, 1999.

Whether powerplants shut down due to the sudden arrival of the year 00 or not is a moot point, because there is a simple procedure to skip this dangerous moment, and this is to shut off the plant a minute before midnight and to switch it on again 2 minutes into the new century. If they want to be especially safe, then they can leave the shut off on for three hours. This will get us over all bad calculations.

-- Obin (Obin@fla.net), January 04, 1999.

uh...I think its time for another Sam's run...

-- a (a@a.a), January 04, 1999.

Those statements are argument bait (and not very good bait at that). A "computer professional" would not use "all", "no", and "fully" when describing this "problem".

-- Nathan (nospam@all.com), January 04, 1999.

Let's see if I 've learned anything here:

1) Yep, you can bootstrap (or Black Start) SOME but some do require power to start to make power. Ever see the HUMONGOUS Gen sets (deisel fer gawds sake) on site in a nuke??

2) Most elapsed time calculations are NOT "count the iterations" or "count the interupts from the timing or clocking circuit" but ARE on the order of "LOAD DATETIME R1". . . . later "LOAD DATETIME R2" "R1- R2=ELAPSETIME" so there is SOME date resident, which MAY or MAY NOT get loaded from the control processor into the embedded processor.

3) I just unloaded a 4 yr old P-90 because it couldn't roll correctly to 2000.

4) Windows etc see above post

5)Say this to someone who is fighting a SAP instalation and see if you escape with your teeth!!!

This is way too much fun!! You earth girls are SO easy!!

6) YUP! We'll have backups but we won't be able to USE the data. Guaranteed we'll have it but....

7)Care to explain this to CITIBANK or CHASE and ask why they are spending an agregated aproximate Billion (yes, Virginia that IS a "B") dollars?

8) Same as 6.

Computer Professional?? IT guy?? Sounds more like a cab or limo driver to me.


(some of you may remember that I are BOTH!!!!!)


-- Chuck, night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 05, 1999.

#1, right! that's why countless folks are preparing to generate their own power.

#5 is a real JOKE, as others have pointed out. SAP (laughs)

#6 is an even BIGGER joke. I deal with restore requests all the time, on a good day I might get a 30% success rate.

-- Buffalo Bob (buff@halliburton.com), January 05, 1999.

Replace his (her?) "all" with "some" or "many" or "most" (depending on your taste in disasters) - then make an assumption about some or many or most will fail with a little, a big, or a major effect on the economy. Then think.

These are distractions - he's trying to get people to think that because "some will work correctly" that "all will work correctly", then arguing the reverse - because "not all will fail, none will fail."

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), January 05, 1999.

This is simple troll baiting the GI's. Anyone with a 2 week computer 'degree' from Degenerate University understands how ludricrous these 'statements' are. The above techie responses are accurate.

-- RD. ->H (drherr@erols.com), January 05, 1999.

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