We have at least 477 MAN-YEARS of programming on this forum!

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

As a result of mostly FM's last 2 threads, we have at least 477 man-years of programming people on this forum! I wonder if we can get to 1,000? Hardliner (I know, you're hardware but close enough)? MVI? Results so far:

35 - Mr. Yourdon (from his bio)

31 - Sysman

36 - No_Spam

36 - Dean

35 - Ray

30 - Mike Cumbie

30 - The Rimmers

30 - Jean

29 - John Hebert

28 - RD

24 - Ron

24 - Ann

23 - Dan T

22 - Can Not

20 - J

17 - Jolly

16 - -

11 - Tim

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999


Whoaa - slow down Sysman - I'm an Operator too, just like uncle De jager, - so no doubt bring a much needed sense of anarchy to the proceedings - also, got "promoted" awhile ago so bung on about another 12 ano's.

later, Andy

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), March 10, 1999.

I guess we can include "operators" - what do you think gang (grin) <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

Although I'm what's referred to as a 'short-termer'... you can tag on another 8 yrs...programming and design in Cobol/CICS on mainframes... a little RPGIII...and then C on PCs... if one year of web site design counts (to me it doesn't), add on another year.

Short-termer weighs in, -- Got substance?

-- Shelia (shelia@active-stream.com), March 10, 1999.

What is the ratio of computor programmers to non-computor programmers on this forum?

That's what I'm interested in.

-- Red Ermine (fearzone@home.com), March 10, 1999.

Shelia - you should get double-credit for CICS!

Red - I'm sure we're the minority, but I can't wait for the next troll to ask "So what makes you guys Y2K experts?" <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

Have not been a programmer for 62 years. Guess we could regard those who started in 63 as veterans. I sure do appreciate and respect the wealth of knowledge that you are sharing.

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), March 10, 1999.

Rod - makes no difference.

I mix with progs, ops, sytems guys and jqp all the time.

It's pretty obvious who has a grasp on things and who hasn't - in many cases, if not most, the non-technical folks have a better clue.

Programmers, alas to say, are very micro in their outlook (I'm generalising!!!), they have a lot of similar character traits, same goes with phm's, bunch of arseholes to the man without exception ( OK, one or two, and they are PH women :) ), IMHO the people I mix with professionally do NOT have a clue.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), March 10, 1999.

Sorry - Red.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), March 10, 1999.

Andy - I think Red was refering to non-computer people. You know, people like Richard, a nuclear engineer. And wadda ya mean "micro outlook" - I was only kidding about including operators! <:)))=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.


>"So what makes you guys Y2K experts?"

Without the technological interconnections, the psychological dimensions, the management aspects, political realities, and so on, Y2k would be just an ordinary technical problem.

What were the areas of expertise used by the people who really got the world to think seriously about Y2k? Public relations (de Jager), writing skill (Yourdon), scaring-the-pants-off-people (North -- though some may describe his talents differently :-).

Before those people brought Y2k to general public awareness, what happened when programmers -- the guys who wrote ads and articles in the computer industry publications one or two decades ago -- tried to raise the Y2k alarm? Not much.

Now, I will agree that programming experience is important: it is because I have seen the combination of programmers and computers engage in Y2k-like behavior over and over that I can draw analogies to explain the technical problems to my non-geek acquaintances. But let's not overemphasize that aspect.

I think it's the various combinations of life experiences that enable folks to "get" Y2k.

Has anyone surveyed the ages of forum participants, regardless of the area of career experience or how much time they've spent programming?

I understood the two-digit year problem when I was about 16. I didn't really "get" the societal Y2k problem until my mid-forties.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), March 10, 1999.

Sysman: 'you should get double-credit for CICS!'

I really liked it...and probably would have continued with mainframes, only they brought in what I considered to be an inferior system and an inferior language to replace it and really put the screws to everyone by putting a person in charge whose only experience was 3 years of programming with that one language. She was too young, undisciplined: there was no such thing as testing in her vocabulary...just put it online...if it brings five other programs down and stops production for the day...no problem... it'll only take six hours to run the slug-O tape back up. I knew five languages...and could translate Assembly into CICS...so I was a bit of a snob...and it really made me weary to see it happen. I learned the new language, no problem...and then learned C and created my own business... making the fatal mistake of thinking custom programming for clueless customers would give me freedom. Boy, was I ever wrong! Good thing I knew my legal Ps and Qs...the doctor I had a contract with brought in a lawyer as his partner. He thought they could renegotiate their contract down to near zero. He was wrong, and only because I had written a good, solid contract did he not challenge me. After that job was finished and I calculated my true profit to be less than $.10 per hour, I went back to my first loves: writing and art.

Which brings me to that comment about programmers being 'micro in their outlook' ... I always thought it was rather the reverse. Most programmers (unless they stay with the same system forever) are forever moving into new territory...exploring something that had they not been programmers they would never have had the occasion to learn. In order to design the system you have to intake an entire area of knowledge, whether it's a tax system, an indigent care billing system, or an astronomical charting system... it's not just number crunching, there are people and communication skills weigh in heavily here...

OK...so I had fun, but that was a long time ago...I'd probably need a month to learn it again.

-- Shelia (shelia@active-stream.com), March 10, 1999.

'Has anyone surveyed the ages of forum participants..'

I have the sense that the predominant age span here is 45-65.

I'm 52.

-- Shelia (shelia@active-stream.com), March 10, 1999.

No Spam; Right on! Your comment that: "various combinations of life experiences enable folks to get Y2K" is the most succinct observation that I have seen on the subject. One needs a comprehensive understanding of language and a framework of some systems references to begin to conceive of anything that is complex in the abstract.

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), March 10, 1999.

I agree with you 100% No Spam. There are NO Y2K experts. I'm not really looking for troll ammunition here, that was meant as a joke. I'ld like to think that maybe we can use this to help enlighten the DGI. If we can tell people that this forum has 1,000 man-years in the computer field, and that we are concerned about Y2K, maybe they'll think about the problem a little harder. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

YoU STiNKiNG HYeNA!!!! You FoRGot To LiST Me!!! I aM Not A NobODy!!!! You HeAR!!!

-- Dieter (questions@toask.com), March 10, 1999.

HOw mANy yeARS HavE YoU bEEN ProGrAMmIng DieTEr? NOt iN c i HoPE. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.


Sorry we lost you. I spent about 2 years doing CICS applications, and about 3 more tuning/administrating it. Had more fun for about 7 years working on a "home grown" CICS type system. Many of the same features, multi-tasking etc. but pure macro-based assembly. Used to "blow the doors off" CICS performance wise! Really enjoyed those days.

Sure you won't consider coming back, maybe next year? I think we'll need all the help we can find! <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

I'm an industrial maintenance electrician by training.I used to know basic,cpm and dos. I don't know how to program it and I don't want to learn. I just turned 41. I've always lived on the edge of civilized America and have been a (Boy Scout) since I was young. My basic attitude is no one cares about me and mine but me so assume the worst and hope for the best. If I'm wrong Goodie, If I'm right, thank God we prepared.

-- nine (nine_fingers@hotmail.com), March 10, 1999.

Sysman: 'Sure you won't consider coming back, maybe next year? I think we'll need all the help we can find!'

Yes, I have considered it; and determined that if needed after the rollover, I'd be ready and able to do a decent job. Before then, I could be setting myself up as a fall guy/gal.

Here's a story for those who like sci-fi.. or as I call my writing: psi-fi...reading it now in the light of techno-terroism, it comes across differently than when I first wrote it. But I think most here can get the original intent (the eternal struggle for individuation and humanity in a mechanized world controlled by a small minority).


-- Shelia (shelia@active-stream.com), March 10, 1999.


This forum does have its share of programmers. However, please read this forum's "mission statement":

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/policy.tcl?topic=TimeBomb%202000%20% 28Y2000%29


About the TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Forum (to which you can return)


This forum is intended for people who are concerned about the impact of the Y2000 problem on their personal lives, and who want to discuss various fallback contingency plans with other like-minded people. It's not intended to provide advice/guidance for solving Y2000 problems within an IT organization.


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 10, 1999.

Shelia's link <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

Well folks, we're gtting a little off topic here. All these posts (ok, half mine!) and all we got is 12+8 more. Come on, my professional associates, I'm trying to hit 1,000 man-years here! <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

Sys, Yep--I can see the beginnings of the article now: followed by the first lines of the first paragraph in some obscure magazine or newspaper (or maybe even Worldnetdaily!):

"Veteran Programmers Offer Preparation Tips"

In the ongoing debate about whether the fallout from Y2K in America will be doomsday or a "bump in the road," one of the hottest places to be today is an obscure forum on the Internet, which claims to be home to nearly a thousand veteran computer programmers. . .

Whoo! One the one hand--I'd like to see it go to 1000. On the other, can you spell C-L-O-G-G-E-D S-E-R-V-ER? On the third hand--many more people might become informed enough to trade the purchase of that next six-pack for a non-biodegradable container for storing water.

More veteran programmers lurking out there? Add your name to Sys's list! Sys is now responsible for the "head count!" :)

(I'll write the press release, Ed Yourdon will fund me for distributing it and pigs will some day fly!)


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), March 10, 1999.

Sysman --- I've discussed my programming and technical bacground before on this NG, including "years" but won't put a number on it here because I dread being on your list. IMO, there is as high a proportion of DGIs among techies as elsewhere, maybe higher. And the techie DGIs are far more arrogant about it.

This, of course, is entirely different than toting up the contributions being made to understanding Y2K, especially on this NG, by those of who are technical GIs (which is huge).

But at least the same amount of contribution is being made to the Y2K disaster by many who never touched a computer but who understand (as PNG puts it) the cultural and human dimensions of this.

For example, those of you who followed Zog's ruminations on "making do" in hundreds of ingenious ways on GN forums last year will know what I mean. North and Milne qualify, whatever one may think of their politics or personalities. Carmichael likewise on the other end of the social-political spectrum.

I still get a buzz out of cool tech gear of all kinds, hardware and software, but I would be less-inclined to pay attention to this NG if it was being promoted or described as the resort of programmers. How boring and irrelevant would that be?

We geeks can blame Y2K all we'd like on others (especially those horrible managers who made us slave away, etc), but it was our own short-term and essentially cowardly approach that created the problem we're now pontificating about in this NG.

I was reading and applying Ed's software engineering insights by the early 80s (and, as he acknowledges, he was hardly alone), but it was PROGRAMMERS (90%) who made fun of wasting all that time on spec, design, inspections, testing and metrics. "Software engineering ... that's for sissies."

.... and it is programmers (70%?) who still make fun of these exact same things, even about Y2K itself. Or else, why "deja vu?"

After forty years of hard evidence about building and maintaining enterprise systems, our profession ranks up there with prostitutes, used car dealers and politicians (think Bill Gates who brilliantly combines the talents of all three because, you see, Windows 2000 will ... get ... us ... there).

This isn't aimed at you, Sysman, you have a good heart and spirit about all this as do almost all the initaled peers you cite above, but let's get real, fellow professionals.

One of the reasons the DGIs won't believe us is because we've been royally screwing them in the mass and in the individual for 40 years while we cheerfully made them totally dependent on our wizardry.

"Oh, we forgot about those two little digits, sorry about that, folks."

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), March 10, 1999.

O.K., then. . . We've gotta come up with another headline for the presss release! :)

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), March 10, 1999.

OOOPS...."press" release. (Heck, not only our we sans search engine, but also spell check!)


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), March 10, 1999.

Add me for about 7.

Add Mrs Driver for 3 (desktop publishing, help desk, user support)

Chuck, a night driver

-- Chuck, a night driver (reinzoo@en.com), March 10, 1999.

Okay, you were kidding about operators but here's my two cents anyway. Mainframe operator for 10 years at midsize firm. Seen many of the models you've talked about come and go every couple of years. From an operator's perspective we know that programs (even the most important and regularly used) fail regularly and bring in some weary eyed programmer to fix it. We also see the hardware (disk and tape drives usually) fail equally regularly. Sometimes fixes are done in a few hours, sometimes days. And this is just for one single error, not hundreds or thousands that may still be lurking in many y2k "remediated" systems. I vouch also for the many programmer DGIs out there. Talked to one, genius of a guy, he explained how petty the problem was technically, I asked him if he was following the y2k story. He said 'No'. End of discussion. Why bother. His mind was closed and he saw himself as superiorly informed to a nonprogrammer. Also talked to a professor of business with expertise on Japan. Oil imports? "No problem, they can get around a glitch in a few days." His mind was closed also. Talked to another very smart graduate student who reads the news carefully. An optimist. Asked him if he would care to test his optimism (as by reading some of the news we have access to). "No". End of discussion. Another closed minded DWGI. Who will these people listen to? It will take the majority of major news media to all say the same thing before the general public somewhat get it.

-- bdb (forwhat@its.worth), March 10, 1999.

If you're counting polly's too you can add another 21. That covers everything from operations, system analysis, programming, and project management. Every little bit helps, right?


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 10, 1999.

I was hesitant to post, for I haven't done any mainframe work. Six years experience with C++, VB, TCPIP, Cisco Routers, NT, SCO Unix, Java, IIS, SQL SERVER, VB, Interdev. If you go beyond HTML and the splashy graphics, I would count web stuff. You have can Java apps tapping into legacy systems like AS400 or data warehouses, and that involves some fancy coding.

Also, I could tell you some stories about NT Server Pack 4. It's the most Y2k compliant version, but when you install it, some shelfware web-based solutions just won't work with it. Then, when you call the vendor regarding this, they can't guarantee a release date regarding the upgrad. So, do you yank SP 4 and keep your apps running, or try to be compliant, and have angry users?

Don't answer this...just wanted to show that web programmers ARE grappling with Y2k issues too, which should count as experience.

As for the old timers working on the old iron, I bow in your presence :-)

-- Faze the Nation (dazed@confused.com), March 10, 1999.

Fazed - we're grappling with the same issue. We have a products that run under NT. We tested and it worked fine for us. Problem is our legal department says we need to upgrade to whatever version the vendor says is compliant. I asked how far do we take this? If a vendor says, in November of this year - we thought this version was compliant, we were wrong, you need to upgrade to this version instead. Doesn't leave a lot of time for testing and the like. Legal is probably right, but it don't make it any easier.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 10, 1999.

Keepin' count, Sys? Time to start a new thread? Lock and load!

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), March 10, 1999.

We still haven't heard from Rob Michaels, Steve Hartsman, Flint, Bob Mangus (is he still around?). For an overview of the type of people here, read peoples bios on these threads:

What about you?

Our "What about you?"

What about you REDUX

What about you? (third incarnation)

What about you? (revisited)

There is more to understanding Y2K than just "programing man hours" knowledge ;-) One needs the ability to think multi-dimentionaly, as in able to see the big picture, and having some sort of technical penchant helps understanding the technical source of the problem, perhaps quicker, but not a pre-requisite. I've talked to as many DGI programmers as GI's. Before coming to this forum, I was in a techie forum with 90% programmers, and over 2/3 of them were polyannas, non-issue believers (out of around 50 people.)

The wide base of knowledge, education and experience here is tremendous, and I believe, essential to get a complete picture of the real meaning and problem of Y2K.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), March 10, 1999.

Add 18 more years Sysman....


-- (Dawnbringr@aol.com), March 10, 1999.

Chris: Thanks for remembering me! I have served a 22 year sentence so far. LOL. Haven't been on the forum lately for more than 5 minutes a day due to a massive production cutover at work - should be done soon though. Miss youz guyz, bye, Rob.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), March 10, 1999.

count me in for 26

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (MVI@countmein.com), March 10, 1999.

20 years in computers, but never above the device driver level. All shipped code for the last 15 years has been in ROM. Also worked in government (doing surveys), as a musician, as a plumber's apprentice, and doing HVAC repairs. Not to mention too many part time and temporary jobs to mention, during the years I was a 'professional student' until the fellowships ran dry.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), March 10, 1999.

BigDog - I agree with much of what you say. I'm one of the guilty that "made fun of wasting all that time on spec, design, inspections, testing and metrics." I'm also guilty of writing countless programs 15, 20, 30 years ago that used 2 digit years. To be honest, I have no idea how many of those programs are still in production. Hardliner and I had a chat a few days ago about the hardware/OS support for dates. The point is that for decades, most programmers used what the OS gave them - YY. On the other hand, I read a post from John Doe last week that described his company's policy, even 25 years ago, of not using the "system date" but obtaining date information, with 4 digit years, from control cards. The only Y2K problem they are having is with some imported data. So we did have a choice. Few made the correct decision.

bdb - I still get involved with operations support. It is going to be living hell when the mega-errors all hit at once. And yes, I see tech NWGI every day.

Faze and Deano - Microsoft now has a "service pack for service pack 4" that supposedly fixes some of the problems you mentioned. Check their site for info.

Thanks for all your input folks. Got to go do some real work for a while. I'll check back later. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

Add in 16 yrs. of programming - mainly client/server for last few yrs. for moi.

Add in about 5 yrs. of programming for husband - currently in another lifetime at MS.

-- Texan (finallyrained@ranch.com), March 10, 1999.


Better subtract about 7 from the 29. Basic was senior yr h.s. Subtract three yrs college, a years sentence to dental school, some more college and (finally) lib arts b.s. + misc ee courses (included fortran), throw asphalt for a season (while looking for a research position) six month stint as a headhunter, four months at Milwaukee's famous Eddie Dousette's school of programming and presto chango - I was a highly employable programmer...


-- john hebert (jt_hebert@hotmail.com), March 10, 1999.

Keepin' count, Sys? Time to start a new thread? Lock and load part deux!

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), March 10, 1999.

Sysman --- You're an honest dude and I respect you greatly for that.

Many of us did know the penalties and most of us could have used four-digit dates reasonably early in the game when there was enough memory, storage et al (say, mid-80s). And while a lot of the software engineering stuff was hype and hustle back then, the core methodology basically added up to the same common sense that had long been applied in engineering disciplines broadly.

Again, to be real, most of us did take shortcuts, sometimes because we didn't know better, sometimes because we were too busy doing something cool and, often, because we just didn't care. Mainly, we could get away with it because the world was becoming so addicted to what we did that they COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT US.

Indeed, they still can't, mucyht though they'd like to. WE can't, even though we've prepared for 1 to 4 years of chaos. One thing Senator "Pollyanna" Bennett is right about: there is no going back technologically, even if TEOTWAWKI.

In the midst of the world's fury next year about computers and programmers will be gnashed teeth realization that we are still indispensable. No, we'll be even more indispensable, because every government, community and business will have to beg us to help them cobble it all back together ... or rebuild it from scratch.

But you better believe the 21st century is going to slap "engineering" audits, reforms and prospective legal penalties on our profession that will make our heads spin. Or do you believe companies post-Y2K will be able to ship embedded systems off the same line with "identical" chips that behave differently? Dream on. Likewise with code.

Some of us on this NG (prediction: Ed Yourdon among others) will build entire post-Y2K careers trying to keep the regs and penalties semi-reasonable.

We're entering a brave new world, guys, and it's going to change our profession as well as our lives.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), March 10, 1999.

Call it about 10 in testing, 4 in programming, bunch more in "back door" editing and applications "useage" trying to get the d**m things to do what I actually needed rather than what the programmer thought I needed.

Rest in power plant and integrated systems testing - hydro's, leak tests, welding, X-rays, removal, refit, repair, installation, inspection, QA, auditing, studying, teaching, etc. Scheduling, budgetting, planning, managing, .....Total in "getting the whole thing to run" is about 25 - if you consider something past the "programming" level important.


By the way, are you counting 8 hour calendar days, or physical "on-site" hours doing work, or "total applied hours" trying to solve a problem while driving or feeding the kids?

If "total applied hours" is relevent, better double your man-year total.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), March 10, 1999.

12 years (seems MUCH longer...)

-- Nathan (nospam@all.com), March 10, 1999.

15 years = hardware head and pc weenie 15 years, Mac weenie 10 years, Novell network admin 5 years (Jill of many trades, mistress of few).

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), March 10, 1999.

Now, now, don't exaggerate - Mac years don't count. 8<)

But the systems and network time does count - twice.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), March 10, 1999.

BigDog - I hear ya. There was talk about NJ "certifying computer professionals" last year. Haven't heard much about it since then.

Robert - Boy, do I hear you! I can't count the times I woke up on the office couch, after a 3-4 hour nap, back at it. Just last year, a few of us were here for 13 weekends in a row, about half 1 day and half both days. So much for the summer. I don't know if we can 2x, but my average 40 hour week has been at least 50, not counting think time.

Thanks. I'll be back when I get home <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

Add 20 years....mostly mainframe...Cobol/PL/1....almost all online (CICS)...lots of data warehousing lately....slowly entering PC world (VB mostly).

-- seagreen (seagreen@seagreen.com), March 10, 1999.

If you let in an EE type for doing various manufacturer's Assemby languages, Unix, C (in its + variations), Ada, Fortran and PLC ladder logic programs, I'll kick my twenty-seven years into the pool.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), March 10, 1999.

Add another 6 for me - healthcare and finance, hardcore transaction processing.

-- (someone@somewhere.com), March 10, 1999.

Robert E. -

Watch it, fellah! My years count! 8-}]

But serially, forks: ever tried any serious programming for the Mac? Back in its early days (as in 1984-5), it was a beast. Once the vendors got into it, they all realized that they had to rethink their approach to designing apps in order to take advantage of the Mac OS and especially the wunnerful user interface (event loops, mouse-downs, screen-position, etc.) Too many vendors just ported over their DOS apps and got clobbered (and rightly so) by the market. Much of the onus was put back on the programmers to create friendly apps. Took some serious design work and major code-jockey creativity and skill to make your app a "Mac" app. Now shoehorn that into 64K (or even *gasp* 128K) of RAM...

Don't be dissing Mac programming. Now Web site design, that's another story... 8-}]

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), March 10, 1999.

My first experience with a Mac was in 1983. This was a prototype unit, and didn't do much more than bouncing Pepsi caps. When I tried to remove the floppy, there was no button to press to eject it (no pinhole either).

After a lot of random clicking, I popped up a picture of a disk, and got a menu. One of the menu items was 'remove'. Since I wanted to remove the disk, jackpot, I clicked on that. Instead of removing the disk, this program 'removed' (erased) the driver! To get the disk back (minus the disk driver program, sigh) I was forced to disassemble the case, physically remove the disk drive, and press the latch on that drive.

Apple called the Mac 'user-friendly', a new term at the time. Right.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), March 10, 1999.

Mac and Flint - Don't mind Robert. He's been sitting by the radiation for too long :))) Early Macs had a 6502 CPU, no? My first home "PC" was an ATARI 800 - same 6502. Played with the MAE assembler for years on that toy, 'til it died :( BTW still have a bunch of SS SD 5.25 disketts, anybody ever see a program that reads these on a real (IBM) PC? Found a nice 800 emulator, but never could get to my data. Never played with the newer 68xxx or power/PC machines though.

We may actually make the 1,000 man-years here!!! I've got to go out for a while, but will get a new tally when I get back. Many thanks to all you geeks. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

PS - Should we go for 2000? That would bring a new meaning to Y2K (MM) <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

C++, VB, NT, Unix, Java,.......does anyone remember BASIC? <>

Passing the punch cards..

Mr. K - 20 years

-- Mr. Kennedy (wannabe@younger.age), March 10, 1999.

FM - Since you're the one that inspired me to do this, I want to make sure you understand what I'm doing. I'm not trying to find 1,000 programmers, but 1,000 years of programming. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

So if you find 2000 programmers, can't you get the list done faster than if you are looking for 500 years?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), March 10, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

Put me down for 10 programming and another 20 as a power user of various off-the-shelf packages. I wasn't necessarily employed as a programmer during all this time or even most of it, but programming and using computers has been a passion all this time.

That said, I don't believe that technical expertise is a pre-requisite to understanding the Y2K problem, except to the extent that it gives us the confidence to rely upon our own assessment. It only takes a small amunt of programming background to understand the technical aspect of the problem, and maybe a little more to know that DGI programmers are confused.

For what it's worth, I've been writing dates using a format I invented, ever since I can remember: YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY-Mon-DD. If the date was going into my own records I'd use MM. This format allows dates to sort chronologically in text fields. For other people I use an abreviated alpha month. This format is necessary because people who are unfamiliar with the "year first" formats won't automatically know that the month comes next.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), December 26, 1999.


The resurrection of THIS thread was a "blast from the past!"

I wonder how many of the "originals" who figured in the head-count are still with us? (At least "lurking" if not posting)


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), December 26, 1999.

Here's a thought:

Back in 1964 when I started programming IBM mainframes the precedent for 2 digit dates had already been established in our shop.

In order to get data into the mainframe hardware we took the following steps:

1). Programmer writes code to coding sheet:
2). Coding sheets to keypunch.
3). Programmer verifys keypunched cards (deskcheck).
4). Cards to IBM 1401 for card-to-tape.
5). Tape to IBM 7080 for processing (Serial only in those days).

Positions on a punched card back then were as precious as water is about to become!!


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), December 26, 1999.

Mark me down for 17 years. Some BAL early on, the rest Unix, C, Embeddeds, and C on Microsoft platforms. Mostly R&D and DoD intel collection/processing systems. My first reaction to the CDC problem was one of disbelief, I had already lost my trust in the industry. Told a young MSCS out of William & Mary that it was marketing hype to keep the industry going and the software upgrades rolling... He asked me to sit at the table where we did our analysis and design (nice tight little lab of a dozen or so folks doing AI R&D for the Navy). He proceeded to get me to think about what I already knew... My second assessment was about twenty minutes later and I was just a bit higher than a 10+... After five years of looking at the problem... I am still very, very, concerned. I subscribe to the 'slippery slope' scenario, with oil production being the central hinge point. Unfortunatly I also know that anything is possible. The bad thing is that I have not seen the cliff that some see us rolling over on the first. Just a steep slope, lots of ice, and no idea where it will bottom out.

-- (...@.......), December 26, 1999.

If it doesn't count about how lond ago, count me in for 8. Entered in '68 (see still doing it [g]) EAM, BAL, CoBOL, JCL, SPS (bet you haven't heard of that one - Symbolic Programming System) RPG, Pl1, Fortran, Basic, a little C, and some CPM and Novel stuff. Couldn't handle unCivil Service. Nowadays I get lotsa fresh air.

-- Michael (mikeymac@uswest.net), December 26, 1999.

Oh yea, I forgot my favorites, BAL and HEX.

Nurse, oh nurse, I need my Zinc!

-- Michael (mikeymac@uswest.net), December 26, 1999.

Put me down for 22 years. Doing it since age 14. Worked on pdp 8e, pdp11, Stratus, Tandem non-stop, concurrent computer, ibm from punch/wired, series 1,360/370/environ1/3090 big iron /as400 small iron, hp. pc: trs80, imsai8080, commodorepet, ibmpc from 8088 through current pIII. langs: some Assembler, much cobol, algol, dibol, pl1, rpgii, fortran, basic, vb, dbaseiii. datacomm from 150bd to 56k analog modems, ded digi 9600 to t3 incld multi-bonded isdn. installed and worked with up/down link extraterrestrial birds, oddball sbc systems and whatnot. Only 36 years old and have seen alot of it so far. dont like this y2k, want it done now!

-- hamster (hamster@mycage.com), December 26, 1999.

Well howdy folks! Always nice to see another "pro" check-in here.

We may make that 1000 man-years at this rate. There is another thread, started just after this one, with a few more:

MAN-YEARS of programming count now at 749!

And we do have a few more, that checked in a few days ago, in that who's who thread, where "Doug" called us a bunch of "techno-dweebs"! Some people...

Yea, maybe we do have 1000 man-years of programming experience here. 2000 for 2000 would have been nicer...

I'll bet that we do have 2000, if we include the lurkers...

Happy Holidays! Tick... Tock... <:00= ...

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 27, 1999.

Count me in for 30 years as a programmer.

-- Steve Heller (stheller@koyote.com), December 27, 1999.


You are undoubtably right...0 years pro, as a hobby, 17 years...

-- Netghost (ng@no.yr), December 27, 1999.

Jeese, you people humble me. Does 3 years stumbling along with LISP count? Or 5 years of feeble attempts with Pascal (in grad school)? I only got a "C" in Basic in undergrad, I'm ashamed to say (class of '80).

Throughout my career, I have depended on people such as yourselves, do do the work necessary for my research projects. I can't count the times I've come to you, hat in hand, to ask, "hey, can you give me a hand with this?"

I just want to take this opportunity to say "thank you"!

-- Spindoc' (spindoc_99_2000@HeadDown.Now), December 27, 1999.

Anybody have a guesstimate of how many man-years of programming there is in the polly camp?

-- CD (not@here.com), December 27, 1999.


If you're talking about the polly camp here, not many. Oh, we do have a few. You've got to read the threads. Besides, you know who they are.

But if you mean the polly camp outside of this forum, I don't know. There must be a forum out there somewhere. An experienced Y2K polly forum. If you start at deBUNGy, and add BIFFY, maybe you'll find a hundred or so. Wasn't BIFFY a couple of school kids? A couple of "seniors" with 0 "real world" experience? You've got to look far beyond that.

Good luck, and check back in when you've found your first 500 or so.

Happy Holidays! <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 27, 1999.

Thanks for the info Sysman, but actually I was asking about the thousands and thousands of programmers who do not believe Y2k is going to be a big deal.

Happy Holidays

-- CD (not@here.com), December 27, 1999.

See ya in a few days CD. You know, for Y2K!

Happy New Year, you old polly bastard. I love ya!

Tick... Tock... <:00= ...

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 27, 1999.

And CD, I'm serious. You've been a hard core polly for a while. I know you, about as well as I know everybody here. You are part of the solution here. Just do me one little favor, and


at least for a few days! I wouldn't want to see anything bad happen to you.

Yea, you have my permission to be back here in a week, and tell me what a moron I am, for making you CYA. You have my permission to call me every fucking name in the book next week. I don't have a problem with that. I don't have a problem, with being wrong.

God willing, I'll be here. How are you doing?
-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 27, 1999.

Add 37 more years. 17 in mainframe programming/analysis for me, 20 for my spouse ( who doesn't lurk here, but is well-informed by yours-truly).

-- cmd0903 (cmd0903@dontcall.com), December 27, 1999.

And CD,

I hardly ever swear here. It just seems to me, from out past talks many moons ago, that you are worth a few sharp words at this point!

Get with the program, turkey!
-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 27, 1999.

That should be "OUR past"...

To heck with this. I'm going to bed.

Happy T-5- ...

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 27, 1999.

Writing software for about 20 years, give or take, and about 5 years writing about writing software.

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), December 27, 1999.

Been programming on and off since 1971. Total, about 16 years.

-- just wondering (what.it.is@about.com), December 27, 1999.

Never before have so many programmers gathered together to become a clueless rabble.

-- (whoc@res.anyway), December 27, 1999.


Wow, I haven't been around much and ('death march' and all) just check in occasionally as a break when I saw this golden moldy thread alive and well again. I'll admit to having polly tendencies. I've seen lots of effort during the past 12 months - at least the problem has been acknowledged that in itself makes me more comfortable plus I've seen legit efforts at contingency planning - when my wife worked at the local vets hospital - they actually did dry runs (cutting electicity and testing plans.) My employer now has a 'war room' up and running - actually fully powered by generator B/U. It would have been better if efforts were sooner but I'll take what's been done as a good sign.

But even though I don't think the computer problems will be anywhere near worst case I'll admit to 250+ gallons of clear K1 and 250+ heating oil and even to getting a diesel generator (I never did get time or permits for the solar array that I wanted, that disappoints me...) And yes, I have the FEMA plans on using wood as an alternative fuel for the tractor... And yes the pantry is well stocked. (This years mild winter allowed me to harvest 120 lbs of late planting -August- carrots just 2 weeks ago - that's great for WI.)

However, my biggest concern at this point isn't computers - its the looney tunes out there who are bound and determined to start the year off with a bang - by creating the bang themselves. Over Christmas family members had the "If I were a terrorist" discussion. We all agreed, times squares or DC are not places we'd want to be. Quite honestly, the spector of terrorism that now concerns me more.

The other place I probably will not be is monitoring Y2K on the net. The spector of a plague of viruses, rumors of hacker competitions, etc. makes me inclined to stick with short wave monitoring.

But I won't even be doing that if the prelim reports of the roll are less than catastrophic. I've stashed a few bottles (15 yrs ago or so) of some promising french wines. My wife is planning a meal to match. And together, were planning a quiet candle lit dinner to celebrate the anniversary of our engagement. New Years eve is a special time for us and I rather not let Y2K to spoil that.

Happy holidays to all. My New Years wish - may your biggest New Years problems be lost bets on bowl games. (Go Wisconsin!)

Good Luck jh

-- john hebert (jt_hebert@hotmail.com), December 27, 1999.

Sysman- A sincere thanks for urging me to CYA. I sensed you offered that (and the "few harsh words") out of genuine concern for me, and I appreciate it. Yeah, I remember our long ago talks on this forum. You gained my respect back then, and you have held it ever since. In spite of being on different sides of the Y2k fence, I think we probably have a lot in common. Would love to go tip a few beers with ya someday. If you ever make it down to the Florida panhandle, drop me a notice. Cheers, and best wishes to you and yours.

John- I like your "attitude". Oh, and go Big 10/Badgers! Vegas has 'em favored over Stanford by 11.5 points. (PS- Take the Vikings in the super bowl ;)


-- CD (costavike@hotmail.com), December 27, 1999.

You're welcome CD.

If I do ever get out of NJ, and make my way to FL, I'ld be honored to share a few Heinekens with you. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 27, 1999.

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