My 824 MAN-YEAR friends, how bad is this problem? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Well, we didn't quite make a thousand, but 824 years is a fair amount of experience. Lets move on. How many date sensative systems have you worked on? I don't mean some report that has MM/DD/YY on top of the page. Something where the date is critical to the operation of the program or system.

I'll give you my top two, both System/3X0 based. The first is a system used by home fuel oil dealers, commonly called degree-day forcasting. From the name, you can see this system is loaded with dates. It keeps a history of the local temperature by day, and the burn rate for each customer to forcast when the next delivery should be made. It also suffers from the typical A/R system problems, calculating interest on over-due accounts, applying credits to the oldest open items first, etc.

The other is the system we are now converting. The end product here is a book (actually several books), a companion CD-ROM, and recently a subscription web site (not to be confused with the web based technology we are converting to). Here finincal information is listed in tabels for the past several years, and various differences and percentages are computed from year to year. Each entry has literraly dozens of these tables. The customer enters the data at their site and sends it to us. We manipulate the data and produce photo typeset pages, the master CD, and update their web site.

OK - it's your turn. What kind of date sensative systems have you geeks been working on for 824 years? <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 12, 1999



This almost sounds like I'm applying for a job, but I tried to make it short and complete. Forgot to mention that I used up three perfectly good wives and (sort of) raised three great kids along the way.

Got anti-depressants?

1. Banking system development - DDA, Savings, Money Market, Com'l Loans, Consumer Loans, Proof of Deposit, all date sensitive.

2. Pension Plan Administration - Fixed Benefit, Profit Sharing, Insurance accounting, annuities, Trust Fund Acct., all date sensitive.

3. Municipal Utility Billing - Water, gas & electricity billing systems, mostly date sensitive.

4. Non-profit Agency Mgmt Systems - Fund raising & fund accting, personal history screening and maintenance, tracking relationships over many years, mostly date sensitive.

5. Manufacturing systems - Production scheduling, Parts inventory and materiel mgmt with Just-in-time philosophy, payroll, front office mgmt., mostly date sensitive.

6. Hotel mgmt systems - Tiered Reservations, front office, back office, housekeeping, audit, data transmission, mostly date sensitive.

7. Call accounting systems - Used in hotels to intercept, route, measure, and charge service fees to room telephones. Mostly date and time sensitive.

8. Software Defined networks (SDNs) - Systems used by third parties who contract with long distance carriers to sell blocks of long distance time and provide billing service for those customers. mostly date and time sensitive.

9. OASIS Student History system - University of Arkansas student history and tracking system - mostly date sensitive.

That took up the last 31 years of my time. I also taught in Jr college and vo-tech schools briefly (in between projects). Courses included RPG II, COBOL, BASIC, Assembler, Yourdon methods of top-down design and systems analysis, and basic accounting.

Mike Cumbie

-- Mike Cumbie (, March 12, 1999.

I have been told, but can not confirm, that IMS is not Y2K usable until Version 6.

Can anyone confirm or refute this?

-- Hardliner (, March 12, 1999.

Helped build Juvenile Court tracking system, clearly date dependant, can you say Warrants and capiases??

Insurance ID card system

Insurance Membership system, also claims processing system (one of a cast of literally hundreds)


-- Chuck, a night driver (, March 12, 1999.

I wrote a pizza delivery system 12 years back. It uses dates to remember last order, mass mailings, statistics, etc.

It's written on the Macintosh (still in use BTW), and will be ok, for another 65,000 years or so.


-- Jollyprez (, March 12, 1999.

One of the lucky few, huh Jolly? <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 12, 1999.

Built a multi-lingual spreadsheet (1993) from Borland C source.

If the BIOS is BSI compliant it runs fine. If not uh oh.

-- Bob Barbour (, March 12, 1999.


I'll admit,I don't have a clue. But one thing I know, as do the other hundreds of man hours here, is that the processing world isn't as pretty as some would believe. The seeming relatively seamless processing is frequently the result of fix on fly programming, db repairs, and hardware jerryrigs. Lots of stuff runs on a hope and a prayer but it gets out the door. So come Y2K the illusion will crack.

But just how many of those are life and death? If the pizza place doesn't get get my address, preferences, order and driver tip history when I give them the phone number and they have to manually write up a slip... Or if the insrance claim takes 3 month, to process instead of three weeks... Or even if the hospitals limit the number of elective surgeries... Or if the Feds can't process tax return for 3 years... Or if to conserve energy we live in 500 sq ft instead of 2000... Or if we have to have Y2K gardens to have fresh produce... These are not the end of the world. Some potentially (very) unnerving implications but not the end of the world. The way I see it as long as the 'geeks' (compliment intended) don't bolt we'll muddle through it. Which brings me to my suggestion:

For lurkers and all - Befriend a geek. Yes this is self serving, but both for you and me. I for one will be more apt to show up at work to fix things if I know that family will be OK while I'm at work. (I suspect this is true across the board.) If the geeks work, problems get resolved. The more that are working... Well you get the picture.

Good Luck jh

-- john hebert (, March 12, 1999.

Thanks for your input John. One of my reasons for starting this thread is to get an idea of how critical some of these systems are. It's true that most programmers have tunnel vision, with in-depth knowledge of only the systems they have worked on. We have a good experience base here, and I think it's time we took advantage of it. <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 12, 1999.

Frankly, vitually everything I've ever worked on has been highly date dependant, including banking, insurance, government. Especially banking, banking has dates everywhere!

Re: IMS 6 for Hardliner, my current site is certainly upgrading to IMS version 6.something, if I remember correctly the the problem is the timestamps on the log records and IMS is nothing without recovery! RonD

-- Ron Davis (, March 12, 1999.

Heck Sysman, they are all date sensitive starting with password assignment/expiration and ending with backups. Before you get to the application you have to deal with BIOS, RTC, console firmware, operating system etc. etc the list goes on. Thats one of the reasons why fix on failure is such a joke. If I back up on 12/31/1999 and blow up on monday 01/03/1999 or later what are the assurances that I can restore across the millenium boundary if my operating system software/firmware is non-compliant.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, March 12, 1999.

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