The State Of Y2K, First Of June, 1999 : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The State Of Y2K
First Of June, 1999

A Growing Sense Of Unreality ...

In this issue:

An Unwelcome Visitor In Asia
More Bad News For Doomers
Weiss: Magic Numbers (For A Reasonable Fee)
Needful Detachment
Mr. Ed Goes To Washington ... And Retires
NERC On Rick Cowles

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (, June 01, 1999


Shame on you Poole!

You are trying to take as many, as possible, down with you!


The Emperor wears no clothes!

Poole you are most definately from and I and me people.

My people were/are a we and us people. See "I'll take my stand".

Our concern is for our families and generations yet unborn. Your concern stops with you. You are from a one shot generation Poole. You and your kind are finished (have failed), but just like Japan after the battle of Midway, you are still very deadly.

Deo Vendice, BR

-- brother rat (, June 01, 1999.

Thanks for the link to your "The State Of Y2K" piece. The story on Weiss & his ratings is accurate, though quite old news. A bank exec who gives free Y2K workshops in my area related to me earlier this year Weiss's horrendous attempt to coerce banks to cooperate or face his wrath.

The original survey you write about took place early last Fall. As you've faulted others for reporting on outdated information, perhaps it would be in your & your readers best interests if you followed your own advice.

As for much of the rest of your 'First Of June, 1999 Issue', I find little in the way of substance, several failed attempts at humor, & a handful of personal attacks - all quite unpleasant. Actually not too different than much of what is to be found on this forum.

I expected better of you. You are a talented writer, however it appears your affinity for sarcasm combined with your compulsion to deride Y2K D & G extremists repeatedly leads you away from much in the way of an actual contribution to either informing the reader or entertaining him/her/it.


Best Wishes,

-- Bingo1 (, June 02, 1999.

Stephen is seriously allergic to bad news relating to Y2k. Bad news makes him break out in a cold sweat, get dizzy, heart palpitations, and lose all concentration. Only by feeding on a diet of news that promises business as usual can he manage to get thru the day. Allergies are like that.

-- Gordon (, June 02, 1999.

Get ready for the solar flares at the end of this year. It can cut off your electricity like Y2k. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Will be a challenge to differentiate between Solar flares and Y2k. Don't make the mistake by jumping on Stephen M. Poole's boatride. Some people are inherent risk takers and enjoy the thrill. Family comes first.

-- Feller (, June 02, 1999.

Thanks for the links. As a semi-newbie, overwhelmed by 'information' it will take a little time to go through your whole site. Seems pretty middle of the road to me; why are some people so angry about the moderate position on 2000 issues?

-- Jim (, June 02, 1999.

Some people are outraged by moderation because they are taking an extreme viewpoint...and choose to fight against anything else. Thus, while the "doomers" may fight the "pollys" (and vice versa), both may choose to castigate the moderates. Moderate, of course, being a relative term. I could consider myself "moderate", not like that "liberal" Rush Limbaugh...

-- Mad Monk (, June 02, 1999.


You are an asshole of extraordinary preportions... As unpleasant as a slow death due to starvation is, you will deserve it!

-- Pollyslayer (pollys@ass.holes), June 02, 1999.

See what I mean?

-- Jim (, June 02, 1999.

Yo, Feller. Are you unaware that Sol experiences sunspot peaks at 11-year intervals? In other words, we had the same thing that is predicted for 2000 in 1989, in 1978, and back on down the line.

Now, question: how many things were knocked out by sunspots in these years? How much chaos resulted?

Answer that, and you'll get an idea of how likely it is that sunspots will cause TEOLAWKI in 2000 . .. .. ..

(Or for that matter, Y2K bugs ... but let's not hope for TOO much logic here.)

On the comment that the report from Weiss was "old:" yes, it was. I made no attempt to present otherwise -- in fact, anyone with a brain would assume that it should take Sir Weiss some time to collate and coagulate data (much less wave a magic wand).

And for that matter, his "money spent" report was being referred to on this forum as recently as a week or two ago.

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (, June 02, 1999.


Welcome back. Hoped you'd some new old news while on vacation.

-- Carlos (, June 02, 1999.

Stephen you have not fixed embeded systems or seen what havoc bad firmware code can do, I have. y2k is no joke. we are facing the most serious toxic envirnomental challenge mankind has ever faced. Go bury your head in the sand like every one else,or go fly somewhere on midnite on new years eve. Y2k will be a big time killer if people remain ignorant. only Effective proactive contingency actions done now until event day is the only thing left our nation can do at this late date that will reduce the suffering caused by our major critical infrastructures failing. My understanding of the complexity of re-engineering de-bugging and validation testing of millions of lines of customer specific code written by teams of software engineers over a twenty year period to route and figure out complex algorithms to match the changing load variations of big cities critical power needs may not be done in time no matter how much money they throw at it. The software is written with a serious structual defect in it that will illuminate on jan 1 2000. My prayer is that it doesnt take years to get the grid rebuilt after half the jerks that are in denial burn it down by letting it fly blind. If you say y2k is fixed you are blind, if you say that it doesnt have the potential to cause serious problems than you are ignorant of the facts, go back and do your homework.

-- y2k aware mike (y2k aware mike @ conservation . com), June 02, 1999.

y2k aware mike,

Stephen you have not fixed embeded systems or seen what havoc bad firmware code can do ...

I most assuredly have. In fact, embedded systems -- control systems in particular -- are my specialty.

If you're an expert on embedded systems and the "havoc that bad firmware code can do," you should have no trouble in providing me with MAKES AND MODEL NUMBERS of systems that you have personally examined, and which have failed in a manner that would cause the problems that you anticipate.

Can you do this? Or are you (as I suspect) simply parroting what you've read and heard from others?

I'm waiting ... (tap ... tap ... tap ...)

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (, June 02, 1999.


This is the compliance statement of GE. One company. There are products that will have problems of one sort or another. Matter of fact there are alot of them. If you could check this out and give me your educated opinion on the subject. Hospitals are not finding this easy to deal with as the equipment - software is not cheap to replace or test for that matter. Thereare many complications within health care.

 GE Medical Systems : Year 2000 Readiness Program

-- Brian (, June 02, 1999.

What does the CET stand for?

-- R. Watt (, June 02, 1999.

Cretin Extraordinaire Twofold

-- Andy (, June 02, 1999.

Mr. Poole,

I checked out your website - the first thing I noticed was the "wwjd" in the URL.... Hmmmm.... What WOULD Jesus do?

You seem to want to paint everyone with the same brush/tint as "Doomlits". I suspect the majority of the TB2000 (especially if you include the lurkers) are pretty much middle of the road but have reached a point of realizing how vulnerable we are as a society and the prudence of preparing for "harvest to harvest" as people of past centuries did as a matter of sensibility.

You mention that you feel that Y2K will be mostly a matter of economics - well, whether most realize it or not those booming numbers on Wall St. are why things seem so "rosy" in America right now - lots of money sloshing around the "new rich". I can't help but see the stock market overvaluation as a kind of pyramid scheme - paying much more than what an item is worth, betting that others will also continue to do so AND WE ALL GET RICH - yup, uh huh, uh huh, pant, drool. With possible Y2k problems, market correction/crash, war with ???, or whatever may cause the subsequent hard times there is justification for preparation and it is up to each person to decide how much is prudent for them. Personally I am not "bugging out" instead staying put. However if I had the bucks some folks do maybe I would consider it - just weighing the options available and the costs of each. My point to this is that the state of the economy CAN affect folks enough to find previous preparations of foodstuffs, etc. prudent.

If your efforts cause one person to not prepare and hard times hit them "locally" then I hope you ask yourself "what would Jesus do?".

Sincerely, Kristi

-- Kristi (securx@Succeed.Net), June 02, 1999.

Condescending Egregious Tosser

Culpable Erroneous Travesty

Confused Egocentric Twonk

etc etc, Andy's was better.

-- humpty (, June 02, 1999.


With your thinly veiled personal attacks on Ed Yourdon and Rick Cowels, you've lost any last shred of credibility you had with those that gave you the "benifit of the doubt".

-- Jon Johnson (, June 02, 1999.

Pollyslayer, you still don't get it do you? I want to slay doom. You want to attack people. My name is clever. Yours is a stupid copy.

Your pal,


-- Doomslayer (1@2.3), June 02, 1999.


If anyone is riding the back of y2k it is you and your prose. If anyone is gaining satisfaction from y2k it is you and your ego centered contrary psuedo intellectual opinionated viewpoints. "Stock market continues to soar" hey Poole, where have you been the last two weeks? "They kind of want this to be the end of the world" yea right!? These kind of quotes spill the beans on your level of wisdom and maturity. To use MAIDENFORM as some hot example of the rest of the world is beyond me. Also, it is obvious you have a limited scope of the challenge, using only Yourdon and weiss etc. You seem to disregard The Mountain of information that is available. Why don't you call Alfredo Pena in Venezuela and see where they will come up with the $1.5 billion. Or how about the U.S. Department of Commerce, or Joel Ackerman regarding the state of Health care, or Dr. Ivan Fellegi in Canada (chief stats of canada)or Michael powell with the FCC or Senator Bennett or Tony Molinaro with the FAA. Or the CIA or Gazprom in Russia or............... I have only two questions for you: 1. Are you an idiot? 2. Are you Omniscient? You must be one or the other with your point of view, which is it??

Respectfully, David Butts

-- David Butts (, June 02, 1999.

Care to comment on the state of DC, as per 60 Minutes? <:)=

-- Sysman (, June 02, 1999.

Stephen "Big Brain" Poole said:

Yo, Feller. Are you unaware that Sol experiences sunspot peaks at 11-year intervals? In other words, we had the same thing that is predicted for 2000 in 1989, in 1978, and back on down the line.

Now, question: how many things were knocked out by sunspots in these years? How much chaos resulted?

You idiot. We had almost nothing that could be damaged by the solar activity back then. How many microprocessors do you think were in existence then? Computer networks? Comms satellites? Digital power distribution links? In fact, because of the high cost of gallium arsenide chips, the military now relies mainly on unshielded electronics to maintain its C4I nets.

It looks like its time to publish an updated list of Pollyanna errors, eh Lisa?

-- a (a@a.a), June 02, 1999.

Yes, sir, a, and I ran across a couple you may have missed....

-- Lisa (, June 02, 1999.


Our (mine and Stephens) problem with your position is not with development of utility contingency plans or Y2K remediation efforts. It lies with the continued and relentless attempt to panic the public under the guise of 'awareness'. WHY, pray tell, should a housewife in Florida be bombarded with irrelevant (and usually outdated and incorrect) information about utilities thousands of miles away

The whole Y2K panic deal comes apart if you realize that the fear is based on the idea of THE OTHER GUY WON'T DO HIS JOB. Everyone is convinced THEY will be OK - it is the other guy who will screw it up. THINK ABOUT IT - EVERYONE ELSE IS NOT A SCREW UP.

This whole 'everyone else is screwing up' idea is the real root of Y2K fear - and of a paranoid feeling that seems to have been present in America since the turn of the century at least.

-- Paul Davis (, June 02, 1999.

from the GE website:

"GEMS will provide information kit about how date (year) will be displayed after 1999. USA Only: Call 1-800-xxx-xxxx for replacement/up grade information. For other countries, please refer to GEMS Global Contacts list"

"(a) Software solution to be provided at no cost to customer.

(b) GEMS will provide functional workaround to be installed at no cost to customer."

" Enter age directly for this situation."

" Current Production: Software solution to be provided at no cost to customer."

"As per operator manual, need to reboot on 1/1/00. Date display as indicated in this announcement."

-- Mild Mannered Reporter (clark@super.duper), June 02, 1999.

NERC might not think much of Cowles, but Digital Equipment, TAVA, and the U.S. Congress apparently do. By the way, explain again just how "independent" and objective NERC is? Who foots their bill? Council members come from where? I actually tend to think that the U.S. power industry is in fairly decent shape overall on Y2K, but I wouldn't believe that simply on the basis of what NERC told me, though, granted, I do read their periodic reports in detail.

It's Weiss, not Weise. Yes, deciding Y2K progress based on money spent vs. money budgeted is a rather debatable and often crude measure. I will note, however, that overall Y2K corporate budgets have been increasing, not decreasing; there was a 26% average increase among 300 or so of the S&P 500 companies during a 9 month span in 1998. See Yardeni's website for further details. That suggests that at least some companies might be even further behind than Weiss indicates. But as I said, it's a crude measure.

Re the soaring stock market: I don't know whether it will continue to soar, but I have an earlier thread showing just how overvalued the S&P 500 Index is by the Federal Reserve's own stock valuation model. We just started another quarter, and now if you want to accept the I/B/E/S estimate of $54.33 EPS (four-quarter projected average EPS for the S&P 500), you have to be willing to believe corporate operating earnings will grow at 20.7% over the next year (since the four-quarter trailing EPS is $45.01). That's quite an assumption, considering that those earnings actually fell by 1.6% in 1998. And even with that assumption of 20.7% earnings growth, you find the S&P 500 Index overvalued by 37.3% as of market close yesterday. I ran some numbers yesterday evening, given a closing S&P 500 Index of 1294.96 and a 10-year T-bond yield of 5.76%, and found that if we assume a more reasonable, but still quite optimistic, earnings growth of 10% (in other words, a four-quarter projected EPS of $49.51), the S&P 500 Index is overvalued by 50.7%. That's whopping and dangerous, in my opinion. Incidentally, if you want to do the math yourself, take your own projected EPS figure and divide it by the current yield on the 10-year T-bond; that will give you what the S&P 500 Index should be, if this were a sane world. Then divide that number into the actual S&P 500 Index to see how much the market is overvalued. And again, don't blame me if you don't like what you see: blame Greenspan and the Federal Reserve, for it is their model.

Bottom line: you had better be right that Y2K is going to be only a bump in the road, because we are sitting on a dangerously overvalued stock market--and that stock market is currently leading the U.S. economy and underpinning much of the global economy.

-- Don Florence (, June 02, 1999.

You idiot. We had almost nothing that could be damaged by the solar activity back then.

In 1989? Are you serious? Microprocessors (and microcircuitry in general) were even making inroads in consumer equipment by then, and were VERY common in industrial, aerospace, and military applications. And no, not all of it was shielded. And yet, a lot of it was THEORETICALLY vulnerable to solar RF then, too.

We have simply added MORE stuff, some of it more refined, to a very large base that existed in the late 1980s. If the premise is valid, you should be able to go back and find evidence of massive failures due to solar flares in 1989.

On the other comments re: GE and failed stuff. I didn't ask for links, I directly challenged that young fellow (or girl -- it didn't specify) because he (she/it) claimed to have DIRECT FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE of embedded problems. I asked he/she/it to share that knowledge. Nothing unreasonable about that, is there?

The challenge stands; thus far, he (she/it) has failed to respond (probably because he/she/it is scouring the Web and sending frantic emails to he/she/it's friends to find a model number to post at me[g]).

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (, June 02, 1999.

NERC might not think much of Cowles, but Digital Equipment, TAVA, and the U.S. Congress apparently do.

Past tense: DID. Cowles left TAVA under a cloud, just as he left the Westergaard column to Dick Mills under a cloud.

(You DO NOT want to go there, friend. Trust me.[g])

Bottom line: you had better be right that Y2K is going to be only a bump in the road, because we are sitting on a dangerously overvalued stock market--and that stock market is currently leading the U.S. economy and underpinning much of the global economy.

OK ... if you're right, Y2K could cause a recession. (I've said as much myself.)

In the past, no one has recommended that we stock food, water, bullets and firewood for recessions. So why is this being recommended for Y2K?

Wouldn't it make more sense to SAVE THAT MONEY against the possibility of short-term instability in the markets or unemployment?

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (, June 02, 1999.

For those who give a flying flip:

"CET" stands for "Certified Electronics Technician." I am at Journeyman level in both Consumer and Communications Electronics.

As I said above, my specialty is control system design, programming, and implementation. I've been doing it since I was a teenager.

The main reason I append the "CET" to my name, though, is to differentiate myself from ANOTHER Stephen M. Poole who lives in New Jersey (or is it New Hampshire? I can't remember) ... and who, to my mortal embarassment, is a Y2K Remediation Consultant. [G]

(There's another Stephen M. Poole who works for Hewlett Packard out in California, and who got *MY* MSDN Subscription a couple of years ago. Had the CET been appended to THAT one, my sub might not have been killfiled as a duplicate by the moronic computers up in Redmond.)

(It's a long and boring story, and it's time for supper. That's more important.)

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (, June 02, 1999.

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