CHALLENGE : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Stephen Poole has posted a "challenge to Doomers" on the Debunking Y2k board. It is in reference to the disruptions caused by the Win95.CIH "Chernobyl" virus. For those of us who have wondered if this is a valid issue, maybe this would be a good time for us to get some answers. Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some light on the issue.

The link - Challenge

OK, Doomers, Here's The Challenge Wednesday, 07-Jul-1999 01:44:39 writes: According to the Doomlits, even if we get 90% of all banks, utilities and municipalities into "compliance" before January, that's not good enough; we'll STILL have problems.

OK. So ... can ANYONE here explain to me HOW the Win95.CIH "Chernobyl" virus could have knocked out hundreds of thousands of computer systems in Asia without causing more disruption than it did? That represents far more than 10% of all computers in the affected countries.

Answers which are NOT acceptable to this question are:

1. Poole, won't you give this a rest? (Answer: no, because you people refuse to answer the question, and are desperately hoping that, eventually, it'll just go away and stop being such a terrible embarassment to your argument.)

2. Because the virus only affected PCs. (PCs are used as the desktop workstations in most large corporations nowdays. The complete loss of even just 50% of the desktops in the average enterprise would be a quite serious problem. PCs are also VERY commonly used as the control terminals in embedded/control applications, so you can't claim no effects there.)

3. It didn't really happen. (That's cheating.) OK. I'm waiting . .. . (tap ... tap ... tap ...)

Stephen M. Poole

-- CD (, July 07, 1999



-- CD (, July 07, 1999.

sorry, close tag.

-- CD (, July 07, 1999.

An Apology To Lane, Diane, and the World At Large

-- two (f@ced.hypocrite), July 07, 1999.


I agree. Let's get this outta the way ahead of time... Poole is a _______ ! (everybody fill in the blank with your favorite adjectives)

Now, instead of this thread deteriorating into just another opportunity to bash Stephen Poole, I suggest the following...

If a family member or neighbor someday asks you why they should worry about Y2k after hearing what little effect the "Chernobyl" virus had on thousands of computers, what *facts* could you have at your disposal? What will your argument be? I want to know what I can tell them and giving them a biography of Stephen Poole isn't going to cut it.

-- CD (, July 07, 1999.

Perhaps the fact that the victims of it STILL had everything needed at THEIR disposal might be relative. Do support systems count? Will they continue to exist post New Year's Evil, or will support systems be suffering problems of their own?

Dom, da dom dom. Dom, da dom dom DAAAAAA. (theme from Dragnet)

-- Will continue (, July 07, 1999.

Answers from csy2k @

Uh, CD, since S. Poole has said he won't post to this forum, perhaps you should respect his wishes and avoid posting his stuff for him.

-- Anita Evangelista (, July 07, 1999.


Gather a bit of information on the virus' namesake and the effects it

had on the people and environment within a continents distance away.

Read them some bed time stories about the children's continued

suffering. Then offer them a little bit of current-event trivia,

such as MSNBC report of CIA assessment of Russia, China, etc.

Help them investigate what and why the name China Syndrome

was coined to pigeon hole the *real deal* event. Oh, and don't

forget to visit the weather channel to begin to get a grip of the one

jet that *will* be flying next year. Consider the passengers it may

be carrying to an area near you. Lastly, have a look see at the world

map of nuclear power plants, and overlay the weather map, and pray.

One more thing, IYHO "is fix-on-failure going to apply here too?

-- Michael (, July 07, 1999.

This is a great question that deserves careful consideration. I myself have often wondered why the effects of this virus have been so negligible. I wish some IT experts would weigh in here and clarify the issue.

What is the real extent of the fallout?

-- Jane D. (, July 07, 1999.

Just a thought. The virus did not even effect all PC's. Note that to be "infected" the computers had to be Using WIN95-98 and had to be used to read email. This means that it was a "personal" computer or a group unit used for incomming email.

Some small companies use one computer for all internet acess, such as Email to keep the employees from Surfing all day instead of working. This is particularly true in Asia (read China and Tiawan) Thus many computers that are used as dedicated devices such as cash registers, servers, robot controlers, data analysis stations, accounting systems, ect. were probably not infected.

Now granted it would be d@@@ bad if my personal PC got crashed,, however the company IT people would come and reinstall the system clear off the virus, and I would reload from my last backup. Sure it would be inconvient, but hardly TEOTWAKI.

Y2K is different. All date sensitive machines can be "infected". This does mean Accounting, cash Registers, Robot control, ect. They do not even have to be connected to a network to be "Infected". Machines that have performed flawlessly for years and even decades, may move into a "state" that was not anticipated, a bug. If your error trapping does not handle this bug. You run the risk of Crashing the system, or putting out garbage in the I/O stream. Not a pretty picture.

Y2K will bring many changes, I hope to be ready.

Keep the faith

-- helium (, July 07, 1999.

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