The Year 2000 is a hoax : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Oh come on! You gotta laugh sometimes.... Year 2000? Shut Up Already!

By Mike Cohn

Let me set the record straight. The Year 2000 is a hoax. The compu-world won't crash, the planet won't be paralyzed, and chaos will not reign... at least no more than usual. Sure, the millennium might spell a software bug or two, but nothing we can't fix over a few lunch-hours in '98. In fact, here are the top 10 myths about the Year 2000, and why they simply are not true:

1. If you don't do something about your date routines, your shop will crash and burn.

Bologna. We've used MM/DD/YY for years and it hasn't screwed up yet. New Year's Day, 2000 will be just another six digit date, especially since we're coding it as 13/01/99.

2. You'd better start worrying about your third-party software.

Not me. I have a letter from my million-line package vendor right here! They're promising a Year 2000-compliant release. They say I can have a tape by 1Q 99. So why worry? As long as I can install it in a couple of months, and then apply my mods in a couple months, and then update all my interfaces in a couple months. I figure that will leave me at least 45 minutes to test the whole thing. What's the worst case scenario? I leave myself open to a couple hundred bugs? That would probably be an improvement over the way it runs now.

3. Wake up, because Year 2000 will require the most comprehensive test effort in history.

Comprehensive testing? Isn't that an oxymoron? Our CIO already asked us to simulate how we'll run in the Year 2000. So we set forward the clock on the system and the place went berserk. Tapes got scratched. Files disappeared! We figure it was a total success because odds are that's exactly how we'll run in Year 2000.

4. You can't just fix Year 2000 one program at a time in the course of your normal maintenance.

Just watch me. Of course every time we expand some file with four digit year, we'll probably screw up record lengths for every yet-unchanged program downstream! But this is a risk I think we're willing to live with -- as long as I'm not on call.

5. By the way, Year 2000 is not just a mainframe problem; it may impact PCs, notebooks and networks.

Big deal. I used to worry about what was running on my office laptop, 'til I left it on top of a rental car at LaGuardia Airport.

6. And speaking of networks, odds are Year 2000 will take down the Internet!

Who'll notice? It already takes forever to send an E-mail.

7. Don't bank on replacing old systems with new packages; you won't find the time, help or expertise.

Hey, package implementation was never the problem. I'd worry about selection process if I were you. Our folks in accounting have been evaluating software since 1986 and still can't agree on a date for a demo.

8. But you still have to tell your users you'll need dozens of them to manually validate Year 2000 test results.

Fat chance; I'm not saying a word. If they find out about this Year 2000 thing, they'll have a cow. "Why didn't you fix it?" they'll ask. "How could you be so stupid to use two-digit years?" I'll validate the output myself. I'll ensure that every calculation that's spit out by my computer is 100 percent in sync with my test data, which may be a trick, since I don't think I have any.

9. Worse yet, Year 2000 solutions are about to be unaffordable.

That's the least of my worries. If COBOL coders still cost $40 an hour, I'll hire boatloads. And if they someday go for $140 an hour, I'll still make out okay, 'cause I'll be one of them.

10. Finally, think the unthinkable: other company's non-compliance could put your company out of business.

If anyone does go down, let's pray it's the phone company. That way at least my pager won't go off. And by then, I bet I'll need a good night's sleep.

-- Cherri (, September 19, 1999


Merriam-Webster defines HOAX as:

1)an act intended to trick or dupe 2)something accepted or established by fraud or fabrication

Which definition of HOAX did you intend in your heading?

-- no talking please (, September 19, 1999.

Maybe you should ask Mike Cohn, who wrote the article.

-- (learntoread@itsgood.foryou), September 19, 1999.

No, you need to read, when you type the letters in the box titled "HEADING" !

-- no talking please (, September 19, 1999.

No you need to read, when the heading comes directly from the second sentence in the article.

-- (learntoread@itsgood.foryou), September 19, 1999.

So on what do you base your opinion?

If you have one!

-- no talking please (, September 19, 1999.

Back to the question.

Which definition of the word HOAX did you intend when you typed the heading for your post?




You posted it, not Mike Cohn.

-- no talking please (, September 19, 1999.

People have no sense of humor.


-- Zev Barak (, September 19, 1999.

Oh, now I get it!

The witty part about HOAX in the Heading....


-- no talking please (, September 19, 1999.

That's pretty funny, did ya hear the one about the Indian Point Nuke plant that had EDG's fail and declared a nuclear emergency last week?

Or maybe the one about neighbors looting their neighbors in NC?

Chuckle chuckle.

Can't wait to see your face when you finally get the punch line Cheri.

-- Gordon (, September 19, 1999.

All right. Let's put this issue to bed, once and for all. The year 2000 is NOT a hoax!

I looked at several different calendars and consulted with a multitude of math experts and, without the slightest room for doubt, two thousand ALWAYS comes after One Thousand One Hundred and Ninety Nine.

Let that be the end of it, Dammmit.

-- Bokonon (, September 19, 1999.

2000 also comes after One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine.

-- (, September 19, 1999.

Mike Cohn = buffoon

-- OR (, September 19, 1999.

Dammit! A lesson here. Never post before your second cup of coffee.

Yesssssssss. One thousand NINE hundred and ninety nine....

-- Bokonon (, September 19, 1999.


Thanks for the chuckles. This must be really old as when he refers to the need to worry about 3rd party software he states that they have told him he will have a Y2k compliant release by 1Q99 - I wonder if he really did get what was promised on time???? or perhaps this was all fictional anyway.

I hope like hell things go smoothly but it blows my mind that it is almost October and "mission critical" systems are still not tested and ready for all of our critical services. That is why I prepare - the liklihood of disaster may be debatable (even 5% is too much) but the stakes are too high to ignore. I want to do my best to prepare for my family, including my 3 yr. old son.

-- Kristi (, September 19, 1999.

Jeez, what's the matter with some of you? It doesn't take a genius to tell that this was tongue-in-cheek...


-- Scott Johnson (, September 20, 1999.

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