New Silver Bullet--FWIW : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Friend emailed this to me; no URL provided. It's a month old; I missed any previous discussion. Just curious about your reaction....Faith Weaver Message : The Jerusalem Post Newspaper: Online News From Israel Computer amateur discovers Y2K bug solution Byline: JUDY SIEGEL Date: Wednesday, September 15, 1999 A computer amateur, who took a six-month programming course 27 years ago and has since learned applications during his IDF reserve duty, has found a solution to the Y2K computer bug that is applicable to all databases.

The revolutionary solution, for which patents have been applied in the US, compresses four digits for the 21st century into two symbols, without interfering with any years from the 20th century. It accomplishes this by using special algorithms for expanding two symbols into four digits and compressing four digits into two symbols.

The achievement belongs to Ben-Etzion Yaron, head of manpower and payroll in the Hebrew University's department of computerized information systems. It has already proven itself in checking for and fixing computer bugs in the department's listing of faculty sabbaticals scheduled for the 21st century.

Yaron received a Kaye Prize for Innovation from the HU last June for a program that identifies the bugs in programs running only on VAX computers. Realizing that this limitation would restrict the use of his invention, he worked day and night over the past two months to expand the application to all computers and computer languages.

The only Y2K bugs it cannot fix, he said, are those in computer components embedded in equipment, such as medical devices. The result of his work is Sapir 2000, which makes possible the analysis of computer programs written in COBOL, used in the 1970s and '80s for databases that its developers thought would be abandoned by the end of the century but remained, with repairs over the years, to cause the Y2K bug.

Yaron's invention can even identify errors in other programs that have already been revamped to cope with Y2K and make corrections, thus providing a kind of 'second opinion' to ensure that chaos does not ensue after January 1.

Sapir 2000 can also be applied to other situations requiring expansion of existing information to incorporate additional digits. It is estimated that the time needed by Yaron's program to make databases compatible with the next century is 15 percent-20% of the time required using other solutions.

Yaron said his program would not become obsolete after January 1. Many programming errors will appear for years afterward, he explained, 'and Sapir 2000 is extremely flexible so it will deal with problems that we can't even realize today.'

HU vice president and director-general Moshe Vigdor said that the university's research and development arm, Yissum, has signed a contract with Magic Software Enterprises, an international firm that supplies computerized solutions for companies.

Magic's local subsidiary is MSE-Israel, whose president and CEO Jack Dunietz and managing director Oren Inbar were present at yesterday's unveiling of Sapir 2000. MSE-Israel will initially market and distribute the new product in Israel and, if all goes well, the product will be sold worldwide, mainly via the Internet.

Inbar said that potential customers may ask MSE-Israel to convert parts of programs on a trial basis free and pay only if they are satisfied and want more work done. MSE- Israel has decided to donate $100,000 worth of development kits, study material, lectures, and consultancies to HU to promote advancement of students at its new School of Engineering and Computer Sciences, which is due to open its academic year next month on the Givat Ram campus.

-- Faith Weaver (, October 25, 1999


LOL! get real.

(not you Faith)

-- Cory Hill (, October 25, 1999.

I do not claim to be an expert on programming, but the likelihood that this product could work on all computer languages seems improbable IMHO. I have encountered this piece before, and also previously read a similiar article about some adolescent that supposedly had done the same thing (he hadn't). Silver bullets are like the Loch Ness monster, Easter Bunny, etc.; they probably don't exist, but that will not stop people from giving credence to any "news" that they do in fact exist. (This is not a slam at you, Faith.)

-- MinnesotaSmith (, October 25, 1999.

Given the way mainframe programmers used dates 9creatively) and the way some of them packed them, represented them in screwy decimal notation, etc, this is NOT going to help. NICE that it works in a couple of places but NOT in enough to make a difference.

BESIDES, if you use this method you STILL have to touvh EVERY DATE USED by ANY program so you haven't saved ANYTHING because you have to do ALL the work ANYWAY to adopt this dating system. It works on the DATA but NOT on the PROGRAMS.

chuck, who drives now but was a design analyst when his hair was black and he weighed aLOT less.

-- Chuck, a night driver (, October 25, 1999.

My take on this??? It IS probably the Silver Bullet.

But with only 36 Federal Days left 'till the Roll, they can't even get it TRANSLATED into ALL 200 languages before the END.

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in, October 26, 1999.

Thanks. Wanted my DWGI friend to hear it from somebody besides me.

-- Faith Weaver (, October 26, 1999.

Chuck is right, if it's broke, it has to be fixed. This is just another way to fix it. Something like this a few years ago might have helped in establishing a 'standard' for date fields, but, didn't happen. The various method used in the 'fixing', will likely add to the headaches as the various date formats are swapped around. Additionally, many strategies did not really 'fix' the problem, tey simply allowed the systems to take a few steps back away from the wall.

-- BH (, October 26, 1999.

We do love our dead ends don't we...RIP dear ones...blessings, chris

-- chris (, October 27, 1999.

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