Y2K still bugging Washington state liquor stores

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Source: http://www.seattletimes.com/news/local/html98/liqq_20000111.html

Y2K still bugging state liquor stores

by Dionne Searcey Seattle Times Olympia bureau

OLYMPIA - The Y2K bug bit the state's liquor operation, gumming up computers and complicating transactions for clerks. It's the biggest Y2K-related problem reported so far in state operations.

The computer system that keeps track of the state Liquor Control Board's sales, inventory and shipping started acting up early last week at liquor stores, said board spokeswoman Gigi Zenk.

Clerks at 157 of the state-owned stores reported a host of electronic quirks. They couldn't access inventory databases, their computers didn't track retail sales and some credit-card transactions were slow.

Problems were so frustrating that 24 of the stores closed down for anywhere from 15 minutes to almost the whole day on Jan. 3, the first business day of the new year.

One store in the Richmond Beach area of Seattle was closed until late afternoon. And a Yakima store closed for 6 1/2 hours.

The glitches are getting fixed, and the system should be free of the bug by the end of the week, Zenk said. In the meantime, some clerks are recording sales by hand and taking inventory using pen and paper.


[There's more to the story, including these three additional Y2K problems:]

Other Y2K-related problems at state-run facilities:

* Telephone-service disruptions that have been fixed at the Reynolds Work Release program in Seattle.

* False readings that were recorded from the perimeter fence at the Clallam Bay Correctional Center, giving prison guards the impression that people were near the fence when no one was. The software would not accept a zero in the last position of the date field. A temporary fix was made, and a vendor will make final corrections. Overall security was not affected.

* Minor problems with radiation equipment at the University of Washington Medical Center. Equipment displayed inaccurate birth dates for some patients.


-- Philip Bogdonoff (pbogdonoff@y2kcenter.org), January 11, 2000

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