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Re: Year 2000 computer problem![Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
- Subject: Re: Year 2000 computer problem!
- From: "Bill Sherman" <SHERMANWC(--nospam--at)cdm.com>
- Date: 31 Aug 98 10:15:11 -0400
I think the Year 2000 problem is quite real. I downloaded a program from a Y2K web page which runs some tests on your PC to see if it is Y2K compliant. Even though my computer clock allows showing dates beyond the year 2000, the software said my BIOS failed some portions of the test. Then after the test, my tape backup system didn't work and I had to reload the software. So then I backed up my complete hard drive and tried my own test, by simply setting the year ahead to 2000 via the Windows 95 time/date settings. Then I tried to run various software on my PC - none of the programs which use my modem could "find" my modem and again my Ditto tape drive could not be "found". After changing the year back to 1998, my modem software worked okay, but again I had to reload the tape backup software. Some of the Y2K web sites have numerous examples of actual problems which have occurred due to entering of future dates beyond 2000 or due to entering dates from the 1890's (100-year old hospital patients), which created computer problems. And there are examples of problems which could occur in equipment run by computer chips - some equipment may automatically shut down if it has a maintenance scheduling program and if it reads the year "00" as overdue maintenance. For example, elevators could shut down if the computer thinks it has not been maintained properly. My employer has developed a Y2K policy statement and is taking it seriously. Most large utilities are taking it seriously. But even if the large electric utilities do all they can, can they really protect themselves from a shutdown? A few years ago, much of the Rocky Mountain region had a large power outage due to failure of a single piece of equipment. So if even one utility misses a fix, can the whole power grid be impacted? I think the problem affects both large and small systems. If you have only new software on a new computer system, your system may survive - but I think everyone will be inconvenienced in some way when 2000 rolls around. If you "stick your head in the sand" and ignore the problem, you are more likely to have an unforeseen problem. I plan to be prepared.
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