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RE: Year 2000 computer problem!

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Some time back, you responded in great detail to the potential problems that
the engineering community might face. I am, among other persona's, the
editor of SEAint Online (formerly SEAoC Online and SEAoSC Online).
I wanted to ask if you might consider writing an article on the potential
Y2K problem for the March issue of SEAint Online.
Online is starting fresh in January of 1999 and I am looking for any
engineer who would be interested in helping get information to other
engineers - globally. The publication will be printed in paper format and
distributed to SEA chapters in nine states and will be available to any
engineer who wishes to download it from the SEAint website
( ).
Please let me know if you might be interested. I believe you have both the
in-depth knowledge and the ability to express yourself in a manner that
others will find understandable.
If you are interested, I will let you know what the submission dates are to
meet our publication dates. I hope you will be able to help and look forward
to publishing your article.

Dennis S. Wish PE
Editor SEAint Online

>A simpler solution is a mathmatical one that was created by an
>engineer. The solution tricks the program to recognize the last two digits
>by adding an arbitrary number to the data and then subtracting another
>constant. I'm sorry but I forgot how the solution worked but after
>hearing the engineer on Jeff Levy's show, it was so simple. The
>hardest part of the problem was making small modifications to the
>program code to interpret the existing data without spending billions on
>modifications described above.


If there are no computer records prior to 1950, a possible solution is:

1.  Subtract 50 from the two-digit year code from all your records (This
may take some work - perhaps a macro could be written to automatically
do this).

2. Insert the following logic codes in your program everywhere where
the year is either input or retrieved as a two-digit code:

	If YEAR > 50, Then YEAR = YEAR - 50
	If YEAR < 50, Then YEAR = YEAR +50

3. Insert a warning that all dates must be between 1950 and 2049.

4. If your program prints "19" or adds "1900" to the year code when it's
displayed or printed, then you need to insert logic codes so that it prints
"20" or adds "2000" to the year if it is less than 50.

You effectively fool the program into thinking it's 50 years earlier than it
really is, and this will buy you another 50 years before you have to
upgrade your software and records.  Also, these changes could be
done anytime before the year 2000 (perhaps over a holiday weekend
when no one needs to use the program).

Michael S. Davis, P.E.