A Report Which Seems to Give Some Hope

Joseph Galvin, a retired programer, sent me this report in response to my request.  I am always looking for good news which seems to be based on rational reports.  Please note though that Joseph IS getting ready for Y2K in personal preparation matters.  I think this shows balance.

I'm a retired contract programmer, the info I used came from the guys I know who are working on Y2K projects. I'm not saying there will no problems but for the most part these systems will hold together well enough to get the work out. The percent figures came from contingency plans some of my friends worked on for Y2K project planning, most DP shops will be staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week with extra people on call that first week or two of Y2K. The only 2 digit year dates that cause problems are dates used in calculations or compares.

The embedded chip problem is real, but a friend of mine that is on contract at one of the major power companies in Michigan says the company has two groups of audit/programmer staff testing out equipment. One group is looking at the pc's in the office, they are replaceing all the pc's that can't run Windows98. The other group is testing devices with imbedded chips, they found that most equip, less than 5 years old is ok or can/has been upgraded with new chips. A lot of the equipment worked after it was brought up with a date of 01-01-00(a 4 digit year was not required with these devices). The equipment that still failed was for the most part scheduled to be replaced in a few years and will be replaced prior to Y2K if it cannot be fixed with a chip upgrade.

This costs a lot of money but it must be done. A friend of mine working at Ford says they are well along working on the Y2K stuff, he reports the same type of problems with pc's and embedded chips and the same type of fixes as the power company.

They also have manual overrides to get around problems with these devices that are used now when things go down. My friends tell me this testing is not yet complete, but should be done in time for Y2K. The bank I do business with installed a Y2K banking system this summer and it has been in production for about 6 months now. I think people forget that these computer systems are not fool proof now and never have been and something is always being fixed on the run, every night someplace in the USA there is a programmer being called in to fix a production problem(one reason I retired).

As for my own Y2K planning, I'm going to pray that we all get thru Y2K problem and all the other problems in the world that will come up in the year 1999. I'm retired so I don't have to worry about getting to work and I live in the woods, I will fill my car with gas the week before Y2K, and keep some extra cash on hand. My propane wall furnace runs without electric power, I already have a generator that I can run my well pump with if the power goes out(power goes out now about once a week), and my camping/hunting gear is handy if I need it. I will be sure to empty the frig. the week before of anything that could spoil, since I retired I buy my canned goods on sale so I have a 6 month supply of canned food on hand right now. I do not travel over the holidays.

One thing is for sure, we will all know the answer on 01-01-2000.

I am not interested in debate, but I would like to hear from other programers, pro or con, on Joseph's observations.  Sometimes certain areas of life show real Y2K progress, while others areas are not even getting started.  How is it where you are?