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RE: [at-l] Thru-hiking in 2000 AD: Survival?



I don't want to start a flame war, but the following post just got my back
up. Partly because I was there when the problem started and partly because
the author is proposing to continue our admittedly stupid behavior.

> Y2K Problem:
>
> Let me clear up some of the confusion which most people have
> about the year
> 2000 problem.  First it's a software bug which may or may not have effects
> on our physical world.  In most cases, you will not be effected.
> Reason --
> "most" major companies have already upgraded their software.  The
> media just
> loves to talk about it for show ratings.

The media, as usual focuses upon what the public understands. A computer
sitting on a desk is understandable. The computer inside seemingly innocuous
hardware (such as TVs and VCRs) is another matter. You are also ignoring the
vast network of switches for the power company and phone company and gas
company and water company and railroad and etc....all but the most primitive
of which have micro-controllers embedded within them. MOST of these switches
have not yet been replaced. MANY will still not have been replaced by 2000.
When the infrastructure goes down, I don't care what the individual
companies have done to their mainframes and desktops, everything will stop.
This is NOT a simple problem that the major companies are well on top of,
quite the reverse.

> This simple little bit of code will usually work for most simple programs
> including some of the CGI/Perl Web scripts I am currently writing for the
> Web.  But what happens in 2050?  Personally, I don't care because by that
> time my programs will have been out-dated and upgraded to new and better
> programs.

First, the average user has no idea how to employ this "simple" little bit
of code, much less what Perl or CGI is. Second your attitude towards your
programming is exactly what created this mess in the first place. I was
writing in COBOL "back then", and we all blithely made the same assumption
you just did - that our code would no longer be around by 2000. Now it is
almost 2000, the code is still here, and COBOL programmers are being pulled
out of retirement and paid huge sums of money to fix their mistakes.

> But, then again, maybe the AT will cease to function!?!?!  At worst your
> billing from some companies may get messed up.  I SERIOUSLY dough you'll
> lose any major utilities.  I just wonder how the stock market will react?

Forget the stock market - worry about eating.

Lee I Joe


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