[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

This is mostly off topic. The only on-topic thing I can say is that
thru-hikers will probably not be much affected. The change happens in
January. Watch the news (if the power works) or read a paper between
then and the start of your hike and plan accordingly. If you're
southbound in January and the world goes to hell you'll probably be
better off, or at least you'll get to hear some good stories when you
get back.

The rest of my responses are probably off topic:

Jeff Walters wrote:
> 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.

I'd love to believe this. How do you know most companies have converted?
Or converted properly? From their annual reports? Are these believable? 
Would you believe that all banks are converted because they say they

Personally, I think you're *probably* right, but I'm suspicious of
people, companies and agencies who tell us everything will be fine. I've
seen alot of this crappy code that needs to be fixed. It sucks and it's
not always easy to find.

> Here's part of the problem... for some time now people have been using dates
> in the following format mm/dd/yy (notice the 2 digit year).  The better way
> to handle this would have been mm/dd/yyyy (notice 4 digit year).  But, for
> some programs there is a VERY EASY way to solve this problem.
> For the mm/dd/yy format:
>      if yy > 50 then assume 1900's
>      if yy < or = 50 then assume 2000's
> This simple little bit of code will usually work for most simple programs

Simple programs aren't the problem. The problem is 50,000 line legacy
cobol programs that control major processing functions. 

> 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.

Which is exactly what the cobol programmers thought when they were
writing the code that makes up most of the problem. If your code is any
good, and it's in a stable environment, there's no reason to think it
won't be around to blow up in 50 years. Who would have thought that in
the 90's we would be so dependent on crappy old spaghetti-code cobol
programs? Certainly not the people who wrote it. Then again, there's a
good chance we'll probably both be dead...

> But, then again, maybe the AT will cease to function!?!?!

My trail crew's pulaskis and maclouds are all y2k compliant, I think.
Some of the stairs we've built might not be.

> 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?
> Happy Hiking,
> Jeff Walters
> * From the Appalachian Trail Mailing List |  http://www.backcountry.net  *

I agree there will probably not be too many problems, but I have
absolutely no reliable information to base this on, and I don't think
anyone does. The people who tell us that they've converted have every
reason not to say otherwise.

The stock market is driven by speculation and expectations. Who can say?

The AT will be fine. Thru-hikers will be ok. 

Tom Van Veen
Administrative Computer Center
University of Maryland


* From the Appalachian Trail Mailing List |  http://www.backcountry.net  *