Electricity: Plans B through D / Embedded Systems Consultants

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The following is an excerpt from a note sent by Cynthia Beal to the 2000@efn mailing list. While it pertained to a specific strategy Edward, of Medford, Oregon, was seeking feedback on, Cynthia's comments seem to address the "best possible role" the average person and community can play in dealing with the problem as it relates to electric utilities...

I think that our best recourse is not to try and expect ourselves to do the engineering job for the utilities. I think the public can work best by insisting that our utilities are up to speed, i.e., it shouldn't be YOU giving this suggestion to them, with reasons why it might work - that's THEIR job. They should be telling you why your suggestion won't, and how they know, and producing their letter written to them by Rick Cowles (that they paid for, because they're spending money on informed consultants' opinions about what they should be doing right now, rather than guessing with your lifeline!) that says that it won't, and why it won't, as well as what they're doing instead that WILL make sure your town has power.

IMO, our only job is to see that the utilities are doing everything they can, if we have time to do that. Since I don't, I'm assuming my utility is, and I'm also accepting the fact that - even if they are - they are so dependent upon others' compliance that they won't even know for sure till The Day. My job is to do Plan B, and to hear their Plan B, and then do my Plan C, and hear their Plan C, and then do my Plan D...all of which I am doing.

I know enough about this to know that if we don't see massive testing next year - 1999 - coupled with brown outs and partial outages, etc. - then we will be going into the Year 2000 blind - and this is where Plan D probably comes in.

I think this is a very interesting proposal [the one fo which Edward was seeking feedback], and again maintain that our/your job would be to have your utility respond to it, in writing, directly, and publicly on the web page you're putting up for your community. [Note to Edward: If that page goes up, please let me know so we can link to it... B] I anticipate that we will see this voluntarily forthcoming from our utilities by this fall IF we put the suggestions to them now (Debra?) that let them know what we need them to be planning for.

I imagine that significant public pressure will be upon them by January, and that everyone paying attention now who's doing their job at preparing utilities for y2k will be glad to have your request, with a time frame within which to respond to it, and the suggestion about which consultant to hire while he still has time - Rick Cowles of Tava Technologies, or Wayne Horscroft. If your utility is interested, Mr. Horscroft is possibly available if Mr Cowles or one of his team isn't.

Again, I'm assuming that our utilities are buying the input of these experienced consultants. I don't see how they can be considered to be exercising proper fiscal management without making this purchase of expertise.



The following was posted to the 2000@efn list in reply:

Cynthia's excellent reply to Edward's question got me to thinking and moving over to Roleigh Martin's Infrastructure & Y2K/embedded systems web site located at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/roleigh_martin

One page in particular on Roleigh's site lists companies that manufacture and/or consult on dealing with embedded systems (and more y2k remediation):


If your utilities are open to the (probably wise) idea of retaining outside help, that URL could probably be of great help to your utilities too.

-- Bill (billdale@lakesnet.net), June 09, 1998

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