Sneaking a Peek at the Year 2000 : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

From "ts," Christopher Walsh, and Tech Week - April 5, 1999

Sneaking a Peek at the Year 2000

Year 2000 awareness is so rampant that polite party conversation consists of, "Great egg rolls, are they Y2K compliant?" Prophets of doom wander the streets mumbling about the end of the world. Cynics say the millennium bug is nothing but media hype.

The debate between the believers and the non-believers sounds like dialogue from X-Files. Without facts, I didn't want to participate in the noise. Then one day I realized that, unlike UFO's, I actually do own computers. Rather, my company does.

So, I went off to examine my recently purchased (January 1999) server and workstations. My "tech guy" got some Y2K assessment software and we installed it. Part of the testing sets the clock forward to 1/1/2000. Another part of the test resets the clock back to the current date. In the thrill of the moment, we forgot to do the second part. So, we merrily rebooted our network into the unknown chaos of the next millennium, not realizing what we had done.

Our first problem was that users could not log onto their workstations. All passwords were rejected. Being technical people, we assumed the users were the problem and made them re-enter their passwords. Numerous times, until they got a bit testy.

Finally, we went to the administrative module to assign new passwords and everything was blank. No users. No passwords. No options. Nor could we add users.

My company ground to a halt. Tempers flared, accusations started flying about buying inexpensive hardware. You could almost hear the battle theme from Star Trek.

Then my Tech Support training kicked in and I thought to check the date. There, laughing at our pain, was "1/1/2000." Brought to our knees by Y2K. So we rebooted, reset the clock and were again in the present. Life was back to normal. Or was it? We had seen a glimpse of what will happen. Not might happen, but will happen.

The only way to avoid that fate is to get the manufacturer's patch=97and that's only for the one program I know about. What about all the others? I don't really know what's going to happen to civilization in January. I don't know what's going to happen to the energy grid, the Internet, farmers, or the economy. But by limiting my scope to the smaller world of computers, there are four things of which I am certain. Some PCs will fail. Some software will fail. Some servers will fail. And some companies that have not prepared for those first three problems will also fail. Y2K doesn't seem so funny anymore.

Christopher Walsh
President, The Walsh Consortium

-- Bill (, May 02, 1999


Bill, Thanks for the laugh again. We over at the Debunking Y2k webboard, rolled this Walsh thing around about a month ago. Still pretty funny article.

-- Doc Paulie (, May 09, 1999.

You are not alone. Since February of this year we have been receiving payments and lists of patients from a large insurance company addressed this way: Jane Doe MD AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE USE City, State, Zip code Since the medical practice is located in a small town and the doctors are all well known, the Post Office delivered the mail to the doctor's P O Box. More recent mail was addressed without the "M.D." and the Post Office delivered it to the doctor personal P O Box. Other branches of the same insurance company, are being mailed to an old address that was changed in 1992. As the Office Manager for the medical practice, I feel very offended that the doctor, who is a woman, is addressed as 'AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE USE". Expecially since the problem is recurrent since February 3, 1999. What can we expect in the future?

-- Lucia Foster (, May 20, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ