Just fool the computer

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This might of been posted before. I posted it some time ago on TB2000 but it got lost in the chaos over there. I apologize if its a repeat. Tried the url but doesn't seem to work anymore.

Greater Orlando spends $13 million to swat bug Dan Tracy of The Sentinel Staff

Published in The Orlando Sentinel on January 05, 2000

Greater Orlando made it through the Y2K scare largely unscathed, but only after spending at least $13 million in tax money to smooth the transition from 1999 to 2000.

The final cost of battling the computer malady is unknown, because many agencies are still tabulating the overtime costs for putting extra patrol cars on the streets or keeping employees at the ready on New Year's Eve.

And other departments are still adding up how much was spent during past months on readying computers for the date change from the 20th century to the 21st.

This much is certain: The remedy wasn't cheap for agencies throughout Orange and Seminole counties, although officials say the money was well-spent because there were no computer crashes.

"We didn't have any screw-ups," said Maryanne Morse, the Seminole County clerk of courts. Her agency spent more than $750,000 on Y2K.

Orange County and the Orlando/Orange County Expressway Authority apparently spent the most on new computers, software and installation -- about $3 million apiece.

Orange County, the region's largest government agency, spent another $20,000 on overtime pay for people working the holiday to ensure that water plants functioned and to run an emergency operations center that closed shortly after the New Year began. No problems were reported.

The expressway authority spent an additional $3,000 keeping workers and contractors available during the holiday.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office probably maintained the largest New Year's force, keeping nearly 700 deputies on duty near the midnight hour -- twice the normal complement for the night shift.

The cost easily will run into the tens of thousands of dollars, but an exact number was not available Tuesday. The office did not have a final tally for computer fixes, either.

The city-owned Orlando Utilities Commission spent almost as much on computers as Orange County and the expressway authority -- $2.7 million.

Overtime costs likely will run into the tens of thousands, because 300 OUC employees worked New Year's Eve and into the next morning. Normally, OUC has about 30 people on the late-night and early-morning shifts. Again, the overtime figures were not available.

Orlando spent more than $1.3 million for the year 2000. The streets department spent more than $11,000, mostly to put on a New Year's Eve party at the downtown Lake Eola, while an estimated $34,000 went to nearly 300 police officers who worked the holiday.

Seminole County spent $1.3 million, too.

Contrast that with some smaller cities, such as Winter Garden and Ocoee, where officials say they spent nothing or next to it because their computers and software were new enough or could be adjusted for Y2K at minimal expense.

Seminole Community College, however, spent money -- $250,000 -- but still encountered a glitch when its new student online registration system didn't work.

The fix: rolling the date on the computer to Jan. 1, 1999.

"We fooled the software, basically," said Dick Hamann, SCC director of computing and telecommunications services.

Posted Jan 4 2000 10:21PM


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), January 25, 2000

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