China - Year 2000 website fails at rollover; novelist loses computer data : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Y2K may have stopped taximeters


Experts are investigating an incident which is suspected to be linked to the Y2K bug, said officials from Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province.

During the transition from 1999 to 2000, more than 100 taximeters in the city did not work, according to a report from the local Yangtze Evening News.

The cause of the problem, however, has not been determined to be the Y2K bug.

Liu Zhong, an engineer from Nanjing Measure Bureau, which was responsible for the taximeters, said during a telephone interview that the problem was partly caused by the calculagraphs in some meters.

Some calculagraphs have been set to stop at 12 pm of December 31, 1999, and when calculagraphs stop, taximeters have no display, Liu explained.

He claimed after his bureau received such reports, experts were organized to take care of the problem, and the operation of taxis as not affected.

An official from the Nanjing Municipal Electrical Information Office, who only identified himself as Ye, said he was not sure if the problem was related with the Y2K bug as calculagraphs are micro-computer controlled.

Ye said according to China's Measurement Law, measuring tools including taximeters were required to be checked up regularly, calculagraphs in taximeters were set to stop to remind taxi drivers of inspection.

The function has been cancelled in newer types of taximeters, but because of costs, the old taximeters were not eliminated. Ye explained.

If the incident in Nanjing was caused by the Y2K bug, it was among the few cases related to the outburst of the Y2K bug in China.

The Beijing Morning Post reported that renowned writer Gu Qingsheng lost all his computer data due to the Y2K bug. Ironically, Gu often included Y2K warnings into his novels.

The web site can not be accessed during the transition time, and the web site was also suspected to be affected by the Y2k bug, according to a report from China Youth Daily.


Author: JIA HEPENG, China Daily staff

-- Lee Maloney (, January 29, 2000

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