Software may leap over Feb 29 : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Software may leap over Feb 29 By Luisa Bustos 10 February, 2000

SYDNEY - Businesses using packaged accounting software may face problems on February 29, as date-based bugs attempt to take another bite at business.

"The leap year date is going to test packaged software," said Chris Morris, an analyst with GartnerGroup. "It could be one to watch." Morris said off-the-shelf software may not have been adequately tested or implemented properly and may cause problems. He said there has been "some delayed recognition of failures", but most companies are keeping problems quiet. Graeme Inchley, CEO of the Y2K Industry Program, said there had been some payroll system failures and end-of-month reporting problems. "Anecdotally we've heard of a number of problems with accounting systems, which are reputably compliant but have had problems with payrolls or reporting," he said. "We don't imagine there will be [many leap year problems] but there will be some." According to officials from accounting software providers MYOB and Solution 6, no customers have required Y2K support as yet.

-- Martin Thompson (, February 10, 2000


I hope to have a longer analysis on this situation in the next week or so, however: (1) I don't think any of us will "notice" any problems, thus the media will say the y2k bug is "dead" (2) In fact, there will be thousands and thousands of nuisance errors and accounting problems. A number of remediators I talked to prior to rollover (outside of embeddeds) said that they found a greater percentage of Feb 29 problems than rollover problems.

-- Bud Hamilton (, February 10, 2000.

If my facts and reasoning are correct, February 29 could bring on some of the major failures Y2K preparationists dreaded at the millennium Rollover. Premises and Facts: 1. Some ebmedded chips have the Leap Year Date Bug, thus will roll over from 02/28/00 to 03/01/00. Worse, these chips will remain one day fast thereafter, until found and reset or replaced. 2. Some embedded systems are hard to find, much less reset or replace. 3. Some embedded system dates control critical infrastructure, and important industries, such as electric, telephone, pipelines, and chemical plants. 4. At the Millennium Rollover, all embedded systems at least did roll over to the same date; from 12/31/99 to 01/01/00. 5. The Rollover outcome proves that systemic computer bug outcomes are unpredictable. 6. This will hit in the middle of the business week, with all systems at full load, unlike the Rollover; aggravating the immediacy of any problems. Furthermore, the general public is totally "asleep" for this one. CONCLUSION: February 28 should be treated every bit as seriously as Jan, 1, 2000 by Y2K preparationists. There is a significant probability of major disruptions to major systems, or even core infrastructure. Imagine the havoc that chips being "one day off" on SCADA and similar time sensitive control systems will cause! Will someone please say if any of these factural premises, or the reasoning leading to these awesome ominous conclusions is in error? Posted at T minus 401.5 hours (UTC).

-- Robert A. Riggs (, February 12, 2000.

Crow tastes good! Nothing this bad happened. But: The existing slowly unfolding "Flood" has been augmented, however. And, new "low lying areas" could develop, in addition to the hardest hit sector, petroleum production and refining. The energy crisis could become VERY severe. Will it spur Man to finally develop alternative energy sources, and actually emerge from the other side of the crisis actually strenthened? Or will it synergize with political tensions to cascade into something much worse, like a major destructive war?

-- Robert Allen Riggs (, March 11, 2000.

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