Ready for Y2K leap of faith : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Monday, February 28, 2000 Ready for Y2K leap of faith Region not bugged by rare date

By RACHEL HAURANEY, Ottawa Sun IT MAY not be a problem of millennial proportions, but the region is still gearing up for Y29K.

With some experts predicting tomorrow's "leap day" could cause a computer snafu similar to the once-feared Y2K problem, the region isn't taking any chances.

Greg Geddes, director of the region's Y2K program, said there will be an extra operator at both of the region's water treatment plants tonight and tomorrow night just in case Feb. 29 causes confusion for local computers.

"We're also going to have extra people in our facilities area," he said. "But it's more of a precautionary measure than anything else.

"I'm certainly not going to be staying up all night like I did on New Year's Eve," Geddes said. "We already tested for Feb. 29 during our Y2K preparedness tests."

Carleton-Gloucester MP Eugene Bellemare, who was involved in the region's Y2K preparedness operations, said some computers won't recognize the unusual circumstance of Feb. 29 -- causing all dates after Feb. 28, 2000, to be off by one day.

"How do we fix it? It's as easy as fixing a watch with a calendar on it," he said.

Any year that can be evenly divided by four is considered a "leap year," but not if it's also divisible by 100. The exception to the latter rule is any year divisible by 400, and such leap years only come along every 400 years.


Some experts say such a rare occurrence may confuse some of the world's computer systems. But Geddes predicted this leap year will be another "non-event."

Tom Hope, director of information systems for the city of Ottawa and former Y2K director for the city, agreed any Y29K hype was unfounded.

"I'm pretty confident it's not going to be a big deal," he said. "We don't have any extra staff on. I've just told the network administrator to be extra vigilant."

The next hurdle in the battle against Y2K comes April 1, when the new fiscal year begins -- but experts don't anticipate any April Fool's Day problems either.

-- Martin Thompson (, February 28, 2000

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