Andy Ray or John Koskinen: which one do you believe...and why?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
A catastrophic Y2K was not avioded (contrary to the doomer meme), the truth is a catastrophic Y2k was a fantasy concocted in the minds of a few disillusioned lunatics. The third-world countries didn't spend any money "fixing" the problem becuase money in most of those countries was not available. They survived - as did we all. Would the West have survived without massive amounts of cash and effort directed at the perceived problem? Yes.
FINAL REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION
March 29, 2000
RETROSPECTIVE ON THE MAGNITUDE OF THE PROBLEM
There is general agreement that the Year 2000 rollover went more smoothly than expected. The incredible success of the transition has prompted a number of questions about the effort and the results it produced.
Was Y2K an insignificant, over-hyped problem?
In the weeks since the rollover, some have expressed doubt about the magnitude of the Y2K problem and whether or not the significant investment of time and money to avoid disruptions was necessary. However, it has been difficult to find executives who worked on Y2K in a major bank, financial institution, telephone company, electric power company or airline who believe that they did not confront -- and avoid -- a major risk of systemic failure.
One indication of the difficulty of the Y2K problem is the fact that many large, sophisticated users of information technology revealed in regular filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that they had been required to increase the funds allocated to their Y2K programs. These increases, which in some cases were in the hundreds of millions of dollars, were not for public relations purposes. Rather, they reflected the difficult effort of remediating large, complicated and often antiquated IT systems.
The Federal Government experienced a similar phenomenon. Cumulative agency estimates for the costs to solve the Y2K problem increased over four years from under $3 billion to the $8.5 billion that was actually spent. This was still significantly less than the $20 to $30 billion estimated by outsiders. But here too, the job of ensuring Y2K compliance proved to be more challenging than initially expected.
The range of actual failures during the January 1 and February 29 (Leap Day) rollovers served as a reminder of the major economic and operating disruptions that had been avoided by the development of Y2K compliant IT systems:
- A classified Defense Department intelligence satellite system was totally inoperable for several hours during the rollover period. The problem originated not in the satellite itself but in the ground-based switching and software equipment used to download and process information from the satellite.
- Bank credit card companies identified a Y2K-glitch involving some credit card transactions. Merchants that did not make use of free upgrades provided during 1999 for a particular software package charged customers for orders every day after a single purchase was made. The problem affected primarily smaller retailers since most major retailers use their own customized software.
- A Y2K computer glitch at a Chicago-area bank temporarily interrupted electronic Medicare payments to some hospitals and other health care providers. As a work- around, Medicare contractors -- private insurance companies that process and pay Medicare claims - were forced to send diskettes containing processed claims to the bank by courier or Federal Express so that the payments could be made in a timely manner.
- Florida and Kentucky unemployment insurance benefit systems encountered a Y2K glitch in an automated telephone call processing system. The Y2K glitch in customized code prevented some claimants from claiming earned income for the week ending 01/01/2000. Claimants reporting the problem had to be given an alternative means for filing their claims pursuant to State contingency plans.
- Low-level Windshear Alert Systems (LLWAS) failed at New York, Tampa, Denver, Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago O'Hare and St. Louis airports during the date rollover. The systems displayed an error message. Air transportation system specialists at each site were forced to reboot LLWAS computers to clear the error. Fortunately, the weather was mild across the United States.
- Seven nuclear power plant licensees reported problems with plant computer systems used for supporting physical plant access control, monitoring operating data, and calculating meteorological data. The affected systems did not have an impact on the safety of operations at the plants.
- During the Leap Day rollover, several hotels reportedly were unable to issue room keys to guests because of a failure in hotel key-producing software.
- The Council Chair, traveling in March, received a car rental contract that included a $10 daily charge as an underage driver since the software indicated he was born in 2039.
These and other glitches would have been more serious had they occurred in an environment in which a wide range of other Y2K problems had also surfaced. If there had been a flurry of other difficulties, some glitches would have gone undetected for a longer period of time. Glitches also could have had a multiplier effect by creating problems through interfaces to other systems or could have resulted in a gradual degradation of service. As it happened, organizations were able to focus all of their attention on the relatively few problems that did occur, which resulted in much faster restoration of normal operations.(snip) Since no one knew with certainty the true extent of the problem or had any experience in dealing with anything like it, initial cost estimates for Y2K-related repairs varied widely. The range was illustrated by a frequently cited estimate of $300 to $600 billion for the worldwide cost. Many predicted that the final price tag for the United States Government alone would top $30 billion. Given the relatively unknown size of the task and the ballooning cost estimates, it is easy to understand why many serious people in the mid- and late-1990s who had looked at the situation maintained there was no way the work could be finished in time. Several obstacles appeared to support the view of those who said it was too late to avoid disaster. There was the natural tendency to procrastinate. In the mid-1990s, with several years until the millennium and the possibility that someone would invent a "magic bullet," some were comfortable putting the work off into the future. There was also the perception that Y2K was solely an information technology issue, not a core management problem. As a result, in many organizations, Y2K was just another project battling for scarce financial and management resources on the IT side of the ledger. In the private sector, information bottlenecks were widespread. Anti-trust issues and a natural tendency to compete for advantage made working together on Y2K difficult, if not inconceivable, for many companies. Moreover, the threat of lawsuits had companies worried that they would be held liable for anything they said about the Y2K compliance of products or devices they used, or their test processes and results. Legal considerations also prevented companies from saying anything about their own readiness for the date change. Thus, their business partners -- as well as the general public -- assumed the worst. When the Council began its work in early 1998, the Federal Government was struggling to fix its systems. The consensus among many was that the Government wouldn't make it. In particular, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Health Care Financing Administration, and the Defense Department had an extraordinary amount of work to do in a relatively short period of time.
-- The heart (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 06, 2000
Peter de Jager's 'The Question of Italy: An Analysis'
-- also (email@example.com), May 06, 2000.
Why isn't anyone signing with their pre-non-event aliases? ;)
-- Andy Ray (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 06, 2000.
Porky, is that you?
-- Andy Boy (email@example.com), May 06, 2000.
January 8, 2000
Experts Puzzled by Scarcity of Y2K Failures
By BARNABY J. FEDER
Whether it is with scorn, anger or resignation, most computer experts and Year 2000 program managers brush off suggestions that they overreacted to the Y2K threat, taken in by computer companies and consultants positioned to profit from fear.
Still, like the skeptics, many wonder: How did countries that started so late -- and appeared to do so little -- manage to enter 2000 as smoothly as nations like the United States and Britain that got an early jump?
"That question is plaguing all of us, although some people won't admit it," said Maggie Parent, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's representative to Global 2000, an international banking group formed to coordinate and stimulate Year 2000 work. "We expected there to be some significant blowouts."
A World Bank survey published last January concluded that just 54 of 139 developing countries had national Year 2000 programs outlined and only 21 were actually taking concrete steps to prepare.
Japan, China, Italy and Venezuela showed up as high-profile question marks in various studies. Paraguay's Year 2000 coordinator was quoted last summer saying the country would experience so many disruptions its government would have to impose martial law. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova were seen as so risky that the State Department issued travel advisories in November and called nonessential personnel home over New Year's.
So what accounts for the surprisingly quiet rollover? Computer experts cite several factors. Even they may have underestimated how hard many countries worked in the last few months, when the problems were better understood, and how much help came from others that started early. And in many cases, assessments of overseas readiness were based on scarce or vague data.
But the simplest if most embarrassing explanation is that the some public and private analysts who testified before Congress and were widely quoted overestimated the world's dependence on computer technology. Most countries had much less to do to prepare because they are far less computerized than the United States. The computers they do have are much less likely to be tied together in complex systems and are often so old that they run much simpler software, according to Louis Marcoccio, Year 2000 research director for the Gartner Group, a technology consulting firm.
At a briefing last week on why Pentagon analysts overestimated the risks in many countries, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre said, "If we had a failing, it may be that we extrapolated to the rest of the world the kind of business practices that we have developed here."
-- (NY@Times.article), May 06, 2000.
Great to see ya.
Hows life in your part of the post-apocalyptic-world-that-was- destroyed-by-Y2K-and-replaced-by-an-identical-alternate ?
Round here its so much the same that you'd call it spooky.
-- W0lv3r1n3 (W0lv3r1n3@yahoo.com), May 07, 2000.
Always enjoy your posts Andy, both pre and post apocolyptic Y2K....lol.
Remember the Q7, now that was funny....
-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), May 07, 2000.