Y2k Retrospectives from Power Insiders Chapter 5: Experiences with Message Boards

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Y2k Retrospectives Chapter 5: Experiences with Internet Message Boards, early 1999


Dan's Comments:

Although I'd worked on Y2k from late 1997, I wasn't introduced to the internet discussions until early 1999. At a Y2k utility conference, during lunch, a colleague jokingly referred to the "Gary North is a Big Fat Idiot" web site. I decided to take a look, and there it was! Because the information on Mr. North's was factually inaccurate on many points, I started discussing this on that board. I later learned from folks like Flint that North was a propagandist, uninterested in the true facts about Y2k and power.

In the course of discussion there, someone invited me to the TimeBomb 2000 forum to debate the power issue with someone named Robert Cook. So from March, 1999, on, I participated there. In May I discovered Rick Cowles' discussion board. Because it focused on the Power and Y2k issue exclusively, most of my postings from May forward were at that location.

In spite of the many heated debates on the forums, the general public largely ignored the Y2k issue. Public polling found only 10% of people genuinely concerned about Y2k causing a major disruption in their lives. Some power companies and NERC attempted early on to deal directly with the pessimists. What I found was that the hard-core folks had already made up their minds, and nothing anyone could say would sway them. A larger group of pessimists were at least willing to listen, but would always come back with "no one really knows for sure". Quite frankly, because of this, most corporations ignored the pessimists.

I'll speak to some direct confrontations on the forums in my "Y2k Villainous Acts" chapter. Something that became very clear to me from my experiences on message boards was that the internet was NOT a good place to determine Y2k's impacts on our lives. It is good for entertainment purposes, and for bonding with others that have like values and interests, but it is woefully inadequate at getting accurate technical information.


Jim Cooke's Comments:

I had no experience with any Internet message boards concerning Y2K before December 31, 1999. We used the Internet mainly to access the NERC web site and various manufacturers web sites. With work weeks averaging 50-55 hours, the last thing I wanted to do is surf the net.

My assignment for New Years Eve was to monitor the rollover in the South Pacific, New Zealand, and Australia. Since many of the systems used in the electric industry there were the same as in North America, we would have an early warning if something went wrong and have about 20 hours to fix it here. We had a secure web site set up by NERC and we were also monitoring the usual news sources and government sites. The assignment started at 0400 here which was midnight in Fiji. I thought this would be a pretty neat assignment since Id get to be Paul Revere if anything was heading south.

As you may remember, except for reading the same Everything is OK here messages over and over again, it was a pretty boring 6 hours. To take up some of the slack, I started searching for other Y2K sites that might have any different news. Lo and behold, up popped TB2000. I was rather surprised to read some of the messages as the world continued to rollover with virtually no problems. Some of the posters thanked those who did all the work to make things so trouble free and, to them, I say thanks, since thats more thanks than most of us got from our employers. Others, however, concluded that we had either rolled all the clocks back or were just running everything on manual since there was no way we could have actually fixed everything. The implication was that the only reason that power looked good was that we were all either liars or incompetents. By this time it was 1000 in the morning and Id had enough after being up all night so off to bed I went.

Such was my introduction to the Y2K subculture on the web.


David (Factfinder's) Comments:

My first experiences with Y2K "on the Net" occurred in late 1998 and were fairly positive, since at that time I was visiting vendor website to get Y2K compliance information. At that time, a good percentage of these hardware and software vendors had decent information, or at least a contact name/number. I also began to research general y2k sites at that time, and stumbled onto the EUY2K forum around December of '98. That was quite an eyeopener, for I had not run across y2k "forums" until then. At that time, Rick Cowles had two forums, one password protected one for power industry "insiders" (which I joined), and one general public forum that was not password protected.

I was one of the few who ever posted to the "insider" forum, and this was too bad, since it could have been very useful. I attribute the primary cause as "nondisclosure" rules and policies at various power companies (I never had to sign one, but still never posted specific information regarding the company I worked for nor disclosed the company to anyone but Rick). Another example of our great legal system inhibiting the free flow of important information.

The public EUY2K forum was a blast, I quickly learned that "good" news was viewed by many with distrust, distate, and disbelief, and "bad" news regarding Y2K was quickly and easily believed, regardless of the source! Fortunately, "cl" was posting there when I arrived, so at least there were other industry "pollies" in late 1998 at EUY2K. Dan, Malcom, and others soon arrived, which really made it a far better forum. It's funny now looking back, but Lane Core Jr. used to follow many of my posts with "you forgot to add for immediate release." I soon made it a point to "dish it right back", making fun of several posts (and posters) there. But all in all, we still had some very good technical discussions there, and I came to like several posters there that I "sparred" with, including Gordon Connelly from TB2000. And Lane never new it, but he kind of grew on me to, he DID give us some wit and humor.

Those of you who saw some of my post at TB2000 know I can come down hard on "doomers" on ocassion, but I never came down hard on Rick. I only blasted Roleigh Martin a couple of times as well. Why? A mutual respect thing I guess. Rick allowed me to post what I wished, never called me a "gov't shill" or an "idiot". Roleigh even forwarded a number of my posts/emails to his listserve members (he did take a shot or two at me, but I think I did it to him first). I respected them for allowing STRONGLY dissenting opinions to be posted, even if it went against their views. I never saw these guys as "the bad guys." Some other "pollies" have wondered why I was so "easy" on Rick - it's simple, he really DID know more about nuclear power plant systems (and some software and components) than any other well known y2k "media" types. If I talked RVLIS/ICCM, or EDG's, he knew what I was talking about. Where he was clearly wrong, was in the EFFECTS that y2k bugs would have in power plant systems/software - and by the end of 1999, he had moderated significantly (based on feedback from the industry I believe, including in the forum) and was not predicting disaster. I never want to beat a man willing to listen to the evidence and change his views accordingly. (Having said that, I would have liked to have seen a more candid admission of his being wrong, but instead he closed the forum rather quickly to concentrate on his new EnergyLand site. I recently requested the password to EUY2K to review the archives, but Rick seems to have forgotten it. Now come on Rick, those archives should be open for posteriety, and I'm not buying it!)

My first post at TB2000 however, was quite different - almost everyone wanted to cuss me, lol. By the end of 1999, however, many there were tolerant of me, including the "moderators" at TB2000 (Chuck, and yes, even Diane). Other's were not so tolerated, which irked me to no ends - I used to defend Y2K Pro since he was banned BEFORE he spammed, and Diane almost booted me for my ardent defense of his "free speech". I still don't like spamming though!

An Opinion: (worth 2 cents)The real "bad guys" of Y2K to me were not anyone mentioned above. The "bad guys" were those who ONLY posted myths, exagerations, and falsehoods about Y2K and NEVER allowed factual information to flow from their sites, lists, or posts. North. Frautschi and his early "white paper". The Beach Bug. Paula Gordon, who essentially took Frautshi's myths (some word for word) and built on them, eventually forming a whole PILE of y2k dung...phew ;) RC the "oil" guru and his "down hole embedded chips", LOL. This was funny stuff in retrospect, but at the time, seeing those who weren't knowledgeable of control systems and instrumentation consume it, it angered me.

Funniest moment at EUY2K: At EUY2K, I posted a link to another forum (not TB2000) that posted Poole's now infamous and hilarious "Q7 transistor" Y2K problem at another forum in EUY2K, adding "Frankly, I'm concerned, I've worked with both Q7's and 555 timers for years, these things are used all over the place" or something to that effect. But just to make sure I didn't mislead anyone, I also had posted a reply at the other forum stating that this was a hoax (at the time, I didn't know who the original poster was, and had not met Poole or his y2k website). What happened next was that Rick had enough confidence in my credibility by that time, he took my post and the link and sent it out to his list, and I believe that Roleigh got it and ran with it as well. ROFLMAO, Poole hit the "big time", and I was an unwitting participant and didn't know it (never told ya that part, did I guys?). Rick was rather irate when he quickly discovered it was a hoax, and my post was deleted (one of the only posts I can ever remember being deleted there!). What the heck, unless you know something about transistors and 555 timers, you would have no way of judging the credibility of such a claim, so anyone could have fallen for it if they didn't read my reply in the other forum - unless they investigated it with credible sources, which was a rare thing in the y2k forums. It's still funny though, and it's about time we all laughed about this stuff :)

Oh, one other thing. There were a LOT of lurkers on the forums, from everywhere. Frequently after one of my long "revisited" posts debunking the latest nonsense on embedded systems, I got email from others in the industry as well as federal, state, and other "entities", who were frequenting the EUY2K,TB2000, and the Debunking Y2K forum. For some reason, these people trusted me enough to email me (probably because it was obvious that I worked y2k in the nuclear industry). For the record, I was never a "govenment shill" as I was so often accused. But we were being watched from some "very" interesting places, lol.


Discussion question: What is your opinion about the internet's ability to educate you on Y2k issues? Any specific memories of the message boards you'd like to share?

Next Chapter: Was the Power Industry Really Ready six months ahead of the rollover? (circa June, 1999)

-- Dan the Power Man (dgman19938@aol.com), May 15, 2000


Malcolm's Comments:

First, My apologies to everyone for not having this prepared in time for inclusion with the rest of the comments.

Once I found that I was part of the Y2K team, I wanted to find out any information that we may not have already had available at work. The internet seemed an ideal place to begin my search.

Perhaps it was a mistake, but my first attempt to find information was by entering the search string +computer +software +y2k into AltaVista. Naturally this took me straight to the CSY2K discussion group where I discovered that there was very little discussion or information on computer software, and even less factual information on Y2K.

My first contributions to this group were simply as support for the few posters who were attempting to provide honest opinions and/or factual information, but the results were outright FLAMES. Along with the abuse that was posted publicly by Paul Milne, I received personal email messages with comments like:

"Brown nosing. And that statistics post doesn't support your outlook, regardless."

"No one asked for your unthinking vote, proffered without evidence. Self-congratulations are not warranted; your deluded strut marks your desperation. I should think your fear is showing..."

"Thank you very much, but who appointed you Wise Man of the group? You don't have word one to offer in evidence, which is why you offered nothing to validate your hard-earned "opinion"."

"Stuff your plea for moderation, and next time, if you haven't got anything other than your worthless ASSurance against TEOTWAWKI to offer, then just stay shut up."

"(Oh, now I see. You've only been posting for a few months.)


But I also received some with comments like:

"Be assured that this newsgroup does not represent the many professionals that are working hard to solve the real problems. Most of the postings are down right silly in there projections of what is really going to happen. I was refreshed by your original posting in that it came closer to the truth"

"A little sanity is always refreshing."

I guess that flames goaded me, and the support encouraged me to pass on as much actual information as I could. My immediate manager at work gave me tacit approval by saying that I could pass on any information as long as I did not state publicly the name of the company that I worked for. (He also advised not to say anything to the public relations spokesman, or to our legal people.) It was at CSY2K that I had a public disagreement with Rick Cowles over manual operations, but even then we could recognise each other as professionals, and hence our difference of opinion never deteriorated to the level that some other threads seemed to. It wasn't long before I became a regular at Rick's EUY2K forum, and only lurked occasionally at CSY2K.

The higher quality of discussion was instantly obvious, and despite having some people there who were simply anti-nuclear, most were genuinely concerned for the security of power supplies. I was glad to see Factfinder, CL, Dan The Engineer etc posting their comments on line, as they tended to confirm that the steps that our company were taking were in line with the rest of the international community. In private disscussion I found out that in some respects New Zealand had taken a different direction in some aspects of grid equipment that made us even less vulnerable to Y2K issues than most other grids. I must acknowledge the work of Bonnie Camp on this forum. Her reaserch skills were just phenomenal.

I do recall having a number of discussions with Marcella over her formula No Electricity = No Fuel, No Fuel = No Electricty, and being accused of being unable to connect the dots. Even when it could be shown that a complete failure of all power staions, and all grids was impossible there still seemed to be a total all or nothing concept. This led to my being asked to come to Time Bomb 2000 (TBY2K) to explain why I considered the electricity system to be simple rather than complex.

From this I wrote a thread which explained in laymans terms all aspects of Electricity Generators, Fuel systems, turbines, transmission systems ans distribution systems. I was slightly limited in some aspects as i had only second hand knowledge of nuclear technology, and of the USA grids, but fornately the other experts from USA were able to come to my assistance when required.

Overall, on any Y2K forum I tried to maintain a balanced attitude, and I hope that I always tried to understand the contrary opinion, even if I didn't agree with it. I came to the forums believing that all Y2K issues could be managed, and even if not always fixed, they could be worked around. This attitude had me labled as a "Polly" and even though it was origionally intended as a derogotory term, its a label that I still wear with pride.

Y2K may be all but finished, but I'll probably stay with this forum for some time yet, as I read about other issues that affect people in a major country far from where I live.

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), May 15, 2000.

Thanks for describing your experiences, folks. I like hearing all points of view in a discussion. I would like to point out one thing, though, and it's that Internet discussions about Y2K at the beginning of 1999 were influenced by a lack of information about Y2K in 1998.

My question to all of you is...

When should a layman who had concerns about Y2K have been able to find convincing information on the Net or elsewhere to persuafe them that the majority of the U.S. would have electricity on January 1?

I ask this question because when I started calling the TimeBomb2000 forum in October of 1998, the following report by Rep. Stephen Horn's House Y2K committee had just been released. There was little available information available up to that point. When should I as an individual have started to be secure in knowing that I'd have electricity on January 1st based on reliable sources on the Net or elsewhere?




3. The Year 2000 Status of Basic Infrastructure Services, Including Electricity, Telecommunications, and Water, is Largely Unknown.

No one knows the overall extent of our nation-wide vulnerability to Year 2000 risks, or the extent of our readiness. No assessment across private and public sectors has been undertaken. The President, through his Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, should conduct a broad assessment of the Nations Year 2000 readiness, identifying and assessing the risks to the Nations key economic sectors. This should include risks posed by international linkages and by the failure of critical infrastructure components.

The Presidents Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, headed by Assistant to the President John Koskinen, has established over twenty working groups to focus on distinct sectors of society. The working groups are organized according to important sectors: buildings/real estate, consumer products, defense, education, energy, environment, finance/banking, food supply, health care, other industry, information technology, insurance, international, public benefits, science and technology, small business, social service, state and local services, taxes, telecommunications, transportation, and worker protection (human resources).

The Presidents Council has released very little information about these groups and what they are doing. In any case, they are currently not playing a leadership role in setting out a national strategy for dealing with the most urgent and universal aspect of the problem: power, telecommunications, water, and other essential infrastructure.

Inadequate attention to the Year 2000 problem by electrical utilities is seen as the cause for "potentially major catastrophes," writes a representative of large electrical users. Major industrial power users are "concerned" and "dismayed" that "electrical utilities lag behind other industries" in preparing their computers for the next millennium. The lack of action in the past is most likely to lead to very high costs when the Y2K problem is dealt with on an emergency basis. Public utility commissions in the States must exercise oversight over utilities in their States to ensure that action is taken. The public, State and local governments, Federal department and agencies, Congress, and private organizations must be kept informed as to how critical sectors are progressing. If progress is not made on a steady basis, this might lead to a last-minute panic in hiring those workers who can make the repairs on time. That unplanned effort will lead to higher human resources costs.


-- A (question@of.timing), May 15, 2000.

I agree that there wasn't much substantive information available in October of 1998. By April of 1999, though NERC was reporting considerable progress with electric utilties. Certainly, by July of 1999, it should have been clear from the NERC reportds that the probablity of any substantial power outages was very small.

So, here's my question to you. How did a report issued in October of 1998 affect your decision on how much to prepare for possible problems with power? Did you cut back on those preps as 1999 wore on or did you continue at the same rate? If you did continue at the same rate, why? And what further sources did you use in 1999 to assess whether power would still be a problem?

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), May 15, 2000.

Good questions, Jim. Fair enough.

How did a report issued in October of 1998 affect your decision on how much to prepare for possible problems with power?

At that time, not knowing how many and which utilities would be ready in time, I thought it was quite possible I wouldn't have electricity for three or four weeks. I wasn't expecting a flat-out collapse however because I figured that even if the railroads did have big problems in Jan. 2000, the government would take whatever steps necessary to insure that power companies needing coal would get that coal or whatever any other kind of assistance they needed -- courtesy of Uncle Sam.

Did you cut back on those preps as 1999 wore on or did you continue at the same rate?

I kept buying preps pretty much at the same, slow rate until Sept. 1999.

If you did continue at the same rate, why?

It was my plan from when I started prepping in Nov. 1998 to accumulate a month's worth of water, food and heating fuel -- a little bit at a time -- and to do it before the fall of 1999. I figured that being able -- if necessary -- to stay in my home for a month and stay off the streets would take care of all but the most pessimistic Y2k scenarios.

My estimation was that if there were large chunks of undone Y2K work remaining in Sept. that's when it might become an issue with the general public and lead to last-minute panic buying. The general public never did do much last minute panic buying, but financial markets were starting to get nervous by Aug. of 1999.

And what further sources did you use in 1999 to assess whether power would still be a problem?

By Aug. of 1999 I was pretty sure that at least 70% of U.S. electric utilites were ready. What I didn't know by August is what the electricity situation was like in German or Italy or Russia.

Yes, it was my guess in the summer of 1999 that I would have electrcity on Jan. 1, 2000, and yes, there was a certain amount of positive information about electricity starting to trickle in during the spring. That's why in my goal to have a supply of essentials by September, I started to include items that might be useful if there were lingering shortages of certain items, especially from abroad.

In the spring and summer of 1999 I gradually accumulated a few months supply of things like sugar and motor oil. I checked to see if the old bicycles were still in good shape in case I needed to start riding them some again.

There's one other thing I did to prepare for Y2k even as I grew more optimistic about the power industry. I changed jobs to a line of work more recession-proof than what I had been working at in 1998.

Y2k to me wasn't about doom but about contingency planning. But I do think that even towards the end of 1999, some modest level of preps still made sense, if only for the reason that we kept hearing in the news about the threat of attacks by those who might want to inflict damage on this country and take advantage of confusion at the time of the rollover. And I also think that economic and supply-chain concerns were still valid, even towards the end of 1999.

-- A (question@of.timing), May 15, 2000.

I see that Aug. financial link doesn't work. Try here.


-- A (question@of.timing), May 15, 2000.

Why Two Kay is over?

-- (Cyber@Squat.com), May 15, 2000.


Thanks for your "after-the-fact" history lessons. During the debating period before the year-end it was very difficult to get reliable information on which to base a knowledgable decision on preparing for disaster. I was looking for more problems than we experienced. Those of you who posted the detailed "Educational" documents have my thanks for educating me on how the system worked. I moved from the "it's probably gonna fail" position to the "Electricity is not likely to fail" position on the strenght of those posts. I was more concerned about the failure of ancillary systems that I was of the major systems. Failure in enough supporting systems could easily have caused failure in the major systems.

Anyway, my thanks for to you for contributing to my education and I do enjoy the history lessons.

Best to you all...

wally wallman

-- wally wallman (wally_yllaw@hotmail.com), May 15, 2000.

When should a layman who had concerns about Y2K have been able to find convincing information on the Net or elsewhere to persuafe them that the majority of the U.S. would have electricity on January 1?

Laymen should never have had such a question. Enough to understand the universe is consistent, human nature is consistent. If Joe Blow working at PG&E did not even bother to save self and loved ones, what should this have been indicating? That maybe this insider did not feel the issue warranted bailing from the program? That inside the industry the vast majority were conducting themselves like every other day? Ya think? Unfortunately the typical doomer ignored this vital info and somehow was able to conclude Joe Blow of PG&E would indeed risk self and family since he was a yesman(part of the conspiracy) and owed his loyalty to PG&E over the safety of his family. This IS basically the mentality many of us were up against.

Facts? Disclosure? MEANINGLESS frankly as anyone who has made the Joe Blow conclusion is way past logic. Sorry, but the facts simply confused a situation where not 1 in 100 could ever hope to make sense of the facts. We had questions about embedded chip issues in D-Cell batteries. We had posters on TB2000 actually concluding they knew more than say a Craig Barrett of Intel or a Larry Ellison of Oracle. Based on what? To even think one knows more than these 2 alone tells me you simply have little clue how the world works. Washing your ignorance away with a neat little conspiracy mindset unfortunately does not wash well when applied to reality as these fakers know.

I personally posted many soft facts to deaf ears. Posted on how the SEC disclosures(by instruction from SEC) were worst case scenarios drills. These then were spun by the Doomer colony as factual evidence of the supposedly "real picture" below all the Happy Face reports when the truth was the complete opposite. Posted spending data ad nausem showing the massive spending was not massive and did not indicate Y2k to be a business survival exercise, but in fact an issue not unlike many they face every bloody day. Not even factoring in the amounts wasted on double checking nothing, replacing workable systems with 100% guaranteed Y2k compliant versions, the amounts were not even close to indicating even an enterprise concern let alone a crisis. The spending alone showed Y2k to be a massively overblown farce against the noise on the net. The SBA could not even GIVE away loans to SME to fix Y2k issues, as was predictable since most HAD NONE. Wall Street knew this, but the doomer concluded this indicated that others around were just too dam lazy, apathetic, all part of the "plan" of takeover, and/or procrastinating yahoos who knew not even what an internet researcher like themselves could see by a few clicks of their moooouuussse.

Widespread techno ignorance. Widespread conclusions outside of one's area of expertise. Conclusions based on outdated information. Over a medium which levels the playing field to the point where seditionists are taken as some voice of reason. Paula Gordon? Leon Kappleman? bout the medium, was never about a lack of info. Y2k found fertile ground in the minds of many without even the basic faith to understand the universe is indeed consistent.

The Sheeple(public without all them internet factoids) called it correctly. Their faith wavered but an inch. Clearly the sheeple have little clue, but enough to do what many on this forum were unable to do, call it right on Y2k. What should this tell you?

Year2000.com should have been password protected. Many insider chitchat and "how you do that" type places should have been closed. They were not as Y2k from inception, was about hyping an issue all out of preportion to the actual situation to then sell solutions to as much. Many of us on these boards were fodder, unaware dupes in a massive charade. The complete failure of the doome scenario, not as severe, but COMPLETE and utter failure, shows the ruse for anyone seriously wanting to GI. Toss in de Jager's overnight 360 and it is pretty clear what really was going on.

We have in front of us a powerful tool, are we ready to use such intelligently? Sadly from many of the posts on this forum today, I think it will take many more incidents like Y2k for most to even begin to understand what the term personal responsibility is all about.

-- Doc Paulie (fannybubbles@usa.net), May 15, 2000.

For some reason Dan seem's to have omitted what I wrote so I'll attach it here:

My experience is a little different.

I first came across a mention of Peter DeJaggers moderated mailing list (AKA Amys list) I think this was around May of 1998. From what I had read about it I thought it would be good "place" to pick up ideas and to hear from other engineers. It didn't work out that way.

I found a lot of people (the late Harlan Smith comes to mind) who thought, make that fully believed, they knew how the power system worked but what they actually knew was a mishmash of miscellaneous misinformation. Harlan for example believed that when a fault occurred the information was sent via the relays to SCADA and then SCADA tripped the associated breakers. Harlan was a retired engineer who had spent a lot of his career working on RADAR systems.

The problem was (and I think this was one of the main problems with Y2K) that the thinking went like this: "Ive work on complex things. I am a smart person. Therefore I understand complex things. ____X____ is complex. Therefore I understand X." (X can be the power system, embedded systems or whatever)

I think that this explains Yourdon and lot of the pseudo- intellectual hubris about Y2K.

Several people did contact me via Amys list and I spent a number of hours writing about how the power system worked, and didnt work. Quite a number appeared worried and were planning to spend a great deal of money on generators and other survival gear. I tried to stay neutral in explaining how The Grid, as it came to be called, worked. When I was asked about purchasing a generator my advice was that if they didnt feel they needed one in the past then they shouldnt need one for Y2K. I didnt try to dissuade them from buying "preps" but tried to put it in perspective. One of the things I tried to stress was that if people lived in places like Florida or California they should be prepared for hurricanes and earthquakes as part of life. Therefore they should already have more then sufficient "preps" for Y2K.

Some of the misinformation that popped up was almost amusing:

1) The Grid was controlled by a computer in Nebraska. 2) A large power failure in New York or on the East Coast would ripple across the country causing Los Angles to go in the dark. 3) Conversely if New York had problems power plants in Florida or elsewhere in the country could keep it lit.

I also heard from people who "knew" that the all of the breakers had chips in them that opened the poles at current zeros. My favorite was the one I started to call "The Mad Russian" who was working on a generator that was powered by magnets and quantum singularities. Otherwise known as perpetual motion.

My one claim to fame is that Gary North (yes, he, himself) sent me an email asking if it was true that the Eastern Grid was at 60 cycles and the Western Grid was 50 cycles. The answer was, and is, no.

I should say that around this time I had stumbled across Garys site. I spent a lot of time trying to trace the links he posted. This was mostly in regard to power but I also looked at communications, and a few of the others. What I found in the Power section was the usual misinformation. My favorite was the posting about the supposed power station that imported a huge amount of power across the boarder (no boarder was specified). All controlled by 286 computers. That linked traced back to someone selling generators. Wow, what a surprise.

CPR contacted me from Amys list and recruited me into his ad hoc group of people opposed to the Doomsters. CPR told me about Biffy and latter on the DeBunker board. I dont exactly remember how I found Time Bomb.

I spent some time looking at Rick Cowles site but dropped out after he went private and changed it to where you had to register and use passwords. This was mostly because of my experiences with Amys list and a general antipathy towards Cowles. I dropped out of Amy's list after a year. Since I, more or less, agreed with most of the people on Biffy and DeBunker I spent most of my time on TB. At first I just lurked but when I saw the same nattering, nihilistic, nonsense proliferating from such experts as "Shakey" as I did on Amys list I started to post under the nom-de-plume of "The Engineer".

I did look at other sites such as Cosmo's, Hyatt's and all of "the usual suspects". But I found that anything that was worth looking at usually wound up on TB. So it made more sense to check there regularly rather then try to hunt all over the net.

-- The Engineer (spcengineer@yahoo.com), May 15, 2000.

Will we have power on Jan. 1, 2000?

-- The status of power as (of@June.1998), May 15, 2000.

Interesting article at the link posted anonymously just now. What's interesting to me is that Sen. Bennett made this sweeping statement about the chance of power going out based on responses to a survey. He said that there was a 100% chance of the power grid collapsing and based that solely on the fact that his survey found that power companies had not finished the assessment phase yet. A big leap of logic there, and something that I hadn't noticed before. That one statement probably did more to produce wrong assumptions than most other things said by anyone else. As we now know, the lack of information on the part of people outside of the industry does not necessarily mean you can assume the worst.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), May 15, 2000.


I don't know how the idea that have some preps equals doom zombie seems to have started but nothing I saw that you did seems unreasonable to me. Your power company can't tell you that your power will be on two seconds from now let alone at some time in the future. Having extra food, independent lighting sources, and supplies is always a good idea. I don't think I'd stockpile two months worth of sugar but there's nothing wrong with doing so. The problem I see is with those who went into debt and completely changed their lifestyle due to Y2K. These people were a very small minority of those that prepared for Y2K from what I can tell and people who made reasonable preparations for any emergency shouldn't be tarred with the same brush.

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), May 15, 2000.

I think that Senator Bennett was part of the problem. If memory serves me correctly he went around repeating the (North inspired?) story about railroad switches being computer controlled so come Doomsday you wouldnt be able to switch train tracks. I think he also stated that he had inside information about a water treatment facility that would definitely fail come the Y2K. All of it was nonsense of course.

As was noted by CPR on Time Dilation the problem was that the people (i.e. companies) that should have spoken out early didnt. This let all of the myth molehills turn into giants.

-- The Engineer (spcengineer@yahoo.com), May 15, 2000.

This past weekend, I finished splitting and stacking the last of the required 5 cords of wood for next winter's heat. Five cords is a LOT, when you cut, haul, split and stack it yourself.

Power was always the Big One. And at the beginning, in addition to Bennett, all we had was Rick "I'm not at liberty to give details, but my database has megabytes of noncompliances" Cowles, Jim "Grand Canyon full of marbles" Lord and Dick "Dancing too close to the edge" Mills. Or was it the other way around? In any case, the outlook wasn't brilliant for the grid at that time. For us, a reliable source of heat and light was top priority. There wasn't anybody saying we wouldn't need it.

Light was easy. Down to WalMart for maybe half a dozen oil lamps and 10 gallons of lamp oil. Maybe $50 altogether, cheap at the price. For heat, we decided to go whole hog and install a top of the line, extra large wood burning stove, capable of heating the entire house toasty warm even on the coldest days. This is NOT cheap. It was far and away the single largest expense we wouldn't have spent except for y2k fears. Even back in the summer of 1997, these items were back ordered, because they normally sell so slowly that if even one person in 10,000 wants one that's enough to overwhelm the supply.

Today, I obviously have no regrets. We strongly prefer to heat with wood, which is why we continue to do so. But we didn't know that at the time. It was a painful purchase. So I have mixed feelings reading about how all this dire talk of lost power was a false alarm. If I'd known then what I know now, I doubt I'd make the same decision. The wood heat is great and the exercise is good for me, but I imagine there are preferable uses for a few thousand dollars nonetheless.

The oil lamps have been great for setting the right mood, though. Highly recommended.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), May 15, 2000.

Actually, Buddy, what I find amusing about that link is that it's from June, 1998, so I'm not quite sure what "anonymous" was trying to point out. In addition, most of the government and industry trade "reports" were based on surveys (i.e., Lord's Secret Navy Papers). We (debunkers) tried arguing the validity of ALL surveys -- especially the INCOMPLETE surveys -- (not just the doom surveys) to no avail. I got into several rather heated "discussions" both on de Jager's list and on CPSR's Y2K list over this; it was futile. de Jager's list started out as a technical information "bank" or "exchange" in late 1995 (I joined in early 1996). It wasn't long before Joe Public got involved and most of the valuable information was squashed. I remember an instance on the CPSR mail list where a survey (that spelled out D-O-O-M) was held up as Proof Positive that It's All Going Away. The survey was sent to (I think) 25 entities; only 16 responded (actually, a pretty good return). There were something like 10 different industries/disciplines represented in the 16 responses. And this was Proof Positive of Doom; this was considered "representative" of the Entire Y2K Picture. This is just a sample of what "debunkers" were up against (let's not get into the personal attacks based solely on one's positive outlook).

What this boils down to, and while the comments here have been much appreciated, only The Engineer really touched on it, is that there were too many people who made the leap from their knowledge/expertise to other areas, and this was mostly played out via the Internet (including various fora and mail lists). There was Ms. Cynthia Beal, a natural grocer from the Pacific Northwest (got the money to restore her "landmark barn-store" from the same EVIL GOV she bashed on a regular basis; how's that for hypocrisy?), who used her penchant for writing and for grassroots activism (nothing wrong with either of those, but they had SQUAT to do with Y2K knowledge) and stirred up a veritable cauldron and a half of unnecessary trouble. People were quoting her, for crying out loud, and she had FEWER credentials than Paula Gordon. We all saw this and worse happen on boards such as the original TB2K and CSY2K. It got completely out of control. The only saving grace (as it were) was the fact that most of the U.S. is "not connected". I shudder at what could have been the situation if there had been an Internet connection in every household.

Don't misunderstand me; one can speak outside of one's area of expertise and be knowledgeable regarding the subject matter; but when genuinely honest people do that, it's almost always with a caveat. I rarely saw caveats (that weren't of the sarcastic remark nature) coming from any of the so-called self-appointed "Y2K experts".

In retrospect, it didn't matter what kind of "information" was accessible because if you were predisposed to a certain line of thinking, nothing on this earth was going to change your mind.

Flint, you make an excellent point, one which The Engineer also made. Those who probably should have been speaking out, didn't. My guess is that the predominant reason for the deafening silence was CYA/legal. Only a guess, but it makes sense. I always wondered why we didn't hear more from the really "in the know" crowd, and I suppose that's a large part of the reason;, but let me throw something else into this mix that also got me into a rather heated debate a couple of years ago.

How much information does Joe Public really need to know? I had asked this question in the context of NYC back on de Jager's mail list and it's a good thing I was wearing an asbestos suit. But the flames were strictly emotional; perhaps one person who responded actually understood what the meaning was. I and others had also asked this in the context of Joe Public wanting, say, his utility's 'Y2K test results'. What was Joe going to do with them? Could Joe even understand what he was reading? Why does Joe Public have any right to demand what otherwise amounted to proprietary information? Wouldn't that most likely have created a whole host of other problems? Why should the utility, or any other entity for that matter, have to spend time, personnel and money to answer every stupid question? (That alone was played out rather nicely by the now- infamous "39 Questions".) Where does one draw the line of "consumer's rights"?

JMO but situations such as "Y2K - The Issue" will repeat themselves ad inifinitum, though perhaps not quite on the "y2k-type" scale, and there is nothing any of us can do that could stop it. It's usually just a matter of "predisposition".

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), May 15, 2000.

-- A (question@of.timing

You asked "When should a layman who had concerns about Y2K have been able to find convincing information on the Net or elsewhere to persuade them that the majority of the U.S. would have electricity on January 1?

This is an extremely difficult question to answer, as I'm not sure that will ever be a time that convincing information will be available that would persuade the majority of people that they will have power tomorrow. It appears, IMHO, that because one or two people with some influence were unable to get guarantees that the power would be secure on Jan 1st, then they concluded that the power would fail.

The report that you cite states: No one knows the overall extent of our nation-wide vulnerability to Year 2000 risks... Yet this statement is really quite logical. For any person to know the overall extent of vulnerability, they would have to know the technical details, and individual operating strategy of almost every single plant. This is clearly an impossible situation, and instead of trying to find a single person who knows EVERYTHING, perhaps the people in power should have sought any inviduals who knew of any potential failures. The same lack of people may have led to a totally different conclusion.

The report goes on to say: Inadequate attention to the Year 2000 problem by electrical utilities is seen as the cause for "potentially major catastrophes," writes a representative of large electrical users. Here an assumption is made that there has been inadequate attention, but there is never any attempt to define what would constitute adequate attention. From this assumption the report talks about "Potential major catastrophes". In other words, this is a case of "let's assume this bad situation exists, then there is a possibility of another bad situation developing."

As a result of building potential events onto assumptions we then find: Major industrial power users are "concerned" and "dismayed" that "electrical utilities lag behind other industries" in preparing their computers for the next millennium. The assumption has suddenly become fact.

This situation was compounded by Senator Bennet, but I'll deal with his report in a response to another poster's comment.

Overall, rather than asking when a layman should have been able to find convincing evidence that power would stay on, I believe that a more realistic question would be "When was there ever convincing evidence that power would fail?"

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), May 15, 2000.

From the information available to me on the net, and from media reports here in New Zealand, I would have to conclude the main claimants for a complete collapse of the USA grids were Senator Bennet and Gary North.

Reading the link provided by 'The Status of Power..' titled "Will we have power on Jan 1st, 2000" the summary provided in the headline is: Utility experts were not able to promise Friday that the United States would remain plugged in Jan. 1, 2000  the day the Year 2000 bug hits. They testified before a new Senate Year 2000 committee, whose chairman believes that if today were Jan. 1, 2000, the nations power grid would collapse.

Notice that it wasn't the Utility experts who believed that the grid would collapse, it was the Senate Year 2000 committee chairman. Using his logic, Nasa cannot promise that the earth will not be hit by a massive comet on Jan 1st next year, therefore a comet will hit earth on that date. The flaw in the logic is obvious, but when a Senator publicly states that there is a 40% or a 100% of something happening, why is his logic not questioned. If an engineer states that there is a 1% chance of some event occurring he is expected to back the claim with minute detail.

I believe that Gary North continued the deception by stating that that if the grid went down it would stay down, and could not be brought back up. I have not seen the quote personally, but Hawk did refer to it in a discussion on the Hazelwood power station explosion. It obviously had sufficient coverage that others mentioned it from time to time as well. These claims from people who had no actual knowledge were presented it discussion groups as if they were fact, and no amount of eveidence from those working in the industry was sufficient to convince anyone otherwise.

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), May 15, 2000.

Everyone: Thanks for the lively discussion. I think most of the issues raised have been discussed....

My apologies to The Engineer for leaving out his contribution to the chapter.

Wally, Flint, Patricia, thanks much for your interest. You've all made good points.

To answer one of Patricia's question as to why more information wasn't made public from industry insiders: Initially, it was a legal concern, but by the Spring of 1999 there was more than ample information from the industry about the good Y2k test results and prognosis. I'll elaborate more in the next chapter. What I experienced with customers of my utility (about one million customers) was that NOBODY CARED. Not one customer asked for a copy of ANY of our submittals to NERC. To me this is almost mind- boggling, but it did play out that way.

Thanks again to all for your thoughts.

-- Dan the Power Man (dgman19938@aol.com), May 16, 2000.

Overall, rather than asking when a layman should have been able to find convincing evidence that power would stay on, I believe that a more realistic question would be "When was there ever convincing evidence that power would fail?"

Interesting point there, Malcolm. Are you suggesting we probably would've had electricity even if no y2k work had been done prior to the rollover?

-- A (question@of.timing), May 16, 2000.

-- A (question@of.timing),

Would electricity have been available even if no Y2K remediation had been carried out? From our companys' perspective I would have to say that there would have been a 99% probability that we could have still supplied electricity. As a later chapter will show, we found very few Y2K faults in our control systems. Most were in business and administration systems. But this is the strange thing about Y2K, I can't even attempt to guess at the probability of other any other company, and untill we had carried out our own assessment we couldn't even be sure about our own systems.

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), May 16, 2000.

There was NEVER a possiblity that the "grids" would fail nor that power would be lost by any substantial per centage of the population. That was idle speculation. It was clear that Winter demand was far less than capacity and all scenarios for 1/1/2000 were based on 60% of capacity while demand ran about 40-50%. Thus, you had twice as much power generation available for CDC. EVEN if 1/2 were to fail, few would be without power for long under the contingency plans the Industry had in place.

That was ignored by sellers of generators who even tried to *create* a "shortage" of generators (an effort that failed after Honda ramped up their production and shipped).

The Power Industry's long record of reliance was ignored and smeared by people with little knowledge of the Industry. Any news of "progress" was "spin" or when the facts were incontrovertable, the subject was changed to the newest "Y2k fear of the day".

Above we see the classic. A link to an old URL was "SOP" for the "linkmeisters" of the world to re-establish the Fear mindset and justification even now. Post 1/1/2000, we see them using it to "justify" their efforts and the most notorious users are not the most obvious but rather the subtle ones like the "Center for Y2k and Society" or one Paula Gordon who will probably be referring to the IEEE-UK and Dale Way works in 2035 pre- "C-time Crisis".

Over and over, when the Utilities told people, "we think everything will be OK", we heard online only "PROVE IT" from PEOPLE WHO COULDN"T READ THEIR OWN METERS.........but knew absolutely "everything" about "embedded systems" and SCADA controls.

The "leading expert" appointed by the Y2k Lynch Mob Netizens was not even a college graduate and lacked professional standing to criticize *sanitation conditions* in a power plant's mens room much less a working SCADA.

Another "online mouth" was a micro-computer database programmer gadfly with NO engineering credentials or experience what-so-ever. Both were "promoted" as reliable and repected sources by Hyatt, North, Yourdon and a plethora of know-littles spouting hog-wash.

The real problem was that few in *authoritative positions" would say anything and when one did, he was excoriated (witness the treatment by the Y2k Milnes of Dick Mills and Dr. Murray Jennex of SCE who was in charge of a huge Y2k Project. When the head of a Y2k remediation effort for 38 Power plants (himself a Christian Recon) told Gary North to "get down off his Y2k Hobby Horse and get back to working on something he knew something about", North dismissed it as a personal attack.

It was clearly as I charged over and over, PROPAGANDA. "Disinformation" disguised as "fact" was to be distributed at all costs and anything that contradicted the Y2k Fear Mantras was "spin".

I have in my records a statement from a consultant to one of the top 10 Utilities in the world describing the remediation that was conducted for their "embedded systems". Hint, it was not a Utility based in Texas; so that narrows the hunt down for the Doom Zombie types doesn't it?

The statement is marked "not for public distribution" but I was given permission to use the results. The Utility industry was more than aware of the results and that lead to many Utilities cutting back on unnecessary "testing" and "IV&V" because it was clear that many of the systems checked in this major Utility were similar (in fact, identical) to those in others.

The Utilities correctly analyzed their situation and let their own Internal resources manage. The cry that "fix on failure" would lead to disasters could not be substantiated because the Vendors could not cite examples of systems that "could" fail. That was known by late 1998.

It was also known that not just 1 or 2 but almost 100 power plants were running with dates set forward past 1/1/2000 and if that was not a test for "date problems" re: Y2k WHAT WAS??

Two things are of interest from the "Major Utility".

1. Of the "millions" of systems they had, they checked *all* of them and found less than 15 possible date problems due to the CDC computer errors.

2. ALL of the less than 15 systems that were suspect were fixed and remediated and the total time spent to correct ALL their possible problems was less than 2 working weeks.

At NO TIME was power generation or distribution ever effected. They were done in 1998.

After that, the Utility elected to not disclose anything to the public about that because of "legal possibilities". Instead they issued a statement to the effect that "barring any unforeseeable problems, they expected few if any problems due to the Y2k problem".

That turned out to be a serious judgement in error that many Utilities and Companies and the Feds. made.

It goes back to the very conservative nature of Engineers and Scientist that prevent them from making "blanket statements" about anything. The reverse of that position is the work of people like Dale Way, the IEEE(US) and the IEEE-UK that "well, yes, its possible that there could be problems" but who then outline in the broadest terms without a proper frame of reference ........all the things that "could go wrong in the worst possible case".

It took nothing for a demagogue like North or Hyatt to twist that into "prepare for the worst and hope for the best" then sell Hurricane insurance to residents of the Gobi Desert and Comet Insurance as "PRUDENT".

The cost of the P.R. necessary to "calm the public" down from the hysterics for the Banking Industry alone probably exceeded $200 Million though I give $100 M. min. as a baseline because I have data to support that number.

The Feds spent $50 Million for the Y2k Command Center that they thought they "needed" and now can't find a use for.

The grand totals of such PR efforts probably runs in the "billions" MIN. It was a **DIRECT RESULT AND REACTION TO THE DOOM THEORISTS' EFFORTS*** that went for far too long unchallenged.

-- CPR (buytexas@swbell.net), May 16, 2000.

It was a **DIRECT RESULT AND REACTION TO THE DOOM THEORISTS' EFFORTS*** that went for far too long unchallenged.

There's a simpler explanation for Y2K concern than to believe it was due to the Gary North type crowd.


Computer controls that relied on information from countless embedded systems, or "chips," in complex operations in maritime shipping, electric power plants, oil refineries, and other areas also faced possible breakdowns with the arrival of the Year 2000. The mechanics involved in making any one of these systems capable of correctly processing the Year 2000 date were fairly straightforward, but the scope of the work -- identifying, fixing, and testing millions of systems and data exchange points in a global economy -- was daunting.

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.

-- (keep@it.simple), May 16, 2000.

Dan, Let me thank you as well for putting all of this together. And even though I know you guys, I have learned a lot more about you through these posts. For example, that you were invited to TB2000 to invite Robert Cook PE, lol.

Jim, At least you got to TB2000 for the rollover! The real "fun" was about 6-9 months earlier though, when it was certain that we were facing outright disaster by most posters. This had moderated a great deal by the end of the year, with only the hardest core expecting big problems. The hardcore continued to suspect serious y2k bugs were being ongoing in the oil industry for months into y2k of course. Of course, most knew better, but I DO think it caused the loss of the Mars Lander...;)

Malcom, your demeanor towards those who "hammered" you was always astounding to you, for the most part you continued to be polite. IMHO, this allowed you to reach the ear of many at TB2000 with your excellent series of educational articles on how the power grid worked. I also thought that Dan was well controlled and well received by TB2000. You guys did make a difference in presenting a more accurate picture of power and y2k. I too tried to post factual articles. But I had much more fun (and responses) pounding silly stuff from Paula Gordon, Bruce Beach, Dale Way, RC, DD1light, etc, right into the sand. I tried to take them seriously, but couldn't do it with a straight face, *sigh*, lol.

Jim Cooke is right on, certainly by July 1999, EVERYONE had access to factual information on the power industry via NERC, YOUR power company, that no significant problems were expected based on the findings. Sorry guys, there are no good excuses for pessimism past this date regarding y2k. The data was there, but many ignored it in favor of the Y2K mythsmakers of the Internet.

Doc, I am learning a lesson here on the Internet too, it appears that just as in the media, the shocking headlines rule. To get attention, to gain a following, it just has to be explosive, shocking, and loud. It doesn't have to be true, if "they" wan't it to be true, then by golly it will be true, at least for a time....(then on to the NEXT fraud)...

The Engineer, Hey, you ARE famous. *I* never got an email from Gary....lol. I really enjoyed your post and discussion of the myths, there were so many. I appreciate you reminding me of deBunkers and Biffy. I had found EUY2K, TB2000, csy2k, but until I found debunkers, Biffy, and Pooles sites, I thought I was one of the few on the Interent who wasn't a doomer (other than other power types at EUY2K). It was refreshing (other than some of the excessive cursing/flames at Biffy and debunkers on ocassion).

As Buddy and others point out Bennett WAS part of the problem, he way overhyped Y2K since he bought the "y2k experts" (i.e., prophets of doom) nonsense until way late in the game.

Flint, that reminds me - I would like to have a dollar for everytime Rick told us he was on to something big, or "things are starting to get crazy" and NEVER did we hear a word about it later on.

Over and over, when the Utilities told people, "we think everything will be OK", we heard online only "PROVE IT" from PEOPLE WHO COULDN"T READ THEIR OWN METERS.........but knew absolutely "everything" about "embedded systems" and SCADA controls. LOL cpr, love this one. And might I add, that sudden PLC experts fell out of the woodwork for Y2K? Remember all the warnings of PLC's going down? I FOUND ONE - and it wasn't even a real PLC, it was a PC based system that had ladderlogic type programming! (Yes there were y2k bugs in PLCs, and I have heard of some that may have had more signiicant problems, but these were very, very, rare. 99.9999% of PLCs would have kept on trucking (even those with RTCs) WITHOUT REMEDIATION. Write that down in the annals of history.

keepitsimple, Try a mid - 1999 version of the report :) Basically, by the end of the year, doomers hated Koskinen (President's commission) since he was so optimistic!

-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), May 16, 2000.


Don't even mention ladder logic. I spent one whole summer two years ago trying to get PLC's to interface with a SCADA system controlling a Rube Goldberg fishscreen and new intake we built at an existing facility. Ladder logic has to be a curse put on earth by Satan himself.

I've seen the question of why more power experts weren't posting here that everything would be OK. Apparently you, Dan, Malcolm, and the Engineer weren't enough critical mass to convince the real doomers. As you say, I was lucky not have been involved in the pre-rollover fracas over this but I'd suggest a lot of us who might have gotten involved were just too damn busy working. You guys have a lot more endurance than I do. When I got home I usually wanted eat and go to bed and hope I could make it up the next day. If anything, the fact that a lot of us power guys weren't around should have given people some comfort that maybe we were actually doing something useful instead.

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), May 16, 2000.

Hi gang. Let me start by saying that I think this is the forum to discuss things like this, vs. Ezboard, since we do still have a few pollys here, to discuss the other side... LOL...

David (FactFinder) and Dan,

I think you know that I do respect your opinions. For those that don't know, we made Dan jump through all sorts of hoops on the old TB2000. Us "hard core" doomers didn't believe that he was a real "power man" until we had verification. Drew Parkhill (another doomer) was nice enough to verify this for us. And FactFinder helped me to understand how at least part of the grid really works, on EUY2K. Thanks again FF. In case you don't remember, I asked how the "grid" was synchronized, and your answer explained it in terms that I could understand, since I don't know squat about power generation.

We all had access to the same Y2K information. I guess it all depended on how we interpreted that information. Flint is right, when he says that "Power was always the Big One". This was always my #1 concern, followed by oil and refineries.

And we all know that North was the ultimate doomer. But I never cared what Gary had to say about it in his comments. I used his site for his links. He presented us with thousands of "doomer" stories. In the end, I didn't spend much time on his site. I found other places to visit, like the Senate reports, IEEE, and needless to say, TB2000, with stories from IBM, the Red Cross... You know, we were all there...

When I did find TB2000, I had a great respect (and still do) for Robert Cook. He is a guy that is in the trenches, a nuclear engineer, that does have the experience. I respected his opinion, long before I respected yours. I looked at things like the communications "drill" (or should I say farce) in Sept. 1999 (?), and I did question it. Can you blame me? Wasn't it a public relations joke?

I know, I'm ranting. It's not easy to sum up ones feelings on Y2K in a few paragraphs. But I will say, that thanks to Dan and David, in part, I never was a 10...


-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), May 17, 2000.


Since you and I never were exactly on the same side of the aisle (ahem[g]), I can offer objective confirmation: no, you were never a 10. I certainly disagreed with you about many things, but fair is fair.

(And in retrospect, let me state for the record that I have been WRONG about you on a few things. You've been very gracious since the Non-Event. I need to reciprocate.)

I have to ask about Robert Cook, though -- where is he? Has anyone heard from him since the transition? He seems to have evaporated. Is he posting at the EZBoard?

The man was always a mystery to me, because he was anything but a dunce, but some of his positions sounded almost hysterical. Frankly, I considered him a textbook case of an otherwise-smart guy getting infected with a heavy dose of the Meme.

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), May 17, 2000.

Hi Stephen,

You know, I never really had any problems with you, except for your being such a hard-core polly. :) We spent many nights, trading posts 'til the wee hours. I think I've said this enough, but I will say it one more time, just for you. I was wrong about Y2K, and you were right. And I'm very happy that it turned out that way!

Robert does post on EZ, and he is pretty active there.


-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), May 18, 2000.

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