there is no embedded chip problem~Who knew? **smirk** : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Subject: Re: Heavy Equipment: Compliance~NOT A PROBLEM

Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 10:44:56 +0100

From: "Y2K Maillist (Via: Amy)"




From: "Dave Hall"


Subject: Re: Heavy Equipment: Compliance~NOT A PROBLEM

Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 21:43:30 -0500

I always enjoy it when someone new states absolutely that there is no problem with some Yr2K area where tests have already proven that there are real problems. Of course you can always define away a problem, such as is done below. The "chip" has no problem, it's the programming embedded ON the chip that has the potential Yr2K logic impacts. And of course NonIT stuff is not interested in data manipulation, however all "chips" use information from some source to make decisions as per their programming.

If one of those information sources is the date (from wherever, either an RTC or another system) and the date (or date-derived data) is used to make some decision and the programmer has not taken the "00" into account, then we got a problem.

The question is how many of these bad programs are out there and what kind of an impact will the wrong decisions have on whatever is being done.

I agree that most timing in normal non-IT situations involves only elapsed time or some variant of elapsed time. That's the only thing that will save us from total collapse, we only have 1-10% of the problem, not 100%. I do wish people would note that all of us in the embedded "programming" area have always stated that "most chips" will have no Yr2K problem because they could care less about dates. We need to find those others that do care and fix any problems found in them. NOBODY has ever said that "all the 40 billion (of course it's an estimate) chips out there in the world have Year 2000 problems", or even that a large PERCENTAGE of them might. However, 1-10% of several billion is still a large NUMBER to check out.

I also wish people would quit using dumb examples like cars to note that this is "all hype". We all agree that cars are not designed to quit in the middle of the freeway (however, I have seen some do just that due to lousy maintenance) because of bad programming. But SCADA systems and some Programmable Logic Controllers and some biomedical equipment and some monitoring equipment and some calibration equipment and etc. are designed to quit in the middle of operation if bad logic comes into them. It's called a fail-safe design. And what happens if they don't fail?

Well, then you could have pieces of expensive equipment all over the place.

I for one do not want to be the one stating "All is well" without at least doing some testing and evaluation. The risks of ASSUMING are simply too great for my feeble little mind to take. I would ask how often have you been bit by an assumption that turned out to be untrue?

Just remember that all microprocessors are computers, computers run off programming, programmers/engineers do the programming, programmers and engineers are human (8:), and humans make mistakes. Do find out if you are the proud holder of a chip with one of the mistakes on it before it lets you know by failing. If you prefer, let's start calling this a microprocessor-based system and equipment problem, not an "embedded chip" problem.

Dave Hall

My opinions only, of course

Year 2000 Infrastructure and Embedded Systems Engineering



Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 03:10:31 -0700

From: Cherri Stewart


Subject: Re: Heavy Equipment: Compliance~NOT A PROBLEM


It is difficult to explain this..but there is no embedded chip problem.

There are billions of IC's made daily..we call them "chips". There are also programmable IC's that have to be looked into but not too much worry about a Year problem. As most of these "chips" are for non IT purposes, and data manipulation is commonly an information situation and not even a consideration (except for date stamping which is cosmetic) otherwise, then there is little if any problem. Koskinen(sp) knows nothing about any of this but what someone tells him. They were wrong and what he said was wrong. Timing in normal non-IT situations only involves a span of "time" defined by how many ~~ sigh~~ the chip is incremented and when it comes to an increment specified, it does something. It knows nothing of actual time nuch less Year. There are some such a ((E)E)PROMS that may have date functions, but to have year functions usually not needed and seldom if ever used in non-IT situations.

Would a car manufacturer put a chip in a car, that when it was time for an oil change, quit?

Right in the middle of the freeway? I think not. If anything it would light a warning light. EMBEDDED is the new catchword. Guess what..people who know and understand integrated circuits (embedded chips) know this wave of confusion, propagated by persons who know nothing about them, is nothing but incorrect hype.

-- Cherri (, November 19, 2000



Howzitgoing. Actually, you were wrong. All of the chips failed. We just don't know it because of a giant cover-up. :^) But I am collecting data. For example, I am not really on this board. It seems that I am reading a post from my cache that was entered on Sept. 24 1998. :^)(^:

Good to see ya.

Best Wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 19, 2000.

All power stations failed at the Y2K roll-over as well. On the old forum I posted a series which described electricity generation and distribution.

I Lied. Here is the correct description.

Electricity can often be compared to water - the higher the voltage, the higher the pressure. And when lots of water moves together in a river, the resultant force creates a current. This explains why the voltage is only 110V in America, instead of 220V in mainland Europe, and 240V in UK. The larger the country, the larger the cables must be, and the electricity current can only be pumped around at lower pressures.

Take for instance something simple like, how does a light go on and off when you operate a switch? Well, when you flick the switch up, it operates a clamp inside, which grips the wire very tightly, thus stopping the electricity flowing. When the switch is flicked down, the clamp is released and hey presto......light!... LOGIC you see!

Now here are a few more facts on the same topic which I have deduced, and which you may find interesting.

Electricity is manufactured in power stations, by heating up the various ingredients in large boilers. This is why they need so much coal. From the boilers, the electricity is stored in tanks and then fed down wires as it is required. Sufficient quantity was stored prior to Y2K to last for 1 year, so it should run out in a few weeks. Just as with water (which may be still or sparkling, fresh or salty, etc.) there are many different types of electricity. Most of it is made plain for general purposes, but one tank is reserved for coloured electricity (a comparatively recent invention) - for use initially in traffic lights, but later used for developing colour prints, and even in colour televisions (a trade secret here - if you use this electricity, but do not have a colour TV licence, this is how the detector vans can catch you).

Certain appliances, such as cookers or welding equipment, need much stronger electricity - for these, an extra ingredient is added. This travels along a green and white wire, and makes metal glow red hot.

Lots of portable equipment, such as cameras, flashguns, walkmans etc. use batteries. Now this is a special form of electricity. There are all sizes of battery, and a large battery does not necessarily hold more electricity then a small one. It's just that in a big battery, the electricity is just shovelled in, whereas in a small one it is packed flat. Did you know that?

All electricity must be earthed. That is to say, it must be connected to the ground before it will work .... aeroplanes have separate arrangements.

Cars also generate their own type of electricity from their battery, and as soon as the steel-belted radial tyre was invented, a better earth contact was made, allowing them to travel much faster.

Not all electricity is made in a Power Station. Sometimes water current can be converted into electricity current - in a dam. Some electricity occurs naturally and just lies around loose in the air. This type is used in portable radios and mobile 'phones, and any unused surplus falls to earth as lightning.

When electricity and water mix, it is very dangerous. Makers of electric kettles do not know about this. Also, when nature calls, it is not recommended to relieve oneself near an electrified fence (this is how farmers turn cows' milk into joghurt).

Have you noticed that however neatly you leave an extension cable coiled up, the minute you start to use it, it immediately ties itself into knots? It is very important to untie these knots before switching on the current, otherwise you will get lumpy electricity coming out.

Electricity makes a low humming sound, by altering the pitch a bit, it can be made suitable for door-bells, telephones and even electric organs.

Some people claim that electricity cannot leak out of an empty socket. Just try sticking your finger into an empty light socket when it is switched on .... so what else is it doing but leaking?

There are two main ingredients in electricity, negative and positive. One runs along a brown wire and one along a blue. When these two wires meet together in what is known technically as a plug, the ingredients are mixed slowly and we have electricity!! But they must not mix too quickly, otherwise the live ingredients fight the neutral ingredients, and the resultant sparks kill all the electricity off.

Oop's, the light over my table has just gone out. I think it must have run out a little early, either that or a failed thyristor diode in the fuzzy-logic transient-controlled switched-mode PSU overload circuit!!!

-- Malcolm Taylor (, November 19, 2000.

Koskinen(sp) knows nothing about any of this but what someone tells him. They were wrong and what he said was wrong.

So, the optimistic John Koskinen himself was concerned about this area too?

Cherri, I know why you could never calm anyone on the old TB2000 about all this. You kept trying to debunk the 40 billion chip myth when even most 'doomers' knew by 1999 that it was embedded systems which were at possible risk and not those billions of free-standing 'chips.'

-- How you could have (improved@your.approach), November 19, 2000.

No chip problem, eh. So how do you explain my VCR clock blinking 12:00? Hum?

-- Uncle Bob (, November 19, 2000.


-- Uncle Bob (, November 19, 2000.

Uncle Bob, didn't you get that videotape that tells you how to set up your VCR?

(To this day, I cannot believe the guy who thought of that sold like millions of them.)

An ex-boyfriend of mine had bought a VCR (about a year before we got together) that cost him (I am not making this up) almost $1,000. The first time I walked into his apartment, I questioned him about the "blinking 12:00". I asked for the user's manual (couldn't find it).

Within five minutes I had the correct time set ;-)

Never underestimate the power of a woman.

-- Patricia (, November 19, 2000.

What was thought to be at risk if not fixed, and what was thought not to be at risk:

Microcontrollers are small devices, common in almost all electronics, that have their instructions burnt in at time of manufacture and cannot be reprogrammed like software. They may have some spare addressable memory that can have a date field added but a mere one in 10,000 of these will fail and these will be impossible to identify.

Most of these devices dont even know what planet they are on, let alone the date, said Kyte.

The second category is microprocessors, programmable devices that execute code. These can be at risk if they have a real time clock mounted or communicate with a clock. Less than one quarter of a per cent without clocks are at risk, but around seven per cent with some time dependency will have problems as the clock ticks over into the next century. Only two per cent will continue to have problems once reset.

Finally, large scale embedded systems are most at risk, with more than 35 per cent expected to be non compliant. Typically found in manufacturing, oil and healthcare environments, but can even encompass things like traffic light controllers or aircraft systems. They typically include common PC components although often run proprietary or even site specific applications.

On the embedded systems side, a capital expenditure, Kyte advises users of one get around.

Talk to your chief financial officer. If it costs $1,000 to replace a device, how much should be spent on investigation? Replacement may be more tax efficient, he said.

James Duggan, research director at Gartner said he believed the three areas likely to be worst affected by problems in embedded systems are the oil industry, telecommunications and power grids. He said things such as aircraft were well used to protecting against a single point of failure and were in good shape, though that did not apply equally to the systems that maintained aircraft fleets.

-- What (we@knew.then), November 19, 2000.


never underestimate the power of a woman

They can also be violent. See the first article here:

Woman arrested

Never trust them with an SUV or a baseball bat. :^)

Best Wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 19, 2000.


Well, Z, he probably shouldn't have pissed her off ;-)

( was a JOKE.)

-- Patricia (, November 19, 2000.


I'll take this thread even MORE off topic and state that these things sometimes happen. I have a friend in Chicago who relates the time his father ran over his mother. I think it was muddy, his mother got out of the car to push or something, the car got a grip, his mom fell down, and his dad ran her over. [things that make ya feel awful in retrospect, eh?]

-- Anita (, November 19, 2000.


Please tell us; alive or dead after that unfortunate accident?

-- Uncle Bob (, November 19, 2000.

She survived, Uncle Bob. She needed operations on both of her legs, but she's still alive today [gotta be my mom's age...middle to late 80's], and still living with her hubby. This happened within the last 10 years.

-- Anita (, November 19, 2000.

"Cherri, I know why you could never calm anyone on the old TB2000 about all this. You kept trying to debunk the 40 billion chip myth when even most 'doomers' knew by 1999 that it was embedded systems which were at possible risk and not those billions of free- standing 'chips."

Look, ya dumb doomer bastards, doomers didn't "know" ANYTHING by 1999. The "possible risk" bugaboo with systems would have come from what? Fuggin' CHIPS, dipshit. Your stupid-ass argument is like saying, "well, sure," there will be plenty of gasoline, but cars will stop working, sure enough! You just watch!"

The majority of doomers didn't give a shit about anyone's approach. All they appeared to care about was self-validation and how "smart" they were for prepping when the "sheeple" were risking their tails. After all, It's Not The Odds, It's The Stakes. Well, you got fucked on the odds AND the stakes. And it looks like you kinda had your facts and analyses fucked up, too. Gartner didn't do themselves any favors, either. They aren't exactly getting listened to by analysts any more. Reason? Y2K.

Quitcher bitchin' about non-doomers "changing their approach" and just suck it up. Doomers were total assholes from early 1998 until about February of this year. You were wrong, you were misled, and you lost the argument.

Shove the fuck off with your "change your approach" and "what we knew then" horseshit. There was plenty of evidence that you were wrong. You just chose not to see it or listen to it.

-- Mike Hunt (, November 19, 2000.


My guess is that you aren't a regular here. Your messages is silly. This is the remaining collection of folks who felt that nothing would happen. Now to go to the ones who disagree, you need to go to EZboard; but of course you can't post there; it is restricted to people who agree with them. Good Luck.

Best wishes,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 19, 2000.

A good example of a pre-rollover lack of communication between 'pollys' and 'doomers' on the embedded systems issue is this 1999 thread from the old TB2000 forum.

-- Embedded systems (vs@one.chip), November 20, 2000.

Well Mike, you 'can' go to easyboard, but you gotta drop the language cuz they dont tolerate people who talk nasty either.

not that I'm saying you talk nasty, cuz I could shive a git less, but over there, welll, you know. :-0

-- (, November 20, 2000.

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