[ExI] y2k bug

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Jul 14 04:30:55 UTC 2014

>... On Behalf Of Harvey Newstrom

>...Many people think there was not a problem because they did not have to
do anything to fix the problem.  Many do not realize that their PCs and
applications were often triggered to update themselves with patches to solve
this problem.  All Windows (3.1 and up), Macintosh, most Linux's, most Cisco
network devices were all patched long before Y2K, and would have failed if
they were not...So imagine if these were not fixed and most spreadsheets,
credit cards, ATMs, gas-pumps, web pages, home computers, and networking
equipment all quit working on the same day.  It could have been bad if they
were not fixed in advance.
Harvey Newstrom   www.HarveyNewstrom.com

Ja, this all went off in a direction I didn't intend.  There were plenty of
people working on Y2K bugs.  We had guys going around doing Y2K audits and
such.  What I meant was there were plenty of people predicting disaster in
spite of the efforts.  We had people stockpiling food, predicting societal
breakdown, etc.  I heard others on this forum saying to the contrary, they
had worked the problems adequately, there would most likely be no serious
disruptions etc.  Those voices turned out to be right.  Plenty of wild-eyed
alarmists were stuck eating MREs for months.  That must have been most

The way it all came off was a phrase seldom heard: epic success.  Epic
success doesn't get its own brand of posters.

There is an object lesson in the Y2K experience.  Our wealth is now all in
the form of bits stored by some mysterious means on computers.  We don't
know how it all works; I don't think anyone grasps all of it.  If the system
breaks down, many lives will be lost in the chaos that will surely follow.
We have built a crazy complicated world which can break down.  If just email
stopped working, that alone would have a huge impact.

We can see why it causes so much interest when an IRS official claims that
her email was lost permanently by a computer disk crash.  What stops the IRS
from accidentally losing the records you need to show what you owe on your
taxes?  What if you get an audit and they conveniently lose your tax history
in a disk crash?  If that stuff is secure, why not just store the IRS
internal email on the same disk as the tax records?  Then just back it up
the same way they back up the other records.  Simple.


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