Death, Taxes and now comes - Y2K

There are only a few things in life we can know with utmost certainty, hence the cliché about Death and Taxes. We can now add a third to this list - Y2K. By now most of our members and readers are aware in varying degrees as to the meaning of Y2K, the century date change ushered in at midnight on December 31, 1999 with significant consequences for all of modern society dependant on Information Technology. So I will spare you the anguish of repeating the basics of how we got into this mess in the first place by referring those who are interested to CCS's Y2K web site at where you can click on the Year2000 Logo and go directly to CCS's Y2K section. What I want to share with you in this article is threefold:

1. What CCS has been doing the past six months, is doing now and plans to do in the near future regarding Y2K solutions.
2. Current conditions, which either will or could effect your PC, your company's desktop PC's and networks and in some cases your way of life, until the fallout from this event is behind us.
3. What steps you can take now to educate yourself regarding the facts concerning Y2K as well as how to access solutions for your PC and your networks.

CCS - Proactively Prepared.

CCS's board and the Strategic Planning Committee have been discussing how Y2K will impact our members for the past six months. The Board has been supplied briefing documents on compliant and non-compliant hardware and software at each board meeting. Three months ago I began sending daily E-mail news items to board members to increase the level of awareness. At the July Board meeting I gave a complete presentation to the Board on the subject which led to an action plan that is now in place. Today the Board is fully aware of the importance of preparing all our members, our HardCopy audience and the general public with relevant information on Y2K as well as bringing our own hardware and software into Y2K compliance. The action plan includes the establishment of a Y2K subcommittee under the Strategic Planning Committee. The members of the Y2K subcommittee include Dick Brandt, Paul Bernstein, Bob Cleveland and myself. We are all senior professionals with extensive technical and business experience. The Board also approved the establishment of a regular Y2K editorial piece in Hard Copy and establishing a major section of the CCS web site dedicated to Y2K current events, archives of past news items, a Y2K software solutions download section and a Y2K links page. A Global Y2K Action Week beginning August 17 was organized by Dr. Ed Yardeni, Chief Economist and Managing Director of Deutsche Bank Securities to mark the 500 days remaining until January 1, 2000. CCS board and Y2K committee members were tuned into the RealAudio Internet transmission of 44 global leaders discussing the impact of Y2K in their respective areas. A summary of this event can found on the CCS Y2K web site. More events like this are planned by Dr. Yardeni for the 400, 300, 200 and 100 days remaining until Y2K arrives.

Current Conditions.

Computer failures related to Y2K problems are occurring in increasing numbers. Cap-Gemini has been surveying IT managers of 128 large companies on Y2K issues for sometime. In Dec. '97 the number of Y2K related failures was 7%, in April '98 it was 37% and at the end of June '98 it was 40%. The same survey found Y2K projects were behind schedule and over budget and, whereas in April '98 only 3% had contingency plans for failure, at the end of this June, 72% had contingency plans. While Pennsylvania started their Y2K work in 1996 and are considered the model of Y2K planning and implementation, Illinois has yet to finalize an inventory of systems requiring remediation and is not expected to have a final assessment until the end of Nov. '98. Wisconsin with less than half the population of Illinois began assessing their Y2K problem in 1994 and is much further along in bringing their information systems into compliance. The Association of State IT Managers rated Illinois as one of lowest of major states addressing the Y2K problem. The Illinois State Y2K budget is $8 million, while Wisconsin spends $8 million a year on Y2K and currently estimates their Y2K costs will run close to $50 million. The city and county of Indianapolis has budgeted $12.6 million for Y2K compliance and Pennsylvania is spending a total of about $40 million. All Y2K authorities and even politicians generally acknowledge that there will be some power outages in the US. The extent is impossible to predict, however Y2K comes at a time when Commonwealth Edison is actively trying to sell 20 fossil fuel plants and 2 standby plants since they could not find a buyer for their 11 nuclear plants. Northern Illinois, Chicagoland, gets almost 50% of its power from ComEd nuclear plants. It is generally thought that nuclear plants are the most likely to develop Y2K problems due to embedded chips within sub-systems. For more current information on power reliability check out the CCS Y2Kweb site.

Steps You Can Take.

CCS has provided a number of software analysis programs for downloading with explanations on how to install these utilities and links to web pages for you to check the compliance of your PC hardware and software. We have also provided you with a simple way to receive regular E-mail updates on a variety of Y2K subjects through our listserver. Just go to the CCS Y2K web site, submit your E-mail address and we will keep you fully informed as events unfold or as solutions become available. Remember we take "Users helping Users" very seriously.


Web Page Author
Andy Pincon

The Chicago Computer Society
P.O. Box 66089                      (708) 588-0385
Chicago Ill. 60666-0089

Saturday, November 09, 2013

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