The Year 2000 Problem: The Good News And The Bad. "Will It be really "DOOMSDAY"? on Dec. 31,1999?" Will the Y2K problem affect amateurs?
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AND WHAT IT WILL COST TO FIX IT?
In the early days of computer programming, dates were entered as a six-digit configuration: two digits for the month, two digits for the day, and two digits for the year, or MMDDYY. Reminiscing back to DOS we usually enter the Month-Day and Year format. Followed by Windows that we do not need to input the date because its more of a real-time system. Now, every date-relevant program in every computer needs to be Y2K compliant - that is, able to recognize eight-digit dates with four-digit years as opposed to two. Otherwise, the computer will not understand that life goes forward after the year "99" rather than magically skipping back in time to "00." Check your pagers!
Experts say that it's not exactly clear what problems non-compliant computers will create over the next few years. They may make lots of mistakes, such as paroling prisoners years early. "It is more of a system error and not a Personal Error". Humans may catch many of the computers' mistakes, but most humans are too busy. That's why we have computers keeping track of things and telling us what to do, like taking expired foods and medicines off the shelf. Just like the personalized data bank. It tells us whose birthday it is, what appointment do we have in and what time to eat. Stuffs like that. One good example is our watch why do we have lunch at 12:00 even if we are not hungry? Why do we let our hollow watch run our lives? (yeah, right?)
But most sources say it is costing businesses between 50,000 pesos and up (depending what type of business you are really into). It may not sound like much, but all told, it will add up to many billions of pesos. Some bank estimates that it will spend 200 million to 250 million to fix its Y2K problems, and commercial banking as an industry may spend 9 billion or more. The government will need to spend about 30 billion, says a Software Developer Group. ( Eh kuripot ang gobyerno namtin) .
Bottom line: Other countries are getting busy with the said bug. But here in us I cannot see the efforts of those people involved to work out and do something about it. ( To date at present only (3) three banks according to the Central Bank of the Phils. Are the only ones ready for the big day). I am very sorry they were not able to reveal these establishments.) Papaano na ang sweldo namin! (huhuhuh)
INTERCONNECTIVITY: PASSING THE BUG (or passing the blame?)
The Year 2000 Problem affects not only computers (mainframes, minis, and micros), but the myriad of microchips embedded in many of our products, including airplanes, cars, microwave ovens, and not to forget our finances from the banks. etc., The Year 2000 Is Coming: What Do I Do?, the year 2000 is a leap year, a circumstance that also will have at least some consequences: Banks, for example, would fail to calculate one day's worth of interest (February 29), which is significant when you are dealing with billions of pesos. (Wow, rich kid!)
Y2K problems are sometimes deeply embedded in "legacy" programs, which are the products of the old programming days. Some such programs will begin automatically deleting data that is more than two years old. The work you do on programs such as Excel or other files and programs may be at risk unless you get upgraded software. Even if you don't think you have a big problem with your own computers, or if you solve your own Y2K problems, you will still have to deal with countless other individuals, businesses, agencies, and governments who may not have solved the problem in their systems. Computers, businesses, and governments are highly interconnected today: A problem anywhere has the potential for global consequences, and there may be many, many problems emerging as 2000 arrives.
Still, there is a potential bright side:
"For those who come to understand and accept the issues, for those who take decisive action, this can be the opportunity of a lifetime," . "As we approach the most catastrophic event the modern world has yet faced, proactive companies can gain a significant strategic advantage while others fail. And knowledgeable investors can post monumental gains while others lose."
GETTING RICH INSTANTLY ASIDE FROM WINNING FROM A LOTTERY
A disaster almost always presents profitable opportunities. Lets admit it that fixing the Y2K Problem will wind up in somebody's pocket. One pocket could be yours. Expected Y2K winners include:
* Programmers and consultants. (I myself is a consultant but I do not charge that high.) Anyone with the technical skills to solve the problem is now in high demand. Y2K identifies a wide variety of consultants ready to provide services, including planning consultants for tools assessment, testing consultants, contract service consultants to estimate the costs and plan and implement the code redesign, legal consultants, and recovery consultants. (Mga opportuista)!
* Information providers, including publishers and Web site developers. Strategy of advertising in a special section devoted to companies offering "Year 2000 Solutions". A variety of consultants and subscription-based Y2K assistance can be found on bookstores as such.
* Investors. Wherever new businesses bloom, investors are sure to see prospects for fast growth. Unfortunately, it's already late in the game to invest in Y2K companies: You'd be "buying high," and it's always risky to chase headlines for ideas on short-term speculation. "That's an investment method that has often led investors to grief in the past." Most of the software companies uses a lot of alibis just to prolong the agony as well as the payment" (Very Clever!).
* Lawyers and litigators. Individuals and businesses stand to lose a lot of money and time because of the Y2K Problem; therefore, they will want to sue anybody they consider responsible for creating the problem. If, for example, your life insurance policy is canceled because a computer thinks you're too old, you'll probably want to sue someone.
WORST-CASE SCENARIOS: CHAOS AND CRASHES ETC
IF the Year 2000 Problem is not fixed in time. It's not clear how seriously to take them, but these possibilities have been mentioned: (Aside from me getting married (?) )
Food shortages may occur because stores will discard all products that have passed their freshness expiration dates. Some patients may die because medicines and lifesaving devices are unavailable. Drugs, like foods, have expiration dates and may be discarded upon the command of non-Y2K-compliant computers. Medical devices, elevators, are programmed to cease functioning if the date for maintenance checks has passed.
Borrowers could default on loans and mortgages as computers add on a century's worth of interest rates. Consumers may find they can't make purchases , shopping because credit-card verification systems misinterpret expiration dates. Similarly, there may be a cash crisis as automatic teller machines freeze up.
Crime waves may occur as a general financial crisis creates economic hardship and jailed criminals are mistakenly released. Like for instance that NBI is now switching to being computerized!
Other problems and inconveniences could include elevators getting stuck and airplanes being grounded, as the dates for maintenance checks appear to be missed and computers shut the systems down entirely. Date-sensitive computer-controlled security systems may fail, causing factories to shut and bank vaults to lock up. Registration records may be disrupted, creating more (dagdag-bawas events) for the future presidential elections.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
To get started in solving your Y2K problems, I may recommend building a "systems inventory." Analyze your computer dependency - what do you use to get through the day, what outside systems do you depend on? What alternative sources of goods and services are there?
Similar procedures need to be done at home and at work. Individuals and family heads should check out personal items that contain computer chips. Examples include heating and air conditioning systems, home-security systems, telephone-answering machines, TVs, VCRs, cell phones, cars. And of course, your home PC: The operating system itself may not work.
Now test the devices. Enter 2000 in your VCR, or change the system date on your PC (after backing up the data). Send letters to manufacturers to see if their systems are Y2K compliant. Record on inventories where you still have risks, and develop a course of action, such as identifying alternative providers.
You should also check software such as Access 95, Excel, personal schedulers, financial programs, communications software (MIRC and ICQ (?) Oh! No please dont!) etc. And remember that you could experience problems with outside services you use: the phone company, utilities, supermarkets, banks, gas stations, and credit card transactions plus airline problems.
"Two major airlines have already said they won't be flying by December of this year." And the Federal Aviation Administration has admitted it will be late in meeting Y2K compliance. If you are an investor, your money is in places you can't control, so you should inventory all your assets (equity, debt, and fixed tangible). Check with the companies to find out their Y2K status and record the results. Perhaps less than half of the companies have begun addressing the problem, and movement is lagging even farther in other countries, particularly Third World companies. That includes US .
One worry is that there may be runs on banks when people fear the Y2K impacts. This goes so far as to suggest that investors begin hedging with fixed tangible assets: "Buy some gold and silver." Businesses should set up an organizational task force to address the issue, including managers from each area of the enterprise. "Problem ownership" should lie with the chief financial officer because of the many financial and legal implications. The task force should consider questions like cost, impacts on daily activities, competitors' actions, opportunities, effects on stock prices, etc. Find alternatives to systems and programs that are not compliant, test those alternatives, and affirm that all trading partners are compliant. "This will enable you to succeed where your competitors will fail,".
LEARNING FROM Y2K
The lesson of the Year 2000 Problem is obvious: Most of the problems we face in the present are the result of someone (or everyone) in the past failing to think about the future. Y2K is a problem basically because mainframe computer programmers paid little attention to the long-term future. While saving money by using two-digit codes to enter years instead of four (computer memory was expensive in those days), either they never thought their programs would still be in use by the year 2000 or they never realized that computers, unlike fuzzy-thinking humans, would literally interpret years as having only two digits.
We can smugly congratulate ourselves for being smarter than our technologies, but meanwhile, technology is biting us back. There are a lot of sites which focuses on Y2K the mystery is still unsolved but it is for everyone to find out.
Will our Two-way radio be affected ? Try to open in on December 31, 1999 and if it still works the next day your gadget is Y2K compliant.
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