1997-07-29 - Re: y2k problem serious

Header Data

From: Ray Arachelian <sunder@brainlink.com>
To: “Vladimir Z. Nuri” <vznuri@netcom.com>
Message Hash: db040d20f8fb7ceedfb502ab189fd0d63a467cf09fcb89f636a4a5e75ab24059
Message ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970729103454.11487B-100000@beast.brainlink.com>
Reply To: <199707290054.RAA21755@netcom13.netcom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-07-29 14:56:14 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 22:56:14 +0800

Raw message

From: Ray Arachelian <sunder@brainlink.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 22:56:14 +0800
To: "Vladimir Z. Nuri" <vznuri@netcom.com>
Subject: Re: y2k problem *serious*
In-Reply-To: <199707290054.RAA21755@netcom13.netcom.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970729103454.11487B-100000@beast.brainlink.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Mon, 28 Jul 1997, Vladimir Z. Nuri wrote:

> some people have talked about the y2k problem here, the 
> "year 2000 problem". as programmers know, is the
> name given to the glitches that are caused by software
> malfunctioning because it only used 2 characters for the
> date field. I have mentioned that I think government
> agencies are going to be particularly hard-hit by this 
> situation. I envisioned delays in payments etc. of something like
> a few weeks or so.

Talk about giving them more credit than is due.  This is government you're
talking about.  Try 6 months to several years. :)  And don't forget about
the year 2038 problem (Unix rolls over dates on that date for 32 bit
systems...) Also, the year 2000 isn't a leap year, but most
PC's will think it is.
IMHO, come October 1999, take all your savings in the form of a cashier's
check and wait until Jan 2nd to redeposit it.  Good luck with credit
cards.  You might want to clear them off first..  And if you've got
mortgages, good luck if you don't wipe them off by then!

One easy fix to the problem (if the software supports it) is to convert
the two digit years (if they're stored as characters) into a 16 bit
unsigned integer.  That would be good until the year 65535, and still let
you use 1802 as a year.  But some warez use a single byte - which isn't
easy to extend...  Some RDBMS and DB's won't let you do this easily.  Life
sucks when corporations use code over the time it was meant for (like 
DES for instance) what can we say. :)

.+.^.+.|  Ray Arachelian    |Prying open my 3rd eye. So good to see you|./|\.
..\|/..|sunder@sundernet.com|once  again.   I thought you were hidinng.|/\|/\
<--*-->| ------------------ |And you thought that I had run away.      |\/|\/
../|\..| "A toast to Odin,  |Chasing the tail of dogma. I opened my eye|.\|/.
.+.v.+.|God of screwdrivers"|and there we were....                     |.....
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