Re: ed yourdon on Y2k armaggedon (long & scary)

Robert Harley (
Fri, 6 Mar 1998 11:45:38 +0100 (MET)

Ed Yourdon writes:
>There are approx 9,000 electric utility plants in the U.S., including
>108 nuclear plants, and at the present time (Feb 25, 1998), NONE of
>them are Y2K compliant. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. [...]
>NONE of the nuclear plants are compliant, [...]

Read between in lines: in fact the safety rods are driven by
microcontrollers programmed in BASIC with:
IF date$="00" THEN PROCdefyGravity:PROCexplode

The end of the world is nigh!

>[...projects often run late...]

You don't say.

>So much for utilities ([...]). When it comes to banks, consider these

C.f.: "How to lie with".

>Chase Manhattan [...] have interfaces with 2,950 external entities.
>Naturally, we can be highly confident that all 2,950 will be Y2K
>compliant with no problems, right?

Adam, can you deconstruct this sentence? (postmodernly, of course)
I think he's implying that the entire banking system, as we currently
know it, is in serious danger of collapsing.

>That's the good news; the bad news is
>that Europe is approx one year behind us

Hey punk, Europe is centuries ahead of you.

>and is dangerously distracted by their Eurocurrency projects

Ah yes, there are a couple of leec^H^H^H^Hconsultantancies trying to
whip up a storm over here of the "with the introduction of the Euro,
the very fabric of space and time will come apart unless you pay us"
variety. Some of them manage to extract $xxx/hour/head to play
Minesweeper for a few weeks and, when nobody's looking, select the
"add new currency unit" menu item.

>Conclusion: maybe the international banking system will survive [...]

Maybe it will survive? No way. I think even the last cockroach is
scheduled to die at about 3am, GMT.

>Bottom line: the banking system, as we currently know it, is in
>serious danger of collapsing.

Aw shucks.

>Even assuming we get dial tone on 1/1/2000 in the U.S. and England [...]

A dial tone? But planet Earth will be vaporised won't it?

>the bad news is that 95% of
>the exports from this country go by sea, and the maritime industry
>only held its first Y2K conference this week

And it is a little known fact that the Titanic actually sank because
of a rounding bug in the Cobol accountancy package used by the
catering office.

>(in NYC; I attended it),

Ooooh aaah, you must be way kewl.

>Then there's the government. [...] I can't claim that
>my crystal ball is perfect,

Read: "My crystal ball is perfect and I am a superior life-form".

>but I will tell you that my own personal
>Y2K plans include a very simple assumption: the government of the
>U.S., as we currently know it, will fall on 1/1/2000. Period.

That would rule.

>I could go on at great length, because there's a lot more detail that
>we Y2K "warriors" know about and are dealing with

Ooooooooh aaaaaaah, you must be way way kewl.

>I've got 34 years of experience in the field, and I've got a public reputation

Ooooooooooooh aaaaaaaaaaah, you must be way way way kewl.

>I've written a Y2K book [...] I've also written 24 other
>software-engineering computer books, starting in 1967

Ooooooooooooooooh aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, you must be way way way way kewl.

By the way, my good friend Mbongo N'djamba has a PhD in Voodoo from
Bob Jones' Mail-order University of Podunksville, and he has written
15722 books about Black Magic. So there. Furthermore it was revealed
to him by voices in his head, after some hostess in roppongi filled
him with whiskey, that in fact the Y2K problem won't cost G$ 52 as
some of your colleagues claim, nor G$ 3000 as others claim, but in
fact it will cost G$ 10^300000. However for the very modest sum of G$ 1,
deposited in used notes at the Tim Byars Foundation, he will perform a
ritual involving a pint of goat's blood and 3 snakes' heads to prevent
such a large cost. Well, what are you waiting for? Pay up already.

>everyone is going to be concentrating on how to get
>food, shelter, clothing, and the basic necessities of life.
>Y2K threatens all of this

Personally, I'll open the fridge for food, duck under my girl-friend's
umbrella for shelter and get clothes out of the drawer beside my bed.

>my humble opinion, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and a dozen other cities
>are going to resemble Beirut in January 2000. That's why I've moved
>out of NYC to rural New Mexico a couple months ago.

OK, fess up, who forgot to give this loony his medicine?

PS: Ed, if you really want to scare people, you have to dredge up
nazism somehow. Try to be topical. For instance, claim you
have a friend who found some bones that are "probably Hitler's"
and they're going to clone him on 1/1/2000, unless of course you
are personally paid a large consulting fee in which case you will
say "don't do that" and he won't.