On This Day Pre-Y2K

Confused by any of the jargon you see below? Check the Y2K Glossary!

January 15, 1999 Permalink

Yes, the denial, butt-head, idiots are still with us. They’re out there, pretending that they have big-brains and they know that “everything will be fine”... fine? Fine? Why, because mommy said so?

Until Day 500, I was pushing for Triage, pick the systems that absolutely must work and just fix those. Choose carefully. Decide. Fix those. Abandon all else. Set priorities. Make hard choices, do it.

At Day 500, the time for Triage was over. Because the work hadn’t been done, because the days, weeks, months, and all time previous had been wasted, there wasn’t time for Triage, it was time to engineer contingencies. Radical, Alarmist, said some. “You’re a liar.” said the herman munster of Y2K.

Too bad. I was right and they were wrong. We have less than a year to go now. We’re 4 months past Day 500 and the FAA has gone from 99% done to 95% and in December, Ko-skin-em himself said that the FAA was 90+% percent done. I’ll tell you how done the FAA is, eenie meenie chili beanie, toss the dice and SHAZAM! The FAA is 40% done. What do I base 40% on? I pulled it out of my butt just like Jane Gravy-Train and Ray so-Long did.

Here’s another good one. The Capitol, http://www.hometownannapolis.com, “State Edges Closer to Solution of Y2K Puzzle”, December 26, 1998. Wait wait, wasn’t Maryland done last year? Guess not.

In addition to the usual clueless nattering about disk storage costs, and “making progress”, “We’re moving very fast”, and “well on their way”, there is the harsh light of reality.

Surprise! Instead of “done by December 31, 1998, leaving all of 1999 for testing.” the song is now, mostly done by July 1, 1999, leaving half of 1999 for testing, except for Medicaid which won’t be done until September 1999, leaving almost 4 months for testing. Sounds like moving very fast? Are they well on their way? Watch-it! milne’s pigs have learned to fly.

And they call *me* alarmist?

Just set the clock ahead, and fix the failures this weekend. How simple. Why doesn’t Gl’assman stop pontificating in the Post, go over to Maryland, and straighten those rubes out. Y2K is just a bunch of hype.

Here’s another fun quote from the Capital,

“State and federal officials have sharply disputed the gloom and doom theories but they admit there is no way they can guarantee there won’t be any computer problems.”

“I don’t think anyone can say we won’t have failures, but we hope to minimize them,” Mr. Hearn said.

Hearn is the CIO for Maryland’s Department of Budget and Finance.

What the h*ll does that mean? The State was supposed to be done last year, wasn’t everyone gonna be done December 31, 1998? Now the deadlines have magically time-warped to July 1, 1999. The original articles about the fast-track contracts said it would be no problem-o. Didn’t happen and they won’t make July 1, 1999 either.

“To further minimize disruptions from computer glitches, all agencies have been ordered to come up with detailed contingency plans,” Mr Hearn said.

What are these plans? Write hundreds of thousands of checks by hand? Print foodstamps using Quicken? Let the pensioneers go hungry. My Plan-C is to hide out on my pal’s 100+ acre farm, live in a 12x30 foot shed with 12 other people, clenching an SP1. It’s scarier when they don’t come clean. My Plan-A is to stay in my city place, go to work, shop once a week at the Safeway just like I do now. If there are minor disturbances, I’ll stay home, live on Dinty Moore and monitor 31/91.

Here’s a project for someone, file a FOI with the state to get their detailed contingency plans. How serious are they? What does the state government really think is about to happen?

We can look back at 1997 and 1998 and can see that they haven’t done the work. It’s turned out to be worse that they said it would be. Schedules slipped, the work didn’t get done, just like all computer projects.

With less than a year to go, the state is talking about “contingency plans”. Ho-kay... what are these plans? Are they printing maps showing evacuation routes? Are they stockpiling MRE’s? The Feds are printing 50 billion in cash.

Or is the plan to build a separate computer center and fast-track contracts to real experts as opposed to the same old clueless handwavers? The problem is how do you recognize real computer experts?

I know pros who don’t want anything to do with Y2K now. They’ve watched the handwavers take the easy money, scramble the code, and now that “Times up”, the pros don’t want to get stuck picking up the pieces. It’s one thing to earn a good rate doing a job with a chance of success but no one wants to start a job that has no hope.

Insider info - several firms have finally realized that their “magical replacement systems” will not be ready by December 1999 and have quietly started Y2K’ing their old systems.

Times up, rules changed.

—Cory Hamasaki, Cory Hamasaki’s DC Y2K Weather Report, 01/15/99

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