Year 2000 Bug

.. f the General Accounting Office. (9) The global air traffic control system will roll over to 2000 all at once, at midnight, Greenwich Mean Time, on Dec. 31, or at six oclock in the evening in New York and three in the afternoon in San Francisco. Thats the time to watch the skies, and the airports, for disaster and long lines.

(10) “Our assessments suggest that the global community is likely to experience varying degrees of Y2K-related failures in every sector, in every region and at every economic level.” “The global picture that is slowly emerging is cause for concern,” said Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers, the State Departments Inspector General. (11) Excel part of the Microsoft Office Suite’s (95, 97 and 2000) found in over 90% of the worlds computers. Is found to be not able to fully be capable of dealing with the year 2000 change over. “Most of the (analysis) tools on the market today do not look for the date function everywhere it can possibly exist within an Excel workbook,” Falcon said. “Its not uncommon for users to create user-defined names that represent formulas and functions. ..

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The tools dont find the date function within the user-defined names.” (12) Horizon tested the spreadsheet using Viasoft Inc.s OnMark 2000 Assess versions 3.0 and 4.0, Symantec Corp.s Norton 2000, 2000Tools Group Inc.s DateSpy Professional, Greenwich Mean Time-UTAs Check 2000 PC Deluxe, ClickNet Software Corp.s ClickNet, and Advanced System Technologies Ltd.s Datefind-db. Each compliance-checking tool failed to find the error, although they flagged several other bugs in the software, according to Falcon. (12) The only analysis tool that identifies the error, according to Falcon, is IST Development Inc.s Year 2000 Analysis Suite. (12) “[This] is a very specific example of a formula in a spreadsheet,” said Dan Rickard, technical support manager for OnMark, a division of Viasoft. “Out of 100 million files, only a minute number might have this problem.” To put that into perspective, Rickard said a typical Fortune 500 company has about 100 million files. (12) Think of what happens if the following areas go down and stay down for months or even years: banks, railroads, public utilities, telephone lines, military communications, and financial markets. What about Social Security, and Medicare? If Social Security and Medicare go down, it will affect millions of people.

Yet both programs are at risk. (13) Experts say only 8 percent of all date-related “millennium bug” errors will hit on Jan. 1, 2000. Each of the following dates (Table 1) and (Table 2) marks the beginning of an important fiscal year for government. On April 1, Canada, Japan and New York State begin their Fiscal Year 2000.

Forty-six states begin Fiscal Year 2000 on July 1. The U.S. government starts its Fiscal Year 2000 on Oct. 1. For all intents and purposes, these dates are the real beginning of 2000 for government benefits and programs.

And, because government is the largest consumer of virtually every product and service on earth, it is a critical date for suppliers and companies that depend on payments from government. If errors occur in government computers, interfering with the payment of Social Security, Medicare, Veterans or other benefits, a large and very influential segment of the population will immediately be in an uproar. (10) To assess others readiness, U.S. diplomats used a standard survey to collect information on host countries Y2K programs, vulnerability to short-term economic and social turmoil, reliance on technology in key infrastructure sectors and the status of Y2K corrective efforts. Overall about half of the 161 countries assessed by U.S. officials were reported to be at medium to high risk of Y2K-related failures in their telecommunications, energy and/or transportation sectors.

(11) But “the relatively low level of computerization in key sectors of the developing world may reduce the risk of prolonged infrastructure failures,” Williams-Bridgers said. (11) Table One shows the dates that could cause problems with software or hardware. Table Two shows additional dates for agencies that manage banking information. Date Explanations: New Years Day The first Day/Date/Year event — Friday, January 1, 1999 — has passed without major incident in Oregon. (FYI: In a recent teleconference of US Y2K coordinators, it was reported that only two states suffered major “hiccups” on 1/1/99 and these were quickly fixed.) Any software that looks or schedules things in yearly increments should now be projecting for the year 2000 and not 1900.

Century Rollover The final two dates of the first table are for the century rollover. This Day/Date/Year problem is often misunderstood. Software that plans ahead or calculates dates into the next year needs to be able to distinguish 1900 from 2000 and beyond. Further, it is complicated by the fact that at this turn of century, there is also a leap year. Only those centuries divisible by 400 experience a leap year day, February 29.

There are reports of some software forgetting that March 1 follows February 29. The software has created a February 30, 31, and so on. This type of software needs to have a new date projection calculator made so that “00” becomes 2000 and not 1900. Even if the software assumes this change, the display needs to be able to change from showing the “19” for the century to “20” for the century at the correct time. The other option is to use four digits for the year.

With this, all the size of the files and displays must be changed to show four digits for the year. End of File Designation The next trouble area has to do with what was taught as a standard software practice for decades: the use of 9999 as an “end-of-file” or “end-of-record” place holder. Any software that looks ahead to September 9, 1999 and reads the record of 9/9/99 (or, as stored in some software, 9999) as “end-of-file” will have problems. This software must be restructured. Table 1 – Planning Dates Table DANGER DATE DEFINITION Friday, January 1, 1999 First annual plan to look ahead past the rollover date.

Thursday, July 1, 1999 Quarterly plan that includes 9/9/99. Fiscal Year start date. Wednesday, Sept. 1, 1999 Monthly plan that includes 9/9/99. Thursday, Sept. 9, 1999 Ninth day of ninth month of 1999.

Friday, Oct. 1, 1999 First quarterly plan to look ahead past rollover date. Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1999 First monthly plan to look ahead past rollover date. Friday, Dec. 31, 1999 Rollover date.

Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000 Rollover date. Ensure 01/01/00 is a Saturday. * Monday, Jan. 3, 2000 First business day of 2000.

Thursday, Jan 6, 2000 First possible weekday mistaken for a weekend day. Tuesday, Feb. 29, 2000 Leap Year. 2100, 2200, and 2300 are not leap years. Wednesday, Mar. 1, 2000 Leap Year rollover for the month of March. Saturday, Apr, 1, 2000 Possible false change to Daylight Savings Time (DST). Sunday, Apr.

2, 2000 Actual change to DST. Monday, Apr. 3, 2000 First business day after quarter ends Mar. 31, 2000. Friday, Apr.

14, 2000 Last business day for US 1999 tax transactions. Saturday, Apr. 15, 2000 1999 tax filing deadline for US. Sunday, Apr. 16, 2000 First day after 1999 tax filing deadline. Monday, Apr.

17, 2000 First business day after 1999 tax filing deadline. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2000 Possible false change back to standard time. Sunday, Oct. 29, 2000 Actual change back to standard time. Sunday, Dec.

31, 2000 Century rollover. Last day of 20th century. Monday, Jan. 1, 2001 Century rollover. First day of 21st century. * Hardware and embedded chips rollover on this date.

If the device’s data display reads “01-01-00” and knows the day of the week is Saturday, you do not have a problem. Table Two – Banking Addendum Table DANGER DATE DEFINITION Friday, Jan. 7, 2000 First weekly payday. Friday, Jan. 14, 2000 First semi-monthly payday.

Monday, Jan. 31, 2000 First Monthly payday. First Monthly close. Friday, Mar. 31, 2000 First Quarter close. Friday, Dec.

29, 2000 First Yearly close. Sunday, June 30, 2002 Last day European national currencies are acceptable. Monday, July 1, 2002 First day of Euro-only transactions in the EMU. Table Two above shows dates that are critical to accounting or banking software. If a computer assumes “00” is 1900 instead of the year 2000, the day of the week will be off for such things as weekly, semi-monthly and monthly paydays, etc. The last two days of this table are reminder dates for organizations such as banks that may be trading in various European currencies.

It could be very costly if traders miscalculate the last day of that type of trading. (14) Bibliography 1). The Complexity Factor” by Ed Meagher, (09.03.99), 05:19 p.m. 2). Y2K could disrupt Medicare benefits, (08.23.99), 01:26 a.m. GAO report finds Medicare systems severely behind ASSOCIATED PRESS 3).

“Industry Wakes Up to the Year 2000 Menace,” FORTUNE, April 27, 1998 4). The Washington Post, “If Computer Geeks Desert, IRS Codes Will Be ciphers,” December 24, 1997 5). Business Week, March 2, 1998 6). (08.28.99), 09:56 p.m. 7). See dates (08-10-99) (06-30-98).. (09.05.99), 11:09 p.m. 8). U.S. Senate Panel Worried On Oil Sector Y2K Readiness. (08.17.99), 07:19 p.m. (05.24.99), Folsom, Robert, Dow Jones Newswires. 9). Fear of flying increases as Y2K nears. (08.17.99), 08:40 p.m.

By Bob Hager, NBC News correspondent 10). Rolling thunder: Fits and starts: When bug will strike. (08.28.99), 08:59 a.m. Mitch Ratcliffe, ZDNN Front.asp 11). Y2K glitch likely to disrupt trade. (08.25.99), 03:34 a.m. REUTERS Front.asp 12). Excel may not calculate Y2K, (08.24.99), 3:20 a.m. Grant Du Bois, PC Week, ZDNN Front.asp 13). The Year the Earth Stands Still, (09.06.1999), 2:19 p.m. 14). Dangerous Date Categories, (08.23.99), 02:23 a.m. Statewide Year 2000 Project, (05.10.99)