Y2K problem

This essay has a total of 3577 words and 18 pages.


Y2K problem





The Y2K problem...the Y2K glitch...the millennium bug. Whatever you call it, it is the
inability of some computers and computerized systems to correctly recognize dates after
December 31, 1999. Many products have microchips that have been programmed to process
only the last two digits of a year on the assumption that the first two would be one and
nine. As a result, 98 is read as 1998, and 00 could be read as 1900 instead of 2000.



Y 2 Care About Y2K: Checklist

How do you know if you will encounter Y2K problem? I have prepared the following
checklist to help you avoid being bitten by the millennium bug.


 If you have a personal computer, PC software, fax machine, camcorder, camera,
digital wristwatch, monitored security system or Global Positioning System unit, check the
manufacturer’s web site or contact the manufacturer to see whether your product has the
potential for a Y2K problem.


 Make a list of your other household products with a calendar function. Check
the manufacturer’s web site or contact the manufacturer by telephone or mail to find out
compliance status.


 If you have a bank, mutual fund or brokerage account, start to keep records of
any transactions that you make at least 3 months before and after January 1, 2000. If you
use your computer to make any of these transactions, download the records of your
transactions, and keep them on a backup diskette. Print copies for your files.


 If you have a mortgage, car loan or other debts, keep your canceled checks as
proof of the payments you have made. Ask your mortgage or car lender for a statement of
payments already made and those to come with the amounts allocated to interest, principal
and escrow in order to ensure an accurate record of your payments.


 Ask your financial service providers about their plans to deal with the Y2K date
change. Make sure you are satisfied with the answers.


 Get a copy of your credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus.
Contact: Equifax (800) 685-1111
Experian (800) 682-7654
TransUnion (800) 916-8800

 If you have insurance policies, keep copies of the policies and records of the payments you make.
 If your credit cards expire after 1/1/00, you may want to carry alternate forms
of payment such as cash or checks as a backup in case a retailer's equipment is unable to
process the 00 card. Ask retailers how they will accommodate customers who wish to use
credit cards when their equipment fails.


The Y2K Bill provides for the following:

The Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act provides that no Year 2000 (Y2K
problem) readiness disclosure (a statement concerning Year 2000 computer compliance
information) shall be admissible in any civil action arising under Federal or State law
against the maker of the disclosure to prove the accuracy or truth of any year 2000
statement in such disclosure, except: (1) as the basis for a claim for anticipatory breach
or repudiation or a similar claim against the maker; and (2) when a court determines that
the maker's disclosure amounts to bad faith or fraud or is otherwise unreasonable.

As well provides that the maker of such a statement shall not be liable in an action based
on an allegedly false, inaccurate, or misleading year 2000 statement unless the claimant
establishes that the statement was material and, to the extent that the statement was not
a republication of another's original statement, was made with: (1) knowledge of it being
false, inaccurate, or misleading; and (2) an intent to deceive or mislead or with reckless
disregard of its accuracy.

This also precludes maker liability in such an action to the extent that the statement was
a republication of another party, unless the claimant establishes that the maker made the
statement: (1) with knowledge of it being false, inaccurate, or misleading and with the
intent to deceive or mislead; or (2) without notice in such statement that the maker has
not verified the contents of the republication or that the maker is not the source of the
republication and that the republication is based on information supplied by another
person or entity identified in that statement or republication.

Including that the maker of a year 2000 statement shall not be liable in an action for
defamation or trade disparagement to the extent such action is based on an allegedly
false, inaccurate, or misleading statement, unless the claimant establishes that the
statement was made with knowledge of it being false or with reckless disregard as to its
truth or falsity.

Provides that the posting of notice on its year 2000 Internet website in a commercially
reasonable manner and for a commercially reasonable time by an entity charged with giving
notice about year 2000 processing shall be deemed an adequate mechanism for providing such
notice (with an exception).

Prohibits year 2000 statements from being interpreted or construed as an amendment to or
alteration of a contract or warranty, whether entered into by a public or private party
(with exceptions).

Authorizes a Federal entity, agency, or authority to expressly designate requests for the
voluntary provision of information relating to year 2000 processing as "special year 2000
data gathering requests," thereby protecting information received from such requests from:
(1) disclosure to any third party, including under the Freedom of Information Act; and (2)
use in any civil action arising under any Federal or State law. Provides exceptions for
information obtained through independent sources or in the case of voluntary disclosure.

Provides an exemption from antitrust laws for conduct intended to: (1) facilitate
responses to correct or avoid a failure of year 2000 processing in a computer system or
related software or hardware; or (2) communicate or disclose information to help correct
or avoid the effects of year 2000 processing failure.

Specifies exclusions from this Act.
Makes this Act applicable to: (1) year 2000 statements made on or after July 14, 1998,
through July 14, 2001; and (2) year 2000 readiness disclosures made after the date of
enactment of this Act through July 14, 2001.

Provides for the treatment of previously made readiness disclosures, with exceptions.
Authorizes the President's Year 2000 Council to establish and terminate working groups
composed of Federal employees who will engage outside organizations in discussions to
address Y2K problems and to share information related to year 2000 readiness. Requires
the Council to maintain and make available a printed and electronic list of such working
groups, as well as a point of contact for each group. Terminates such authority on
December 31, 2000.

Directs the Administrator of General Services to create, maintain, and promote, until July
14, 2002, a national year 2000 website to assist consumers, small business, and local
governments in obtaining information about year 2000 processing of computers, systems,
products, and services. Requires a website planning report from the Administrator to
specified congressional committees.


What kinds of things can be affected by the Y2K bug?
Any equipment, machines, devices, and processes that are controlled by computers, computer
software or embedded systems (e.g., microchips, microprocessors) that are not
Y2K-compliant are susceptible to the Y2K bug. Malfunction of these devices and other
things may cause accidents, injuries, or damage to property or equipment if computers,
software, or embedded systems cause the machines or equipment to fail, stop, or start
unexpectedly.

Here are some examples of software and equipment that should be investigated:
a) Computing hardware and software
 centrally-supported server applications
 customized software applications
 hazard communication databases
 mainframe systems
 mini-computers
 off-the-shelf software
 personal/home computers including laptops
 local area networks
 software for managing payrolls, pensions and benefits, inventories, accounting,
medical records, worker exposure records, workers' compensation claims, etc.

 wide area networks
b) Equipment, machines, and other devices that contain date-dependant controls (e.g.,
embedded systems, microchips, microprocessors) such as:

 access controls
 air monitoring devices
 alarms
 bar-coding equipment
 biomedical / laboratory equipment
 controllers
 elevators / lifts
 environmental control units
 fax machines with date/time logs
 heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
 intelligent (e.g., computer-controlled) devices or robotics
 lighting
 machinery/mechanisms monitoring expiry dates
 medical devices (including life support systems)
 mechanical devices
 monitoring equipment that test airborne concentrations of hazardous chemicals
 printing and packaging equipment
 process control equipment (e.g., valve control systems controlling the flow of hazardous chemicals)
 safes and time locks
 security and access control systems (e.g. key cards)
 telephone systems and switchboards
 traffic lights
 underground storage tank monitors
 utilities
 vehicles and electronic systems or micro-processors
 video-conferencing systems
 video recorders
These lists are not intended to be comprehensive but they give you an idea of how far the
Y2K problem extends. Y2K problems will occur only in equipment, machines, devices, etc.
that depend on day/date information to operate correctly if the Y2K problem is not
identified and corrected within them.


What Errors will occur?

Most often, computers are not instructed that "98" is an abbreviation for "1998". Some
software instructs the computer that "99" is the highest possible value, to be followed by
a return to "00". Some software instructs the computer that 99 is a number, that should
be followed by 100. Some software does not provide any explicit instruction to the
computer about what comes after "99". In some cases, software does command the computer
to treat "98" as an abbreviation of "1998". Usually this instruction is performed by
inserting the characters "19" in front of the "98". Other types of software tell the
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