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1998-04-08 19:00:13


Meanwhile, Back in the Nation's Capitol....



Pepco is the Potomac Electric Power Company. It supplies power to the nation's Capitol.

It posted a happy-face press release on y2k, along with several other items of importance, such as the availability of a new automated phone system, and a list of holidays that Pepco will honor in 1998. And this:

"If you feel a draft coming in your window, then warm air and your energy dollars are probably going out the other way. You can save 10% or more in annual energy costs by testing your windows and doors for air tightness, and adding weather stripping and caulk where necessary."

With y2k properly framed, the press release says:

"There is growing interest among Pepco's customers about our plans to ensure that Pepco's computer systems will be prepared for the coming of the new millennium." A growing interest, as in, "Will I have power in the winter of 2000?" That sort of thing.

No problem. Well, no big problem.

"Fortunately, many of Pepco's current systems are already able to handle 'Year 2000.'" Got that? Many. As to how many, the press release doesn't say, but it's presumably more than two.

As for the rest, "We also have an aggressive program under way to identify deficiencies and upgrade all of the software and hardware that we use."

Then there are the vendors. "In addition, we are contacting all software and hardware vendors to verify their compliance and their plans to provide timely upgrades to their systems where needed." Problem: What if this can't be verified? Or what if the programs aren't compliant? Then what? Testing.

"All program changes will be thoroughly tested before being accepted by Pepco as ready for 'Year 2000' processing." But what if they fail the test?

"At Pepco, we are keenly aware of the critical importance of computers to our customers in the workplace and at home. Rest assured we are working hard to ensure that Pepco's computer systems will be ready for the transition to the year 2000." It's the thought that counts.

Unfortunately, the computers may not.

At the bottom, we read this slogan (registered): We're connected to you by more than power lines.

I ask: For how much longer?


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