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1998-05-18 07:26:12


Buildings May Shut Down on Sept. 9, 1999



Commercial buildings in New Zealand -- and everywhere else -- may begin shutting down on 9/9/99 -- the infamous "end of run"/"end of file" date.

If this fear is validated, then we have a lot less time than Jan. 1, 2000, to get prepared.

Things will start going haywire no later than Jan. 1, 1999. The chaos will escalate all through 1999. This will make testing -- let alone code repairs -- very difficult. Programmers will see what the threat is and leave for safer regions. The biggest, most important computer systems are in the largest cities. Programmers will join the exodus. Their minds will be on their own safety. This is not good for programming.

This is from INFOTECH of New Zealand (May 18).

* * * * * * * *

NEW ZEALAND buildings less than three years old are exposed to the Millennium Bug, and tenants could face an electronic meltdown as early as September 1999, says an Australian expert.

Paul Eagling, manager of Melbourne-based Engineering Solutions Australia says ESA, which specialises in electronic bug-hunts of building services, is finding that building control systems don't have to be old to pose a Year 2000 risk.

"There's a misconception that `my building's new so it will be okay'," he says. "But we're finding even three-year-old hardware and software may not be able to tackle the Year 2000," says Mr Eagling. . . .

The Millennium Bug threatens environment control, security, stand-by power, fire safety and lift systems in commercial buildings - just as it threatens the personal computers and mainframes within. But Mr Eagling says management are quick to brush-off the threat, focusing instead on IT issues.

"The mindset of managers is that only IT has a Year 2000 problem. They're working hard to resolve that issue, and they haven't recognised that their own building services could have problems, with all the same risks," he says. . . .

According to ESA, the first critical date for some buildings is September 9 1999. In a twist of the Year-2000 date problem, some building systems are unable to process the date 9-9-99. . . .

Manager Bob Meggitt says New Zealand building owners have been ignoring the problem, but are starting to become aware of "millennium timebombs".

"Lots of building owners are just crossing their fingers. I think it's fear of the unknown," says Mr Meggitt. "But it's starting to become topical."


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