This August 1 newsletter indicates just how vulnerable the banking system is. Bank PC's are not 2000-compliant, not just their mainframes.
In its newsletter, the Fed keeps our attention focused on hoped-for PC software revisions. It avoids the mainframe computer issue like the plague, which it in fact is. The Fed is relying on a promised mid-1988 update of its PC software. But if the banking system's mainframes are not compliant, what good will the revised PC software do? Both PC's and mainframes must be compliant and integrated with each other, across all national borders.
The press release does not mention the obvious: the Fed has no control over the other 150 or so central banks on earth, all of which interface with the American banking system and with each other.
This problem cannot be solved. It's too late. However mild or devastating it will be, it cannot be fixed. The banks are the central pivot point of Western civilization, and they are not compliant. There is no hard evidence or even a wild-eyed happy-face scenario that indicates how they will ever get compliant as a system. Plan accordingly.
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Fedline's underlying internal processing systems include programming logic that will properly process dates that do not include the century. However, the current Fedline for DOS software will require updates to correctly present dates. This update of Fedline for DOS is planned for distribution by mid-1998.
The same application message and file formats processed today by Fedline for DOS also will be processed by the new FedLine for the Windows® operating systems, currently in development.2 If you convert to the new product prior to the year 2000, your preparations for handling the date formats will be the same as described above.
The new FedLine for the Windows® operating systems will be thoroughly tested for correct century handling. Please watch for additional information regarding the deployment of the new FedLine software in newsletters and other correspondence.
Another critical year 2000 preparation step is to verify the ability of your PC hardware to run Fedline software into the year 2000. The Federal Reserve Bank will test Fedline software on a variety of PC types, using a representative range of communications products and operating systems. If we identify any specific hardware problems during our testing, we will share that information with you in future Century Date Change Bulletins. Nonetheless, because we cannot conceivably test on all hardware combinations, you must conduct your own hardware assessment to ensure year 2000 date readiness.