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Summary and Comments

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1997-10-08 14:48:12


Horror Story from a Canadian Programmer


(Received October 8, 1997):

Thank you for all of your work on the Y2K. As a computer scientist and software developer, I continue to be amazed at the apathy toward the problem withing the industry. I am beginning to follow your advice and to take measures to protect my family and inform friends and colleagues of the seriousness of the problem.

Particularly of interest to me (and I assume to you) was the release of Canada's Auditor General's Report yesterday. The Auditor General surveys government departments and reports on their efficiency, etc. This year's report features a section on Y2K. It's scary. In a nutshell, most government departments have not started or are targeted to finish with no time to test. What's even more interesting is that the Globe and Mail (Canada's self-proclaimed "National Newspaper") ignored the Y2K issue in its story on the Report. I've put URL's at the bottom of this message. [This is posted in the "Government" category.]

You may also be interested to know that I was talking this morning with our System Administrator who used to work for the government. He still has contacts in 3 government departments. Each of these departments has implemented the following strategy to "combat" Y2K. They take a couple of "life-ers" (50+ year-old civil servants) and make them responsible for ensuring that all new purchases of software and hardware are Year 2000 compliant. That's it. No strategy for legacy database systems; just a bureaucratic exercise which involves getting letters from vendor (sometimes 3 for one piece of equipment) ensuring compatability.

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