Logo: TUG TORONTO USERS GROUP for Midrange Systems
e -server magazine

May 1997: Volume 12, Number 5

Not Another Year 2000 Sermon

By John Vanzante  Figure.1

ad enough of Year 2000 predictions of disaster? Had enough mail from vendors selling tools and services? Had enough invitations to seminars? Read enough articles telling what to do about Year 2000 issues? Before you decide you don’t need to hear anymore about the Year 2000 and skip the rest of this article, continue for just one more sentence. The intent of this article is to provide you with practical information you can use for a Year 2000 project, and not to lecture you on what you must to do and why the world will come to an end if you don’t do it. I will point you in the direction of information and resources you can actually use to help you if you have a millennium issue.

For the past few years the Internet and the World Wide Web have been touted as learning tools, and a resource for information. As you might expect with an Information Technology subject, the Internet is literally overflowing with information, tools and resources related to the Year 2000 bug. The URL’s of the best of these, and an abstract of what they provide are listed in this article. As a word of caution home pages are dynamic, and if you access those indicated in this article a few months from now, they may have changed.

www.softmall.ibm.com/as400/year2000.html IBM is a great place to start. This site provides a downloadable manual for Year 2000 Planning, a listing of service providers, a listing of tool vendors, and a checklist of what to look for in a Year 2000 software tool.

www.year2000.com This is one of the original Year 2000 sites. It also lists tools and vendors. Information on how to subscribe to the Year 2000 e-mail list is provided at this site . This mail list has existed for more than 2 years, and is an excellent way to obtain information on a variety of Year 2000 issues by posting questions to the list. You will receive responses from experts on the Millennium Bug.

www.y2k.com If you have difficulty in getting the attention of senior management about the Year 2000 bug, go to this site. It belongs to a law firm in Washington DC and although the laws in the USA re directors and officers liabilities are different, some of the same principles apply in Canada. A great site as a directory to other sites.

www.comlinks.com This is an E-zine site dedicated to Year 2000. As such there is a wide variety of information available

kode.net/~ggirod/bookmark.html As you might expect from the URL, this is a site of bookmarks of URL’s having Year 2000 information, tools or resources.

web.idirect.com/~mbsprogs/y2kvend.html Let’s give a call to a local site. These folks are working on establishing a Year 2000 Users Group in Toronto. They also list tool vendors and service providers.

www.pirkle-websites.com This is a vendor site. Notwithstanding there is a wealth of information on the background and technical aspects of the Millennium Bug.

www.jks.co.uk/y2ki This site has material you can download, from Powerpoint presentations for senior management to a risk management matrix. Click on “Recent Acquisitions” and go from there. The title implies this links changes often, so you may need to look around. If you do, watch out for the English sense of humor.

www.hcl-jmi.com If you plan to do a Year 2000 project on your own, this site has methodologies to help you project manage the task that you can download for free. Click the "Download TSRM Year 2000 Samples" on the home page to access them.

While there is a lot of material on the Internet that will help you with a Year 2000 project, testing is not one of them. If you review the material on the Internet sites, you will find a number of estimates indicating that testing is 50% of the project. To what degree and level you test depends on the changes you make, and how extensive they are. The most rigorous testing requires you IPL a machine with a year 2000 date, and timewarp files for use with testing. Be careful. Setting a future date can affect many areas, including expiry of passwords or authorizations to software. Consider a dedicated testing machine or site if you need to test to this level.

Don't forget about PC's . Most of them won't rollover to the Year 2000 date at midnight on December 31,1999 and new Year 2000 date must be set manually. Tools can be downloaded to determine the compliance of a PC, but again use them with care. You will also find tools to let you update PC's so the date will change at the millennium and avoid the need of running around to change each one manually.

If you plan on using tools, or contract resources to help you over the hump of a Year 2000 project, consider doing it sooner than later. Most industry analysts are forecasting a shortage of resources with a corresponding affect on prices. Similarly tool vendors indicate they plan on price increases instead of decreases as time goes by.

The last bit of advice is the most simple, don't underestimate the task. The Year 2000 is a project where the due date can not be deferred or delayed, by anyone... T < G