Year 2000 and counting?
In the January 1998 issue of Plant Engineering, we featured an article on how the Year 2000 could affect your control systems. This problem is no computer hoax; businesses should pay ample attention to the Year 2000 computer phenomenon. There also are websites dedicated to informing the uninitiated as well as the experts on how computer-based systems that use only two digits to represent a year may run into problems when the year 2000 rolls around. A few of these sites are reviewed here.
Year 2000 websites
The Year 2000 website (www. year2000.com) is the most logical place to begin, and it is one of the most informative websites dedicated to this phenomenon. It offers columns, back articles from many resources, press releases, job listings (both people looking for work and companies looking for people), user groups, an e-mail subscription newsletter, and a section that focuses on the liability and insurance concerns. They also provide conference/seminar information and a page of web links to other Y2K websites of interest. This well-rounded site contains lots of pertinent information and a valuable resource to anyone who has a computer-based business.
The Year 2000 information directory (www. itpolicy.gsa.gov/mks/yr2000/y201toc1.htm) is the place to stop if you’re looking for federal, state, and international coverage of the Year 2000 problem. Basically, this website links to other resources, but it is both comprehensive and reasonable in scale. There are links to 34 state resources. There also are links to articles from such sources as CNN, IBM, and the Christian Science Monitor, standards that involve the Y2K challenges, contract language, conferences, and vendor information.
Got some questions about the Year 2000 problem? Then the Year 2000 Problem website (www. 19t0.com/problem.htm) is the spot for you. In simple, short, linked paragraphs, this website answers some basic questions about the Year 2000 problem.
Another website of links to valuable Y2K resources is www. y2klinks.com. It is part of a “Resource Site Ring,” or a group of websites all linked to each other. You can go from one to the next to the next until you’ve made it all the way around the ring.
And finally, although there are many, many more websites dedicated to the Year 2000/Milennium Bug Problem, if you are the type of person/company that needs deadlines to help you keep on track, check out: www.state.or.us/IRMD/ y2k/agencyplan.htm. The state of Oregon has put together a timeline of deadlines that will help keep companies headed in the direction they need to go to avoid a major computer snafu when the clocks hit 2000.