Re: TW role in Y2K issues

Subject: Re: TW role in Y2K issues
From: Bob Morrisette <Robert -dot- Morrisette -at- EBAY -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 09:37:50 -0700

>Maybe I missed something about year 2000 but I thought its effect was
>contained in antiquated mainframe software which, generally, is only used
>by the federal government, some state governments, and ultra-large
>database-driven corporations and of those entities, how many technical
>writers document the operation of such software? It seems to me we're
>almost all employed in corporations using modern software documenting
>modern devices which aren't dependent on the what the last two digits of
>the year are.

Unfortunately, the y2000 problem extends far beyond old mainframes and
COBOL programs. The COBOL problem is major - estimates are that
180 billion lines of COBOL exist, maintained by 900K programmers.
JOVIAL code is also affected, so the army and air force are already
working on this along with their COBOL problem.

Much of the COBOL code is undocumented and will require major efforts
to modify. Can we assume that someone will document the undocumented

Any software or hardware could be affected. The
FAQ lists many models of PCs that do not pass the y2000 test now.
Some of the popular PC software also requires modification.
Another problem is that some systems think that 2000 is not a leap

Any company that has not investigated this problem should start now.
Writers can start educating themselves about y2000 problems and
contribute to their company's y2000 project. A good place to start
is They even sell y2000 T-shirts and books at this site.

Bob Morrisette
writer -at- sabu -dot- EBay -dot- sun -dot- com

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