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Having Fun with Y2K 147

CDS writes "Fade to Black comedy magazine has a hilarious story on the Y2K problem. Michael Page, the main man @ F2B, e-mails several companies asking if their products (such as Haagen-Dazs, Oil of Olay, and Elmer's Glue) are Y2K compliant. Funny Stuff. " I laughed. I cried. It was better then "Cats". Warning: Some of the material is offensive. To someone. I think.
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Having Fun with Y2K

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  • /.ted already?

    --
    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • by donfede ( 6215 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @05:20PM (#1494833) Homepage
    the correct url is...

    www.fadetoblack.com/y2k/ [fadetoblack.com]

    Fede

  • http://www.fadetoblack.com/y2k [fadetoblack.com]

    The right link... I think.
    i dont display scores, and my threshhold is -1. post accordingly.
  • CmdrTaco needs to fix this. Otherwise it gets a 404!

    I'm sorry. What I meant to say was 'please excuse me.'
    what came out of my mouth was 'Move or I'll kill you!'
  • No kidding. It took about 5 minutes for the 404 to load! Now that's service.

    After trying the corrected URL [fade2black.com] I'm still waiting for the page to show up... oh, wait! "An error occurred while processing this directive. Time to reload. I hope it's as good as advertised.

  • by lar3ry ( 10905 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @05:29PM (#1494837)
    I remember reading the Lazlo Letters by Don Novello (aka Father Guido Sarducci) in the late 1970's, and later during when _Spy_ magazine was still in print.

    It's a funny idea, writing mock letters of gratitude or complaint to various companies ("I got a crushed M&M") and political figures ("I'm pulling for ya!") and seeing who get's it or who falls for his line.

    This is much the same thing...

    That said, I enjoyed reading these letters as well.

    And yes, some of these will be offensive to some people.


    --
  • A paper up near Green Bay has a Y2k Reporter. A friends brother got the job, his responsibility is making up a new story to scare the public every 3 or 4 days. Spread the panic, I always say... Last week he wrote about an appliance repairman charging 100$ per house to make their household appliances Y2K compliant. Sweet Job.

    -
    Check out the new case I built at the address above. Made out of a book, pretty cool.

    -S
    Scott Ruttencutter
  • It wasn't as funny as promised.. Ivory (the soap people) had the best reply by far...

    Finally, you're concerns are valid about Y2K. It's my understanding that accordion players are particularly at risk when we hit the new millennium. I'd also watch out for the little monkey you dress up and force to dance when you play. It's my advice you seek shelter far, far away from your access to e-mail.

    Other companies had little/no fun with the questions. I would have appreciated if Fade To Black focussed more on the Y2K question rather than making it an afterthought, though.

    Eh, just my thoughts.

    i dont display scores, and my threshhold is -1. post accordingly.

  • What is surprising is not the goofy letters the fadetoblack guys came up with, it is how many of these odd-ball letters actually got responses.
    Mike Eckardt [geocities.com] meckardt@yahoo.spam.com
  • Now I feel like a moron. The real corrected URL is http://www.fadetoblack.com/y2k [fadetoblack.com].
  • by rw2 ( 17419 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @05:34PM (#1494843) Homepage
    Dear Nike,

    I'm growing more worried by the day about the catastrophy looming in our immediate future. I'm referring, of course, to Y2K.

    I'm a functionally illiterate jock, as witnessed by my dictation (huh-huh, I said dictation), of this letter to my coach. So I'm quite concerned about whether or not I will still be able to play football in a few weeks.

    You see, if I were not able to hang out with other naked guys and flex for the girls that I was planning to slip a mickey to I don't know what I would do all weekend.

    Please make this problem go away.

    Please.
  • Dumb Quote
    of the Day

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Very appropriate.
  • Thank you, but I can't get the site to come up -
    Maybe they got Slashdotted [grin]

  • by alop ( 67204 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @05:42PM (#1494846) Journal
    This Y2K hysteria is such a perfect example of the blind leading the blind! I've seen that the people who are most frightend by this hype are the one's who know the least about it... I, personally , sleep easy at night, being well aware of the copious hours of work being put in by software engineers to ensure a smooth transition. But you ask joe shmo on the street, and he'll tell you how he's hording supplies and turning his assets into gold bullion! I've had people ask me If I thought their cars were Y2K complient! Now come on! Since when does an automobile even CARE what day it is?! My own mother has even asked me if the Microwave oven was ready fo the new millenium.

    This madness has got to stop! I blame the media for making foolish, un-informed speculations to a largely uneducated (as far as technology goes) crowd.
    The only real thing we have to fear for Y2K are those spooky predictions by that Nostradamous character, now that's something to prepare for ;-)

    --Alop
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My own mother has even asked me if the Microwave oven was ready fo the new millenium.

    I heard from a friend that was consulting with a (unnamed for this message) large airport in Florida for Y2K embedded systems that the only Y2K related failure in all boeing passenger aircraft is the microwave oven in the 747 series. Apparently, a controller board rework was necessary.

    AC

  • performed in portugese by an all-nude all-brazilian cast.
  • That's rather unfair. It's quite possible to generate that error under linux/apache, IIRC. I've done it myself a few times. Just mistype a server-side include and awaaaay you go.

    Why is everything MS bashing on slashdot nowadays? It used to be linux advocacy, which I didn't mind, and geek news, which I love. Now it's linux news, which I don't mind, linux zealotry, which I do mind deeply, MS bashing, and very little pure geek news. Sigh. I know, I know, taco doesn't want us to bash slashdot as a whole, so let it be known that I'm grumbling about the slashdot community, and the articles selected. Today's have been good, in general, though. Just don't read the comments.

    So, really, why must everything be a war? Post relevant stuff, or don't post. Post insightful or informative stuff, or interesting stuff, or don't post. Funny is ok in funny stories, but why the heck does it show up everywhere nowadays? Ugh. I could browse at +4, but I'm an optimist. Sigh.

    Rant rant rant, rant rant rant.

    Sorry you had to be on the receiving end.

    regards,
    -efisher
    ---
  • No, acually is it RH Linux. (Apache 1.3.3):

    Connected to www.fadetoblack.com.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    GET / HTTP/1.0

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 03:40:04 GMT
    Server: Apache/1.3.3 (Unix) (Red Hat/Linux)
    Connection: close
    Content-Type: text/html

  • Well, it Is a comedy net-zine thing..
    Dreamweaver
  • So all of you with Neuro-Fuzzy Deluxe Rice will be well fed next year!

    Get cooking! [sanyousa.com]

  • They've done so much better in the past, like mailing NOW and other women's organizations asking them to participate in a "Babes Of The Women's Movement" pageant or something similar....

    xoxo,
    Andy

  • by Racine ( 42787 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @06:20PM (#1494857) Homepage
    ...are Y2K compliant. They even say YKK on them. I think they even said that 10 years ago. Finally, an industry with foresight!
  • ... The Next Generation.
  • This is rather comical. It is going to get really chaotic, and really ridiculous after y2k. I mean, consider the possibilities. 'McDonalds hamburgers weren't y2k compliant, now I have food poisoning' or, heh, my toilet paper wasn't y2k, it raped me :P

    Beware those that are slashers, its gonna get ridiculous. It'll be funny, and something we can mock =)
  • by British ( 51765 )
    These guys are hilarious. The writing style they did about how much they hate celebrities(such as Sinbad and Jenny Jones) is the best.
  • i'm trying to figure out what hemos found offensive.
  • It's just his way of avoiding slashdotting the site too badly.
  • Off topic, but do any companies make zippers other than YKK? Take a look at any zippers on anything at all. 99% chance it'll say YKK on it... and I thought microsoft had a monopoly :-)

    --Ben
  • by interiot ( 50685 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @06:46PM (#1494866) Homepage
    The site is being mirrored here [68k.org]. It may take a few minutes to complete it.
  • Look at this page: Computer Virus Myths. [kumite.com] (Hint: look at here [kumite.com] in the site for the article)

    This guy was a witness of the 1992 Michelangelo Virus scare (so was i, btw). Everybody was running for cover and screaming for help. Then the day came, almost nothing happened, and everything got back to normal, nobody mentioning the embarrasment.

    I think itll be the same here, to some extent. The doomsayers will be back in their caves, and everybody will keep their mouth shut about being wrong in the subject. What do you think?

    "Now you can see that evil will triumph, because good is dumb!"

  • I'm gonna see if I can dig up a copy and play it for new year's. Maybe I can persuade some local radio stations to do the same.

    Seriously tho. I believe these fearmongers should be held responsible if chaos breaks out. There's a fine line between the public just being stupid as usual, and the public not knowing much about technology.

    If the public is coerced into being stupid, that's one thing, and it serves them right. "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke." right?

    But OTOH, it's realistic to assume that the common person might not understand what makes a system potentially Y2K vulnerable. Therefore I see no difference between the "experts" who predict doom, and the jerks who used to tease the retarded kids in school. In either case, it's taking advantage of the mentally incapable, and it's got to be illegal somehow. I say we rip these doom-sayers some new orifices.
  • I laughed. I cried. It was better then "Cats".

    What did this come from? I frequently say it, but I don't remember where I got it from. I was just kinda shocked to see it in a /. posting. Anyone remember?
  • by drenehtsral ( 29789 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @06:52PM (#1494870) Homepage
    My dad once wrote a letter to General Mills about cheerios. He was reading the box, and he got to the part that said "if you are not satisfied with the performance of this general mills product, or if you have any comments or suggenstions, feel free to write us a letter ...bla bla bla"

    So he wrote them a letter citing the text on the box, and stating that he bought a box of cheerios, but he wasn't satisfied by their performance. Infact he poured them out on the table, and they didn't do a damn thing.

    The company wrote back saying that it brightened their day to get that letter, and they send him a coupon for a dicount on cheerios =:-)
  • Actually, I just read about a Chrysler dealership that was charging 299.99 for a so called y2k update. What they were actually doing was firmware upgrades that Chrysler Corp. did not feel necessitated a recall. It looks like the dealership was just trying to make money off the hype. Slimy. if ya wanna read it, scroll down like crazy, and go quickly, as ths Globe will probably remove it shortly [boston.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    OK, I got the perfect y2k prank, I just need some help to pull it off... real simple... crack into the computer that run your local power grid... at midnight y2k, shut down your local station. If everyone does this, we'll have massive blackout to celebrate y2k... now the fun part is you only leave 'em off for 5 minutes or so, then flip 'em back on. It'll be a riot (erm, literally probably).
  • YKK has a website [ykkamerica.com]. Apparently they also sell other types of fasteners.

    (insert joke about being glad there isn't a YKK bug here)
  • What did this come from?

    As far as I know, the "much better than Cats" line comes from an old SNL skit in which people are interviewed after attending a performance by a hypnotist. The hypnotist's show got the same great review from everyone: "I loved it. It was much better than Cats. I'm going to see it again and again."

  • I work for Helical Products Company, Inc., Manufacturer of flexible couplings, u-joints, and machined springs. what does this mean? We make little bendy things out of metal. That's it.

    According to our receptionist and head of technology, we've feilded hundreds of questions as to whether our products are y2k compliant.

    Some people just don't get it.
  • I don't know weather I should laugh or cry but it has been the law for over a year now that nobody can import any equipment that is not Y2K compliant.

    This is why Jamaica should stop electing so many lawyers to Parliament :)
  • more URL's to save the main page,
    click below

    Bic Shavers [fadetoblack.com]
    Crest Toothpaste [fadetoblack.com]
    Elmers Glue [fadetoblack.com]
    Haagen Dazs Ice Cream [fadetoblack.com]
    Ivory soap [fadetoblack.com]
    Kiwi Shoe Polish [fadetoblack.com]
    Mr. Clean [fadetoblack.com]
    Oil of Olay [fadetoblack.com]
    Quaket State Motor Oil [fadetoblack.com]
    Skippy peanut butter [fadetoblack.com]
    Tropican OJ [fadetoblack.com]

    Click away, they're humerous to say the least.

  • Hmm, haven't seen a web site /.ed for a while. Oh well, somebody's ISP is gonna be pissed.

    I hate Y2K. I had to certify a bunch of computers this past year. I hate Y2K.
    On a more serious note, how do you handle time_t? I stopped using this and changed all my time variables to doubles. Hopefully, I will be retired before the next crisis.:-)

  • There's a whole book of this type of letter from a chap by the name of Ted Nancy. The book is titled, appropriately enough, "Letters From a Nut" (ISBN 0-380-97354-5). As far as I know, it's only available on dead trees. The funniest thing about the book is that most of the companies take the letters absolutely seriously....
  • Probably just the general vulgarity of some of them. (Like the Bic Shaver one)
  • I think the article is hilarious, and I assure you I am not at all offended... It takes FAR more than that to offend me!

    Anyway, in all this, I can be assured in one thing: I know that my coffee mug is Y2K-compliant!

  • Yea, you keep thinking like that, you'll be sorry when year 1,000,000 comes along.
  • On a more serious note, how do you handle time_t?

    "By the time 2038 comes around, nobody will be using 32 bit CPUs". :)

    Seriously though, I think that statement's probably true. People are still using programs from the 60's and 70's but I don't know of anyone using hardware from then. (Excluding that old computer they're trying to restore in Melbourne of course).

    You _do_ have the source to everything, right? :)

    I stopped using this and changed all my time variables to doubles.

    Doesn't that break all the libc interfaces which use time_t? Also, you change CPUs, you'll have to change it back again.
  • Thank you, very decent of you :)

  • dude, shut up. why would he post something anonymously if he thought it was funny? calm down, maybe someone should "slip you a mickey"...
  • For the most part I think that the well aware are doing the least amount of worrying about this y2k thingy. I thought that until I received an email from my school's computer center about y2k (our school is targeted for science and engineering).

    The letter said that before the new year the school will be shutting down all servers and computers in the machine room not sure if this also means routers and switches also but I think it does. They also encourage students to turn off their computers and even unplug them from the wall over break! I know that the school is trying to be a little over cautious and maybe they are trying to avoid law suits but wow talk about paranoia, they are not even trusting the power company.

    To bring it to a close not all the knowlegable people are sleeping at night about this y2k thingy. Of course I think my school's computer center might be a special case because I don't know many people at other schools who have such a y2k polocy.

  • I'm switching to Ivory soap the next time I take a shower! What a sport... Thanks for the best reply of all.
  • I actually read an article in Business Week about a gravel pit that had to certify its sand as y2k compliant!
  • Man I wish he asked the Trojan guys.. i can imagine a lot of scary things if those arent y2k compliant.
  • For those wondering, I believe the story the above author is talking about can be found at http://www.fadetoblack.com/now/

  • Strangely enough, 1.8 million counterfeit YKK zippers were seized in Beijing on November 8th...

  • Hi people. The gritsboy agrees with cheese here. I certainly wish someone would slip me a hot bowl of grits to pour down my pants !!!

    So sayeth the gritsboy.

  • hehe. those are funny.. I'd never read that webpage before. But I laughed my ass off at those. I do believe my workmates thought I was having a fit. grin Thanks for that Made another boring nightshift technical support job slightly more entertaining. Beats idling on irc and reloading /. every 10 minutes anyway :P
  • Also mirrored here [68k.org].
  • This is hilarious.
    My favourites are the Ivory Soap and Oil of Olay ones.
    How I wish I was working for Proctor and Gamble. :-)

  • If "only the paranoid survive" [icm.edu.pl] what's going to do these corporations in is that they've failed to detect that they've been infiltrated by a translife-time, inter-galactic conspiracy [nettoilet.com].

    On the other hand, maybe there's a better way. Perhaps we might rest, for a precious few femtoseconds, and consider that there is more to prediction than pontification -- that testable, quantifiable hypotheses are the cornerstone of the age of enlightenment. Perhaps we should, therefore consider putting our credibility where our keyboards are [ideosphere.com].

    NNAAHHH

  • I just read somewhere (for the life of me I can't remember where) that Duck Head pants is the victim of a "smear campaign" that is spreading rumors that their pants are not Y2K compliant.

    Their sense of humor is pretty strained on this whole thing, as they just got done vindicating themselves from a Duck-Head-Pants-Equals-Satanism scandal. The executive interviewed had a quote to the effect of "I don't know why this always happens to us. All I want to do is sell pants."

    Ahh, if life were only so simple...

  • I'm so looking forward to August when all the survivalists start to sell off all their extra supplies. I'll never have to buy camping gear again.
  • I know alot of you were worried that Hotnutz wouldn't make the big switch to Y2K, well this seems as good an opportunity as any to let you know we're looking good:

    Y2K Press Release [hotnutz.com]


    Hotnutz.com [hotnutz.com]
  • The site is being mirrored here. It may take a few minutes to complete it.

    Too bad it seems that even you are being slashdotted :-( Loads faster than the original site though.
    --
  • "By the time 2038 comes around, nobody will be using 32 bit CPUs".

    Well, that didn't help us much for the Y2K problem, did it? Or are many people still running computers with do decimal arithmetic, and have punchcard interfaces?

    You _do_ have the source to everything, right?

    That doesn't solve a bit. Just switching from a 32 bit time_t value to a 64 bit one might be fine for applications that don't read or write time related data (either to file, or to another process), but it isn't so simple for everything else.
    Take for instance a file system, that somewhere reserves 4 bytes to write the last modification time of a file. Now you recompile your kernel, and suddenly have 8 byte time values. How are you going to fit those 8 bytes in the 4 allocated bytes? How are you going to communicate with computers that haven't upgraded yet?

    Solaris 7 is a 64-bit OS. Sun's Ultra-5 is 64-bit hardware. Yet, time_t still is 32 bits, for good reasons. Somewhere on Sun's website there's a timeline for when Sun will migrate to a 64 bit set of time related functions and data structures. It will be years from now, and the process will take years as well. It's not at all simple. (After all, we couldn't "solve" the y2k problems by just going to 4 digit years either).

    -- Abigail

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Good God, man... the whole article that we're talking about is based on this type of humor. Are you upset at the comments made about Bic Shavers from the POV of a gay porn star on the fadetoblack.com website too? Or any of the other posts on their site that are of this very nature?

    And what the hell is up with that statement you make about "geeks" and "jocks"? You seem to be implying that "geeks" deserve and even provoke the horrific treatment they tend to recieve from "jocks"!

    But I digress, and my point is, this whole thing was about parody. Hell, we parody geeks too, sometimes. It's just harder for us to make fun of ourselves, though we do occasionally manage. =o)

    ---

    I'm not a real anonymous coward, I just play one on TV.

    ---

    PS--You complained 'cause he posted anonymously... I'll bet you'll be pissed I DID, too. Neener neener neener!

  • Tarball available here [68k.org], if anyone else cares to mirror it.

    Also, fadetoblack's awesome NOW page [68k.org] is mirrored here too. (vote for Molly, maybe she can catch up)

  • Damn, I was wondering when somebody would take the Jerky Boys approach to email. I loved the results, especially the one concerning Ivory Soap. I'd be rather disappointed, however, if this was the first case of this happening.

    Anybody know of any other features along these lines out there? These guys can't be the only people with time on their hands...

  • Actually, no, IIS would print out an SSI error and stop generating the page. Anyone know how to prevent this?
  • I'm currently wearing a pair of Bugle Boys. This pair's zipper says BBC, not YKK.
  • by cebe ( 34322 )
    as funny as this is... I laughed my head off reading some of these... it's actually quite interesting to see the responses of companies through email.

    Some of the companies had a personal email send right back.. obviously no matter how outlandish the initial mail... and some (Haagan-Dazs.com) just send back an auto-response type email.

    It's one thing to "get on the web" but using the internet to improve your company, your PR, and your customer service is something completely different.

    in all non seriousness though... quite halarious... I enjoyed these
  • The problem isn't are the major countries prepared. The real concern is with Thrid World nations that we depend on, that are somewhat computerized.

    If small country that sells a widget that is critical for a bigger product manufactured in the US (or other nation) has serious problems with it's order processing system, causing that widget to not be shipped, it causes major problems for our manufacturing. Same thing with things like oil, coal and food from 3rd world nations. It wouldn't take much of a slight screw up to throw the whole system off.

    Is this serious? I'm not sure. This may not be that big of problem, but it's certainly a possibility. So while our computers are more or less fine, other countries might not be so lucky. If this is a serious problem, keeping some extra food supplies isn't so silly. As always, the devil is in the details.
  • That's not exactly an original idea. Read The Lazlo Letters, by Lazlo Toth (Don Novello - Father Guido Sarducci). This book was written 20 years ago.
  • And don't forget to buy stock in Waste Management. The landfills will be bursting with 55 gallon drums of discarded Y2K beans.
  • Well, that didn't help us much for the Y2K problem, did it?

    Note the quotes and the smiley...

    I'm aware of the datafile issues. However, changing from 32->64 bit will affect those as well (sizeof(everything) changes, etc). Why not shove in one additional change at the same time?

    In fact, time_t can remain a long, just the size of it changes... That's why currently time_t and lots of other things are typedef, so they're the same length on all platforms. That's why I diagreed with the person who said he'd converted all his source to use doubles rather than time_t.
  • Can't get anywhere near it from the UK at 9am local time today. Comprehensively /dotted! //if at first you don't succeed you're clearly not drunk enough//
  • Ha ha, welcome to Linux! Get used to the difficulties - all the Windows experience won't help you much here. This isn't just another application you are installing, it's a whole new operating system. It's okay that no one will install it for you since the sooner you get used to handling things yourself the better. The installation is just the start of "problems" and you don't want to call over a friend every time you get a weird screen or your printer doesn't work! First, get used to going to the web for help and information (Linux was born on the web after all). Here's a couple of starts for your situation:

    Newsgroup for RedHat Linux installation: http://www.deja.com/group/linux.redhat.install/ [deja.com]

    Beginners guide for installing Linux: http://www.linux.ie/beginners-linux-guide/ [linux.ie]

    Remember, not everyone will be helpful if you post in a wrong area, like you did here :-) Try to find a relevant site and be sure you first read what's already there since no one likes duplicate postings or being asked a question that's already been answered. I'm jealous of your machine... what a piece of hardware! Did you build it yourself? If so this will help you since you will need a lot of information on your machine once you actually get into setting up Linux. If you didn't build the machine, write down everything you can about what's inside it before you start installing. You don't have any fancy setup to do this for you like Windows does. For an idea of what you need to know, see section 2.1.5 of Linux Installation and Getting Started [linuxdoc.org]. When I first installed Linux, I put it on a machine I had built myself and had a second machine next to it constantly logged onto the web for finding information. My "fun" started when the setup couldn't find my SCSI CD/ROM, so I bypassed the situation by plugging an old CD/ROM into a free IDE port and got started. The only other major hang-up after that involved the wrong video card being identified during setup, and my monitor got very hot and made an unwelcome whining noise that sounded like oncoming death (which made me glad it was an older monitor whose loss would be bearable)... fixing this required changing settings on the X-server.

    Regarding the posts here on the "6.1" thing, here's a little sidenote. Linux distributors (such as RedHat) have their own numbering system that is best thought of as unrelated to the underlying Linux kernel. You may have RedHat 6.1, TurboLinux 3.6, and Slackware Linux 4.0 all out at the same time using the same Linux kernel, which is version 2.2. The second number indicates whether you have a "stable" or "development" version: if that number is even, it is stable. Thus Linux 2.2 is a stable version, while 2.3 is the current development (unstable) version. While you can download and install 2.3 and think you are getting a "newer" version, don't! Wait until you are way beyond the newbie stage to wander there.

    Not that I want to push anyone's products here, but if you are planning to stick with it and get into Linux, you might consider getting a copy of Running Linux [oreilly.com]. I didn't buy it until I had Linux up and running - reading the first few chapters before I attempted an install would have been helpful, and it is great to have around afterwards to learn from. In the mean time, have fun and hang in there during the installation!

  • it should be... Newsgroup for RedHat Linux installation: http://www.deja.com/group/linux.redhat.install [deja.com]
  • by hedgehog_uk ( 66749 ) on Tuesday November 30, 1999 @12:50AM (#1494927) Homepage
    KY Jelly is not Y2K compliant. A new product will be launched for the millennium - Y2KY Jelly - which allows you four digits in your date instead of two.
  • This guy is obviously wacked. The one from proctor and gamble had me rolling.
  • "our receptionist and head of technology"

    It's always good to see a company that takes its technology issues seriously.
  • I've had people ask me If I thought their cars were Y2K complient! Now come on! Since when does an automobile even CARE what day it is?

    While I don't believe the problem will be as great as some people's fears, it's attitudes like this which will be the cause of any problems we do experience.

    Rumour has it that the only system to fail Y2K testing on the Boeing 747-400 was the automated machinery which pumps sewerage between holding tanks to maintain balance in the aircraft.

    Now, why on earth would that need to know what date it is, let alone what year?

    So, please don't assume people are stupid because you make assumptions on how other people write/program/build systems. If anything fails, it will be the obscure things which nobody has even considered.

    Nick.

  • Dear Y2K Coordinator:

    Thank you for your inquiry concerning our 'Year 2000'
    readiness and what impact it may have on your business
    continuity.

    As executive manager of all information technology
    at a Fortune 100 firm in charge of 1500 data processing
    professionals, I was completely unaware of this potential
    software 'bug'. Now that you mention it, there may be a few
    mission critical business database programs on our IBM 360
    that could very well be century-date sensitive. As the thing
    has been running a drum memory based database flawlessly for
    the past 35 years, save for routing maintenance, we felt no
    need to upgrade to whatever the latest passing data processing
    fads were at the time.

    Please be assured that I will dispatch a junior programmer
    to look into this situation immediately and recommend any
    corrective actions that need to be taken to ensure that our
    25,000 workstation system will continue to provide the high
    quality of service that you have come to expect from ***.

    Sincerely
    Chuck
    From the 14th hole
    Greenstate Golf club
  • by vipw ( 228 )
    that's rich, however they aren't *neccessarily* the same people
  • Anyway, in all this, I can be assured in one thing: I know that my coffee mug is Y2K-compliant.

    Yeah. But what you have to be worried about is the coffee you put into your pot and the coffee maker itself and carafe. Even if your coffee mug were not Y2K compliant, you could drink directly from the carafe if it is.

    If on the other hand your coffee, coffee maker, or carafe is not compliant, you are screwed.

    I've contacted my coffee supplier, my coffee pot manufacturer, and the manufacturer of the carafe (and mug too, since it's much more convenient to drink from a mug than it is to drink directly from the carafe) and luckily, all are compliant. I suggest you do the same.


  • Hmm that's not what I remember. That may be where the person that I heard got it, but that wasn't it. I heard it exactly as stated I laughed, I cried, it was better than "Cats." Thanks, tho.
  • This has offended me! I gonna sic the PETA on these guys! Gorillas in diapers? and that wasn't even the worst! think of the torture that dog went through! wasn't let out for a whole day! had to eat oil of olay just to stay alive! and then he was made so aggressive that even eyecontact made him jump! this is what gives pittbulls a bad name! stop this abuse of animals immediately!

    //rdj
  • man, I have to read these later

    I got to the crest story and decided that I had better stop or my coworkers might think I'm having an epileptic fit spitting up my coffee.
  • This is really funny. Although, it might offend some people also ;-)

    Chris
  • Although my company does need to be Y2K complacent, um...compliant, and although we do have equipment and systems that are date sensitive (the worst thing that can happen is that we don't invoice our customers...oh the horror), we still get some really dumb questions.

    Like the customer who wants to know how we'll communicate with them in the event of an interruption in phone and other communications services. Although that's a serious issue, we're a printing company!! We're hardly responsible for the phone lines.

    Although I won't do this because I'd get in trouble and we'd lose a customer, I'm tempted to tell this particular customer that one of our guys happens to own horses. If communication systems go out, he's volunteered to ride to their offices and pickup and deliver jobs.

    Reminds me of my short stint in radio. Our transmitter went down once. Got a bunch of calls from "listeners" who wanted to know why we didn't go on the air with an explanation.


  • Y2K has been blown out of proportion by geeks such as myself (and probably you, too) who wanted more toys, more attention, more respect, chicks and we saw this as a way to get it.
    Sure, there are real Y2K issues but you're don't have to worry about your bank account, planes falling out of the sky or milk being stamped with an expiration date of February 14, 1900.
    It just ain't going to happen.
    The Y2K Situation...
    It ain't a bug.
    Even in the 1960s and 1970s when the programs were written, everyone in the industry with half a brain knew that there would be problems as the millennium came if the code was not changed.
    Programmers and management just didn't care because disk space and computer memory was very expensive and no one anticipated that the programs would last 10, 20 or even 30 years in some cases.
    That we have a Y2K problem is a testament to how rock-solid computers were built then and how good the early programmers were. Most people upgrade their desktop computer every three years and their software every one or two. These mainframes have been running basically the same hardware and software since Nixon was in office and Godfather was on the big screen.
    Don't you think that the folks who wrote such reliable software have the skills to update their applications to support four-digit numbers? I do.
    (I'm currently administrating a mainframe that was bought by my company before I was even born.)

    The Y2K Panic...
    The computer geek stereotype isn't totally inaccurate.
    Those of us in information systems don't get much attention in a business environment. Corporately-speaking, we are often under- funded and over-worked.
    Part of that is our own fault because when computer geeks rise to management they are as shy at the boardroom table as they were at the school dance. The other part of the problem is that it's not easy to understand what it is we do. It's easy to understand a fleet of trucks or a building. Not many people can grasp bytes, mHz and that millions of electrons are traveling close to the speed of light through sand just to store data on fancy rust (no kidding).
    When the information system manager tried to get money and time out of upper-management in the mid-1990's to fix the Y2K issues, management didn't get it. It was seen as an issue that could wait and was a lot less important than getting onto the internet or buying some new trucks. Besides, it was going to be expensive and would show no return on investment. It was just dull maintenance.
    How can you put a positive spin on that for the shareholders?

    (

    I'm not making this up. Carol was my former boss...

    > Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 17:09:13 -0500
    > From: Carol Carpenter
    > To: Matt Steinhoff
    > Subject: Re: Outstanding Issues
    >
    > At 05:03 PM 2/19/98 -0500, you wrote:
    > > Which reminds me, we are schedueled for a Brite Year 2000
    > > software upgrade sometime this quarter.
    >
    > Year 2000 upgrade, in 1998? I don't get.
    >
    > Carol

    )

    So what's a geek to do? We know that if the Y2K issues aren't addressed, heads are going to roll and it won't be the heads of the people who wouldn't release the purse strings, it'll be us.
    It's at this point that we start concocting disaster scenarios. Planes will fall out of the sky. Banks will lose your money. The stock market will crash. Life as we know it will cease to exist.
    Management started to take notice. Geeks were getting budgets that would allow the problems to be fixed.
    Then world dynamics changed thanks the to internet. Geeks who couldn't get chicks in high school were escorting supermodels to the Oscars and making billions of dollar. And my grandmother got a computer for Christmas.
    And the Y2K problem snowballed because the Unwashed Masses thought they knew something about computers. Computers were on the brain and us geeks milked it for all that it was worth.
    Folks started throwing money at us and we gained respect thanks to Y2K and the boost Y2K got from the internet rush.
    We became addicted to the fame and fortune. We kept cranking out horror stories. The telecommuniation system will shut down. The power grid will shut down. Nuclear weapons will launch all on their own.
    Pop culture then began to endorse the Y2K end-of-the-world panic and the snowball got even bigger.
    Cottage industries started to spring up. Do you have your three-month supply of food and generator? Advertising agencies start to use the Y2K hook (see Nike).
    It's at this point we geeks begin to see what we started and wanted to put the cat back in the bag. We tell folks that it's not a big deal, that most systems are already fixed or close to being fixed. We let folks know about the safeguards we have in effect. We remind people that everything is backed-up to several places including good old fashioned paper.
    Worst case, we tell you, it may take a few days or weeks to find all the glitches that we missed come January 1. Minor stuff. Nothing to freak out about.
    But, of course, it's too late. Folks have already started hoarding their bread. Radio talk show hosts are already whipping the Unwashed Masses into a frenzy.
    And you know what the irony of this entire situation is?
    It could have been prevented. If Joy had just gone to Prom with me instead of that low-life football player, I would have more self-esteem and would not have incited a world-wide, society-ending panic.

    Conclusion...
    Don't worry. We've got the situation under control.

    Y2K Side note...
    To the folks who think that buying gold is a good idea in order to ride-out the financial turmoil of the next few years, get real.
    Why is gold valuable?
    - people like it for jewelry, a luxury item
    - it's the conductive metal used in most computers and other high-tech electrical stuff
    What do you suppose will happen if society as we know it ends, the power grid fails and there is a nuclear holocaust?
    I'll give you a hint. Gold will be devalued.
    Who is going to be wearing gold when they have to raise their own food and struggle for the most basic of human needs? And if computers caused the near-extinction of mankind, do you think there will be much cause for the highly-conductive metal?
    If you want to have a negotiable substance after the apocalypse, start stock-piling gasoline. Folks will still need to get around, power their generators and harvest their crops.

    InitZero
  • >McDonalds hamburgers weren't y2k compliant, now I have food poisoning

    Impossible, they're not food
  • Did you happen to pay any attention to the site that this is in response to? It is a thing called parody. Man, chill out! Talk about a 'roid rage!'

    I am sure he did not check the AC post because he did not think that someone like you were out there to get all bent out of shape for no real reason. It is no wonder that there are so many problems in the world when people cannot take a little satire here and there. Stereotypes are good criticism too, although they are viewed negatively because they do not portray the target group accurately, they can make you think about the people you associate with and how they are viewed.

    You can use things like this positively...
  • After Holloween a bunch of co-workers and I were sitting around the lunch table. I happened to bring some left over candy that the kids didn't take the night before. One of the guys picked up a milkyway bar and noticed the words "MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS" clearly written on the label. Directly below was the phone number. He called. They informed him that this is a warning specifically to people who are allergic to peanuts. The machine used to make Milkyway is also used to produce another product (which the company would not mention - snickers I assume) that contains peanuts. While they (mars?) clean the machine thoroughly after every use, they were afraid of trace residues causing trouble for someone with an exteeme alergy --> hence the warning. They sent him a book of free coupons... It was a good chuckle for us, it was a good chuckle for them...
  • Same also goes for when all the planets lined up or that one kook who was predicting earthquakes based on "tidal forces".

    It totally amazes me how time after time people get in a panic over something, nothing happens, they go about their lives, and then turn right around and get in a panic over the next thing to come along.

    Any more I just have fun with these people and make Y2K out to be something just really more horrible than Art Bell and his cronies can come up with. I tell people to make sure their toaster is Y2K compliant or something silly like that. It is amazing how many of them are worried about crap like this - and it is foolish crap too.
  • Don't you think that the folks who wrote such reliable software have the skills to update their applications to support four-digit numbers? I do.

    You mean the programmers that haven't died, retired, quit or been downsized or outsourced.

    I know of many systems where none of the original engineers and programmers are still around, not to mention source code, compilers and development systems.

    Fortunately, most of these systems are being replaced by newer systems.

    The scary thing is that there is no manual backup for most of these systems. The people who had that knowledge were eliminated as part of the cost savings of the new, automated systems.

  • Growing up in the 1940's, my father decided to put on a puppet show. All of the programs at the time had a sponsor, so he wrote to Kellog asking if Rice Crispies would sponsor his puppet show.

    They not only told him yes, they sent him a case of empty boxes to use (and probably had a good chuckle).

    Several months ago, when I actually had a few minutes (/. slow that morning?), i found the Kellog's site, and sent a complaint that the brown sugar pop-tarts were consistently underfrosted. They sent a message back with an 800 number and a reference code, asking me to call, but I still haven't had a chance.

    Harness the /. effect for good rather than evil. If you're frustrated by the failure to fully frost the brown sugar pop-tarts, and normally buy Kellog instead of generic due to the mor thorough frosting, let them know :) [please, no wannabes, and they're not going to GPL poptarts, so don't ask :)]

    Hmm, while I'm on Kellogs . . . .Dr. Kellog produced his corn flakes for the same reason that Dr. Grahm introduced his cracker. These folks were of the Malthusian bent, and were opposed to sex *within* marriage. Both of these products were meant to suppress the sexual appetite. While history has kept this information, it does not record Mrs. Grahm's and Mrs. Kellog's feelings on the matter . . .

    :)

    This is a real fun one to bring up when we hit that unit in my econ classes . . .
  • We have y2k stickers on everything in this university. Hmm, I installed linux *after* they put the sticker on the computer; maybe I should ad a "but not 2038" sticker :)

    The *typewriter* has a sticker. And the college has a manual typewriter on standby, in case there's no power for the electrics--but this building would be unusable without poiwer . . .
  • .. of this call I made to my local bank. They sent me cheques with "19___" in the date area. As a form of protest, and to poke fun at them, I called them up to complain of "non-y2k compliant cheques."

    The funniest bit is when I complain, "but what if I write a check in the year 2000, it will say it's written in 1900!" The lady on staff does not at all contradict me -- she even checks with her boss! It's funny as hell. I'll have to figure out how to get it off of my dictaphone (r), and presented in mp3 format on my webpage some day :-)
    ---
  • You'll notice a trend in that the letters that got a good response were those that didn't include the rather tasteless genital references. The cleaner ones I thought were rather amusing, but some of those other ones were bordering on stupid/annoying, and I imagine that's why none of those got much of a response.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.

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