Y2K: New and Fun Stuff
BSRMJ apologizes for berating this issue – but this story is a bit different.The State of Wisconsin has the National Guard on standby for Y2K problems. They are concerned about the way a population will behave when power and telephone breakdown. In the US we have only a few empirical examples of what happens in crisis situations. People either party and subsequently there are a lot of children born 9 months later, or they riot and loot. Wisconsin is prepared for the latter.
Currently there are some identified problems with GPS equipment sold within the last two years. The problems with the technology are for the”consumer” GPS units and some professional GPS units sold for maritime navigation. The problems have to do with the Y2K and synchronization of the date/time clocks. Most professionals are now unsure, after some laboratory tests, if all of the satellites, cell phone, and modem technology incorporated into some of these GPS units will roll over to the correct week 001 and second 0000001. If they do so, will they be done simultaneously, maintaining contact within specified variances and tolerances to allow for proper re-programming of receivers to decipher data correctly. Three choices: Yes, it works, No the satellites cannot be understood, or Hey, where are the satellites anyway?
Robert Bemer is the father of the ASCII language and the “escape key”sequence and has a unique perspective on Y2K. He believes that the problem is very real, and the solution in most cases will have its cure in binary, not in any compiler language. He believes that by reprogramming in the base binary code that the solutions will be found. Compiler languages are large blocks of binary code for each line of code in a compiler language. There is one block in the structure that is vulnerable. He feels it is prudent to focus on the one block and not the whole structure.
Other Y2K Stuff. If your IBM based PC was built after 1996 you should be OK, but check your software. Either call the supplier or advance the date on your computer to see if it crashes. PS – back up your data in advance, and load one application at a time to isolate the offender, if any. Mac Users – no problem: it was anticipated in the design – however check software as described above.
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