Throwback Thursday: College Y2K compliant since July


Image via Lillian Fuglei

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published Dec. 15, 1999 in the Rapp Street Journal, Arapahoe Community College’s student paper at the time. 

The infamous Y2K bug has made many people preparing for chaos and big computer problems. The main issue has been whether or not computer systems will be able to read “00” as 2000 and not 1900.

People are preparing for the event of the infamous Y2K bug.

Associate Vice President of Information, Technology Services and Planning Frank Markley has been preparing the systems for a smooth transition.

“It began over a year ago. We went over to 2000 in July 1999. We knew in July 1999 that all our programs we use are essential to transcripts and registration,” said Markley.

“The campus started upgrading computers in classrooms and labs a little over a year ago,” said President Jim Williams.

Being Y2K compliant not only means the computers need to be able to read the year 2000, but it also affects systems run by computers, such as elevators and air conditioners.

“Y2K compliant means that on January 1, at 12:01 a.m., 2000, the various software embedded chip and other types of specially related to technology and programming applications will continue to work. That the date will either not malfunction the machine or shut the particular application down. That it will continue to function after the 2000 date,” said Markley.

“When you look at Y2K compliant, it’s not just computer systems,” said Markley, “We had to make sure our emergency systems were compliant, even the elevators. We had to look at all of our air conditioners and control systems. They’re all done now through computers.”

“We don’t feel that there’s going to be a lot of issues with our network. The issues with elevators and telephone systems, have all been checked and certified by outside consultants. At this point, we’re in wait and see mode. See what happens, and if it doesn’t come up, then we’ll address the problem before students come back to class,” said Markley.

With the uncertainty behind the millennium, some preparations to consider include having extra cash on hand, extra bottled water, hard copies of financial records or accounts, and making sure the companies you frequently do business with are Y2K compliant.

“I think they should be prepared for some very minor interruptions. They might want to have a few extra dollars in cash. They might want to fill up their car with gas, their bathtub with water,” said Markley.

According to Bronwyn Fryer, writer for Fortune magazine, “no one can know for sure exactly what will occur when the world’s computers experience their universal hiccup.”

Even the federal government has been preparing for the change. Agencies who are 100% compliant include the following departments, the Sate, Education, Interior, Labor, Veterans Affairs, and Housing and Urban Development, according to Kathleen Ohlson, writer for Computerworld. 

Most companies have been preparing for the glitches that may occur on January 1, 2000. Ted Smalley Brown and Renee Gotcher, writers for InfoWorld, stated “companies are moving into various levels of ‘survival’ modes, including forcing staff to sign comtracts to stay in town, work as long as needed, and generally be on hand. Staffers are being banned from taking vacations during periods as long as mid-November to mid-January.”