Armageddon Worried about the Year 2000, or How I Learned to Love the Millenium Bomb

Steve Heffner

The Year 2000 problem exists because many computer programs use only the last two digits of the year in dates, so that 2000 becomes the same as 1900. Experts estimate that fixing all of the affected programs worldwide will cost as much as a trillion dollars. Many fear that there is not enough time or programming resources available to do so before January 1, 2000.

The standard approaches to fixing Year 2000 problems in existing systems boil down to four:

As the dreaded date approaches, those responsible for the care and feeding of software are beginning to realize how big the problem is in their code, and they're starting to panic. The next two or three years are likely to be the most interesting (in the Chinese sense) in the history of computer software.

Steve Heffner will discuss all of the above and more, including what the Year 2000 problem REALLY is; it's not what you think!

Steve Heffner started repairing computer hardware in 1963 and learned to program in 1965. He went independent in 1972, and since then has delivered consulting services to clients in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He was also an adjunct Professor of Decision Sciences at the Wharton Business School from 1981 to 1994. In 1977 he founded Pennington Systems Incorporated, a systems software company, and in 1984 he created XTRAN, a computer language expert system. Pennington is now starting to apply XTRAN to the Year 2000 problem.

Date: Thursday January 15, 1998, 8:00 pm
Location: Auditorium, Sarnoff Corporation, 201 Washington Road (Rt 571 1/4 mile south of US 1), Princeton, NJ

Additional Information: recorded info (609) 924-8704, Dennis Mancl (908) 582-7086, or John DeGood (609) 734-2028

A pre-meeting dinner with the speaker is held at 6 p.m. at the Rusty Scupper on Alexander Road in Princeton. If you would like to attend, please call the information number to record your reservation on the answering machine.

Princeton ACM / IEEE Computer Society meeting are open to the public. Students and their parents are welcome. There is no admission charge, and refreshments are served after the meeting.