Tue, 9 Mar 1999 12:16:31 -0500
I have no doubt that there will be a LOT of problems next January, but I
also think that there is a lot of unfounded fear-mongering and
profiteering going on.
I recently discarded an electric razor because the power switch broke, and
when I took it apart, I decided it was too hard to fix. Having a little
bit of hardware experience, I can safely say that the only semiconductors
in the whole thing were in the rectifier on the power cord. Yet a recent
TV special should the same model along with a simple hair curling wand as
examples of devices containing "embedded chips".
They also talked about the possibility of pacemakers or microwave ovens
failing. Come on! Neither device cares a hoot what day of the month it
is, much less what day of the century!
HOWEVER, just suppose that the processor or software in my pacemaker is
date sensitive, AND the FDA didn't ensure adequate testing. Why should I
be afraid of it failing at the turn of the century? That could only
happen if the manufacturer took the trouble to set its date and time
accurately when the battery was installed. If not, it could (could have)
failed due to a date or time rollover at ANY MOMENT!
I've been warned that my VCR (and microwave oven) may not know the correct
time. If there's no power (or food), who cares?
There may be a lot of folks with their "heads in the sand," but this kind
of foolishness encourages many people to dismiss it as just another fad.