I was asked to review the following thesis for grammar, not content. Hindsight from 2002 being 20/20, I now see that even the best and brightest can exagerate the possible paranoid consequences of the Y2K bug. Corporate America can be decieved into buying Bre-X phantom gold, or ENRON and its invisible assets, income and concealed off-shore debts. Or perhaps this work, and the work like it, solved all these projected problems completely.
There is a cancer growing on the presumed immaculate intellect of corporate America. It is directly related to fundamentally flawed "Carver style" corporate governance. This enshrines an incestuous relationship between the corporate executive and its boards of directors. This "old boys" network colludes to choose among their friends, those with some of the right qualifications and all of the wrong ones. They must be compliant, bendable to the will of the current executive and board of controllers. Due to this lack of true democracy in the selection of candidates to the board, the elections and appointments of boards of directors are fundamentally skewed.
SEC rules prevent any changes to this incestuous relationship. The appointment of a corporate monitoring firm paid by the firm like the annual auditors to assist in presenting objective, arms length qualified appointments to challenge for the boards of directors is proposed. The SEC has ruled that no motion before an Annual General Meeting can interfere with the Executive and the Boards selection of nominees to run for the board of directors. The status quo continues to penalize minority shareholders, ensures insider trading benefits to majority shareholders, continues obscene executive remuneration and board perks. See www.corpmon.com for further published discussion on overcoming free rider benefit, progress in reforms and status of current challenges.
Yours Truly, Paul Latham
APPROVAL PAGE FOR GRADUATE THESIS
SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF REQUIREMENTS FOR DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, LOS ANGELES, CA.
Management Information Systems Field of Concentration
TITLE: Year 2000 Challenge: or "Teaching old computer programs new tricks to shorthand dates after dd/mm/yyy, where y=0." Or "Dealing with Diarrhea in the Database causing Parkinson's in Payroll and a Nervous Breakdown in the Numbers." Or "No Date Field Continuity past year '99."
APPROVED: Dr. Paul Rosenthal __________________________ Faculty Member Signature
Dr. John Tomaske __________________________ Faculty Member Signature
Dr. Stephen K. Pollard __________________________ Acting Associate Dean Signature
The Year 2000 Challenge
A Thesis Presented to the School of Business and Economics at California State University, Los Angeles
In Partial Fulfillment of The Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Business Administration
by Leo Tam September 1998
© 1998 Leo Tam ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Paul Rosenthal for his direction. It has been a difficult This has been a rewarding learning experience for me, requiring much effort. I wish to thank Dr. Rosenthal for his unwaivering support, commitment and confidence in my ability to complete this thesis. For this monumental encouragement, I would like to dedicate this paper to him. Without his guidance this paper, and my degree, would only be wishful thinking. I wish also to thank Dr. Tomaske, who was instrumental in permitting me this delayed opportunity to fulfill my degree requirements. and rewarding experience. Dr. Rosenthal never waiver from his support on my ability and commitment in completing this thesis. For that, I would like to dedicate this paper to him. Without him, this paper and my degree would have never materialized. I also wish thanked Dr. Tomaske for his effort to let me finish this paper after a long absence. Abstract Year 2000 Challenge: or in laymans terms teaching old computers new tricks to deal with dates after dd/mm/yyy, where y=0. By Leo Tam
THE Year 2000 (Y2K) Challenge is one of the biggest challenges for businesses to meet before the arrival of the new millennium - the Year 2000. Failure to meet this challenge will cost companies market share, litigation, or even bankruptcy. Why? Private and Public sectors are all effected, in fact the world's computer dependant databases are is collectively at risk. Economists are predicting that there is a 40% chance of a worldwide recession due to the number of company failures expected, due to any failure to properly address because of the Y2K problem. This paper divides the Y2K project into three phases: project initialization, project implementation and post-Y2K project validation. Corporations that rely heavily on computer databases to record dates and automatically process payroll, billings, etc. must on automation heavily should meet the Year 2000 challenge by launching the Y2K project immediately, if it has not done so. Corporations must should take the lead from the computer industry leaders and adopt one of the project models to begin the project initialization phase. The Year 2000 project can be divided into the different stages: Awareness, Assessment, Renovation, Validation and Implementation. In addition to the several project stages, computer industry experts are pointing out that the personal computers, local area networks and the Non-IT Information Technology items are the other major issues that need to be addressed. After the Year 2000 project is completed, corporations should learn from the experiences. Corporations should leverage the modernization of the Information Technology infrastructure to build more competitive efficiencies and advantages. They should initiate a post-Y2K project in planning this competitive strategy.
As an example, this paper examines the case of the Los Angeles Unified School District, with which I am very familiar having worked as (tell them your qualifications = job title) for the past 10 years. The District like many other major corporations employs computer automation in meeting its operational needs. The Year 2000 is a date specific problem which presents an unprecedented software and database coordination challenge for the School Districts Information Department. In conclusion, corporations have not no choice but to meet the Year 2000 problem or face catastrophic failure of their long trusted payroll, billing, ordering and inventory databases. [Please describe to the uninformed reader exactly how this problem/challenge will manifest itself in litigation, bankruptcy and lost market share. Sounds to me like foreign competition, still. Are you referring to single program crashes, whole data-base crashes, incorrect payroll deductions, what? Do you have a good analogy? Is this like a nervous breakdown in the year numbers, a virus like Parkinson's Disease in the Payroll computer, a system wide diarrhea or loss of continuity in the date fields?] Organizations must should start the Y2K initiative if they have not done so. Companies that are falling behind on their schedule must should employ tools, and consulting agencies to catch up. Contingency and Risk Management plans must be developed to mitigate the Y2K risks and damages. Failure to meet the Y2K challenge will cost companies market share, revenue, reputation, and even their existences.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements iii Abstract . .. iv List of Table ... viii List of Figures . ix Chapter 1. Introduction ..................................... 1 2. Year 2000 Problem 4 3. Meeting the Year 2000 Challenge .. 8 4. Year 2000 Project Initialization .. 10 Year 2000 Project Team 10 Year 2000 Project Organization 15 5. Year 2000 Project 12 Awareness Phase . 13 Assessment Phase . .. 14 Renovation Phase .... 15 Validation Phase 16 Implementation Phase .. . .. 29 Major Issues .. 31 6. Post-Year 2000 Project ................................ ... 32 7. Case Study - Los Angeles Unified School District 37 Background 38 Getting Ready for Year 2000 39Error! Bookmark not defined. 8. Conclusions 40 Recommendations 42 Glossary 42 Biblography 47 Appendix A. Year 2000 related links 48 B. Survey forms 49 LIST OF TABLES
1. DIFFERENT Y2K PROJECT MODELS FROM LEADING AUTHORITIES ..19 2. APPLICATION GROUPINGS AND ACTIONS .20 3. POST YEAR 2000 PLAN . 4. APPLICATION PORTFOLIO 5. APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE FIGURES
1. YEAR 2000 COMPUTATIONS ... ..19 2. YEAR 2000 PROJECT OFFICE . . 20 3. WINDOWING TECHNIQUES . . .. 21
For the past decades, Computer programmers have been representing years with 2-digit fields. The century part has been understood or assumed to be 19. The arrival of the year 2000 will present an ambiguous interpretation of the century value for computer programs. Which reminds me of the old maxim: "Garbage in equals garbage out." The Year 2000 is a problem that will impact all computer logic. Computer Software ranging from Operating Systems, Computer Applications to computer chips with date-related logic in elevators, refrigerators, and security systems will need to be corrected or they may behave incorrectly. "Any controller with a chip on it is at risk" declared Leon Kappelman, Co-chairman of Society of Information Management . Just like the beta test release of a new computer program has a time delayed freeze of functionality. The Year 2000 (Y2K) Problem will impact computers in The United States, Europe and third world countries are effected. This is a worldwide problem that The Gartner Group, a Computer Consulting Group, hasd estimated that will take $600 billion to fix. Congress has had held hearings on it, and estimate it will cost a total of U.S. $2 billion to correct the problem for all Federal agencies, Insurance companies, Manufacturing companies, and Government agencies are at risk. Unlike most of other large Software Projects, cost is not the most critical factor in this case. The Year 2000 Project has an immovable deadline. By the Year 2000, all the applications that use date as a reference for computation will have to correct the problem or face uncertain, likely catastrophic behavior.
A Recent Newsweek article has a title of "THE DAY THE WORLD SHUTS DOWN". The Year 2000 problem is big and pervasive, but will the problem cause the world to shut down as the title suggests, or it is just another crisis that is overstated? The answer is depending on the approach of the organizations. At of January 1998, only 10% of U.S. organizations are Y2K compliant, with 30% of organizations in progress of correction and the rest in planning or inactive stages. Some economists have predicted that there will be a lot of bankruptcies due to the Y2K problem, with a 40% chance that there will be a worldwide recession resulting from these bankruptcies. The extendt of the Y2K problem effecting the organizations depend on the nature of the businesses. In the case of date intensive industries like Insurance, Banking, Inventory Control, the consequences could be dire. In other cases, computer programs may have little or no effect. Gartner Group estimated that in a normal year, an organization would make changes to 15% of the applications for maintenance. Organizations will have to make modifications to ninety percent of the applications for the Year 2000 problem. Gartner Group has also done studies that showed that less than 20% of Large Software projects completed on time and within budget. The deadline for this project is non-movable. The consequences of failure could range from corporation bankruptcies, public legal penalties, to litigation against Executive Board members. The Year 2000 Challenge for the U.S. Government, U.S. Corporations, and US Citizens is to correct the Year 2000 Problem, before the year 2000. This challenge also applies to the rest of the World. It applies equally to Canada, Europe, third world countries, and to anyone that uses computers for date and or data automation. They will be hard pressed to correct them before these devices fail at the arrival of the new millennium - the year 2000.
Chapter 2 Year 2000 Problem We have been hearing that computers are extension of human beings, and computer programs are extension of human thoughts. The abbreviation of the year should not come as a surprise to any of us. In our daily practices to denote dates, we have always used two digits (see how you routinely date your checks with mm/dd/yy). Programmers carried this practice to their programming activities. Some popular beliefs are that dates were deliberately programmed in two digits to conserve computer storage and processing cycles. However, these beliefs did not take into account the tendency to do shorthand or to abbreviate in our daily activities.
IBM also plays a big part of this abbreviation culture. International Business Machine (IBM) has been the leader in the computer field, and it has been pushing this abbreviation practice since day one. Programming languages for software using COBOL, CICS, DB2, RACF, OS2 abbreviate the year date with two digits yy. A lot of abbreviation has been the landmark of IBM products. It is unusual that an IBM product carries a full name. Practitioners in the computer industry would be ridiculed if they do have not followed the lead of IBM in abbreviating. It is no surprise that the year has been abbreviated all these years. The practice of abbreviating will continue to be a common activity in computer and other technical fields. This abbreviation of year was especially encouraged in the early days when computer processing cycles and storage are in shortage and at premium prices. The years has been represented by the last two digits of the year, for example, 1996 is denoted as 96. This practice presents no ambiguity up to December 31, 1999. On January 1, 2000, Computer programs that use 2-digit years will be confused whether the year is 0000, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100 or 3000. In fact, computers will likely assume the year is 1900 because most of the applications were written in the 1960s. A child who is born in 1996 should be 4 years old in the year 2000, but might be interpreted as 4, 96 or +96. So, is this person ready for kindergarden, a twinkle in the great grand parents eyes, or a retired person awaiting a pension cheque?
2000 1996 = 4 years old 00 96 = -96 years old 00 96 = 96 for an unsigned field
Figure 1. Year 2000 Ambiguous Computations.
The Y2K Problem presents itself in two aspects: Informational and Computational. Dates will be ambiguous on screen displays, report headers and footers after the year 2000 because only the last two digits of the year are shown. The run time on the report header shows 00 would probably mean the report was generated on year 2000. On the screen where the date is displayed, 00 would probably means the current time is year 2000. What would start to get confusing is within the report, a column says this record is selected because of date 00/mm/dd. It would take some research to find out whether the record is selected because it falls in year 2000 or 1900. The Computational aspect gets even more critical. It involves all date-related computations. In many instances, dates are used in subtraction, addition, sorting and indexing. As we have shown in the example above, programs would get confused and even stop if the computations are not done properly. What makes the Year 2000 Project a crisis is because of its immovable deadline, its size and its scope. The deadline of Year 2000, despite popular belief, does not start at January 1, 2000. Mortgage companies and Insurance companies have had encountered the Y2K problem back in the 1970 when they issued 30-year policies that will mature past the year 2000. Similarly for Corporations with fiscal years, the deadline would be sometime in 1999. The size and scope of the Year 2000 would be all the computer-related functions within an organization, all the program source codes, copy libraries, computerized printouts, entry screens, operating systems, databases, files, historical and current data. Computer Programs are not the only ones effected by the Y2K problem. All devices that employ computations related to dates are also effected. Refrigerators, elevators, security systems, fax machines, public addressing systems and other Non-Information Technology devices should be examined for their date functions before the arrival of the new millennium. To compound the crisis, the deadline of the all the projects for all the Organizations are due on or before the arrival of the millennium. The Year 2000 Project is no different from any other large Computer Software projects. It requires the best planning effort from organizations. The planning stage requires the organization to come up with an accurate count of its computer inventory. Studies have shown that most organizations have not kept up with their computer inventory in hardware and software. With the rapidly changing computer landscape in hardware and software, only 10% of the organizations have kept their records in computer hardware configurations and software versions current. The Year 2000 requires an accurate inventory of versions and specifications of the computer configurations in both hardware and software. The firmware, operating systems, database management systems, the tape libraries, and a host of hardware related functions use date as a reference to keep track of their internal status. For example, tape labels with an expiration date of 99/12/31 to indicate the permanent nature of the tapes. All these permanent tapes will be expired and scratched on December 31, 1999. Government agencies like Internal Revenue Services, Department of Motor Vehicle branch of the State of California have had problems with large scale software projects. If history is any indication, then they are in deep trouble. Studies show large computer projects are routinely delay, overrun on budgets and fail outright. Only 10% of Large Computer Project in large corporation had completed on time and within budget. The Year 2000 Problem will be the biggest computer project ever undertaken by these organizations. Private corporations, non-profit organizations, Government agencies are all impacted by the Year 2000 Problem. Failure to resolve the Year 2000 Problem will lead to lawsuits, bankruptcies and prosecutions. Political careers will be shortened, businesses will fail and personal liabilities will result. A lot of corporations and government agencies will be at risk at the turn of the Millennium.
Chapter 3 Meeting the Year 2000 Challenge The Year 2000 Challenge for organizations is to solve the Year 2000 Problem. Although the Y2K Problem roots in the automation and computer devices, it is more of a business problem than a technical problem. Due to the pervasiveness of the automation devices, the Year 2000 Problem will create chaos in organizations. Computers, computer software, computer networks, and any devices that utilize computer chips will be effected. Automation devices such as elevators, refrigerators, security systems, fax machines, and telephone controllers are in jeopardy. Business problems ranging from erroneous Accounts Receivables to premature expiration of inventory will end up costing organizations million of dollars, and may end in bankruptcies. Organizations must be educated as to the severity and pervasive of this problem. The executive board must be willing to deal with this problem with the utmost urgency given the time left to fix this problem. To address the Y2K problem, organizations must declare Y2K as the highest priority within the organization. With the exception of legal mandates, Y2K work should have the highest priority. A Year 2000 Project Team should be assembled from both the business and the technical units to collaborate on this project. The Y2K should be reporting directly to a Steering Committee that should include the Chief Information Officer. The immediate challenge to the organization is how to survive the arrival of the year 2000. Organizations must make sure that their operations that are based on automation will continue to function properly at and beyond year 2000. At present, the practitioners of the computer industry are flocking to employ the windowing solution. After the Year 2000, these systems with the windowing fixes would expire, and depending on the window will expire at different times. Even systems that use sliding windows, there would be potentials that future data may have values that fall outside the 100-year window. The second challenge for organizations is to address these upcoming problems.
Chapter 4 Year 2000 Project Initialization In order to solve the Year 2000 Problem, organizations need to complete a major project. Unlike any other software project, the Y2K project would be unprecedented in size and scope. But like any large scale project, the first step is to obtain buy-in consent from boards of executives. In order to be successful, projects must have the appropriate level of resources and priority. The executive board must recognize and realize the severity of the Y2K problem. The recognition of the Y2K project will bring about the necessary funding and prioritization of the organizations. After the funds are secured and the jobs have been prioritized, organizations must form a Y2K Project team. This is an organization-wide team that will oversee the Y2K activities for the whole organization. The centralization of the Y2K activities will avoid duplication or missing essential parts.
Year 2000 Project Office The members of the Year 2000 Team will be responsible of establishing and communicating the standards of the Year 2000 solutions to all Business and Technical units. The Y2K Project Office should have the following parts: Project Manager, Public Communications, Tools Evaluation, and Vendor Management (see Table 2 for detailed descriptions). Table 2 Year 2000 Project Officers job descriptions Job Title Job Descriptions Year 2000 Project Manager Responsible for coordination of the Year 2000 Project. Ensure Year 2000 Project progress according to plan, and will complete on time. ie 1999 Public Communication group Responsible for the Awareness phase of the project, communications formal and informal throughout the life of the project. Tools Evaluation team This team will be responsible to define, research, evaluate, select and implement range of software tools as required by the Application groups. Tools ranging from scanning, fixing, and validation tools are the common ones. Change and migration tools will also be needed in bigger programming shops. Vendor Management group Responsible to ensure products and Non-IT equipment are Y2K compliant. This group will be in charge of creating an inventory for non-compliant products and developing a schedule to replace them.
The Y2K Project team will be responsible for interfacing with all business units.
Year 2000 Project Organization Different companies have different ways of organizing their data processing offices. Most companies have a centralized data processing department that supports the whole company. Some companies prefer to have a decentralized data processing approach, and business units would have their own data processing team. For the Year 2000 Project, the Y2K Project office should be centralized, but the current organizational structure should remain the same. That is, if the programming groups are arranged as centralized, then the same arrangement should stay. Whereas, if the programming groups are decentralized, then the Y2K activities should be decentralized. This is because research groups and experience have determined the best Y2K project practice is to treat the Y2K activities as maintenance activities. Due to the short time constraint and all the requirements, the Y2K activities should be treated as major routine maintenance activities and not as a separated specialized project. Business areas should handle the Y2K project as major projects within each area. The same process of project planning, organizing, implementing, and controlling should be carried out. The Y2K Project team will considered each and every one of these projects as subprojects from an overall project perspective.
Chapter 5 Year 2000 Project The approach to meet the Year 2000 Challenge is simple. Organizations will need to find out the infected devices, corrected and replaced them. Computer hardware, System utilities, Application software, communications devices, and any other date dependent devices are included in the above category. The implementation of the correction is simple, except for the size, scope and the deadline of the Project. The Year 2000 Problem is a world-wide problem. The Gartner Group has developed a model in solving the problem. The Federal Government, State of California, County and the City all have developed various models and guidelines in addressing the Year 2000 Problem. Which are the best?
Project Management Different Y2K project models has been advanced by different levels of Government agencies and Computer Industry leaders. General Accounting Office (GAO) of the U.S. Federal Government had provided a set of Y2K guidelines in the form of Best Practices. These models can be grouped into the following stages: Awareness, Assessment, Renovation, Validation and Implementation.
Table 1 Different Y2K Project Models from Leading Authorities
PHASES FEDERAL (GAO) STATE OF CALIFORNIA GARTNER GROUP AWARENESS AWARENESS AWARENESS (1%) ASSESSMENT INVENTORY ASSESSMENT INVENTORY (1%) PROJECT SCOPING (4%) RENOVATION SOLUTION DESIGN AND PLANNING DEVELOPMENT AND MODIFICATION IMPLEMENTATION EXAMINATION, ANALYSIS AND SOLUTIONS DESIGN (20%) MODIFICATION (20%)
VALIDATION TESTING UNIT TEST (25%) SYSTEM TEST (15%) INTEGRATION/USER (9%) ACCEPTANCE TEST (5%) IMPLEMENTATION MONITORING IMPLEMENTATION DISASTER RECOVERY, DOCUMENTATION (9%)
Awareness Phase Organizations must have the executive management buying into the seriousness of the Y2K problem. The whole Organization from Management to workers in every business units must been educated and be AWARE of the Y2K problem. From Only with the executive and the corporate buy-in would sufficient budget be allocated, and priorities would be assigned in correcting Y2K problems. The level of budget that is needed to correct the Y2K problem can be estimated in proportion to at the size of the Organization.
Assessment Phase Organizations must ASSESS all their computer applications. The assessment is an approach to study the applications to determine their information. Information on applications include: _ Criticality of the application _ Computer language and version of language _ Size of application and programs _ Responsible programming group and person _ Y2K compliant or not _ Time horizon to failure (THF)
The gathering of the above information will let management know to allocate the resources and the timeline to coordinate the Y2K project. Not only the mission-critical systems should be examined, organizations must also identify all their computer hardware. Make and model of Mainframe computers, minicomputers, personal computers, computer network servers, communication controllers, interface cards, tape drives, printer drivers, printer interface cards and all other data processing equipment must be identified and inventoried recorded. This information will be needed later on when the organizations need can use to query manufacturers on Y2K compliance. In the Y2K studies, Industry researchers have found most of the organizations have put IT departments in charge of identifying non-IT equipment regarding the Y2K compliance question. Therefore, the inventory of non-IT equipment should also be conducted in this stage. Non-IT items are items that have computer chips embedded in them to perform date-related activities, but their function is not related to data processing. Example of some of these Non-IT items are fire and security alarm systems, security video cameras, electronic card readers and locks, electronic safes, public announcement systems, telephone systems, fax machines, cash registers, elevators, and air conditioning units just to name a few. The information for these non-IT equipment is the same as the Data Processing equipment in finding the make and model information. The rationale for identifying the non-IT equipment is that some of these devices may use date as criteria to activate or to deactivate function. A lot of automation devices have computer chips embedded in them. These embedded chips use computer logic that was programmed into them by computer programmers. These programmers, under the constraint of the size of chip, use only 2-digit year to represent the years. The missing century value may cause confusion and lead to improper function of the units. For example, refrigeration units may use year as part of the decision-making as to when to activate the unit. At Year 2000, the computation of the computer chip is confused and would not turn itself on. Food would be damaged, and may cause poisoning if food spoils. After the hardware has been identified, organizations need to apply the approach to computer software. Computer software in Operating Systems, DataBase Management Systems, System Utilities, and Application Software are all impacted by Y2K problem.
Renovation Phase After Organizations have developed a complete picture of their Data Processing hardware and software, they can evaluate the options of corrective methods. Depending on the Assessment information, applications can be classified into three categories (see table 4). Category A Applications are applications that do not require any corrective actions. However, industry leaders and researchers of Year 2000 suggest that all applications should be certified that they will work properly beyond year 2000. Category B Applications are applications that are obsolete. Applications that have not been used for a long period of time are grouped in this category. Category C Applications are applications that use date for computation, and will require corrective measures or they will fail in year 2000.
Table 5 Different Categories of Applications and Their Y2K solutions Category Descriptions Actions A No date reference; Y2K compliant Validation B Obsolete Applications Dormant Applications Archive and Discard C Non-compliant Applications Repair Applications, or Rewrite Replace Outsource
Category A Applications Application has no date reference Application determined to have no date reference can be left alone in production. A record of this finding should be kept for later auditing purpose. Some computer industry experts advocate the testing of all applications to ensure that the applications are in fact Y2K compliant, and not just based on human judgement. Application is Y2K compliant The applications that have date reference, but are deemed to be Y2K compliant. Applications that use IBM DB2 database or Microsoft Windows fall into this category. Both of these Systems Software or Operating Systems are using full 4-digit to represent years. Therefore, applications that are built on these platforms are claimed to be Year 2000 compliant. However, there is a strong chance that programmers may have used non-compliant techniques, that is, referencing the year using only two digits, thus making the application non-compliant. Again, the market leaders are advocating that all applications must be tested and certified before they can be deemed compliant.
Category B Applications Obsolete applications. Studies show that on average 65% of the applications in production have not run in the last 3 years. They are either not being used or are obsolete. Management should review these applications to determine their usefulness. If the applications are useless or obsolete, then they should be archived and deleted from the production environments.
Category C Applications Most of the applications fall into this category. They are the main challenges of the Year 2000 project. These applications need to be addressed or they may fail in the year 2000. There are several corrective measures. These applications can be either repaired, rewritten, replaced or outsourced. Repair the application. Non-compliant applications in use must be repaired or they will fail at the arrival of the new millennium. There are several repair alternatives to correct the Year 2000 problem. We will present the two most popular ones, only because the other ones are, either too complex or, too difficult to maintain in the future. The two repair alternatives are Data Solution and Program Solution.
1. Data Solution Data Solution corrects the Year 2000 problem by expanding the year fields from 2-digit format to 4-digit format. With full 4 digits, there will be no ambiguity as to the century values of the years. * Pros a. Considered to be the only true permanent solution among all the corrective methods (only good for another 8000 years). b. Changes are straightforward; date fields are expanded from 2-digit format to 4-digit format. * Cons a. All date fields in files and databases must be expanded from 2 digits to 4 digits. Historical data is either expanded or bridging programs will be needed. b. All the programs must be corrected to use the new 4-digit format. c. Requires a greater increase in data storage.
2. Program Solution Program Solution or Windowing is the most cost saving, therefore, it is the most commonly used and our recommended method. The Program Solution or Windowing utilize a window of 100 years to provide the century interpretation. There are two types of windowing techniques, the Fixed Window and the Sliding Window. The Fixed window uses a fixed 100-year window. The users defined a floor value of 30, the window will cover the period from 1930 to 2069. Contrast to the Fixed Window, the Sliding window uses a moving 100-year window. Again, the users define a starting floor value. The difference is that the period will be advanced forward each year. This way, the period covered will be updated automatically without manual revisions. A. Fixed window ÿ an anchor/pivot year is chosen ÿ program logic will determine the century of a 2-digit year by comparing the 2-digit year against a window of 100 years. If the 2-digit year is using a pivot year of 10, then years between 00 and 09 will have a century value of 20. Years from 10 to 99 will have a century value of 19.
e.g. pivot year = 10 mm/dd/yy 01/01/00 will be interpreted as Jan 1, 2000 because 00 <= 10 12/31/09 will be interpreted as December 31, 2009 because 09 < 10 01/01/10 will be interpreted as Jan 1, 1910 because 10 => 10 12/31/99 will be interpreted as December 31, 1999 because 99 => 10
01/01/1910 01/01/2000 12/31/2009 ^ ^ ^ --------|-------------------------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-------
þ---------------------- 90 years -------------------------> þ--10 years -ý
þ-------------------------------------- 100 years ---------------------------ý
Figure 4 Windowing Technique
* Pros a. No change in data b. Programming is easy because a common date routine can be used for all cases
* Cons a. can only handle date range of a 100 years. This method would not be able to handle birth dates such as driver licenses because there are drivers that live to be 100! b. only a temporary solution; systems that use this method will be expired at the end of the pivot year or year 2010 in our example. The choice of the pivot year is dependent on the nature of the application. The value of the pivot year must accommodate the range of the application. For example, a retirement application must choose an anchor that covers the earliest birth date of all the employees. This is why our suggested anchor year is a small value of 10. This is the cheapest and easiest method to solve year 2000 problem, therefore, it is also the most often recommended method.
B. Sliding window an anchor/pivot year is chosen, usually the current year is used number of years in the past and future relative to the pivot year are chosen program logic will determine the century of a 2-digit year by comparing the 2-digit year against a window of 100 years. * Pros a. Same as Fixed Window b. Longer life than the Fixed Window technique * Cons a. only a temporary solution; systems can deal data that falls within a 100 years. The value of the pivot year must accommodate the range of the applications.
The implementation of Windowing technique can be done through a date routine program from vendors or can be done in-house. But common call routines are strongly recommended to provide a uniform approach. IBM has provided windowing implementation in its COBOL compiler and sort utility programs. Millennium Language Extension is an add-on to the IBM COBOL compiler that lets programmers to employ either Fixed or Sliding Windowing solution. The programmers identify the date fields, and the compiler will automatically generate the codes to interpret the century value based on the windowing value declared. Similarly in the DFSORT utility program, programmers can code in their JCL job stream to identify the windowing parameters. Not all date fields need correction. Date fields that are used for report headings need not be corrected. Computer Associates has an automated fix tool to correct the programs. The Fix-2000 product identifies which date fields would need correction. This product looks for three characteristics: Named, Short, and At-risk. Named means fields have names and properties that resemble dates. Let us assume A is a date field. If A is moved into field B, then B has inherited the date properties of A; therefore B should be examined. Short means the field size is not big enough. Two or six digits are suspected, whereas 8 digits and more are usually good. At-risk means the fields are involved in some sort of computation or sorting operations. Date fields that are Named and or Short should be examined, but not necessary need to be corrected. But in general, the presence of At-risk, that is, computation or sorting in involved, then corrective efforts must be involved. Fix-2000 employs subroutine calls to provide the correct century. The subroutine will window up to add the correct century before the risk points, and window down to get rid of the century after the risks points. Computer Associates claims that 80% of the code will be identified and corrected by Fix-2000.
Rewrite the application. Applications that are obsolete or not fulfilling the requirements of the organizations should be replaced. It is surprising that there are many systems that are in productions but are obsolete in functionality or are not meeting the requirements of the organizations. The Year 2000 Renovation phase present an opportunity to replace these systems. Unfortunately, due to the immovable deadline, this is not the time to replace any fair size systems. * Pros a. Systems will be more customized to the organizations, and presumably will create more competitive advantages. b. Systems will be 'modernized', that is, they will be implemented with the latest technology on the latest hardware. Again, the end result will hopefully be more competitive advantages. * Cons a. High risk due to time constraint. Deadline of the project is immovable. b. Requires resources when resources are needed in a lot of areas at the same time.
Replace the application with a vendor package. Replacing an application with a vendor package is a better alternative than rewriting one. However, time is a big consideration. Implementing a fair size vendor package can take one to two years. Another trap is that vendor packages usually would not meet 100% of the unique requirements. Organizations either have to do without those required features or they have to adjust to the package. * Pros a. Software has been developed and tested. No new development is required. b. Expertise is readily available, especially with popular software. * Cons a. Software may not match the organizations' specific requirements. b. Cost and time to adapt to the new software may be very high. c. Resources may not be available from within the organization to implement the new software packages.
Outsource the application. The last option is to outsource the application to a vendor. The idea to take advantage of the skill of the market leadership to implement the application. * Pros a. Utilize experiences of outside experts with minimal impact on internal resources. b. With a market leader, organizations can achieve the optimal position of the application within a very short time * Cons a. Inside resources are still needed for implementation. b. Outside vendors may be taking on too many projects to provide good services closer to year 2000. So act now.
Validation Phase The Gartner group estimated that forty percent of the Y2K project would be spent in the validation or testing stages. All the systems, modules, programs must be tested to ensure that they are century compliant. Systems that are claimed to be century compliant by the programmers, or the subject expert, should be tested. This is to prevent any human errors. Codes that have undergone remediation will have to go through unit test, integration test, system test, date simulation test and acceptance test. Programmers and subject or domain experts will be hard pressed for time and effort in testing all the modified programs before year 2000. Test tools will be useful in automating the testing phase. The two most important testing functions are Date simulation and Generate and Age test data. Applications must be tested with a future system date and data with a future date to ensure they can be processed correctly in both of these cases.
Implementation Phase Organizations need to have implementation plans. Systems that have no date references will remain in productions. Systems that are repaired, rewritten, replaced or outsource need to be coordinated to move into production. This is especially true for systems that share common files or interface with each other. Users will have to be trained and prepared on the new systems. Data will have to be converted, and applications will have to be certified before they can be ready for production. A plan to coordinate all these activities will go a long way to eliminate confusion among customers, staff and management.
Major Issues Non-Information Technology Equipment The primary focus of the Y2K problem was the Computer related equipment. The Computer Industry leaders are saying the next significant part, next to the Mainframe software, to tackle is the non-Information Technology (non-IT) equipment. The non-IT equipment, such as refrigerators, fax machines, and security systems, are widely dispersed throughout the organizations. In most cases, data processing personnel has been put in charge of finding and identifying items that they are not familiar with.
Business and Legal Aspects of Y2K Problem Businesses who fail to take care of Y2K Problems will experience loss of market share to their competitors. Banks, Insurance companies, Airline companies and any company that have achieved Y2K compliance would undoubtedly try to lure customers from their competitors by attacking this non-compliance issue. For example, customers should feel vulnerable that their banks are using non-compliantce Software or have not achieved Y2K compliance because bank statements may not be mailed on time or could not be produced accurately due to the Year 2000 Problem. Airline passengers may feel their safeties are safety is compromised because the planes are using non-compliant software on essential controls. On the legal side, Chief Finance Officers, Board of Directors, executives, owners, and office holders of these businesses may be sued by government officials, stakeholders or the general public due to related to Y2K failures. There is no legal precedent set on failing to address the Y2K problem. But whether you are buying or selling products or services, your organizations should be aware of the supply-chained legal implications. Even though your organization are not directly manufactured or sell non-compliant products, your company may still be named to a class suit resulting from Y2K failures. This is because of the supply-chained theory. Which is ?
Chapter 6 Post-Y2K Project Leverage Year 2000 project Most of organizations are currently immersed /emerged in the Year 2000 project. All their resources are occupied with various stages of the project: assessment, correction and implementation. For organizations that have corrected their Year 2000 project, what is the next challenge for these organizations? Or what should be the next concern for organization after their Y2K endeavor? The answer is the same for any other major project. At the conclusion of the project, organizations should review the results and learn from the project. After expending so much resources from the Y2K project, organizations should find out what they have accomplished and what they should be doing based on the Y2K project. Technological Infrastructures have been modernized in most cases, and software inventory would be current and have been upgrade to the latest release. Organizations would know a lot about their technological status, and they could decide if they are satisfied with their strategic direction. After reviewing their status, organization should establish a post-Y2K plan. This is a five to ten year plan that deals with the organization technological systems. During the Y2K project, organizations have found the status of their technological systems. Are they satisfied with the status, or would they like to see changes in their strategic direction. For example, some companies assume that they have eliminated most of their mainframe legacy systems. In the Y2K project, they could learn that this is not the case. They could find out that some of their mission-critical systems, such as accounting or payroll, are still on the mainframe systems with very old COBOL code. After the Y2K project, the COBOL code and the mainframe have been upgrade to the latest version. Should they migrate these applications to the client-server platform, or should they utilize the existing arrangement until some years later. In other cases, some applications systems are fixed with temporary solutions or solutions that do not fit in the strategic direction of the organizations. This post-Y2K project should evaluate the future of these systems. Systems employed with Windowing solutions especially Fixed Windowing solutions should be examined closely because, based on the pivot year, these systems have a definite expiration date. A suggestion for the post-Y2K project is that it should start in 2005. There will be a lot of confusion in the market place after the Year 2000. In their haste to come up with Y2K compliant applications, companies that have not met the Y2K challenge will try to implement some quick and dirty solution to keep their operations from failing. This will likely apply to some Government agencies. Desperate corporations and government agencies would give out confusing guidelines, instructions and requirements to the general public and to other corporations. Corporations that are Y2K compliant should reserve their resources to handle this confusion in the market place. It would be at least five years before this confusion ends. gets settle down. Y2K compliant corporations could start to implement their post-Y2K plan at that time.
Clean IT Management The Year 2000 Project will be the largest Information Technology project undertaken by most organizations. It involves the whole organization and it will impact all business units. However, the project need not be as difficult and as expensive as it is. Organizations, motivated by short-term profit, have been downsizing IT departments. IT departments have been getting by with minimal staffing, quick results, and in general been neglected. IT departments have been meeting the demand of the organizations by doing quick and dirty programming with sloppy management practices. Documentation is the first sacrifice by this cost cutting and saving trench. The rapid changing of processors thus the changing to computer hardware and software have made the upkeep of documentation even more expensive and impossible. The first phase of the Y2K project requires an accurate inventory of the version and model of hardware, followed by the software programs. Most of the organizations have an out-dated or obsolete inventory, thus making this phase of the project very time-consuming and expensive. The second area of compromise is programming standards. The coding of names have not been followed by programmers, and they were not enforced by programming management. This compromise made finding all date-related fields a nightmare. The second phase or the Inventory phase is to find out all these programs that have date-related fields. All the savings over the years are catching up with the IT departments and organizations. Clean Management highlights the best practice for IT departments. The Systems Development Life Cycle should be followed without exception or compromise. Programs should be Unit Tested by programmers. The senior programming staff should perform a code walk-through with the programmer before System and Integration testing. Finally, the end-users, or the domain expert, should perform the Acceptance test before new programs are moved into Production. One of the traps warned by the experts is that 15% of the changes could introduce some other problems into the system. It is important that the quality control and testing process are followed carefully so that we would not fix the Year 2000 Problem, but some other problems are introduced into the systems. After the Year 2000 Project, IT departments will have a complete Inventory and portfolio of the hardware, software and communications. They would have studied and ranked their application systems from their triage exercise. All the systems would be Y2K compliant. In most cases, the hardware or the codes are will be brought up to the latest release. The modernization of the hardware and software Infrastructure should make them easier to maintain.
A Disaster Recovery and Risk Management Plan would also be developed. The results of the above Y2K compliance activities, plus a better Change control procedure, Standards and Documentation practice, should all further IT management goals. Chapter 7 Case Study - Los Angeles Unified School District Background Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest school district in the United State, second only to New York City. In the 1996-1997, the District has 700 schools and centers with 900,000 students. It has an annual budget of $5 billion with 65000 employees. The LAUSD covers a wide range of area from Long Beach to the San Fernando Valley. The Year 2000 Office was established by the LAUSD in 1997. After the initial inventory, the Y2K team determined the District has hardware from different vendors such as IBM, UNISYS, HP, DEC and Apple. The applications are a combination of in-house development and vendor packages, and most of the systems were written in COBOL. The total line of count consists of 25 million lines. These applications are in different stages of Y2K compliance. Some of the legacy applications are non-compliant and are running on COBOL compilers that are more than 20 years old! Besides converting the existing applications to be Y2K compliant, the District is constantly under demand to comply with various lawsuits. For example, the District is mandated by the California State Government to implement the states standardized accounting code. Or the Chanda Smith Decree to accommodate Special-needs students. Why is this one important?
Getting Ready for Year 2000 The District has recognized the scope and size of the Year 2000 problem as its highest priority, and has decided to retain Arthur Andersen for the role of Project Oversight. The District employed a centralized Y2K Project Office with several decentralized subprojects utilizing its existing infrastructure. For project approach, the District adopted the California States model because the State is the major financial contributor. An inventory of hardware, software and non-IT Inventory were developed and were segmented into four categories: Hardware and Operating Systems, Major Software, Other software, and Project Activities. Hardware, Systems Utilities, Communication hardware and software, non-IT items are grouped into the first category. Mission-critical systems are grouped into the second category. All other applications are grouped into the third category. Year 2000 Project Management and related activities are grouped into the fourth category. In the first category, hardware platforms : IBM ES9000/9672, IBM 9000/640, IBM 9000/500, UNISYS 2200/448, UNISYS 2200/423 mainframe computers, HP 3000 and IBM RISC 6000 mid-range computers, IBM and Apple personal computers, and Novell local area networks. Mission-critical systems are Integrated Financial Accounting Systems, Personnel Information Systems of Payroll, Human Resources Management, and Time Reporting Systems, Student Information Systems. At present, the District is in Renovation phase of the project, but being a big organization, some of the systems are already compliant and are in validation phase. By the same token, big organizations tend to have legacy systems that were written a long time ago and are still running production today. The District has some of its critical legacy systems that were written in the sixties and are non-compliant! Device corrective methods repair, replace and discard . Sequence and triage Discard HP and Microdata, Job Cost Systems Rewrite of Job Cost Systems Some recent developed or purchase systems is compliant e.g. Student Information Systems, Human Resources Management needs testing The Year 2000 Project Office had issued several guidelines for the Year 2000 Project. The main reasons for the guidelines are based on the time, size and scope requirements of the project. The Project Office specified that in as much as possible, all systems should be repaired. The preferred corrective method is the Sliding Windowing approach with a pivot year of 10. That is, the century window will be from 1910 to 2009. Lastly, all systems must be reviewed, certified and sign-off by the Programming staff and End-user communities. Due the age of most of the hardware, most of the hardware were either replaced or upgraded. Along with the hardware changes, the Operating Systems were changed to match the new hardware. When the Operating Systems were upgraded to the latest version, application programs were required to recompile on the new compiler that came with the new Operating Systems. This domino effect was true in all areas of programming. For systems that can be repaired using scanning tools, automated fix tools and development, validation tools. Scanning tools are a combination of Computer Associates Impact 2000 Scanning tool and ISPF search utility. Automated fix tools are using IBM Millennium Language Extension using Sliding Windowing technique with pivot year of 10 in general. Validation tools are Platinums TransCentury File Age and Date Simulation tool to perform date aging and test data generation tool and date simulation tool. Some systems are in implementation using a mixture of 4 digits and windowing PC and network 3500 personal computers. Lack of expertise in schools. Critical computer projects compete with year 2000.
Chapter 8 Conclusions All Organizations, private or public, will be challenged by the Year 2000 to different degrees. Ironically, Organizations that have automated their processes or are more dependent on automation will be impacted more. Regardless of with the degree of challenge, Organizations that have not started the Year 2000 problem should start immediately. Time is running out quickly. Depending on the nature of business, fiscal period and functions of their automation devices, Organizations will have different failure event horizons. And different severity of damage in the form of data loss and program crashes? It is imperative that Organizations adopt a Y2K Project model and begin now.
The project models are very similar. Organizations must Inventory and develop an application portfolio, develop a triage approach to the Software Inventory. In as mush as possible, employ the Windowing solution. Industry has agreed that Windowing is the cheapest solution even though it is a temporary solution that is good for 100 years. Can you come up with an optional dd/mm/yyyy millenium free solution to offer for those with the budget?
Use tools to assist
Prioritize projects, computer and non-computer related and assign resources accordingly The second challenge is to clean up programming practices after y2k. windowing solution will need to be replaced by full 4-digit fields. Data will need to be expanded or bridge with new programs that utilize 4-digit fields. Why not a five digit field with one free for now. Some Economists predict that a lot of Organizations will fail throughout the world, possibly causing thus trickling a world-wide recession. In February 1998, some economists have revised this probability from 30% to 40%. Will you name and reference these economists or journals in which they are published? On a personal basis, financial specialists are advising individuals to prepare for the coming of the year 2000. On December 1999, people are advised to keep some cash in the event ATM's fail to operate. In the event that records get deleted by the Year 2000 problem, people are advised to keep their financial records handy, like tax returns, bank statements, and deposit papers so they can reconstruct their records. Glossary
Application A collection of programs and automated processes that support a departments business practice. Architecture A description of all functional activities to be performed to achieve the desirable mission, the system elements needed to perform the functions, and the designation of performance levels of those system elements. An architecture also includes information on the technologies, interfaces, and location of functions and is considered an evolving description of an approach to achieving a desired mission. Business Area A grouping of business functions and processes focused on the production of specific outputs. Business plan An action plan that the enterprise will follow on a short-term and/or long-term basis. It specifies the strategic and tactical objectives of the enterprise over a period of time. Although a business plan is usually written in a style unique to a specific enterprise, it should concisely describe "what" is planned, "why" is planned, "when" it will be implemented, by "whom" it will be implemented, and "how" it will be assessed. The architects of the plan are typically the principals of the enterprise. Contingency plan In the context of the Year 2000 program, a plan for responding to the loss or degradation of essential services due to a Year 2000 problem in an automated system. In general, a contingency plan describe the steps the enterprise would takeincluding the activation of manual or contract processesto ensure the continuity of its core business processes in the event of a Year 2000-induced system failure. Critical Function Those functions that an agency must perform to survive, and would result in serious or irreparable harm to the agency if not performed. Event Horizon The point in time at which a Year 2000 problem will arise. Field/Date Expansion A Year 2000 solution which enlarges all year fields from two digits to four digits. For example, 12/31/99 would be expanded to 12/31/1999. Infrastructure The computer and communication hardware, software, databases, people, facilities, and policies supporting the enterprises information management functions. Interface System Any system or upgrade unit that receives data from or sends data to a system or upgrade unit currently undergoing an assessment or conversion effort. Mission-critical system A system in which a failure would be disruptive to departmental clients, citizens of the state, or which would preclude performance of a federally or legislatively mandated function. Module A part of an application that performs a specific function within that application (same as program). Portfolio In the context of the Year 2000 program, an inventorypreferably automatedof an agencys information systems and their components grouped by business areas. Platform System A system which forms part of the technical architecture supporting a business system, such as computer hardware systems, operating systems, and system software. Quality Assurance The critical review process required to ensure that a century-date compliance task was adequately and correctly performed, existing functionality was not unintentionally altered, and century date compliance was achieved. Repository An information storage facility or central database that contains all metadata relevant to the management, design, implementation, and transition of one or more information systems or for the enterprise. Risk assessment An actiivity performed to identify risks and estimate their probability and impact of their occurrence; it is used during system development to provide an estimate of damage, loss, or harm that could result from a failure to successfully develop individual system components. Risk Management A management approach designed to prevent and reduce risks, including system development risks, and lessen the impact of their occurrence. Strategic IRM plan A long-term, high-level plan that defines how the agency will information technology to effectively accomplish the agencys mission, goals, and objectives. Strategic plan A long-term, high-level plan that identifies broad business goals and provides a roadmap for their achievement. Test The process of exercising a product to identify differences between expected and actual behavior. Test Facility An environment that partially represents the production environment but is isolated from it, and is dedicated to the testing and validation of processes, applications, and system components. Validation The process of evaluating a system or component during or at the end of the development process to determine whether it satisfies specific requirements. Windowing A method to attain Year 2000 compliance involving date logic alteration (as opposed to data expansion). This usually entails treating all two-digit dates before a certain "cutoff" as pertaining to the 21st century, and all subsequent ones as pertaining to the 20th century. With a cutoff of "50", year dates of 00 to 49 are interpreted as years 2000 to 2049, whereas year dates between 50 and 99 are interpreted as 1950 through 1999. For example, the two-digit year "92" is understood by the program to mean "1992", whereas the two- digit year "05" is interpreted as "2005". Year 2000 problem The potential problems that might be encountered by computer hardware, software, or firmware in processing year-date data for years beyond 2000. Year 200 Readiness The degree to which a subprojects current state varies from the state in which it needs to be in order to begin Y2K work.
Bibliography Ulrich, William and Hayes, Ian. "The Year 2000 Software Crisis Challenge of the Century", (Yourdon Press Computing Series, 1997).
Cassell, Jim and Hall, Bruce. "Year 2000 Crisis: Update From the Trenches", (Gartner Group, 1997).
"Year 2000 Computing Crisis: An Assessment Guide", (United States General Accounting Office Accounting and Information Management Division, February 1997).
"The Day the World Shuts Down", (Newsweek, June 2, 1997). "Blue Cross / Blue Shield Saves Big Bucks in Year 2000 Project", (Datamation, January 1997).
Appendix A Year 2000 Links
Related Year 2000 Internet links:
* Intel Processors www.intel.com/procs/support/year2000 * Unisys hardware and software www.unisys.com/marketplace/year2000 * IBM hardware and software Year 2000 status database www.yr2k.raleigh.ibm.com * IBM Year 2000 Information www.ibm.com * DEC software www.software.digital.com/year2000 * DEC hardware www.hardware.digital.com/year2000 * Microsoft Year 2000 information 220.127.116.11/army-y2k/ * Cisco hardware and software information www.cisco.com * OpenVMS operating system Year 2000 information www.openvms.digital.com/openvms/announcements/year-2000 * Hewlett Packard hardware and software Year 2000 information www.hp.com/gsy/year2000 * MVS operating system Year 2000 information www.s390.ibm.com/stories/year2000.mvs.html * VM operating system Year 2000 information www.s390.ibm.com/stories/year2000.vm.html * AIX operating system Year 2000 information www.s390.ibm.com/stories/year2000/aix.html * Novell Netware operating system Year 2000 information www.novell.com * Peter de Jager, leading Year 2000 consultant www.year2000.com * Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) home page www.itaa.org/index.html * Personal Computer Y2K page www.gmt-2000.co.uk * The Gartner Group www.gartner.com * Computer Associates Inc. www.cai.com * Compuware Inc. www.compuware.com * Platinum Technology Inc. www.platinum.com * State of California Year 2000 www.year2000.ca.gov * Federal Government CIO Council Committee on Year 2000 www.itpolicy.gov/mks/yr2000 * Federal Government Year 2000 Best Practices www.gsa.gov/gsacio/bpfedgud.html * Apple / Macintosh Year 2000 information www.product.info.apple.com - www.devworld.apple.com
Appendix B Survey Forms
A. State of California Survey Forms B. County of Los Angeles Survey Forms
"Some people might prefer a wholesale rewrite or data solution to ensure date data are stored in full four digit yyyy format, rather than the cheaper windowing solution. I might ask for the 10,000 year solution, or five digits yyyyy. Can you present a sound argument in favour of your preferred windowing solution, which is more hopeful than just cost effective? Is it likely that these obsolete programs and hardware systems will all be replaced with yyyyy compliant chips and software over the life of the suggested windowing solution?"