REVIEW - Time Bomb 2000 - What the Year 2000 Computer Crisis Means to You!

Title:

Time Bomb 2000 - What the Year 2000 Computer Crisis Means to You!

Author:

Edward Yourdon, Jennifer Yourdon

ISBN:

0130952842

Publisher:

Prentice Hall (1998)

Pages:

416pp

Reviewer:

Francis Glassborow

Reviewed:

August 1998

Rating:

★★★☆☆

I think this book provides a balanced view, avoiding both complacency and prophecies of doom. The advice is sensible. It is about preparing for the possible consequences of unfixed computers, computer software and the domino effect of others not fixing theirs even when you have.

I am reviewing this book for a number of reasons. One of them is that time is running out and I really think this is a book worth reading. Not everyone would agree. I had it with me during the last WG21/J16 meeting in France and my fellow committee members were divided about the value (however good the text) of reading such a book. One committee member had decided to make such defensive preparations as laying in a month's supply of tinned food well in advance of the critical date. While another could not see any reason to worry.

Personally I think that you owe it to yourself to look at the possible problems and decide what, if any, precautions you intend to make.

The authors are pretty dismissive of those that seem largely concerned with the problems of RTC's on PCs but comprehensively survey a wide range of problems that might affect ordinary members of the (US) public. They lay out the possibilities as they see them but leave it to the reader to assess how probable these are. Though entirely from a US perspective much that they suggest translates easily to Europe. We have an added problem of the almost simultaneous introduction of the Euro (I was told recently that this problem is extremely severe in Italy where none of their financial software handles decimal points because there aren't any in lira. As a result their companies have largely triaged Y2K problems.).

I think that it is time to start considering the potential impact on life. For some defensive actions, next year will already be too late. Do not forget the self-fulfilling prophecy. If enough people think that the banking system will collapse, it will.

I think this book provides a balanced view, avoiding both complacency and prophecies of doom. The advice is sensible. It is about preparing for the possible consequences of unfixed computers, computer software and the domino effect of others not fixing theirs even when you have.


Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.