More On Leaping

By Roy Warner

Originally published in EUG #30

Thanks for EUG #29. Well, there is a thing! Year 2000 is I agree a leap year. As the best of tele experts might say, I include a program I wrote earlier which not only provides for the odd exception to the common accepted rule, it is also bug trapped so as not to allow illegal entries.

So why did I do it? The leap year bit? Easy, a lively debate and perhaps sorting out Click was the intent. It would seem that just two people disagreed. Equally, both these appear to have faith in the ideal that year 2000 has been adequately programmed by banks and other financial bodies.

That I suggest is not compatible with the evidence to hand. How about the Worldwide Stockmarket Crash, once the jolly old computer was in sell mode, they all sold! The Golden Rule to "Always buy when they are selling and sell when they are buying" somehow, somewhere evaded the software houses.

Whilst I share the Editor's cynical thoughts regarding certain Operating Systems, it is also the age of short term engagements, plus sub-contracted projects in computer programming. Did the commercial motivation to corner the new IT markers include a duty of care regarding events in the distant future? If it did, why were two character length fields ever used to depict years?

I wonder if Christopher Chadwick's confidence is misplaced. Has the ex-exployer merged or been taken over by another concern causing the computer systems to be cobbled together? Was that employer quite so tidy and well-organised? Did no one get fed up with waiting for the Corporate computer policy to gel and buy from their own budget? I witnessed it all, from pen-pushers cramped into small spaces through to electronic monsters fed by input cards in very large spaces, the short lived mini- computer market, the AT its modern relations.

If Christopher has ever had to network such a mishmash of ancient and modern, junk and state-of-the-art, then he knows what taking a flyer really means. Always in the back of the mind is the computer's aptitude for the erstwhile miltary crime of "Dumb insolence". To a computer, the statement "When I nod my head, kick it." can only mean that a nodding head has to be kicked.

Bitter experience taught me that "Garbage in equals rubbish out" involves everything from processor, firmware, hardware, software, data and all human beings along the way. By the laws of maximum cussedness, a POETS day had to effect someone, somewhere, sometime in the chain of human expertise.

None of which solves my problem with Click which definitely avoids anything approaching year 2000. Am I the only member to own a malfunctioning copy of Click?

POETS day. Piss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday.

Roy Warner, EUG #30