SEMINAR ON CHALLENGES OF Y2K
|A Seminar on Y2K
problem and how to cope with it was organized jointly by
NED Engineers Forum (NEDFO) and Institute of Engineers Pakistan (IEP).
The seminar was held in the Gulf hall of Dhahran International Hotel on
12 November 1999. It was a very well attended seminar as more than 70
delegates were present including representative from Saudi Engineering
Committee from Riyadh.
NEDFO's Social Secretary Engr Saeed Ahmed Khan conducted the seminar very
skillfully. With the help of professionally made and computerized slides,
Mr. Khan maintained the interest of the audience till the end. Mr. Khan
explained the nature of Y2K challenge, identified areas of concernhighlighted prevention measures on various equipment and servicesincluding personal computers, electricity and water failure, travel by
airline, etc. Some interesting observations made by the speaker are as
Checks may be necessary with installations that use date-dependent remote
or surveillance systems.
Like most financial institutions, banks saw the Y2K problem coming years
ago and have taken every possible measure to avoid damage to their
systems. Still it is advisable to keep latest statement and extra money on
Manufacturers rule out risk except in the case of vehicles with on-board
computers, in which case owners are urged to check their systems.
Banks have made plans to top up their cash dispensers regularly over the
holiday weekend, but exceptionally high demand could cause some to go
Card-reading devices in shops and restaurants may fail to function. Keep
cash in wallet
Access systems using badges or swipe-cards could block doors in buildings
that rely on computers to centralize access.
Most national grids are highly computerized and sporadic power cuts are
Date systems may need to be changed manually. Check instructions manual.
Dysfunctions are possible.
Most recent PCs are expected to cope easily with the Y2K problem, though
older systems are vulnerable, with problems ranging from loss of files to
complete breakdown. Macintosh computers use a different date-counting
system and should encounter no problem.
Technical infrastructure and medical equipment are vulnerable, though
medical authorities in most countries have taken preventive measures.
Machines using timing devices and even programmable equipment such as
cookers and washing machines is extremely unlikely to be affected by the
These are not generally date-dependent, but problems could arise with
lifts controlled by computer systems. Most dysfunctions are likely to be
caused by power shortages.
These are not date-dependent.
Date indicators may have to be corrected manually.
Rail authorities in most countries have made extensive preparations
against Y2K failures. In some countries rail traffic will halt before
midnight on Dec.31 and resume a few minutes later.
Dysfunctions are possible. In many cases these will cause red lights to
switch to blinking amber lights.
Machines using two-figure year indicators could encounter problems.
Distribution and recycling circuits are often complex and problems could
arise, particularly in water-purification stations.