Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Toronto university TA strike continues

Western receives $10 M gift from city

Holiday crash claims life of student

Millennium scholarships awarded provincewide

Y2K goes off without a hitch

Western researchers prove what Bond knew all along

BAss Ackwards

Y2K goes off without a hitch

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

The so-called Y2K bug everyone was concerned about was a no-show this Jan. 1, thanks to one year's worth of hard work by Western's very own Y2K bug repellent team.

Mike Bauer, senior director of Information Technology Services at Western, said the transition between the years 1999 and 2000 went over smoothly in the university's computer system. "As far as I know, we didn't have anything that was a problem. There were no issues."

Despite the preliminary measures taken, such as upgrading software, Bauer said people were on call at the beginning of the month. All of the machines throughout the university also had to be turned back on in the new year, as they were shut off for the evening.

"There was a lot of work done on the infrastructure," explained city controller and chair of Western's Y2K team, Orlando Zamprogna.

Zamprogna explained the team was assembled at this time last year to discuss how to prevent potential computer problems.

Firstly, a backup supply of power and water was needed for Western's animal quarters and special lab equipment. Secondly, Zamprogna explained, a plan needed to be formulated to pump water out of buildings so the pipes would not freeze.

Although there have been no major problems, he confirmed there have been a few very minor computer glitches within the university, none of which could be easily rectified.

Zamprogna added he was pleased with the swift preparation of the university. "It was all precautionary. It was an awareness call. I thought we did a fairly good job. We also really didn't spend as much as other [universities] did."

Peter Mercer, VP-administration at Western, agreed the measures were precautionary even though he did not expect any problems to arise. "In one sense, the Y2K changes began with the new administrative computing systems in 1996," he said.

Although the City was also working hard to prepare for the change, Mercer said they did not work alongside the university. "We knew what the City's plans were and they knew what our's were."

City controller Russ Monteith said London had been working for the past two years for Y2K preparation. "We had a game-plan and by October, we expected to have everything in place and checked. As far as I know, we met all of our targets."

As a first initiative, Monteith said most of the City's computer systems were upgraded. In doing so, he explained the City looked into the future so their computers would be not only more modern, but more efficient.

He added the City also kept a close eye on the heating and water systems. "We were in contact with London Hydro. If we could help, then we'd do so and if they could help, then they would do so."

More than anything else, Zamprogna said this millennium scare should have been a lesson to everyone. "What it means is there's a risk in the way we live and there's a risk in the way we depend on computers."

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