Kenneth A. Shaw, Chancellor

Sandi Tams Mulconry '75
Associate Vice President for
University Communications; Publisher

Jeffrey Charboneau G'99
Institutional/Administrative Publications;
Managing Editor

Jay Cox

Jo Roback-Pal

Carol North Schmuckler '57, G'85

Tammy DiDominico
Gary Pallassino

Amy McVey

W. Michael McGrath

Jennifer Merante

Danielle K. Johnson '00

Kimberly Burgess '99,
Denise Owen Harrigan,
John Harvith,
Judy Holmes G'86,
Wendy S. Loughlin G'95,
Kathleen Miles,
Kevin Morrow,
William Preston,
Amy Shires

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2000 Like most media feeding-frenzy issues, the mere mention of the millennium bug makes you ill. You're Y2K'ed out and the last pitch of the final World Series of the century hasn't even been thrown. But hold on. Don't lull yourself into a smug sense of security that Y2K is just another over-hyped event. That's what I've done and now, after suffering through yet another nasty storm-provoked power outage, I'm having second thoughts. My canned goods supply looks like it's been picked over by bargain shoppers at a blinking blue-light sale, and I haven't even seen the blueprints for the survivalist shelter yet.
      It's fortunate I'm not the point man for any Y2K catastrophe committees. My colleagues here in the publications office will confirm that I'd never be considered to solve any kind of computer quandary, especially if it involved anything beyond locating the keyboard. SU Magazineassistant editor Gary Pallassino is my saving grace. He's a computer aficionado and is constantly fielding such inane questions from me as: "What button do I punch to hide those paragraph symbols?"
      Thankfully, Gary has a solid grip on this Y2K creature and I invite you to read his piece, "Y2K on Campus" (page 40). The University, you'll be glad to know, has Y2K in the bag. SU is in the process of overhauling its entire information technology infrastructure, and snuffing out Y2K quirks was incorporated into the game plan. Ben Ware, who heads research and computing at SU, admits there may be a glitch here or there, but says nothing close to even a minuscule millennium meltdown will occur. As the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense. And in this case, the folks behind SU's computer systems are yielding little yardage to the millennium bug backfield.
      Knowing all this, of course, only makes me more nervous, especially when I contemplate what may confront me at home. Say, for instance, the microwave comes down with a case of the Y2K flu. For all I know it could have one of those pesky little computer chips that will cause it to go berserk. Then what? Will the LED no longer count backward for me as it reheats refried beans, then fail to politely say, "Enjoy Your Meal!"?
      Considering my lack of preparation for this potential millennium maelstrom and the fact that I already have enough trouble resetting digital clocks on appliances, I figured I was doomed. Not so, says Peter Plumley, director of computer and information technologies for the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. He assured me that I could stop fretting about Y2K. "Technology is evolving so fast that in my mind Y2K is insignificant," Peter told me. "It's just a minor blip in the technology evolution."
      What we should be concerned about is what's ahead—an entire roster of TBA technology bugs, Peter warns. Systems are increasingly interconnected and getting incredibly complicated. "There are things we don't see coming until they hit," he says. "We see Y2K perfectly—it's not going to be an issue. It's the stuff we don't see that we have to worry about."
      Now there's something to break into a cold sweat over. In the meantime, just to be safe, I'm stocking up on D batteries and bottled water.

                    Jay Cox

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