SP city computers passed 9-9-99 nicely, seen by some as test for Y2K readiness

September 15, 1999
Santa Paula News
Seen by some experts as a major testing milestone for Y2K computer readiness was reached on Aug. 9, 1999, a special day that translated to 9-9-99 that was watched closely by government agencies, utilities, banks and other companies. So far so good, although fears centered on computers possibly reading the date as a “9999”, for some older computer systems a stop- or end-of-program command.Although no one expected any major problems if a glitch did occur, the 9-9-99 issue was taken seriously and seen as a test for both readiness and backup systems for when the year 2000 - the dreaded Y2K - comes along.Dates can be funny things: many companies and agencies reliant on computers kept a close eye on April 9, 1999, a date viewed as potentially problematic because it was the 99th day of the 99th year. April 9th, 1999 passed quietly with no quirky computer interruptions reported.Many computer systems read 9-9-99 as 090999 when August 9, 1999 hit.At Santa Paula City Hall, 9-9-99 “Passed with nary a ripple,” said Fire Chief Paul Skeels, who has been helping to oversee the city’s Y2K readiness.
About the validity of Aug. 9, 1999 being a Y2K precursor, “I don’t know if it was a good test or not,” he added, but, “those of us involved in computer aspects had a general meeting on the morning of the 9th,” to discuss the issue.A check of municipal departments showed there were no 9-9-99 problems at City Hall.“I believe Y2K and 9-9-99 are separate areas, one doesn’t have much to do with the others,” Chief Skeels noted. “The city was comparatively late in become computerized, so the 9-9-99 didn’t effect any or our systems. And, I don’t believe we’ll have any significant Y2K problems,” in general.

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