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October 1, 1998

Year 2000 in a Nutshell

SEBASTOPOL, CA--A recent InformationWeek Research survey of IT executives responsible for their organizations' IT budget planning found that more than half say that the biggest factor affecting IT spending this fall is Year 2000 compliance work (http://www.techweb.com/se/directlink.cgi?IWK19980928S0087). According to Norman Shakespeare, author of the just released book Year 2000 in a Nutshell, "The actual technical solutions to most Year-2000 problems are fairly simple in nature; the solution is to upgrade the software or hardware that doesn't comply. The real Year-2000 problems are time, money, management skills, and motivation."

Shakespeare's new book, just released by O'Reilly & Associates, is divided into phases: awareness and detection, planning and conversion, and implementation. It includes a rudimentary, but completely functional code-scanner and reporter. It covers programming languages, operating systems, and hardware. From a managerial viewpoint, it provides templates for project plans, reports, and fiscal and legal considerations.

Year 2000 in a Nutshell does not dwell on simple concepts or doomsday scenarios. It is, instead, a concise, factual reference work covering the major issues relating to the biggest obstacle in computing history. It offers a clear-cut, top-down, problem-solving approach. There are densely packed sections on date-manipulation routines for many common languages, PC hardware and packages, and an essential reference section on the most affected language- COBOL-which will be of particular value to those programmers who have been assigned the task of making the COBOL code Y2K compliant, but haven't had much experience with the COBOL language.

Year 2000 in a Nutshell is a reference guide that addresses three main aspects of the Year 2000 computer dilemma:

  • Awareness: covers main issues such as compliance, costs, event-horizons, embedded dates and systems, date stamping, timing, staffing, and benefits of Y2K conversion

  • Managerial: covers considerations such as: triage (when the Y2K conversion process isn't started soon enough), legal issues, budgets, and standards. Also covers a project-plan: inventory, analysis, logistical estimates, planning and strategies, conversion, and testing and implementation

  • Technical: covers: dates, Julian day, windowing, single-digit century, file and database date conversion, and PC issues
About the Author
Norman Shakespeare is a private consultant with 20 years of experience in electronics, PC and mini hardware, networking, programming, and training. Originally from Zimbabwe, he has lived in South Africa and Canada.

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Year 2000 in a Nutshell
By Norman Shakespeare
1st Edition October 1998 (US)
336 pages, 1-56592-421-5, $19.95 (US)

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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