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[ccp4bb]: Report of Vigilante committee for Y2K awareness:

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In Feb 1999 Phil Evans wrote:
> Brent Segelke writes:
>  > >
>  > >Why on earth would anyone worry that a crystallographic package would
>  > >be date-sensitive?
>  > >
>  > >but see ccp4 home page
>  > >
>  > >    Phil
>  >
> But my question is why would you think it wouldn't work? Why would a
> crystallography program care if it thought the year was 1900?

Since this message and since the big non-event of January 1 2000, we have 
been looking for examples so we can try to avoid their devastating 
effects. Now after 1 year of Y2K and on the dawn of the next millenium,
it is a suitable time to make our findings known. Here, then, is our list 
of programs that DO care what the date is, and but for the skill of their
programmers and the quality of the operating systems they run under, 
might have caused untold suffering and misery on the part of (ok, would you
believe 'would have slightly inconvenienced'?) crystallographers worldwide!

1. DENZO/HKL: on startup, the program salutes the user with the following:

  HKL  data processing system Version 1.3.0
  This version of the program is more than one year old   <------
  Please inquire about program upgrade 

If DENZO thought it was 1900, we might not see this warning again for
almost a century, and go on merrily using V 1.3.0 for another 95 years,
barring the possible introduction of new detector formats in that time
which would necessitate an upgrade (Just kidding, Iwona, V1.96 is
working fine!).

2. MAPMAN  (and possibly other gems from the Uppsala Software Factory).
If you had run Mapman on Aug 30 2000, you might have seen:

 Started - Wed Aug 30 15:57:27 2000
 Stopped - Wed Aug 30 15:57:33 2000
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>> USF .... Uppsala Software Factory <<<<<<<<<<<<<<
 >>>> This program: (C) 1992-1999, G J Kleywegt & T A Jones <<<<
 >>>> E-mail: gerard@xray.bmc.uu.se or alwyn@xray.bmc.uu.se <<<<
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://alpha2.bmc.uu.se/usf <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


 ... Yeah ! Alwyn turns 53 today ...   <------

Presumably this result is derived by subtraction, and subtraction from 
a 2-decimal-digit year like '00 would have resulted in a negative age 
like -47. That would be well below the legal drinking age in Berkeley
and many other communities (untold misery?).
OK, that's the end of the list. I hope most will forgive me for wasting
their time with this rubbish (and that the rest delete it before reading
this far), and I wish all a happy New Millenium.