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Time Bomb 2000!: What the Year 2000 Computer Crisis Means to You! Paperback – December 24, 1997

75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Writings on the year 2000 (Y2K) problem, or the "millennium bug" as some would have it, have been limited to highly technical analyses of specific problems and their solutions. Very little attention has been paid to how the Y2K problem will affect the lives of average people and everyday systems, even though many prognosticators believe this is where the problem will have the largest impact. In Time Bomb 2000: What the Year 2000 Computer Crisis Means to You, Edward and Jennifer Yourdon do just that by presenting a collection of scenarios ranging from the best we can hope for to the worst cases. Each chapter investigates a different area of computing and the possible effects of this disaster on each. From home PCs to world financial networks, the Yourdons explore a variety of "domino effects" that January 1, 2000, could trigger and the necessary time, effort, and cost to fix the aftermath. The impacts on real life could be anywhere between annoying and catastrophic, and the authors examine each extreme. Each chapter contains "fallback advice," describing the amount of time required to repair these systems. (The authors liken Y2K to a hurricane--it only lasts a day, but requires a year of cleanup.)

Although the Yourdons insist that their overall view is optimistic, it's hard not to feel doomed when reading some of the worst-case scenarios brought on by the year 2000 problem. While Time Bomb 2000 is meant to be an alert, it's not time to start stockpiling canned goods yet, and we can probably still party like it's 1999 right on schedule. However, we should remain extremely mindful of what may await us the next morning.

From Library Journal

Optimists may be gleefully eyeing the approaching millennium with great expectations of the innovation that will undoubtedly accompany its dawning, but those with perhaps a more grounded gaze see January 1, 2000, as the day of reckoning for computers and their infinite applications everywhere. The Yourdons (Edward is the author of 25 computer books) offer a doomsday scenario of what life might be like if techno gurus aren't able to correct, on a universal scale, an oversight born when programmers failed to see the significance of the double zeros at the beginning of year 2000. Will ATMs work on January 1 of that year? Will medical devices work? Social Security checks arrive? Will basic services like electricity, water, mail, and food delivery be affected? No one is claiming to know everything for sure, but the Yourdons' harrowing account of what life could be like if computers all shut down at once is both frightening and useful for the solutions it offers. For all computer collections.?Geoff Rotunno, "Tri-Mix" Magazine, Goleta, Cal.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Yourdon Press Computing Series
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Ptr; 1 edition (December 24, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130952842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130952844
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,499,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ed Yourdon is a well-known fake. Years ago, he wrote a book about how the entire US software industry was going to collapse. After it didn't, he had the nerve to write a sequel about how disaster was narrowly averted. Yawn.
Then there was "Death March", where he discusses the problems many software projects face, only to say there is no hope and we are all doomed. Yawn again.
Now, Ed has taken up Y2k as his latest cause. Nevermind all the money he is making from these books, his web page, consulting, speaking, etc. Nevermind he has glossed over facts, and circulated data from well-known Christian Reconstructionist Gary North. Nevermind he claimed that we'd be seeing massive Y2k problems by now in both domestic and foreign governments.
No doubt Ed is already writing a sequel claiming that he helped avert a Y2k crisis. Yawn.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Credit to Ed Yourdon for inventing a new literary niche --pointing out a nonexistent crisis, writing a book about it, then writing another book debunking it! He hasn't, at the time of this review, written a book celebrating victory over the fearmongering that he helped to spark, but I'm certain it will be forthcoming.
Yourdon's last shred of credibility evaporated on 01/01/00. Hopefully he made enough off this book to retire. If he didn't, he's going to need to find a new line of work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
Ed Yourdon does not know what he is talking about. His examples of Y2K disasters proceed entirely from made-up scenarios of doom and not from any understanding of the underlying processes and code. His examples are ludicrous; absolutely laughable.
The basic premise, that Y2K bugs will cause widespread crashes, is silly enough (try setting the clock on your computer past 2000 and running all your programs; nothing odd happens), but the idea that any computer's crashing will cause the downfall of civilization is outlandish. Computers crash all the time -- there are already processes and infrastructure to deal with it. A whole lot of computers crashing at once could conceivably make things annoying for a while, but more in the nature of slowed-down than stopped.
Here's an example: can the airlines run without computers? Yes. They have complete procedures in place to issue tickets, take tickets, move baggage, etc. without any computers involved. They did it in the 50's;! they can still do it today. It's just slower and more prone to error. Some Airbus planes are dependent on their computers for certain operations, but even they have manual fallbacks. They're not going to fall out of the sky, and they're not going to crash in 2000; it's unlikely that airplane computers pay attention to the date at all.
I cannot stress enough: DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. Don't put another dollar into the hands of someone who is uninformed and milking the hype machine for all it's worth. Check it out from the library if you must.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book isn't worth the paper it's printed on. There isn't a choice for no stars. If there were, I'd give it that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James E Thompson MD on January 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Whoops! Guess the Bomb was a dud. Don't buy the update, either. See if Ed will give you your moolah back, if he can stop laughing about making money off the public gullibility. Not even the "unprepared" suffered, so don't let him talk you into thinking he saved us.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book belongs in a museum of "Historical Curiosities", along with Piltdown Man and sea monkeys. The only place for Amazon to put this book would be in the humor section, considering the outrageous "chicken little" predictions of Yourdon and his kind. Ed Yourdon, Gary North, and all the other Y2K nuts are frauds and demagogues, and I am sure it will only be a matter of time before they concoct some new doomsday scheme. I guess they'll find some way to postpone the Apocalypse until their feverish little brains go into overdrive again.
Happy new millennium, everyone!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jorge Gervasio on January 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a sheer waste of ink and paper. I'll never again buy a book by Ed Yourdon, I loose all my confidence on his technical expertise. What a shame !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Stettler on January 1, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book a year ago to find out what I was up against when trying to deprogram a friend who had the heck scared out of him by Y2K. After looking at the book for an hour and realizing it was based entirely on conjecture and scare psychology, I sent it back (very thankful for Amazon's generous return policy). This book no doubt mostly appealed to paranoid people who were already distrustful of technology. Now that the event has past and nothing of note happened, I am sure there will be a new crisis some budding author will wield to manipulate this same sort of person out of their money. If you were duped once, please don't let it happen again by falling for the "insurance" argument used by this author (be prepared "just in case"). Remember, if the premise is unsubstantiated, it is not logical to act upon. One could make the same, equally "plausible" argument about preparing for an alien invasion--just in case.
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