|An Occasional Column from the Antipodes||by Rory Gordon, Australia|
Are you Y2K ready?
Have you checked all your systems?
Is everything certified?
I can understand all the noise we're hearing about computers and the so-called "Millenium Bug". I futz around with computers quite a lot personally, and you can see them in just about every aspect of life.
Oh, I'm not worried about the cash register down at the local shop. And I don't think that planes are going to fall out of the sky. Nor do I think that all the electricity is going to stop flowing. And I don't think that all my money is going to disappear from the bank. (Don't laugh about that last one. I was talking to a friend the other day whose mother was going to take all her money out of the bank because of this. The mother was convinced, and was trying to convince my friend, that if she didn't take all her money out, the bank would "lose" it. We can laugh about this, but it does show that there are a LOT of people out there who don't know what's going on, and who need to be told in a clear, concise manner.)
I'm not worried - I don't intend to be on any planes for 24 hours either side, and I'll have a good stock of candles laid in, and I'll get a balance from the bank. Not that I'm worried, you understand. Just in case.
No, what worries me is the little chip buried deep inside some piece of gadgetry. THAT is the one we have to look out for.
The so-called "Millenium Bug" does worry me in another, wider, way though. The nomclemenature. 1 January 2000 will not be the start of a new millenium, 1 January 2001 will be. Okay, so I'm a pedant. Everyone else will be celebrating the start of the new millenium on 1 January 2000.
Or will they?
I've been doing some research recently - actually, I just spent some time trawling the Internet - and the results were very interesting.
Take a date: 17 March 2000. It will fall on a Friday.
According to the Julian calendar that day will be 4 March 2000 CE; the Astronomical calendar 2451621 jd; the ISO calendar Friday, Week 11, Year 2000; the Coptic calendar 8 Baramhat 1716 AM; the Ethiopic calendar 8 Magabit 1992 EE; the Islamic calendar 11 Dhu al-Hijja 1420 AH; the Persian calendar 27 Esfand 1378 AP; the Baha'i calendar Sharaf `Al'a', D'al of A'ahid 9, Kull-i-Shay 1 BE (or the day of Sharaf of the month of Ala of the year Dal of the 9th Vahid of the 1st Kull-i-Shay); the Hebrew calendar 10 AdarII 5760 AM; the long Mayan calendar 184.108.40.206.18; the Tzolkin Mayan calendar 9 Etznab; the Haab (civil) Mayan calendar 6 Cumku; the Indian Civil calendar 27 Phalguna 1921; the old Hindu Solar calendar 2 Mina 5100 SE; the old Hindu Lunar calendar 12 Phalguna 5100 KY; the Hindu Solar calendar 3 Mina 1921 SE; the Hindu Lunar calendar 12 Phalguna 2056 KY; the Chinese calendar cycle 78 (Dragon), year 17 (Geng-chen), month 2 (Gui-you), day 12 (Geng-yin); the French calendar Decade III, Septidi de Ventose de l'Annee 208 de la Revolution (French Modified calendar Decade III, Octidi de Ventose de l'Annee 208 de la Revolution); the Aztec calendar 9th (Tecpatl) day of the 1st (Itzcuintli) period of the 1st (Tecpatl) solar year; and, the Lufkan calendar day 3 Jalzu 1979, the 3rd day of the Moon of Heat. [My apologies for any errors, especially in the spelling.]
I've read that an Anglican Archbishop thinks the millenium is important. Ummm, I've also read that Jesus Christ was born quite a few years before/after (take your pick) the supposed year 0. Add into that that the calendar to which the millenium refers wasn't devised until around 600 years after Jesus, and there's quite a lot of room to move around in.
Basically, what all that tells me is that I can pick a day, any day, and call that the start of a new millenium. The only people "celebrating" the start of the new millenium on 1 January 2000 (Gregorian) will be those that use the Gregorian calendar.
I suppose I'm just going to have to accept that 1 January 2000 will be the start of the next millenium. I can see that the night of 31 December 1999 is going to be a BIG night - there'll be some seriously big hangovers created.
And there'll also be the crazies. You know, the "end of the world is nigh", giant tidal waves, the Second Coming, it's all going to happen on 1 January 2000. Keep your ear to the ground, and you'll hear them even now.
Of course, when all the disasters don't happen, there'll be silence for a while, and then an announcement that they got their calculations wrong.
Most of the crazies I hear, but don't listen to. But there's a few crazies that I just have to listen to.
Here's a really crazy one for you. If you've just started up a new F1 team, which isn't going to participate for a couple of years but which you want to wind up gradually and properly, build a wide variety of possible cars and parts, and then trash them into the ground, your car has to abide by all the current F1 regulations.
Why should it? What possible harm could you do by running with some illegal part on your car? You might fool yourself and everyone else for a while, but it is only a test after all. The real test is going to come when you turn up to a GP, go through scrutineering and then out onto the track.
And then there's the idea that there may just be one all-purpose, grooved, wet-and-dry tyre for all cars.
Well, why not reduce the tyres in size too?
Hey, Mr Team Manager, I've got a fairly good set of all-purpose, grooved, wet-and-dry tyres on my car. Want to buy them?
Another crazy idea.
Personally, I think the Millenium Bug has hit F1 already.
But that's just me.
|Rory Gordon||© 1999 Atlas Formula One Journal.|
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