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January 20, 1998


Peter de Jager ignores homegrown Y2K fix

Email this story to a friend. Peter de Jager, the Y2K guru, has declined to certify the radically alternate Y2K methodology proposed by Madras-based charted accountant turned entrepreneur S Jayaraj.

De Jager was touring India during the first week of January, giving talks on Y2K, and it was at his Bangalore seminar that Jayaraj presented his case to him.

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"What I received was a refusal to respond and he left the seminar hurriedly well before the scheduled time," recounts Jayaraj.

The contention arises from the fact that Jayaraj's proposed method is totally different from those that have been advocated by de Jager for years.

While de Jager maintains that there is no silver bullet to the Y2K problem, Jayaraj claims that his solution is very close to one.

While Jayaraj has already come out in the national press and is also organising an industry meeting on the issue tomorrow, he sought an endorsement from de Jager since recognition from a person of de Jager's standing would have given the issue a direction either way.

"Either he could have offered an approval or could have killed the claim. But he did not do either," laments Jayaraj. Repeated attempts at contacting de Jager over email have also been met with silence, he says.

De Jager says that due to lack of details he had refrained from any comment. Also, he said that he does not comment on vendor products, as his focus is to create awareness on the issue.

While de Jager has been pioneering the cause of Y2K compliance ever since 1991, he does not have any methodology to his credits.

Interestingly, in an open letter to the Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, de Jager has insisted that he should assume the role of a leader and give out a loud pronouncement that 'No silver bullet is possible'.

He goes on to say that many people believe that the one person who could deliver a simple solution is Bill Gates and hence he should make the global pronouncement that no such solution is possible.

This is significant because many small and medium companies all over the world are just sitting over the problem, he said.

Currently, the methods advocated by de Jager for Y2K shooting are - physical expansion of the date field from two digits (mm/dd/yy) to four digits (mm/dd/yyyy); coding of century value in the date fields, 'windowing techniques' (static and moving); encapsulation and other methods such as century value compression in the existing date fields.

Jayaraj's method looks at the compiler and carries out the corrections there. He claims that apart from having to write fewer number of code lines of correction, another advantage is that the compiler level corrections obviate the need for repetitive correction of the problem date field areas by looking at and testing every database and programme.

Earlier: Every second counts two

- Compiled from the Indian media

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