Feedback: How to escape the millennium bug

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The Independent Culture
Eva Pascoe (Network+, 28 April) should choose a better day to get away. She should leave well before 1 January 2000 if she is going to be ensconced in her Shangri-la on that date, safe from the millennium bug's calamities.

But will these calamities really be as bad as she makes out? I hardly think so.

For instance, if people suddenly started receiving wage packets based on 1980 rates, doesn't she think that payroll departments might just notice? Well, they will, when they see all those heads rolling about in the lift.

If lack of temperature control means that offices become a little cooler, that will be no bad thing as most offices are too hot and stuffy anyway, with the amount of electronic gear all over the place.

As far as food shortages go, most of us are too fat, anyway, so our surplus calories will easily carry us through the first week of the millennium.

Eva is completely wrong, too, about cutting off the phone. It's not the phone that needs to be cut off, but the modem. That way, no e-mails will get lost because none will get sent, while people will still be able to communicate in time-honoured fashion by using their voices. This is also known as speaking to one another.

Eva is obviously hurt by Microsoft's stance toward individuals' support problems. But you don't get your car serviced at the Ford factory in Dagenham. Instead, the dealer is there to help. Perhaps PC World should be the first port of call when she has a problem.

And if she thinks that the dust will have settled a year later, for many the whole saga will start all over again, as Switzerland, for example, is not starting its millennium until 1 January 2001.

It's not a Mac that Eva Pascoe should be saving up for, but a good pair of wellies for walking through the tonnes of ordure that will result from journalists talking up the crisis over the next year or two.

Michael D Mitchell

mimi@dial.pipex.com

Post correspondence to Feedback, Network+, `The Independent', One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, or e-mail to network@independent.co.uk

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