As Y2K Approaches, Harvard Says All Systems Are Go

University claims readiness for new millenium

With all the hype over what may or may not happen as the date rolls over to 2000, possibly causing computers to think it is the year 1900, the "Y2K" bug has infected holiday plans--if not computer systems--around the globe and at Harvard.

Carol Carmichael, project manager for Y2K efforts at University Information Systems (UIS), knows this better than most. She and her husband, and a team of 30 UIS staff members, will ring in the New Year from UIS Headquarters at 1730 Cambridge St.

As a local coordinator for the University's Year 2000 Project, Carmichael has been preparing for Y2K for just under two years, and will be on hand to monitor systems should anything out of the ordinary happen come Jan. 1.


Ensuring a human presence to assess any damage done by confused computers is the final measure being taken by the University in a chain of precautionary strategies.

Along with UIS staff, Carmichael has spent the last 18 months testing the compliancy of hundreds of systems, including ones which control the University's Internet access, e-mail, telecommunications, the library catalogue Hollis and payroll.

Preparations have been extensive--staff members have been identifying and fixing systems as well as ensuring that all outside vendors are equally Y2K-compliant. Now Carmichael says UIS has finalized its contingency plans and is ready to greet the new year.

"We're planning to keep the Internet feed up and live and the telephone lines open when the date changes, and as long as AT&T is fine, we can keep things going," she says. "But we will have generators at our main building at 1730 Cambridge St., so even if the power goes out we can keep the Internet up."

"We're in good shape--we have compliancy on everything we've done," she adds.

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