Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
August 27, 1999

Y2K crews will start checks at midnight

by Diana Pounds
Electricians, locksmiths, pipefitters, plumbers, refrigeration and fire alarm specialists, elevator mechanics, technicians, engineers, telecommunications experts and computer programmers could be among those on "Y2K duty" on campus at midnight Dec. 31. An estimated 100 or more staff will be on campus or on call in the event there are any unforeseen glitches in the university's best-laid Y2K plans.

Staff and faculty have put in numerous hours already, checking and testing university utilities, computer systems and other potentially Y2K-vulnerable equipment, said Rab Mukerjea, assistant to the president and campus Y2K coordinator.

"We're well-prepared and we believe we will have a smooth transition into the new year," Mukerjea said. "However, some staff will be on campus New Year's Eve and New Year's Day to detect and tackle any unforeseen problems that may arise."

A Y2K Command Center will be in operation in the Armory for 24 to 48 hours, beginning at noon Dec. 31. The center will be staffed by representatives from a number of university offices, including academic computing, administrative data processing (ADP), facilities management, public safety, risk management, telecommunications and university relations.

At midnight on Dec. 31, academic computing, ADP and telecommunications staff will begin initial checks of the campus network, phone and computer systems, Mukerjea said.

At the same time, facilities staff will begin building "walk-throughs" to verify that operating systems and environmental, safety and security systems are operating properly," said utilities director Dave Miller.

"We will physically inspect buildings on campus and have staff available on site to respond to any problems or provide assistance to the campus community," Miller said. "Utilities staff will be on hand to ensure that utilities services are available during the early hours of Jan. 1."

Those who experience Y2K problems will be able to find help by calling a special Y2K help line -- 296-2000. The help line likely will be in operation several weeks before the new year begins. Faculty and staff can call the line to ask Y2K-related questions or to report problems, Mukerjea said.

Diana Pounds, University Relations,
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