Y2K Bugs? Been There, Done That

Harvey Wachtel

Y2K Bugs? Been There, Done That
The dreaded pre-dawn phone call interrupts your all too brief
post-New-Year's-party sleep: a critical system component has gone haywire
trying to handle the date rollover and the shop is paralyzed....

Sounds like a prediction of a Y2K nightmare, but it's actually a
reminiscence of the bug I had to cope with ten years ago. The phone call
reported that almost all batch jobs were abending on S913s. The messages
that the operators retrieved from the job log said things like "DATASET NOT
ACESSIBLE - SYS90001.T174939.RA000.FARFEL.SYSUT2". Fortunately, the
problem was fairly obvious -- our security system, Top Secret, was not
recognizing temporary datasets, apparently because it expected their names
to begin with "SYS8". Even more fortunately, a bypass was readily
available ("PERMIT(ALL) DSN(SYS90+++.T++++++.RA+++.) ACCESS(ALL)"), so I
did get to sleep off my hangover in the end. The funny part was that my
bookshelf still sported the original documentation binders we had received
from CGA when we bought the product from them in 1984, each bearing the
product's proud motto: "Security for the Eighties".

A "decade bug" doesn't sound as impressive as a Millennium Bug, but this
one did a rather effective job of screwing up our operations nevertheless.

I realize this doesn't have anything to do with DB2, but I thought it might
be interesting just now. I was wondering if anyone out there has any
recollection of this problem. Or did our shop miss applying a fix that
would have prevented it?