Advertisement

Engineers in Columbia, S.C., have set back...

Associated Press

Engineers in Columbia, S.C., have set back the clock in the computer that controls this city’s traffic lights, hoping to head off a potential Y2K problem. The computer, which controls more than 200 lights, is not Y2K compliant and could not be replaced before the new year. “It would cost more than it’s worth to update,” traffic engineer David Brewer said. “The city was planning to upgrade the computer anyway, but it hasn’t got to that yet.” So instead, engineers set the computer’s calendar back 28 years. When the clock strikes midnight on Friday, the computer will read it as Jan. 1, 1972, which also was a leap year that began on a Saturday. Mike Sponhour, spokesman for the state Budget and Control Board and a member of the state’s Coalition for Y2K Readiness, said the city’s fix should work. “While that computer might think it’s not the year 2000, that computer is going to work just fine,” Sponhour said. “If it’s as simple as that to fix it, that’s fine--as long as the end user doesn’t notice any difference.”


Advertisement