This column is devoted to issues related to technology at the University of St. Thomas. It is a joint effort of Computing and Communication Services, Instructional Support Services and the university libraries. Please send your comments to .

As the fall semester ends, we would like to make you aware of some of the university’s planning efforts regarding the Y2K bug. We do not anticipate any significant problems relating to Y2K and expect that the university will reopen on Jan. 3 as scheduled. However, there is some Y2K information that we’d like you to know.

Planning and preparation: Over the past 18 months the Y2K Review Committee has coordinated efforts for Y2K preparedness. Following is a list of the major systems that have been readied for the transition to the year 2000:

  • All life safety equipment, including fire safety and security systems, have been assessed and certified Y2K-compliant.
  • All heating, electrical, and control systems have been brought into compliance.
  • All centrally supported computer systems, including administrative applications, desktop hardware and software, the telecommunications system, and the data network infrastructure are ready for Y2K.
  • Individual departments have assessed their particular vulnerability to Y2K and have taken remedial action.

Emergency plans: We have been assured by all major utility companies that there will be no interruption of service. In the very unlikely event that there is a major utility failure, a contingency plan is in place to provide for the safety and well-being of the people who will be in residence on campus during this period. Also, staff from the Physical Plant Department, Public Safety and Parking Services, and Computing and Communication Services will be on hand to deal with any incidents that might arise.

Computer systems availability: We plan to have all central computing and network services available throughout the Christmas and New Year holidays. Please be aware that some local services, such as printing, may not be available from Thursday, Dec. 30, to Monday, Jan. 3. As an extra precaution, when you leave the office for the New Year holiday, please shut off the power to all your desktop computing devices, including the processing unit, monitors, and printers. (This will protect the equipment in the event of a power surge.)

Telephones: Please be aware that Jan. 1, 2000, may be the busiest calling day ever. If you pick up the phone and don’t hear a dial tone immediately, don’t panic and don’t hang up — all it means is that the area phone system is operating at capacity. Stay on the line, and you should get a dial tone shortly. DO NOT call 9-1-1 as a test to see if it’s working; emergency aid could be dispatched to your home.

What if the worst happens? In the event of major disruptions in utility and communications systems, do not attempt to travel to campus. Wait for these systems to be restored. Remember that official announcements regarding university closings are made on WCCO radio.

Again, we anticipate no significant problems and fully expect the university to be open for business on Jan. 3, 2000. Have a joyous holiday season!



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