The article on the millennium bug ["Debunking Year 2000's Computer Disaster," Column One, Nov. 3] was terribly inaccurate and does a serious, nearly criminal disservice to your readers.
It's obvious that reporter Greg Miller is far more devoted to cynicism than to the best interest of his readers. Cynicism, like the sex lives of politicians, must sell newspapers, but is that all there is to the Los Angeles Times? Is there no sense of responsibility to society?
I run a software company. It's not one of those villainous Year 2000 companies as described in the story, but we do make our products and services available to companies with Year 2000 problems. In fact, the world's largest insurance company relies on our technology to assess the Year 2000 risk to a company applying for Year 2000 insurance.
I've been in the software business for over 30 years and know personally how big a problem Year 2000 represents for government and industry in the United States and around the world.
If Year 2000 is such a non-problem then why are some of the largest and most sophisticated companies in the world spending hundreds of millions of dollars to fix it?
Why have government regulators mandated compliance testing and public disclosure? Why have insurance companies started excluding coverage for Year 2000 related events, and why are so many economists such as Dr. Edward Yardine, chief economist of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, predicting that Year 2000 computer problems will send the world into at least a recession. What does Mr. Miller and The Times know that these people don't know?
The fact of the matter is that Year 2000 computer problems represent a real and serious threat. The lack of awareness of this problem and the very late attempts to fix the problem have mandated failure for many companies and government agencies. And by the way, Mr. Miller, Readers Digest is not typical. Most companies started late, very late.
President and CEO
Ascent Logic Corp.