The so-called "millennium bug" that threatens to wreak havoc on computer date recognition in the year 2000 could be a problem for condominiums, cooperatives and planned communities. Automated maintenance systems, elevators and security systems could experience problems, according to an article in the January/February issue of Common Ground™, the Community Associations Institute's flagship bimonthly magazine.
Computers recognize two-digit year dates rather than four-digit - "76" rather than "1976" - and experts don't know how various personal computers and mainframes will react when the year 2000 arrives. "Automated maintenance or operating systems may shut down or function differently when date benchmarks change or pass a pre-set parameter," according to James M. Cachine, PCAM, AMS, vice president of Legum and Norman Inc., McLean, Va., and author of the article. "Computer-run preventive maintenance systems may stop running. Elevator operating controls, HVAC plant monitoring and control systems, security gates, entry-guard systems all could experience problems."
Community associations should develop a plan of action soon, including:
asking vendors of maintenance and service contracts on existing systems for written assurances that systems will not crash on Jan. 1, 2000, requiring a warranty confirming Y2K compliance on new purchases of computer hardware, software and maintenance and control systems, and hiring qualified computer support on retainer to solve problems early.
The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 150,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and the professionals who provide products and services to them.
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