It’s "the end of the world as we know it" (TEOTWAWKI to those in the know). It’s time to batten down the hatches and pull our fingers out. We must put our shoulders to the wheel and our noses to the grindstone because our backs are to the wall. Yes it’s Y2K, the cliché. No doubt you’ve got a few of your own to add to the collection of management maxims ("The sky is falling, the sky is falling"). This editorial is, after all, only the tip of the iceberg. I must have used them all in the past two years — too little, too late; survey slippage; bug busting — but I’m not afraid to stand up and be counted. I have raved on about the Bug, descending into military terms (the sniper versus shotgun approach) medical terms (does anyone remember triage?) as well as the odd bit of poetry ("rage against the dying of the light") and even a short play in three acts (well, scenes really). But now it is time to put away such childish things. As I write this there are only 20 days left before December 31 and the time for talking is over now. It’s over to you now, as if it was ever anything different. We’ve moved from anticipation to preparation to execution. Hopefully afterwards there will be some contemplation and we can all learn something about IT, human nature and the world we live in. Maybe in future we can avoid foolish mistakes that snowball into billion-dollar industries. Perhaps we can even learn how to beat deadlines. Perhaps. In a year when cliché has come to the fore, let me finish by quoting a horror film — it seems appropriate somehow: "It’s the millennium — motives are incidental." Good luck — I’ll see you on the other side. Paul Brislen is a Computerworld reporter, phone: 0-9-302 8751. firstname.lastname@example.org
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