>  foremoms and foredads

Some of us were there at the time. I've lost track of the number of times that 
I've criticized something only to be accused, decades later, of only having 
"20-20 hindsight". W4 aren't allo newbies.

Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz

From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List <IBM-MAIN@LISTSERV.UA.EDU> on behalf of 
Jesse 1 Robinson <jesse1.robin...@sce.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:50 PM
Subject: Re: Reason for 2 digit years was  Re: Instruction speeds

It's a modern day cottage industry--or hobby maybe--to excoriate our foremoms 
and foredads for the reckless choice they made decades ago to store dates in 
two-digit format. Making our lives miserable in the process. OTOH I remember 
reading some diary excerpts from US Civil War soldiers who routinely recorded 
dates as 61, 63, and so on.

Suppose you were an influencer in, say, 1975. Would you walk into an 
application design meeting and propose *any* change to date representation? 
There were already countless date fields stored in other intersecting 
applications. Those would have to change also or be interfaced only with 
conversion routines.

I think the only point in IT history where a radical change actually made sense 
was just when it happened: right ahead of the wrecking ball. And rather than 
saturate the landscape with a gajillion *useless* year digits, many companies 
were content to implement sliding windows that permanently solved the problem 
with minimal extra storage space.

J.O.Skip Robinson
Southern California Edison Company
Electric Dragon Team Paddler
SHARE MVS Program Co-Manager
323-715-0595 Mobile
626-543-6132 Office ⇐=== NEW

-----Original Message-----
From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List <IBM-MAIN@LISTSERV.UA.EDU> On Behalf Of 
Clark Morris
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 3:29 PM
Subject: (External):Reason for 2 digit years was Re: Instruction speeds

[Default] On 14 Aug 2019 10:21:17 -0700, in bit.listserv.ibm-main 
sme...@gmu.edu (Seymour J Metz) wrote:

>There were other options to reduce the storage requirement of a date, e.g., 
>store them in binary.
The conversion to and from binary would have been costly in CPU time and for 
dates stored as packed decimal 0yymmdds the use of the high order nibble would 
have worked at the cost of complexity.  I suspect that the real saving was in 
data entry and the desire to fit as much information on one 80 byte punch card 
as well as on to a 132 character print line.  I note that my credit cards still 
use 2 digit years.

Clark Morris
>Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
>From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List <IBM-MAIN@LISTSERV.UA.EDU> on
>behalf of Jesse 1 Robinson <jesse1.robin...@sce.com>
>Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 12:10 PM
>Subject: Re: Instruction speeds
>A couple of observations on Y2K accommodation.
>-- As my shop was slogging through remediation required for year 2000, 
>insurance companies apparently coasted along because they had ALWAYS needed to 
>handle four-digit years from the inception of IT. For them it was business as 
>-- Can't cite attribution, but I remember the calculation that despite our 
>late 1990s poignant misery, the ancient choice to represent dates with two 
>digits was actually economically correct. The burdensome cost of both media 
>and memory storage in, say, 1970, outweighed on balance the eventual cost of 
>remediation. It's easy to ask what difference two bytes would have made, but 
>the hard-money cost of billions and billions of 'extra' bytes would have been 
>J.O.Skip Robinson
>Southern California Edison Company
>Electric Dragon Team Paddler
>SHARE MVS Program Co-Manager
>323-715-0595 Mobile
>626-543-6132 Office ?=== NEW
>-----Original Message-----
>From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List <IBM-MAIN@LISTSERV.UA.EDU> On
>Behalf Of Seymour J Metz
>Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:49 AM
>Subject: (External):Re: Instruction speeds
>> That assumes that you know what is unnecessary. The smart money says that 
>> the unnecessary code will turn out to be necessary, at the least convenient 
>> time.
>> A nice example is how to determine leap years: from as long as I program the 
>> flow is:
>>- dividable by 4?
>>- dividable by 100?
>>- dividable by 400?
>The last 2 are completely unnecessary until the year 2100.
>And in the year 2100 people will curse you for deciding that it's unnecessary.
>Après Moi Le Déluge (Après nous le deluge for purists.)

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