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Special Event

Y2K Bug's Bark Worse Than Its Bite So Far

Aired January 1, 2000 - 9:08 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JIM CLANCY, CNN ANCHOR: As for the so-called Y2K bug, it's turning out the bark was much worse than the bite. No major computer problems were reported anywhere when 1999 rolled over into 2000.

But as CNN's Marsha Walton tells us, that doesn't mean that the computer experts are now ready to signal the all-clear.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARSHA WALTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Y2K -- why worry? As the midnight hour passed around the world, no major computer glitches surfaced to spoil the global celebration. And associated fears of computer virus outbreaks and attacks by malicious cyber- hackers went largely unfulfilled.

JOHN KOSKINEN, CHAIR, PRESIDENT'S Y2K COUNCIL: By the time we get through the end of the day Monday or Tuesday, I think if things are running as smoothly then as they are now, then I think we can say that there's been an amazing accomplishment, but I think we can't say that yet.

WALTON: Reports of minor problems came in from several global locations. Slot machines at three Delaware racetracks shut down when a computer chip switched the date to 1900. The problem was quickly fixed in most of the 700 machines.

Radiation monitors at a Japanese nuclear plant shut down, but officials said plant operations were never in danger.

Also in Japan, the National Y2K Center survived an unsuccessful attempt to break into its computer system.

But when the clock struck midnight in England, many vital worldwide computer systems keyed to Greenwich Meantime didn't miss a beat. Air-traffic control and power-grid systems, among others, kept on ticking.

One utility in Wisconsin saw its computerized clocks jump ahead by 35 days, but insists the problem was not Y2K-related. Consumers didn't notice a break in their power supply.

British Railways customers briefly noticed a hoax on the company's Web site, saying all trains were canceled due to Y2K concerns for three days. But British Rail repaired the defaced Web site almost immediately.

And one "Star Trek" Web site, perhaps making fun of Y2K mania, listed the next "Star Trek: Voyager" episode as airing January 1, 1900.

But Y2K watchdogs caution the Y2K glitch isn't necessarily zapped yet. Some problems may show up as financial markets and businesses open up over the next three days, while other problems may not be found for months.

Marsha Walton, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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