One hour after Y2K hit the east coast of the United States, the reports were in: unless you're a racetrack, things are going pretty well.
U.S. IT departments across the east coast are still running Y2K tests, but so far the most common problem reported is a failure of networked slot machines at racetracks in Pennsylvania and Delaware. A Y2K glitch in a three-day look-ahead application killed the slot machines for several hours, but the problem was quickly fixed and customers were gambling again fairly quickly, according to reports by news services and Pennsylvania IT staffers.
Y2K problems also shut down a nuclear power plant in North Carolina, accordingto a report by ABC News. Details of the problem were not revealed, but there is no safety threat, officials said.
At Y2K command centers all over the east coast, IT staffers were busily checking their systems but reported no glitches.
"We've got about 180 systems to check - we've checked about 100 so far and they are 100 percent operational," said John Matelski, who heads up the Y2K effort for the city of Orlando, Fla. "All of our core systems are working."
The positive reports mirrored those from the rest of the world, where Y2K problems have been all but nonexistent during the rollover. Reports from all time zones between New Zealand and Chile came up green, including systems in Russia that had been questioned by many experts.
The U.K. and France, like many other countries before them, reported near-saturation of land-line and mobile telephone networks during the hour immediately following midnight. Calls were going through and traffic was expected to drop off, observers said.
Keynote Systems, which has been tracking Internet performance across the globeduring the rollover, reported that aside from midnight traffic spikes in many countries, the Internet is operating at normal levels of performance. Keynote's most recent report from Brazil indicated that response times were no differentafter midnight than before.
Most commercial Web sites remained open for business throughout New Year's Eve, although auction site eBay had two pre-planned outages and French automaker Audi took down its site as a precautionary measure.
Security experts still are on the lookout for viruses associated with Y2K. Security software vendor Computer Associates warned of a new virus called "Zelu.Trojan," which is distributed by e-mail, disguised as a Y2K patch. If opened, a file called "Y2K.EXE" overwrites all PC files, Computer Associates said. The damaged files generally are unrecoverable.
Some experts had anticipated problems with the passage of midnight Greenwich Mean Time, which is the time zone used as a reference for many Unix workstations as well as some international organizations, such as those that monitor airline flights. The FAA reported all systems go after midnight GMT, bringing applausefrom employees at the organization's air traffic control center in Herndon, Va.
Edison Electric, a midwest power plant, reported finding a Y2K glitch after midnight GMT but the problem was corrected and power service was not interrupted, officials said.