In the primary computer room at the largest handler of air cargo in Hong Kong, the first question has been answered. It's 12:03 a.m. on January 1, and there's been no catastrophic power or systems failure. Now it's time to see how well the computers survived the rollover.
Around 30 programmers and systems administrators at Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. (HACTL) are doing a health check on the company's two critical systems -- the Community System for Air Cargo (COSAC) and the Logistics Control System (LCS). Both are based on Software AG's Adabas database, and operate on IBM RS/6000s and a range of Solaris-based machines from Sun Microsystems Inc. A Software AG representative is here watching the proceedings.
The two systems were brought down at 10:30 p.m. in order to perform backups and to prepare the cargo inventory reports, and were brought back up at 11:40 p.m. for the rollover. They're still off-line, however, and are not accessible to users.
According to Eric Wong, the project leader who's responsible for coordinating Y2K activities for HACTL's Information Services Department, if the systems pass this initial health check, they'll be handed over to users in operations who will do their own checking.
COSAC, the cargo inventory system which is accessed directly by the airlines and links to the Hong Kong government's Customs and Excise Department, will be handed over to users at 1:15 a.m. if all goes according to plan. LCS, which manages warehouse activity, will be released to users zone by zone throughout the warehouse from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. Barring anything unforeseen, the warehouse will be considered operational at 2:30 a.m.
It's now 1:10 a.m., and Marcus Mok, HACTL's general manager of information services, is smiling broadly. So far, no glitches have been found.
"Everything's going very smoothly," Mok says. He's ready to celebrate, but he still has a long night of systems monitoring ahead. At least he's able to think about the outside world now.
"I wonder how China's doing," he says, referring to the rest of China across the border.