Blog Archive

Search This Blog

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lang 2. 3. Dealing with bugs, virus, glitches

Lang 2. 3. Dealing with bugs, virus, glitches          3-4-5 levels 40-50 min.

GOAL. To read between the lines with uncanny, humourous texts.
TASK 1. High Tech fears rule our daily routines in unsuspected ways. Do both activities.

Q1. Observe this message and answer the questions below.


January 4, 2000
Dear Valued Employee:
Re: Vacation Pay
Our records indicate that you have ......
Please either take ........... take or notify our office and your next pay check will reflect ............... .
Sincerely,
Automated Payroll Processing


I. Who ‘wrote’ it? ………………………
II. Who is in charge of ‘our record indicate’?
…………………………………..……..…………………………………..
III. What does ‘Re: ’ stand for in the message?
…………………………………..……..…………………………………..
IV. When was it issued?
…………………………………..……..…………………………………..
V. What happened that previous week?
...................................................................
VI. Have you heard of Y2T bug? ……………

Q2. Observe the full body of the message and answer the questions below
Our records indicate that you have not used any vacation time over the past 100 year(s). As I'm sure you are aware, employees are granted 3 weeks of paid leave per year or pay in lieu of time off. One additional week is granted for every 5 years of service.
Please either take 9,400 days off work or notify our office and your next pay check will reflect payment of $8,277,432.22 which will include all pay and interest for the past 1,200 months.

I. Wouldn't you like to work for THIS company? ………………………….………………..……..
II. What went wrong? ………………………………………………………………..……………
III. How did it affect to you? ………………………..……..…………………………………..……..
IV. Who fixed it? …………………..…….…………………..……..………………………………


TASK 2. How did this programmer misunderstand the Year 2 Thousand (Y2T) virus?

MEMORANDUM
TO: Y2K COORDINATOR
FROM: JUNIOR PROGRAMMER
I hope I haven't misunderstood your instructions. Because to be honest, none of this Y to K problem makes any sense to me. At any rate, I have finished converting all the company calendars so that the year 2000 is ready to go with the following new months: Januark Februark Mak Julk
The new days will be:
Sundak Mondak Tuesdak Wednesdak Thursdak Fridak Saturdak
Let me know if I can change anything else!
Dan Brooks, Y2K CPE,
Voice 622-7016, Pager 1800-624-4541 - PIN 1702963
..............................

Then explain these terms:
voice.......................................................
pager ......................................................
PIN ..........................
..............................


LANGUAGE STUDY
Where high tech meets the media
TASK 3. Underline all the expressions related to computers in this report.

American RadioWorks. The Y2K computer problem aka the Milennium bug

  • Back in the middle of 2004, our staff was in a meeting discussing upcoming projects with predictions of possible future calamity. We were discussing how to handle that when one person said, "What if nothing happens? Then it will be just another Y2K - all hype."
  • My background is in computers, and I knew that in terms of the actual computer problem, Y2K was very real, and began arguing so [but] those around the table who were reporters at the time argued that from the news perspective, nothing happened.
  • After the meeting, our Executive Editor pointed out that the five-year anniversary of Y2K was coming up and suggested that we look into whether there was a story here about if Y2K was real or a hoax, what misperceptions of Y2K remain, and about how Y2K might still be affecting us. The first thing we discovered was one of the most surprising to me. We couldn't find any reporting on Y2K after about March of 2000.
  • This project had a number of goals. First: to find out if Y2K was a success, or just hype. The answer seems to be yes and yes. The problem was very real and the consequences for doing nothing were huge. A second goal was to give credit where it's due. We all know the impossible situation of only being noticed when something goes wrong. As long as the phones keep ringing (which they do nearly all the time) we don't think much about the phone company. But when something goes wrong, we grumble at how incompetent the phone company must be.


TASK 4. Read this report on Y2T with highlighted expressions related to computers.
How could you organise the lexical items in bold type in a mind map?


  • News shows talked about the threat of a major computer malfunction that might hit in the year 2000.
  • The effects of a tiny, seemingly innocuous computer glitch, a tiny glitch a lot of people say could literally blow the lights out on civilization.
  • As the year 2000 approached, programmers started warning that computers could misread the 0-0 as the year 1900. That might cause breakdowns.
  • No one knew how widespread computer malfunctions might be, but people started thinking about all the things that are run by computers. Things like hospital equipment. Air traffic control. Nuclear weapons.
  • In the early days of program-ming, computer code used two digit numbers for dates. That let computers work faster. No one thought the software would still be in use decades later, but it was.
  • The US government spent nearly nine billion dollars to fix its com-puters. Businesses spent many times more to upgrade theirs.
  • Some businesses underreacted to the problem at first, and then spent more money than they should have scrambling to fix their software - but it did have to be fixed.
  • Before Y2K hit, many businesses ran tests: They advanced their computer clocks to 2000 - and the computers didn't work.













Humour was another spin-off of the authentic problem.


TASK 5. Read this passage and do both activities.
An atmosphere close to panic prevails today throughout Europe as the millennial year approaches, bringing with it the so-called "Millenial Bug", a menace which, until recently, hardly anyone had ever heard of. Prophets of doom are warning that the entire fabric of Western Civilization, based as it now is upon computations, could collapse, and that there is simply not enough time left to fix the problem.


Q1. Which is a downside to our technological lives?
…………………………………………………………..……..…………………………………..…

Q2.. Where would you insert these 3 words (1000 "Y1K Bug" monastic) in lines 1, 2 & 4 to create a funny passage. Copy it below. We give you the title with its proper setting.

The Y1K Crisis -Dateline, A.D. 999: Canterbury, England.

…………………………………………………………..……..…………….......
…………………………………..……..…………………………………..……..…………………………………..………………………………….....................
…………………………………………………………..……..………………....
…………………………………..……..…………………………………..……..…………………………………..…………………………………......................
………………………………………………………………..……..……………..…………………………………..……...................................................................

TASK 6. Understanding between the lines. Now think in reverse gear for the next part of the text.
Q1. Underlined the meaningful sentences that related to the authentic Y2T troubles.


  • Just how did this disaster-in-the-making ever arise? Why did no one anticipate that a change from a three-digit to a four-digit year would throw into total disarray all liturgical chants and all metrical verse in which any date is mentioned? Every formulaic hymn, prayer, ceremony and incantation dealing with dated events will have to be re-written to accommodate three extra syllables.
  • All tabular chronologies with three-space year columns, maintained for generations by scribes using carefully hand-ruled lines on vellum sheets, will now have to be converted to four-space columns, at enormous cost. In the meantime, the validity of every official event, from baptisms to burials, from confirmations to coronations, may be called into question.
  • Stonemasons are already reported threatening to demand a proportional pay increase for having to carve an extra numeral in all dates on tombstones, cornerstones and monuments. Together with its inevitable ripple effects, this alone could plunge the hitherto-stable medieval economy into chaos.
  • A conference of clerics has been called at Winchester to discuss the entire issue, but doomsayers are convinced that the matter is now one of personal survival. Many families, in expectation of the worst, are stocking up on holy water and indulgences.


Q2. How hard would it be to write a text contextualised in our century?
...................................................................................................................................................



Annex 2. 
The Y1K Crisis -Dateline, A.D. 999: Canterbury, England.

An atmosphere close to panic prevails today throughout Europe as the millennial year 1000 approaches, bringing with it the so-called "Y1K Bug", a menace which, until recently, hardly anyone had ever heard of. Prophets of doom are warning that the entire fabric of Western Civilization, based as it now is upon monastic computations, could collapse, and that there is simply not enough time left to fix the problem.
Just how did this disaster-in-the-making ever arise? Why did no one anticipate that a change from a three-digit to a four-digit year would throw into total disarray all liturgical chants and all metrical verse in which any date is mentioned? Every formulaic hymn, prayer, ceremony and incantation dealing with dated events will have to be re-written to accommodate three extra syllables. All tabular chronologies with three-space year columns, maintained for generations by scribes using carefully hand-ruled lines on vellum sheets, will now have to be converted to four-space columns, at enormous cost.
In the meantime, the validity of every official event, from baptisms to burials, from confirmations to coronations, may be called into question.
"We should have seen it coming," says Brother Cedric of St. Michael's Abbey, here in Canterbury. "What worries me most is that 'THOUSAND' contains the word 'THOU,' which occurs in nearly all our prayers, and of course always refers to God. Using it now in the name of the year will seem almost blasphemous, and is bound to cause terrible confusion. Of course, we would always use Latin, but that might be even worse-the Latin word for 'Thousand' is 'Mille'-which is the same as the Latin for 'mile'. We won't know whether we're talking about time or distance!"
Stonemasons are already reported threatening to demand a proportional pay increase for having to carve an extra numeral in all dates on tombstones, cornerstones and monuments. Together with its inevitable ripple effects, this alone could plunge the hitherto-stable medieval economy into chaos.
A conference of clerics has been called at Winchester to discuss the entire issue, but doomsayers are convinced that the matter is now one of personal survival. Many families, in expectation of the worst, are stocking up on holy water and indulgences.






Annex 3.
THE Y ZERO K PROBLEM

While browsing through some dust-covered archival material in the recesses of the Roman Section of the British Museum a researcher recently came across a tattered bit of parchment. After some effort he translated it and found it was a letter from a man called Plutonius with the title of "magister factorium", or keeper of the calendar, to one Cassius. It was dated, strangely enough, 2 BC, December 3, or 2,000 years ago. The text of the message follows:


Dear Cassius,
Are you still working on the Y zero K problem? The change from BC to AD is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven't much time left. I don't know how people will cope with working the wrong way around. Having been working happily downwards forever, now we have to start thinking upwards. You would think that someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort it all out at the last minute.
I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadn't done something about it when he was sorting out the calendar. He said he could see why Brutus had turned nasty. We called in the consulting astrologers, but they simply said that continuing downwards using minus BC won't work. As usual the consultants charged a fortune for doing nothing useful. As for myself, I just can't see the sand in an hour glass flowing upwards.
We have heard that there are three wise men in the East who have been working on the problem, but unfortunately they won't arrive until it's all over. Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition. We're continuing to work on the Y zero K problem and I'll send you a parchment if anything develops.
Best regards,
Plutonius

No comments:

Post a Comment