| January/February 1999

Soot In The Flues

As we work on the January/February issue, we are reminded of all the opportunities to do better that a new year brings! With the end of the century drawing nigh, we hear frequently about the great computer challenge known as the 'Y2K problem.' This has to do with the fact that many computers throughout the world are programmed with only two places in determining dates when 2000 suddenly comes, computers will not recognize '00' as being later than '99.'

We thought we had this problem taken care of in our office. Since we handle subscriptions which are often two years into the future, we had to deal with the challenge before a lot of businesses. But, as we were working on these first issues of 1999, we learned that the codes which determine the printing order of our 'Coming Events' ads had only two places instead of four. This meant that shows in the year 2000 would come out of the program ordered before those in 1999 instead of after, requiring a keen proofreading!

Fortunately, we'll be able to cope with this problem, but it does set the mind to wondering how many other small procedures does the computer perform for us which are date sensitive and have been forgotten?

Well, we hope that the earth won't come to a standstill as some predict. Nonetheless, we can see that the unexpected will surely occur, particularly to the unprepared!

We have quite a few letters this time, and a great number of pictures. We continue to get great stories about restorations, and we've gotten some show reports, as well. Please, please send in your stories, as we really want to print larger issues! And now, on to the letters:

CINDY BUTKOVICH, 131 Red Bud, Wood River, Illinois 62095, reports on plans for a 1999 Steam School: 'The Pawnee Steam School will be on the road just like the famous Pawnee Bill Medicine Show of Pawnee, Oklahoma. This year's school will be held in beautiful southern Indiana at the Boonville Antique Gas and Steam Club grounds. It will be held on March 27 and 28, 1999.