Local News

Cumberland Employees 'Double-Click' Back in Time

Posted October 14, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Computers have become so common at home and at work that it is hard to imagine life without them.Cumberland Countyemployees had no choice but to take a step back in time Friday and realize what life was like before the click of a mouse.

Cumberland County employees pulled out the typewriters Friday because their computer screens went black.

County leaders shut down the computers on purpose. They wanted every department to test its Y2K contingency plan.

"We believe they can learn things today. They can better prepare," said James Martin, deputy county manager.

The county says it is prepared. All computers are Y2K compliant, but there is always the possibility something still may go wrong. That is what the test was all about.

The paperwork keeps piling up on Christy Tyndall's desk. Everything the paralegal usually sticks in the computer is being handwritten. Tasks that normally take seconds took much longer Friday.

"I have missed you (the computer) so much. I've wanted to turn it on several times. Knowing I can't has been very frustrating," said Tyndall.

To prepare for Friday, many county offices had to print all their records from the computer. In the tax office, that was more than 22,000 pages. It took an entire week to print.

The tax administrator feels his plan is solid. His office took part in the test, but they kept computers active so they would not inconvenience anyone.

"I think it was a good idea to try it in advance. It was smart thinking," said resident William Allison.

Employees say they were glad to test the contingency plan and see that it works. However, they look forward to a computer-friendly work environment Monday.