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Thread: The next Y2K, or wait this is VIN2K

  1. #1 The next Y2K, or wait this is VIN2K 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Vin2k

    Here's a little snip from it.

    The auto industry’s number is almost up.

    The 17-digit codes that identify the origin, make, model and attributes of cars, trucks, buses — even trailers — worldwide will be exhausted by the end of the decade.

    And like an odometer that returns to zero and starts over again, a Vehicle Identification Number — or VIN — could be duplicated.

    Experts say duplicated VINs would cause havoc for repair shops, state license offices, insurance agencies, law enforcement and other groups that use VINs to process warranty claims, investigate accident claims and recover stolen vehicles.
    I found this article kind of interesting, they say the costs could be far worse then the Y2K issue back in the 90's.


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  3. #2  
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    They could simply begin adding another digit to the end of new cars.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sploit
    They could simply begin adding another digit to the end of new cars.
    The problem with that is all the software, etc is designed to handle this format. So the costs to change all the software would be very high. I think that's how they would solve it in the event they are forced into a solution. There are a lot of old computer programs still being run by many government agencies that would need to be upgraded.
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    They would only have to take current source code for it all, add one byte to each buffer and recompile. For the most part it seems pretty simple. Plus, they should have thought ahead like with y2k. It's such a shame the government can't be as smart as us, and be able to second guess them like this.
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  6. #5  
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    I don't really see this as a problem. Software can be updated and all databases or whatever they use can be integrated into the new software. I have no idea exactly how this works, but my parents are programmers and they are constantly updating software and fixing bugs for the medical industry. I'm sure someone is doing this for the car or liscencing industry as well. Or at least they should be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2112
    I don't really see this as a problem. Software can be updated and all databases or whatever they use can be integrated into the new software. I have no idea exactly how this works, but my parents are programmers and they are constantly updating software and fixing bugs for the medical industry. I'm sure someone is doing this for the car or liscencing industry as well. Or at least they should be.
    The problem comes in when some of the software doesn't have any source code availible for it anymore, this is rare, but happens. The other larger issue is just the extreme cost to hire experts to reprogram something that's old and outdated, In some cases it's actually cheaper to write new software, but not normally.

    It all boils down to cost. The article points out it could cost more then Y2K did.
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    Seems to me that it would take a long time if they started back at 00000000001 for the new rollover numbers to overlap with current numbers for cars still on the road.

    'Course, I really don't know when the current VIN standard was implemented.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chovy
    Seems to me that it would take a long time if they started back at 00000000001 for the new rollover numbers to overlap with current numbers for cars still on the road.

    'Course, I really don't know when the current VIN standard was implemented.
    It only has 6 digits to work with,



    Also the year is only a single digit, and it appears they will be running out pretty soon.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sploit
    They would only have to take current source code for it all, add one byte to each buffer and recompile. For the most part it seems pretty simple.
    Not as simple as you think. Increasing the size of the database column in a table is relatively trivial but then there's all the code that accesses that data and the expectations that were built into it.

    For example, the post above shows how to read the VIN. If I wrote a program that required the last six numbers (vehicle serial number only) then I could have used or created a function that simply counted the first 11 and took everything after that. Only now I get 7 characters instead of the expected 6. If the new character is prepended onto the front, the situation is even worse as everything I ever wrote to parse the VIN is now invalidated.

    If they are going to increase the size of the VIN, they might as well increase it enough that they don't have to revisit the problem again in a few years. Increase it by doubling the size perhaps. Allow alphabetic characters in the last 6 places maybe?
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    Forum Sophomore buffstuff's Avatar
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    So after this code is exhausted, would I be able to steal a car and get away with it? Then joy riding would be everywhere.
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -Robert Heinlein
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  12. #11  
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    .... no more VIN's .... no more cars can be manufactured .... no more exhaust fumes .... no more polution .... no more greenhouse gases ..... the planet will stop melting ..... WERE SAVED !!
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