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More banking trauma
Potential Y2K problems with GPS

More banking trauma

Dear Sir,

I wrote some weeks ago about the trauma of queuing in my bank in South Pattaya. I have to confirm that nothing really has changed, except that the Macdonald delivery service poster has been removed. No doubt due to the protest of the food-sellers outside the bank entrance.

However, this letter is written in respect of the shambolic service given by the various cash tills.

On Sunday, 18th July, I paid visits to tills belonging to Thai Farmers, Thai Military and Bangkok Bank to obtain cash from my credit card. Needless to say I was unable to obtain any cash for the following reasons - "Communication Error - unable to process; Incorrect PIN number; Transaction Cancelled; Unable to Process, please call back later." All these efforts were made between midday and 1 p.m.

On my return home I rang my bank in the UK to discover that three contacts had been made to verify credit worthiness for the amount required. They indicated that there must be an electronic error in Thailand associated with all Visas sections of the three banks.

This has happened to me many times in the past and always on a weekend. Is this another case of Amazing Thailand in view of the negative reasons given for non-payment?

Perhaps a representative of any of the banks can offer an explanation?

However, I suppose I can always use the MacDonald’s delivery service.

Yours truly,
John Hopkins

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Potential Y2K problems with GPS


Owners and users of Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and time-keeping devices should be aware that on August 20/21, 1999 the week counters in the atomic clocks in the GPS satellites will reset themselves to week 0. (GPS equipment is used for land, sea and air navigation, mapping and accurate time keeping). Although most modern GPS receivers and clocks have software to accommodate this change, many do not. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to test whether individual pieces of equipment can deal with the resetting of the clock. Owners without sophisticated laboratory equipment have to rely on information from the manufacturers for information on whether their equipment is compliant. Given that each machine is different, it is not possible to predict how an incompatible device will deal with the problem - some machines will fail altogether, some will give false dates or times while others may give false locations.

In order to make it easier for owners in developing countries to check on the status of their equipment a web site with links to information from individual manufacturers has been set up at This site, which has been developed with financial assistance of the World Bank’s infoDev programme also has information and general links on the potential GPS problem.

Yours sincerely,
John Gordon

Grand River Informatics Inc.
Fergus, Ontario, Canada

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Updated by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek.

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