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WASHINGTON _ Among America's 21 biggest cities, only Boston and Dallas are ready now for the year 2000 computer challenge, a special U.S. Senate committee will hear Thursday.
Most of the largest cities have not finished year 2000 (known as Y2K) repair work on computer systems for their water and wastewater treatment facilities, public buildings and emergency services, according to the General Accounting Office, the auditing arm of Congress.
Knight Ridder Newspapers has obtained an advance copy of the GAO report, which is based upon telephone interviews with city officials since June 28.
``Y2K-induced failures in these services could significantly affect city residents,'' says a draft GAO report prepared for submission to the Senate's Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem.
The Y2K challenge refers to a pervasive computer-software problem in which the year 2000 is coded only as 00. Technicians say older computers may misread the date as 1900, causing malfunctions and shutdowns that could disrupt everyday life. …