Federal Bytes

Let's get Mikey

Some of the nation's leaders aren't too excited about flying into the new millennium. At last week's House Year 2000 hearing Rep. Steve Horn (R-Calif.) asked Michael Huerta the Transportation Department's acting chief information officer if he would be on the first flight leaving on the morning of Jan. 1 2000.

Even in light of the question of how air traffic control and navigational systems will hold up to the Year 2000 challenge Huerta said he would be willing to board that plane. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) slightly less courageous said if Huerta went on the first plane he'd go on the second.

Taking a more conservative approach Horn responded that he would wait out the first two flights. Based on his experience with information systems Horn noted that "you don't want to be the alpha or beta" user.

On your mark get set...

When you're assembling the toolkit for your Year 2000 job think about including some running shoes - not for comfort in the long months ahead but as a reminder of the arduous journey you face.

Internal Revenue Service CIO Art Gross may have put it best at a hearing of the National Commission to Restructure the IRS last week. "We're running a marathon at sprinter's speed " he told the panel.

Let's just hope agency systems don't meet the fate of the first mara-thoner in ancient Greece who collapsed and died after running 26 miles to deliver battlefield news to his leaders.

If it ain't broke fix it anyway

In recent months Library of Congress officials have been basking in the glow of accolades from Time magazine and the Great American Web Site.

Time in its Dec. 23 issue named the library's Web site as one of the best of 1996. Likewise last year the Great American Web Site - which bills itself as "a citizen's guide to the treasures of the U.S. government on the World Wide Web" - recognized LOC's Web presence as fifth among the best sites for agencies or departments.

So what did library officials do in the wake of the praise? They redesigned the Web site of course.

But don't panic LOC fans. The site's content is still pretty much the same. A key factor behind the accolades the highly touted American Memory collection - an on-line gallery that includes images of historic documents and photographs - remains as attractive as ever.

What's noticeably different however is the inclusion of a table of contents sidebar that follows readers to some pages. LOC has also revamped its menu interfaces for the American Memory THOMAS: Legislative Information Exhibitions Library Services and Research Tools components of its site. Those elements can now be scrolled through and they include "go" buttons.

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