The "Millennium Bug"

There's only

left until the Year 2000


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The Challenge

A serious problem exists in many computers and programs in use today. It is a result of the earliest days of computing, when computer memory systems had very limited storage capacities. Because most information systems and databases were developed only allowing for 2 digits to represent the year (e.g., 96 for 1996), when we move into the next century in the year 2000 systems with 2-digit year fields may fail to operate or may give erroneous results.  Many of these programs are still in use today. In addition, an incredible amount of data using two digit years has been accumulated and is also still in use. The two digit years only work if you assume that the first two digits are '19'. In the year 2000, that assumption is no longer true.

The "Millennium Bug" (or "Year 2000 Bug") is a very serious issue. Many important calculations are done based on two digit dates, and when these calculations become unreliable, there will be serious consequences. Some businesses may go bankrupt because of the computer problems that will occur when New Year's Day 2000 AD rolls around. It is possible in almost all cases to fix the problem, or at least delay it for a few more years. The time to start doing something about it is now. It might already be too late for some.

One hundred years ago the problem was simply changing  preprinted forms, checks, invoices etc. with the markings 18__ to 19__ so the year could be inserted in the blank space. Now the issue is not that easy to fix!

Top 10 Reasons For Not Worrying About
The Year 2000


Bob Kerstein

1.  You're not using computers yet, because you're waiting for the prices to come down.

2.  You know how to trick the computer to keep the date at December 31, 1999.

3.  You only use vendor supplied software and they told you it will writing!

4.  You don't have the energy to worry about it right now, because you're still upset about the Giants loss to the Vikings.

5.  You're hoping that the Government (Democrats) will legislate that the century be skipped and we go directly to the 22nd century. 

6.  You're convinced the Cigarette and Cigar industry has conspired to make up this problem so people will worry and smoke more.   The government will figure this out and tell them to stop or Janet Reno will investigate them.

7.  You are planning to change your computer system or job by then.

8.  January 1, 2000 falls on a Saturday, and Monday is a'll have lots of time over the weekend.  If your computer system isn't up in time, you'll have a new excuse not to pay your bills.  "We're suffering from that year 2000 bug and can't write checks."  Vendors and creditors will understand.

9.  Bill Gates will include the fix for free in Windows2000.  It will be bundled with Internet Explorer and the Department of Justice will have to concede or they won't get paid!

10. Computers are just a fad and slide rules are coming back.

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