Technology

What is Year 2000 ("Y2K") and how serious is it?

The Year 2000 problem refers to the inability of most computers to process date information later than December 31, 1999. Date codes in most programs are abbreviated to allow only two digits for the year, e.g., "98." Unless corrected, such computers will interpret "00," that is, 2000, as 1900, possibly leading to system crashes and processing errors. A few Year 2000 failures have already occurred, for example, in trying to process transactions using credit cards with "00" expiration dates. (This problem appears to have been corrected as of early 1998). More such incidents are expected in 1998 and 1999 as businesses start to enter data relating to year 2000 and beyond into their computers. Many Y2K problems might not be readily apparent when they first occur, but instead could imperceptibly degrade technology systems and corrupt information stored in computerized databases, in some cases long before January 1, 2000. Possible consequences of Year 2000 failures include:

* Erroneous cancellation of customer accounts, orders and shipments of goods and supplies *

* Premature expiration of licenses, credit cards and drug prescriptions *

* Miscalculation (or non-payment) of interest and dividends, employee compensation, pension and other fringe benefits *

* Inability to issue invoices, track accounts receivable and payable, execute stock and bond trades, and process tax, loan and lease payments *

* Malfunctioning of electronic data interchange systems, computerized assembly lines, power generating systems, waste treatment plants, security and HVAC systems, and other equipment containing date-sensitive "embedded chips" *

* Rejection of valid insurance claims and miscalculation of premiums; and disruption of airline reservation and patient admissions systems, vehicle and equipment maintenance schedules, warehouse operations, and inventory control *

 


Range of Views... The Four F's


1) Fear It--The more fanatical views of the turn of the Millennium

Power grids crashing, water systems going dry, banks failing, planes falling out of the sky, the U.S. military defanged and people rioting over dwindling food supplies. See Bugged by year 2000? By Gerald Renner

Well to say the least, we are living in very exciting times & there are going to be some great global changes made soon! The curtains have been drawn aside on the last scene of Earth's great drama, the act has begun & it cannot stop now! Like it or not, each one of our lives will be caught up in these great events. The countdown to Armageddon has begun.
 

2) Face It--Prepare for the worst

Many small communities have been formed in order to brace for the worst by achieving a self-sufficient community. These communities range from the benign preparatory attitude of Heritage West 2000 to the rather militant separatist philosophy of the High 54 community (both links no longer online).

The capability of total self-sufficiency, and independence from outside energy sources, makes the model rural village for what may be a whole new way of life in the first part of the next century.

Shiloh Foods is one of many resources for those cruising the internet looking to stock up in preparation for the loss of food and electricity that may occur as a result of the Y2K computer problem..

Y2KChaos presents a rather good, level-headed answer to the Y2K problem. This site has many different areas designed to inform the reader to their heart's content in order to prepare them for the turn of the millennium.

Y2K for Dummies is a site that presents a level-headed response to the Y2K problem from a technical aspect (no longer online).
 

3) Fix It--Focus on the technical problem and what needs to be done to correct it

One of the biggest fears regarding the potential Y2K problem is that the stock market may experience massive failure. The SEC has prepared a website to demonstrate what they have done to combat this potential problem.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has prepared a system to be a reference for those who have questions about problems which may concern them. This system includes a Standard for the Year 2000 Test Certification as well as Y2K Hotlines (both no longer online) to provide instant assistance.

President Clinton and his technical advisors have established a Year 2000 Conversion Council in order to study (and eat tax dollars) the Y2K problem. (SOLUTION ETA is 5/6/01.........)
 

4) F@&$ It--Ignorance or apathy (those who would not be reading this)

Why 2 what?????
 
 


Additional Resources

Year 2000 Journal: A resource that provides some useful information regarding the Y2K problem.

Year 2000 Links: A website that provides additional links.

Everything 2000:Like it says, everything is here. From Y2K stuff to aid in planning for that groovy millennium bash you're planning.


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