Touchstone Words

Why Y2K Was Such A Big Issue | Touchstone Words

Popular Articles

Sexual activity and body health
Do You Know If You Are Sexually Active
Blockchain Hyperledger family
Intro to Hyperledger Family and Hyperledger Blockchain Ecosystem
Biofuel, Biodiesel, Environment, Fuel, Fossil Fuel, Energy, biohydrogen, biomethanol, biohyrdrogen d
Pros and Cons of Biofuel Energy
Hyperledger design model and framework architecture
Overview of Hyperledger Design Philosophy and Framework Architecture
Hyperledger fabric and its components
The Survey of Hyperledger Fabric Architecture and Components for Blockchain Developers
Porn actors who go to Hollywood
From Porn performances to Hollywood
social and economical state of a country
Pros and cons of capitalism vs socialism
Perceptions and mind thinking
What are perceptions and how to manage them
Blow job tips
Pros and Cons of Blow Jobs
Taylor Swift nightmare songs
Top Ten Worst Taylor Swift Songs Shared by her Fans

Why Y2K was Such a Big Issue

By Shane Staret on 2018-03-14

Imagine living in a world where your phone, laptop, desktop, GPS systems, and bank accounts stopped operating randomly one day. That would suck A LOT for you, but the world would continue on as though nothing awful happened. Now, imagine living in a world where these things happened to everyone. It would be apocalyptic, as the entire communication grid would likely go offline and the economy would tank. There would be widespread panic. Unbelievably, this was actually a potential reality for society leading up to the year 2000, and it was known as the Y2K problem.

This issue was actually quite a simple one to understand. You see, many computer systems back in the day that needed to know the current date did not store the entire year. For example, if it was 1976, instead of storing “1976” as the year, it would store “76”. This was done to conserve space as less memory would have to be used to store two integers versus four. Can you see where the issue is? What happens when we reach 1999? When the computer resets from “99” to “00”, will it think it is “1900” or “2000”?

The answer to that last question was extremely important, as many computer networks might have started to operate improperly if it thought it was the year 1900. For example, what would a software program that predicted future stock prices do if it believed it to be 1900 instead of 2000? The economic sector was not the only one that could have possibly been affected by software incorrectly recognizing the current date, as medical equipment, utilities, record systems, temperature systems, transportation systems and more could all have major malfunctions because of this oversight.

But that is not even the worst part. As you might assume, news stations picked up the Y2K problem for obvious reasons. It was a real catastrophic threat and everyone knows how much the general population loves to eat those kinds of stories up. Because of this, mass hysteria spread throughout the globe, only worsening the problem and leading to exaggerations and misinformation to be established as fact.

As you may have guessed, programmers and engineers picked up on the fact that programming years in two digits might be troublesome, so they abandoned the practice throughout the 1990s. Recognizing the legitimate threat of keeping the dates stored as is, they also went back and rapidly corrected systems set up to store dates with only two digits. These hotfixes prevented cataclysmic disaster, but it came with a price. It is predicted that the US government spent $100 billion dollars just to prepare their systems for the new millenium. And that is just one country. It is further believed that $300 billion to $500 billion was spent throughout the globe just to ensure that this issue was created.

If you could take one thing away from this article, I think the biggest is that you should plan ahead. If you told someone in the 1970s that coding dates into a software program using two digits instead of four would result in hundreds of billions of dollars in damages, they probably would have laughed in your face. But that’s probably because they didn’t think about how large the computer industry would grow from that time to the turn of the century and how tedious it would be to change every system impacted. When creating a project, whether it is a software program or something entirely unrelated, always plan for the worst because it will relieve your future self of stress and expenses.

Article Comments

By Same Author

How to find a Tech Scammer
Techniques of Tech Scammer and How to Detect a Scammer
What is CRISPR
What on Earth is Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats
How external devices are connected to a computer
How External Peripherals are Connected to a Computer
Facebook and breach of user data privacy
Facebook and Personal Data Collection
The magic of green screen
How does a Green Screen Work
Knowing syntax versus understanding coding
The Difference Between Knowing Syntax and Knowing How to Program
How technology should be used by young kids
Is Technology Bad for Young Kids
Learn about anti-virus
How do Antivirus Programs Detect Issues
Computer-generated Imagery and its evolution
The History of Computer-generated Imagery
Review of Java version 9
Java 9 and What it Brings to the Table

Affiliated Companies

Disclaimers And Things

Copyright © WEG2G, All Rights Reserved
Designed & Developed by DC Web Makers