Y2k Essay, Research Paper
Y2K is a Joke
Everybody is wondering what is going to happen in the year 2000. Nobody really knows exactly what is going to happen. Nevertheless, a lot of business people are making money using scare tactics and hype to make people nervous about the future. With all of the technology in today’s society and everyone modernizing his or her computer, there will not likely be a problem in the new millennium. The issue of Y2K has been going on for several years now. Hundreds of articles have been written about the Y2K issue. The first article every written on the subject was back in the 80’s. “An analyst at an auto manufacturer presented the first article on the Year 2000 and it was published in the 1984 issue of ComputerWorld. Then he got fired for pushing management past the point of irritation on the subject.” (Ulrich and Hayes 6). This shows that the people knew that there was going to be a problem, but nobody wanted to mess with the issue at the time. However, Y2K has become one of the most popular issues in all media. If computer geniuses had started working on the problem back when it was first brought up, they probably would not have had to rush to make sure the programs are going to work.
The year 2000 is approaching fast and some problems may still exist on some computers. Some people may not know what all the uproar is about. The main issue dealing with Y2K is the date on computers, which is represented by a two-digit number.
?incorrect software will assume that the maximum value of a year field is “99″ and will roll systems over to “00″ which can be mistakenly interpreted as 1900 rather than 2000, resulting in negative date calculations and the creation of many overnight centenarians. (”What is the Y2K problem”).
Back when computers came out, this system of assigning only two digits per year was the logical thing to do, because it took up less room on the computers. Since computers were so big then, the inventors were trying to save space so they would not have to continue to build them so big. As technology has grown, computers have gotten smaller, but no one has ever gone back and changed the date to an eight-digit code.
Another area which has people concerned is the stock market. The question is, will the stock market crash or keep on going?
Glen Buco, a certified financial planner and vice president of West financial Services Inc. in Annandale, Va., says clients have pondered cashing in all of their investments to avoid a possible stock market crash. He does not think that’s warranted, particularly given the tax consequences of such a move, but there are less drastic measures that would be prudent. (Newberry 90).
The stock market will probably drop a little, but not crash. Everyone getting his or her own money out will cause a shortage. Foreign markets may be more liable for trouble in the year 2000. “International mutual funds or stocks of many foreign companies are riskier because generally most foreign companies are further behind addressing Y2K problems than are U.S. companies?.” (Newberry 90).
When somebody’s money is involved, they tend to get worried. Some people are saying that everybody needs to get enough cash to run on for at least a couple of months, but that is nonsense. Maybe everybody should get a little, but not too much. If everybody goes and gets a thousand dollars out of the bank, this could cause some money shortages. It is this panic that will cause most of the disruption within our nation.
It is very important for all PC owners to upgrade their computers so they are Y2K compatible. There are several different ways in going about this. One way of getting the programs that people need to obtain Y2K compatibility is through online sources. Online sources are very accessible, even to the inexperienced PC user. There are sites on the Internet that contain programs that will fix computers just by downloading them. Some of the sites are www.pcmag.com/y2k, www.symantec.com, www.zdnet.com, www.wrq.com, and www.nai.com (Seymour 106). These sites will help people get the programs that they need for their computers. There is also plenty of software that is available in stores to fix Y2K problems on PCs. The one most popular now is Norton 2000.
Symantec’s Norton 2000 ($49.95 list) will not only test your system BIOS and identify noncompliant applications but will also perform sophisticated data-file scanning. Norton 2000 lets you focus on your efforts by controlling details of the database- and spreadsheet-scanning engines. (Seymour 106).
This software is a good way of preparing your computer for Y2K. The advantage of purchasing software programs to downloading programs is that when downloading people have to be cautious. Downloading programs is easy and convenient, but it can be tricky. When downloading, people have to be careful of phony programs or even viruses. These computer phonies can fool people into thinking they are getting something when really they are not. Some of these programs can cause computers to shut down or do something even worse. One thing that people can watch out for when downloading programs is the authentic name brand. Find a good name brand that computer magazines have reviewed and there should be no problem.
When people fail to upgrade their computers, trouble may start, because computers will read the date as 1900 instead of 2000. This error can cause some confusion in the data files and may cause the computer to get inextricable and have problems. Most big companies have already taken care of this. Even though the big industries have been working on this for at least a couple of years, they still do not know exactly what is going to happen. After getting the programs installed on the computer, there still may be another problem. Some devices, such as a refrigerator or even a heating and cooling system, may have an embedded chip inside of them. If the embedded chip has a calendar inside of it, it may need to be fixed or the whole appliance may have to be replaced. “Occasionally, an embedded chip controls the actual, live operation of a device. More often, such chips control only maintenance cycles” (Seymour 103). This tells me that the embedded chips could be a problem. The only way someone could find out which appliance has this bothersome chip is by asking the manufacturer of each appliance. Because of the hassle of contacting every manufacture of their machines, businesses will not worry much about the embedded systems until they fail.
Although Y2K has become the focus of many news articles, books, and comedy routines, it is not the biggest problem facing us in the new millennium. With just a little forethought and system upgrading, everyone should be able to continue to use and enjoy the technological advances of the past few years.
Newberry, Jon. “The Great Y2K Escape.” ABA Journal. 1998: 90.
Seymour, Jim. “Y2K Countdown.” PC Magazine. Apr. 1999: 100-126.
Ulrich, Wiliam M. and Ian S. Hayes. The Year 2000 Software Crisis. New Jersey: Yourdon Press, 1997.
“What is the Y2K Problem?” Mitre Y2K Team. 29 Mar. 1999. (29 Mar. 1999).