Essay, Research Paper
Why Y2K? —In the year 2000, people will be dancing, singing, partying, kissing each other…and computers around the world will shut down, electricity plants will fail, and financial institutions will go belly up. Such is the Y2K crisis. —Basically, the bug is this: Many of the computers used have a set clock that runs the years as two didgits…like 1970 would be just 70. When the year 2000 hits, the clocks will only register 00, but the computers, not programmed to understand 2000, will think its 1900! This means that millions of computers will become confused, spew corrupted data, or shut down completely. And with the concept that everything now is computerized, from desktop computers, sattelite communications, medical equipment, ATM machines, and even many modern vehicles. Although many companies have gotten off their thumbs and done something about it, its too late to fix everything; meaning that something will fail on the year 2000. And even if some computers ARE compliant, what about those computers that they contact or link to Via the internet that are NOT compliant? They’d only be spewing in garbage the computer cant use, and can may even screw up compliant computers as well. —I know what your thinking: “Its not going to happen, someone is going to make some “wonder program” that will fix all the bugs” Well let me tell you something…There are over 500 programming languages, many in foreign languages. Other programs like BASIC and Cobol, are still being used, and those that know it are either Retired, Senile, or dead! In Some cases, the source code no longer exists, which means the language that some computers still use, cannot be gotten into, and repaired. Lets not forget that there are Millions of lines of Code, that the programmers have to go into, find each mistake, correct it, then test it to make sure it dont crash. According to programmers, for every hour spent in finding and repairing the computer code, four hours are needed to test it. I havent even gotten to the part about modified dates (MM/DD/YY, YY/DD/MM, etc) *Lemme give you an example:The SSA started correcting their Y2K problem in 1991, assigning 400 full time programmers. By Mid 1996, the repaired and reveiwed six million lines of code…Which is only 20% of the total! Now realize this: Many companies are just Starting! Some HAVEN’T! —And what about Embedded Chips? There are billions of embedded Chips in the world, with their codes burned into them. These ones cannot be repaired. They have to be either replaced, or in most cases, the whole unit has to be removed, and a new one put in its place. This could run into time, as delivery, placement, installation, and testing to make sure it works with the older equipment. Some chips cannot be recovered, cause their either underwater, or in space. Many of our sattelites and communication devices may be non-compliant. *An Example of this: A lady tested her Camcorder to see if it was compliant. She set the date to 12/30/99 and waited for it to hit 1/1/00. When it did, It ejected the tape…and froze. It would not move, it went black, and nothing worked! She had to have it sent back to the company, to have it replaced. MANY of our everyday items, like blenders, microwaves, TV’s, VCR’s and even parts of our newer cars may fail in the year 2000. —What I want to know is…if these Knee-jerk compu-nerds knew this was going to happen…why didnt they try and fix it sooner!? Were looking at a world wide crisis, involving lives, billions of money, and Society itself and these pocket-protecting dimbulbs just sat there on there big, fat wallets and probably plan to fiddle while “Rome” burns. —Ok, so we cant fix it..what do we do? Well, there are four things we can do: Stick your thumbs in your ears and sing loudly, and hope the problem vanishes like yesterday’s meatloaf. Imagine Bill Gates will create some program that will fix everything, not realizing, he’s sitting in his mansion, sipping a pina colada, while lounging in his heated jacuzzi with the playmates from last year’s Playboy magazine, imagining the money he will make when he gets people to buy brand new computers AFTER the crisis. (little $$ signs in his eyes) Do what my brother suggests: Stuff all your money in a mayonaise jar, hike out into the woods and sit there with your gun waiting for the gunfire to start. Or prepare yourself and your community. Get an unleaded or Diesel Generator for electricity (with plenty of fuel for later), propane heaters for heat (The crisis will occur in the dead of winter), invest in Gold or Silver, stockpile food, bottled water, toiletries, medical supplies, and ammunition, and wait it out. —Personally, Im hoping Im just being a whacko who is making this worse then it seems. Society at large are too dependant on the need of computers, cellular phones, fax machines, the internet, and other stuff to handle the concept that all that is about to go up in smoke. But the good book says: “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 23:3). —I never said you should flee to the woods, but work towards preparing..and if it doesnt happen? Then it means you dont have to shop for a whileBut ask yourself this Question: Isnt it worth to be a little paranoid to protect those I love? Rebuttals Y2K Problem: The Y2K problem is only really a problem for IBM computers, and software that uses only 2 digits to store the year. Other computer systems like Unix wont suffer fom this problem untill the year 2535 or there abouts. As for ‘the world as we know it’ coming to a halt, I think it most unlikley, the only true problems will arise with the dating of files, there are some programs that will suffer from this but nothing of great concern. By that I mean some programs will suffer by the wrong date, bank files for example might have the wrong date on them but should otherwise be unaffected. Well thats my 2 cents worth, for what it was worth. Oh yes i have friends in the business of fixing these problems so I come from a more informed position then many. Cheers – PJ Like I said before on here, I “hope” Im just being Paranoid about this problem, but just sitting there, saying it isnt going to happen, isnt going to make the problem go away. And what you said about dates? what about the dates computing people’s Social Security checks? or gathering up your tax information and 401k money? What about your banking, where many of these dates affect the accrument of intrest? I dont want to sit here saying its the end of the world, but Im not going to sit idly by and say itll blow over. I work at a truck stop, and the computers there are so old, one still has a discoball on the top of it And Many computers from older companies are the same way. And we still havent dealt with the international background, and the Embedded Chip problem. Im glad you told me about this, knowing that there are those out there that want to make sure that this thing wont be worse then they say, but its better to be safe then sorry. Y2K Websites www.rightime.com This site carries a special program that will test your PC to make sure it will survive the Y2K crisis. www.garynorth.com A stimulating look at the Y2K crisis and links to special sites. The Cassandra Project A place dedicated to awareness of the Crisis, and what you can do to prepare for the worst… Westergaard Year 2000 This site designed to talk about recent news about the Y2K problem. Year 2000 Information Center This is the site of Peter de Jager, one of the early Y2K prophets, and carries a wide assortment of links and info. A book to read about… The Millenium Bug: how to Survive The Coming Chaos By Michael S. Hyatt Published by Regnery Publishing, Inc., Washington D.C. 1997 Back to the Toonvault.