What is Y2K? And why do I have
to hear about it, again?
Y2K is a non-copyrighted expression for A.D. 2000. (Y=Year, 2=2,
K = 1,000. How this translates as AD. 2000 New Year's.)
More specifically, it refers to the change that will take place
on this date in computers and embedded chips everywhere.
A similar event happened in B.C. 2000, and all of the abacuses
had to be upgraded and/or replaced. Also known as the deluge, or
The Y2K virus is a cold that neurotic computers and chips will
come down with simultaneously when the clock strikes midnight on
Dec. 31,1999. This bug will cause some to crash, others to create
bad data, and others to fling themselves from the Brooklyn Bridge.
The full impact of it is not yet known because, for one, it hasn't
The reason for the virus dates back to programmers in the 1960's
who taught the computers to read only two dates because of low education
budgets. These computers never learned to read four dates; when
the first two numerals in the l9xx change to 2Oxx, they will become
confused and read the new year as 1900.
It's no wonder computers will be confused. Try taking every movie
on time travel and coming up with an explanation that doesn't fall
apart and you will understand the computer's dilemma.
The problems that this Y2K virus may create range from simple
individual computer crashes to corruption of nationwide banking
databases to airplanes falling from the sky (due to the failure
of embedded chips and peanuts).
The vaccine for the Y2K virus (tutoring, upgrading or replacement
of uneducated chips) is limited because most of the chips haven't
responded to recall notices and cannot be found, and they are too
numerous to be replaced anyway The other dilemma is that no one
can agree on what the probable outcome will be. Which makes a concerted
effort to fix this unseen outcome very unlikely.
The last thing you need to know about Y2K is that it refers to
not only New Year's, but to Feb. 29, 2000 (a leap year, whereas
there was no Feb. 29, 1900) and Sept. 9, 1999 (the date most early
computers used as a default wrong date). And since Y2K is not copyrighted,
we don't know whom to blame for this misnaming of the Y2K bug.