Table of Contents
The term “Y2K” refers to the “Year 2000” bug, which was a computer bug that caused concerns in the late 1990s. Briefly, the Y2K problem was created in the early days of computers when programmers used two digits to represent the full four-digit year, e.g., “72” rather than” 1972”. A few years ago it was realized that this abbreviation is ambiguous as we enter the new millennium. “00” for 2000 could also mean “00” for 1900. The two digit ‘years” code may cause many disruptions and severe miscalculations. For example, a bond maturing in 2001 may be registered as if it already expired in 1901.
Unraveling the Y2K Enigma
Y2K bug, also called Year 2000 bug or Millennium Bug, a problem in the coding of computerized systems that was projected to create havoc in computers and computer networks around the world at the beginning of the year 2000 (in metric measurements, k stands for 1,000). After more than a year of international alarm, feverish preparations, and programming corrections, few major failures occurred in the transition from December 31, 1999, to January 1, 2000.
The Y2K problem was not limited to computers running conventional software, however. Many devices containing computer chips, ranging from elevators to temperature-control systems in commercial buildings to medical equipment, were believed to be at risk, which necessitated the checking of these “embedded systems” for sensitivity to calendar dates.
It was feared that such a misreading would lead to software and hardware failures in computers used in such important areas as banking, utilities systems, government records, and so on, with the potential for widespread chaos on and following January 1, 2000. Mainframe computers, including those typically used to run insurance companies and banks, were thought to be subject to the most serious Y2K problems, but even newer systems that used networks of desktop computers were considered vulnerable.
In an effort to encourage companies to share critical information about Y2K, U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton in October 1998 signed the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act. The law was designed to encourage American companies to share Y2K data by offering them limited liability protection for sharing information about Y2K products, methods, and best practices.
The main reason for concern is that programmers who developed software using older computer languages (Fortran, Cobol, and C) substituted a 6-digit abbreviation (MMDDYY) for an 8- digit date (MMDDYYYY). The original reason for abbreviated date formatting was to save precious and expensive memory space. Thus, Christmas day 1999 would be written and stored as 122599, instead of 12251999. The Y2K crisis, which may affect
any device containing a computer chip, is of such broad scope that casino management must review the
Y2K-readiness of each device, both separately and within the casino technology network.
As the next millennium approaches, casino management would be wise to sharply focus on installed computer systems and the potential disaster of a year 2000 (abbreviated “Y2K”) system failure. From a national perspective, it is estimated that 10% of installed business application software will require significant modification (or replacement) to ensure continuous operability.
The Y2K Problem
The Y2K problem is the result of two factors: 1) older computer operating systems surviving beyond a projected life cycle, and 2) the absence of century date conversion (CDC) standards in data storage design. Since operating systems tend to dictate and restrict the number of programming language options available for system development, the long-term existence of legacy operating systems can be problematic. Applying such constraints, computer programmers intentionally developed software (program code) that represented a calendar year as a two digit number (e.g., 1997 as 97), as opposed to using all four digits. At the time of implementation this approach was considered desirable and efficient. It conserved memory space and controlled overall system expenditures.
Are you aspiring for a booming career in IT? If YES, then dive in
Y2K Bug is Back
Twenty years after we thought we were in the clear, New Scientist reports that a desperate fix for the Y2K bug is leading to a new series of crashes in 2020. In a process called date windowing (as opposed to windowing as in Windows), programmers in 1999 shifted their systems so that dates up to ‘20 would transfer to be in the 2000s instead of the 1900s. Affected systems include New York City parking meters and the game WWE 2K20.
Back in the late ‘90s, date windowing was an extremely common response to the upcoming Y2K crisis – New Scientist includes a statistic that 80 percent of machines updated in ‘99 used date windowing – but the fix is not permanent at all. Twenty years sounds like an eternity in terms of daily life as a user of computers and now smartphones, tablets, the internet of things, and so on.
- A very common quick fix for the Y2K problem is rippling into 2020 as the adjusted dates run out, affecting video games, parking meters, and more.
- Outsiders have dismissed Y2K as a nothingburger because they don’t understand how much work went into averting it.
- The crisis programmers really fear is in 2038, when systems running C will run out of dates.
How it Fixes
Fixes for Y2K20 are already on the ground in many cases, but programmers are already flagging 2038 as the next potentially huge date-related problem. The year 2038 problem, as it’s known, affects the C programming language, which was first released in 1972 but forms the bulk of tons of things we all still use every day, including all mainstream desktop and mobile operating systems, many video games, and major database protocols like SQL.
The C language is set up so that its version of Y2K comes in 2038. Our best-case scenario is that a lot of programmers work really hard between now and then to mitigate what will otherwise be a disaster. Then, in 2039, some new Geoffrey James can say it was all a dream and a hoax, and we can read about it on our operating systems that, as a total coincidence, are still working.
The solution to the Y2K problem
The Y2K bug required a lot of efforts where every single piece of the faulty program was required to be replaced. This would cost billions and after the magazine raised the issue, only seven years were in hand to fix it. It also required the cooperation of governments, institutions, etc. around the globe.
The USA and UK worked day and night to fix this issue, while the Australian government invested millions of dollars to fix this problem. However, Russia and several other countries did not acknowledge this bug as they believed that no major loss will occur. It is said that approximately 600 Billion dollars were invested for the correction of the millennium bug globally.
|Our Other Courses|
|MEP Course||Quantity Surveying Course||Montessori Teachers Training Course|
|Performance Marketing Course||Practical Accounting Course||Yoga Teachers Training Course|