2000 Problem

Essay by redman1College, UndergraduateA+, January 1996

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Fiction, Fantasy, and Fact:

'The Mad Scramble for the Elusive Silver Bullet . . . and the Clock Ticks Away.'

The year 2000 is practically around the corner, promising a new era of greatness and

wonder . . . as long as you don't own a computer or work with one. The year 2000 is bringing a

Pandora's Box of gifts to the computer world, and the latch is slowly coming undone.

The year 2000 bug is not really a 'bug' or 'virus,' but is more a computer industry

mistake. Many of the PC's, mainframes, and software out there are not designed or

programmed to compute a future year ending in double zeros. This is going to be a costly 'fix'

for the industry to absorb. In fact, Mike Elgan who is the editor of Windows Magazine, says ' . .

. the problem could cost businesses a total of $600 billion to remedy.'

(p. 1)

The fallacy that mainframes were the only machines to be affected was short lived as industry

realized that 60 to 80 million home and small business users doing math or accounting etc. on

Windows 3.1 or older software, are just as susceptible to this 'bug.' Can this be repaired in

time? For some, it is already too late. A system that is devised to cut an annual federal deficit to

0 by the year 2002 is already in 'hot water.' Data will become erroneous as the numbers 'just

don't add up' anymore. Some PC owners can upgrade their computer's BIOS (or complete

operating system) and upgrade the OS (operating system) to Windows 95, this will set them up

for another 99 years. Older software however, may very well have to be replaced or at the very

least, upgraded.

The year 2000 has become a two-fold...