The year 2000 bug

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

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The Year 2000 Bug As the millennium approaches we come closer and closer to what some say could mean the end of civilization as we know it. What is this great event that would have such an impact on the world that it could end civilization? The problem is a simple computer bug refereed to as the Y2K bug but its ramifications could be immense. This computer bug has been predicted to impact the world anywhere from a minor problem to the end of a civilization. Whichever view you take on the subject it is clear that this bug will have a definite impact on the economy. The depth of this impact is yet to be determined but by looking at what can realistically happen as a result of this bug and by looking at situations that have upset the economy in the past it will give us a better look at what may happen.

In order to understand the Y2K bug we must first understand what it is. For many years electronic storage was very expensive. In the early days of computing a Megabyte or a million bytes of information could have cost up to $100,000 to store electronically. This same amount of information storage can now cost around ten cents. Because of this expensive storage limitation code written for these older computers was compressed in any way possible. One way to cut down the size of code was to compress dates to a format only six characters long. So instead of April 14 1999 the date would be compressed to 4/14/99. At the time of this programming this seemed to be the best solution to the space saving dilemma. As we come closer to the millennium we see that this style of programming was a great overlook of...