Y2K Bug

Y2K is one of the biggest problems we are going to face with the new millennium. There are many aspects that make Y2K so destructive. Y2K is all about a bug that is in our software databases where the calendar system will not be able to differentiate between ’99 and ’00. Another is the issue of how much it’s going to cost us to fix it. The Garner Group, a respected information tech researcher, estimates that it will cost us as much as 600 billion dollars worldwide. According to Information Week, most of the world is not taking Y2K that seriously. The French don’t see it as a big problem, and the Italians have just started calculating the effects. The Africans simply don’t have budgets set aside for a problem like Y2K. Even Japan is logging behind. “Less that half the corporations responding to a questionnaire are doing anything about it.” (Glanivee 1) The Y2K problem consists of many problem areas that intertwine and create the monstrous catastrophe that it is. It really begins with, “the technical problem, legacy computer codes and embedded microchips.” (Peterson2) For the past thirty years, programmers have been writing billions of lines of software in which our world depends on today. Y2K reporter Ed Meagher describes “Old undocumented code written in over 2500 different computer languages and executed on thousands of different hardware platforms being controls by hundreds of different operating systems…..[that generate] future complexity in the form of billions of six character date fields stored in millions of databases that are used in calculations” “The Garner Group estimates that over 180 billion lines of software will have to be screened.” (Peterson1) All business have millions of lines of codes. Programmers have been brought in to screen these lines of codes. Some have been working since 1990. Since then about 12 million lines have been screened. “There aren’t nearly enough programmers remaining before January 1,2000.” (Perterson1) Computers control just about everything from power plants to traffic lights to banks etc. The computer pieces embedded in these operational systems are microprocessors. The average person will come across at least 70 microprocessors before noon everyday. It will be impossible to locate all of these microprocessors in the remaining months, but replacing is taking place. There are some that see the upside of Y2K. According to these “optimistic economist”, many of their fellow economist are predicting chaos as a result of the infamous millennium bug or Y2k. These “optimistic economist” feels that problems get solved in time and so will the Y2k madness. Y2k seems to be a problem that gets exaggerated at times. “Planes will fall from the sky. Toasters will burst into flames, ATM machines will shoot out twenty dollar bills like a confetti gun and black outs for weeks will give new meaning to labor day” (Powell 1) Those are just some of the predictions when the computer calendars change to 1/1/00. No one knows for a fact what will happen when it finally becomes the year 2000.