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Y2K Computer Bug

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 4 months ago

Year Two Thousand (Y2K) Computer Problem


I was (and still am)one of those Y2K doom and gloomers. For me, Y2K was a wakeup call to be more self sufficient and to become aware of how inter-related and dependent everything in our society is. "It really is the economy, stupid". The bursting of the stock market bubble is our big problem. I thought Y2K would be the trigger; apparently it wasn't. Now it looks like the new oil crisis this coming winter may become the straw which breaks the Bubble economy's back.


I wrote the following in the fall of 1999; it shows what I was thinking about Y2K at that time.


What is the problem? There is a big problem lurking on the horizon: most large computers in use today utilize software written over the past 30 years which use date fields of only 2 digits; 1998 is represented internally as 98. On 1 January 2000, computers may interpret the 00 as the year 1900 instead of 2000. No one knows exactly how different computer programs will react. Some may lock up completely and others may continue to operate but will output incorrect data. It is certain that Y2K will cause all sorts of problems. The problem is not limited to large mainframe computers; many desktop PCs have the same 2 digit date problem as well. There is also the "embedded chip" problem. This refers to stand-alone microprocessors which are used extensively in industry to monitor and control such things as railroad switches, circuit breakers, power plants, etc.


What is going to happen? Nobody really knows. I believe we will receive "the death by a thousand cuts" rather than massive blackouts and failure of the infrastructure. I think gasoline will get very expensive, there may be some shortages of imported goods and there will be many problems with bills, credit/debit cards, etc. Commerce in general will slow down. I forsee a major recession worldwide.


What should I do? My recommendations are as follows: Store a 1 to 3 month supply of non perishable food that you like, similar to what you currently eat. It makes no sense storing food that is not appealing to your taste. Store a week's worth of water (2 gallons /person /day). Have extra cash on hand in small denominations. Have a safe means of alternative heat or lots of warm clothes you can put on in layers. Have plenty of flashlight batteries and spare flashlight bulbs. Keep a paper trail of all your financial trasactions. It is wise to prepare a bugout bag of essentials for each family member in case you must evacuate to a shelter. Your bag should contain simple things such a change of socks and underwear, a heavy warm shirt, toiletries, some nourishing food to snack on, prescription medicines you need, a roll of quarters, etc.


( This entire Y2K section is a Year 2000 information disclosure as defined in the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act, S 2392. )

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