History Main / MillenniumBug

17th May '18 9:29:59 AM LordOfTheSword
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* In ''Webcomic/KidRadd'', the BigBad is a virus that was set to go off at the start of 2000 (but decided not to do so, in favor of a [[OmnicidalManiac grander scheme]]). While not the same as this bug, the inspiration is clear.

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* In ''Webcomic/KidRadd'', the BigBad is [[spoiler: the Seer, a virus that was set to go off at the start of 2000 (but decided not to do so, in favor of a [[OmnicidalManiac grander scheme]]). scheme]])]]. While not the same as this bug, the inspiration is clear.clear.
** It's subtly implied that his creator created them ''specifically to make the Y2K bug real'', along with calling them "Cool Ragnarok".
1st May '18 2:11:21 AM BNSF1995
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* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', "Da Boom", has the Griffin family getting ready to celebrate New Year's Eve, but Peter groups them all into a shelter he built, believing the [=Y2K=] stories. It turns out to be true.

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* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', "Da Boom", has the Griffin family getting ready to celebrate New Year's Eve, but Peter groups them all into a shelter he built, believing the [=Y2K=] stories. It turns out to be true.true, as the bug causes every nuclear missile in the world to launch and destroy civilization.
10th Apr '18 11:07:14 AM igordebraga
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* In ''Series/MadAboutYou'', an episode had Paul dreaming that Einstein gave him a mathematical formula, which he is eventually convinced that will solve the Y2K problem.
13th Feb '18 10:39:29 AM MCanter89
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Supposedly, on the first of January, 2000, the world was going to be destroyed by a computer glitch named the 'Millennium Bug' ([[IHaveManyNames also referred to as '[=Y2K=]' or the 'Year 2000 problem']]) whereby numerous computer systems would think the year was 1900 instead of 2000, resulting in planes falling out of the sky, satellites going wrong and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking all the]] [[Series/RedDwarf calculators going to silicon heaven]]. (Most of the actual problems were just cosmetic, such as programs displaying the year after "1999" as [[http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/20.72.html "19100,"]] or desktop internal clocks resetting to 1981 as a crash-preventing exception).

What had happened was, computer memory and disk space was extremely expensive. By comparison, today, a gigabyte of RAM (roughly 1.4 million kilobytes) for your computer is maybe 15 bucks and a two terabyte (about 20,000 times 100 megabytes) hard drive (about the size of two packs of playing cards) might be $100 or less. But go back to 1970 and one kilobyte of RAM is about a thousand dollars, a 100 megabyte hard drive (about the size of a dishwasher) might cost $12,000 and replacement disk packs (a foot high and the circumference of a dinner plate) were around $800 (for comparison, a brand-new VW Beetle was just under $2000). So they needed to find ways to use less internal RAM and less disk space in storing information on a computer. One way to save money was to store dates in a short form. So, typically all dates were stored internally as 6 digits (and punctuation was added at display time), so November 27, 1960 was coded as 112760. Now, a month later you can get by adding 1 to the second digit. The new date is later than the original one. Now, however, say you have a date of November 15, 1992 (111592) and you add eight years to it, you get 111500 or 111600 depending on how it's stored, which, if the program wasn't prepared for it, would consider it not 2000, but ''1900''. Either the difference between the two is a negative amount, or instead of eight years difference being computed, 92 years are computed. The issue here is, if you bought something and charged it to your credit card on the last week of 1999, and your bill came in a month later, you might get billed for 99 years of compound interest at 21%!

This was considered most serious in the case of process software. Say you're cooking chemicals in a plant that runs 24/7, where you have to heat a batch for exactly 37 hours at 1200 degrees, then move to the next process, when the calendar turns over, either the batch gets kicked out too soon, or it sits in too long, and potentially explosions could occur, or perhaps a batch of something that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to make (and would have been sold for several million) is ruined. Or a system checks the date, realizes it's been running for 99 years with no maintenance, and shuts itself down for safety. If it happens to be the equipment that runs the electricity for your grid, you've got no power in the middle of winter (or summer in the Southern Hemisphere: which is just as bad, if not worse, since at least you can heat your house without power; air conditioning pretty much needs electricity, and in many places, no AC means heatstroke). There were also other potential scenarios, all bad.

Of course, planes, satellites and calculators didn't do that, much to the joy of aviators, astronomers and calculus students. But the bug was an opportunity for writers to come up with doomsday stories and a few of them even wrote of actual insects ([[LamePunReaction groan-worthy though that may sound]]). Some newspapers even had a weekly column in their tech section throughout 1999, detailing how things were going in the battle against the bug.

Finally, January 1, 2000 arrived, and aside from a few glitches here and there, not much happened. Certainly nothing that can be called "apocalyptic." Thus, there is now a retrospective [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement debate]] as to whether [=Y2K=] was blown out of proportion by [[WindmillCrusader people looking for an excuse to panic]] (or an excuse to [[LuddWasRight damn the demon computer]]), or whether disaster was averted by thousands of man-hours of programmers (mostly COBOL, which isn't really used for ''safety-critical'' software) working tirelessly to avoid a technological apocalypse. Although some dangers such as "planes falling out of the sky" were pretty much fabricated, the effects on the economy of a plausible worst-case scenario would still have been immeasurable. In addition, the [=Y2K=] preparations also had the effect of causing a lot of companies to rethink their emergency plans, helping them get back on their feet faster after events like 9/11 and the 2003 Northeast US blackout. The fears over the bug did lead to many companies purchasing new hardware before they otherwise would have, leading to a tech boom followed by a bursting tech bubble in the early 2000's. Regardless of the aftermath, [=Y2K=] nonetheless provides an interesting look into the mindset of people who are faced with an oncoming problem of global proportions.

Funnily enough, just when people started to relax when the 1999-2000 transition came to pass and nothing really major happened to computers across the globe, something actually did come along and wreak havoc on computers worldwide: the ILOVEYOU virus, or the "Love Bug" as it came to be misremembered.

For the sequel to the Bug itself, watch for the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2038_problem Year 2038 problem]] (when the [-UsefulNotes/{{UNIX}}-] system time integer exhausts its [[UsefulNotes/BinaryBitsAndBytes 32 bits]]), coming soon to a computer near you. Fortunately, by that point, we will certainly be using 64-bit time;[[note]]And we'll not have to worry about this issue until the year [[TimeAbyss 292,277,026,596.]][[/note]] however, many embedded systems still use 32-bit time and will continue to do so for years -- maybe until 2038. Considering the previous panic, though, it is unlikely companies will let it come that far by then.

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Supposedly, on the first of January, 2000, the world was going to be destroyed by a computer glitch named the 'Millennium Bug' ([[IHaveManyNames also referred to as '[=Y2K=]' "[=Y2K=]" or the 'Year "Year 2000 problem']]) problem"]]) whereby numerous computer systems would think the year was 1900 instead of 2000, resulting in planes falling out of the sky, satellites going wrong and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking all the]] [[Series/RedDwarf calculators going to silicon heaven]]. (Most of the actual problems were just cosmetic, such as programs displaying the year after "1999" as [[http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/20.72.html "19100,"]] or desktop internal clocks resetting to 1981 as a crash-preventing exception).

What had happened was, computer memory and disk space was extremely expensive. By comparison, today, today a gigabyte of RAM (roughly 1.4 million kilobytes) for your computer is maybe 15 bucks and a two terabyte two-terabyte (about 20,000 times 100 megabytes) hard drive (about the size of two packs of playing cards) might be $100 or less. But go back to 1970 1970, and one kilobyte of RAM is about a thousand dollars, a 100 megabyte 100-megabyte hard drive (about the size of a dishwasher) might cost $12,000 $12,000, and replacement disk packs (a foot high and the circumference of a dinner plate) were around $800 (for comparison, a brand-new VW Beetle was just under $2000).$2,000). So they needed to find ways to use less internal RAM and less disk space in storing information on a computer. One way to save money was to store dates in a short form. So, typically all dates were stored internally as 6 digits (and punctuation was added at display time), so November 27, 1960 was coded as 112760. Now, a month later you can get by adding 1 to the second digit. The new date is later than the original one. Now, however, say you have a date of November 15, 1992 (111592) and you add eight years to it, you get 111500 or 111600 depending on how it's stored, which, if the program wasn't prepared for it, would consider it not 2000, but ''1900''. Either the difference between the two is a negative amount, or instead of eight years years' difference being computed, 92 years are computed. The issue here is, if you bought something and charged it to your credit card on the last week of 1999, and your bill came in a month later, you might get billed for 99 years of compound interest at 21%!

This was considered most serious in the case of process software. Say you're cooking chemicals in a plant that runs 24/7, where you have to heat a batch for exactly 37 hours at 1200 degrees, then move to the next process, when the calendar turns over, either the batch gets kicked out too soon, or it sits in too long, long and potentially explosions could occur, or perhaps a batch of something that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to make (and would have been sold for several million) is ruined. Or a system checks the date, realizes it's been running for 99 years with no maintenance, and shuts itself down for safety. If it happens to be the equipment that runs the electricity for your grid, you've got no power in the middle of winter (or summer in the Southern Hemisphere: which is just as bad, if not worse, since at least you can heat your house without power; air conditioning pretty much needs electricity, and in many places, no AC means heatstroke). There were also other potential scenarios, all bad.

Of course, planes, satellites and calculators didn't do that, much to the joy of aviators, astronomers astronomers, and calculus students. But the bug was an opportunity for writers to come up with doomsday stories stories, and a few of them even wrote of actual insects ([[LamePunReaction groan-worthy though that may sound]]). Some newspapers even had a weekly column in their tech section throughout 1999, detailing how things were going in the battle against the bug.

Finally, January 1, 2000 arrived, and aside from a few glitches here and there, not much happened. Certainly nothing that can be called "apocalyptic." Thus, there is now a retrospective [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement debate]] as to whether [=Y2K=] was blown out of proportion by [[WindmillCrusader people looking for an excuse to panic]] (or an excuse to [[LuddWasRight damn the demon computer]]), or whether disaster was averted by thousands of man-hours of programmers (mostly COBOL, which isn't really used for ''safety-critical'' software) working tirelessly to avoid a technological apocalypse. Although some dangers such as "planes falling out of the sky" were pretty much fabricated, the effects on the economy of a plausible worst-case scenario would still have been immeasurable. In addition, the [=Y2K=] preparations also had the effect of causing a lot of companies to rethink their emergency plans, helping them get back on their feet faster after events like 9/11 and the 2003 Northeast US blackout. The fears over the bug did lead to many companies purchasing new hardware before they otherwise would have, leading to a tech boom followed by a bursting tech bubble in the early 2000's.2000s. Regardless of the aftermath, [=Y2K=] nonetheless provides an interesting look into the mindset of people who are faced with an oncoming problem of global proportions.

Funnily enough, just when people started to relax when the 1999-2000 19992000 transition came to pass and nothing really major happened to computers across the globe, something actually did come along and wreak havoc on computers worldwide: the ILOVEYOU virus, or the "Love Bug" as it came to be misremembered.

For the sequel to the Bug itself, watch for the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2038_problem Year 2038 problem]] (when the [-UsefulNotes/{{UNIX}}-] system time integer exhausts its [[UsefulNotes/BinaryBitsAndBytes 32 bits]]), coming soon to a computer near you. Fortunately, by that point, we will certainly be using 64-bit time;[[note]]And we'll not have to worry about this issue until the year [[TimeAbyss 292,277,026,596.]][[/note]] 292,277,026,596]].[[/note]] however, many embedded systems still use 32-bit time and will continue to do so for years -- maybe until 2038. Considering the previous panic, though, it is unlikely companies will let it come that far by then.
9th Feb '18 7:04:25 AM PrimeEvil
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* A Season Three episode of ''Series/{{Millennium}}'' managed to combine Y2K and the Columbine incident. Somehow, it worked.
25th Jan '18 7:25:48 PM FordPrefect
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* In Summer 1999, Wrestling/{{WWE}} started airing vignettes featuring a "Countdown to the Millennium." On the August 9th episode of ''[[Wrestling/{{WWERaw}} WWF Raw is War]]'', during [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson the Rock]]'s promo on Wrestling/TheBigShow, the Countdown appeared on the screen. When it ended, pyro went off and '''Wrestling/ChrisJericho''' debuted. In Jericho's [[http://www.cagematch.net/?id=93&nr=18 promo]], he called himself "The new millennium for the WWF," and ended by saying, "The new millennium has arrived in the WWF and now that the [=Y2J=] problem is here, this company, from the front office idiots to all the amateurs in the dressing room, including this one [pointing at The Rock], to everybody watching tonight will never [=E-E-EVER=] be the same again!" "[=Y2J=] problem" was simplified to "[=Y2J=]."

to:

* In Summer 1999, Wrestling/{{WWE}} started airing vignettes featuring a "Countdown to the Millennium." On the August 9th episode of ''[[Wrestling/{{WWERaw}} WWF Raw is War]]'', during [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson the Rock]]'s promo on Wrestling/TheBigShow, the Countdown appeared on the screen. When it ended, pyro went off and '''Wrestling/ChrisJericho''' debuted. In Jericho's [[http://www.cagematch.net/?id=93&nr=18 promo]], he called himself "The new millennium for the WWF," and ended by saying, "The new millennium has arrived in the WWF and now that the [=Y2J=] problem is here, this company, from the front office idiots to all the amateurs in the dressing room, including this one [pointing at The Rock], to everybody watching tonight will never [=E-E-EVER=] be the same again!" "[=Y2J=] problem" was later simplified to "[=Y2J=]."[[RedBaron Y2J]]."
25th Jan '18 7:21:42 PM FordPrefect
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Finally, January 1, 2000 arrived, and aside from a few glitches here and there, not much happened. Certainly nothing than can be called "apocalyptic." Thus, there is now a retrospective [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement debate]] as to whether [=Y2K=] was blown out of proportion by [[WindmillCrusader people looking for an excuse to panic]] (or an excuse to [[LuddWasRight damn the demon computer]]), or whether disaster was averted by thousands of man-hours of programmers (mostly COBOL, which isn't really used for ''safety-critical'' software) working tirelessly to avoid a technological apocalypse. Although some dangers such as "planes falling out of the sky" were pretty much fabricated, the effects on the economy of a plausible worst-case scenario would still have been immeasurable. In addition, the [=Y2K=] preparations also had the effect of causing a lot of companies to rethink their emergency plans, helping them get back on their feet faster after events like 9/11 and the 2003 Northeast US blackout. The fears over the bug did lead to many companies purchasing new hardware before they otherwise would have leading to a tech boom followed by a bursting tech bubble in the early 2000's. Regardless of the aftermath, [=Y2K=] nonetheless provides an interesting look into the mindset of people who are faced with an oncoming problem of global proportions.

to:

Finally, January 1, 2000 arrived, and aside from a few glitches here and there, not much happened. Certainly nothing than that can be called "apocalyptic." Thus, there is now a retrospective [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement debate]] as to whether [=Y2K=] was blown out of proportion by [[WindmillCrusader people looking for an excuse to panic]] (or an excuse to [[LuddWasRight damn the demon computer]]), or whether disaster was averted by thousands of man-hours of programmers (mostly COBOL, which isn't really used for ''safety-critical'' software) working tirelessly to avoid a technological apocalypse. Although some dangers such as "planes falling out of the sky" were pretty much fabricated, the effects on the economy of a plausible worst-case scenario would still have been immeasurable. In addition, the [=Y2K=] preparations also had the effect of causing a lot of companies to rethink their emergency plans, helping them get back on their feet faster after events like 9/11 and the 2003 Northeast US blackout. The fears over the bug did lead to many companies purchasing new hardware before they otherwise would have have, leading to a tech boom followed by a bursting tech bubble in the early 2000's. Regardless of the aftermath, [=Y2K=] nonetheless provides an interesting look into the mindset of people who are faced with an oncoming problem of global proportions.
25th Jan '18 7:20:20 PM FordPrefect
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This was considered most serious in the case of process software. Say you're cooking chemicals in a plant that runs 24/7, where you have to heat a batch for exactly 37 hours at 1200 degrees, then move to the next process, when the calendar turns over, either the batch gets kicked out too soon, or it sits in too long, and potentially explosions could occur, or perhaps a batch of something that costs hundred of thousands of dollars to make (and would have been sold for several million) is ruined. Or a system checks the date, realizes it's been running for 99 years with no maintenance, and shuts itself down for safety. If it happens to be the equipment that runs the electricity for your grid, you've got no power in the middle of winter (or summer in the Southern Hemisphere: which is just as bad, if not worse, since at least you can heat your house without power; air conditioning pretty much needs electricity, and in many places, no AC means heatstroke). There were also other potential scenarios, all bad.

to:

This was considered most serious in the case of process software. Say you're cooking chemicals in a plant that runs 24/7, where you have to heat a batch for exactly 37 hours at 1200 degrees, then move to the next process, when the calendar turns over, either the batch gets kicked out too soon, or it sits in too long, and potentially explosions could occur, or perhaps a batch of something that costs hundred hundreds of thousands of dollars to make (and would have been sold for several million) is ruined. Or a system checks the date, realizes it's been running for 99 years with no maintenance, and shuts itself down for safety. If it happens to be the equipment that runs the electricity for your grid, you've got no power in the middle of winter (or summer in the Southern Hemisphere: which is just as bad, if not worse, since at least you can heat your house without power; air conditioning pretty much needs electricity, and in many places, no AC means heatstroke). There were also other potential scenarios, all bad.
25th Jan '18 7:19:28 PM FordPrefect
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What had happened was, computer memory and disk space was extremely expensive. By comparison, today, a gigabyte of RAM (roughly 1.4 million kilobytes) for your computer is maybe 15 bucks and a two terabyte (about 20,000 times 100 megabytes) hard drive (about the size of two packs of playing cards) might be $100 or less. But go back to 1970 and one kilobyte of RAM is about a thousand dollars, a 100 megabyte hard drive (about the size of a dishwasher) might cost $12,000 and replacement disk packs (a foot high and the circumference of a dinner plate) are around $800 (For comparison, a brand-new VW Beetle was just under $2000). So they needed to find ways to use less internal RAM and less disk space in storing information on a computer. One way to save money was to store dates in a short form. So, typically all dates were stored internally as 6 digits (and punctuation was added at display time), so November 27, 1960 was coded as 112760. Now, a month later you can get by adding 1 to the second digit. The new date is later than the original one. Now, however, say you have a date of November 15, 1992 (111592) and you add eight years to it, you get 111500 or 111600 depending on how it's stored, which, if the program wasn't prepared for it, would consider it not 2000, but ''1900''. Either the difference between the two is a negative amount, or instead of eight years difference being computed, 92 years are computed. The issue here is, if you bought something and charged it to your credit card on the last week of 1999, and your bill came in a month later, you might get billed for 99 years of compound interest at 21%!

to:

What had happened was, computer memory and disk space was extremely expensive. By comparison, today, a gigabyte of RAM (roughly 1.4 million kilobytes) for your computer is maybe 15 bucks and a two terabyte (about 20,000 times 100 megabytes) hard drive (about the size of two packs of playing cards) might be $100 or less. But go back to 1970 and one kilobyte of RAM is about a thousand dollars, a 100 megabyte hard drive (about the size of a dishwasher) might cost $12,000 and replacement disk packs (a foot high and the circumference of a dinner plate) are were around $800 (For (for comparison, a brand-new VW Beetle was just under $2000). So they needed to find ways to use less internal RAM and less disk space in storing information on a computer. One way to save money was to store dates in a short form. So, typically all dates were stored internally as 6 digits (and punctuation was added at display time), so November 27, 1960 was coded as 112760. Now, a month later you can get by adding 1 to the second digit. The new date is later than the original one. Now, however, say you have a date of November 15, 1992 (111592) and you add eight years to it, you get 111500 or 111600 depending on how it's stored, which, if the program wasn't prepared for it, would consider it not 2000, but ''1900''. Either the difference between the two is a negative amount, or instead of eight years difference being computed, 92 years are computed. The issue here is, if you bought something and charged it to your credit card on the last week of 1999, and your bill came in a month later, you might get billed for 99 years of compound interest at 21%!
30th Dec '17 1:50:49 AM Spindriver
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* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' supplement ''[=Y2K=]'', which covers millennium disasters in general, not just the [=Y2K=] bug.

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* The ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' supplement ''[=Y2K=]'', which ''GURPS [=Y2K=]'' covers millennium millennial disasters in general, not just the [=Y2K=] bug.bug but it was deliberately released as a cash-in, late in 1999, with that title.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.MillenniumBug