History Main / MillenniumBug

20th Jun '16 9:07:45 PM bwburke94
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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 1st January 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) 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 first two digits. 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, which, if the program wasn't prepared for it, would consider it not 11/15/2000, but ''11/15/1900''. 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 might have been, 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 get billed for 99 years of compound interest at 21%!

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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 1st January 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) 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 first two digits.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, 111500 or 111600 depending on how it's stored, which, if the program wasn't prepared for it, would consider it not 11/15/2000, 2000, but ''11/15/1900''.''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 might have been, 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%!



* Raid, marketed itself as "the offical killer of the Millennium Bug"

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* Raid, marketed itself as "the offical official killer of the Millennium Bug"
30th Apr '16 1:38:37 PM Scorpion451
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* For those tempted to think the whole thing was a panic over nothing, there were a few notable glitches while various agencies worked to fix the problem that hint at what could have gone wrong had the problem been ignored. One community in Texas, for instance, had a surprise when the utilites department set its clocks ahead for a test run in 1999: somewhere along the line a timer controlling the sewer system's automated flow controls hadn't yet gotten the memo about the new date format, and thus sat patiently counting down the 1999 years until it next needed to open the release valves while a public park experienced a minor flood of raw sewage.
4th Feb '16 1:43:06 PM notahandle
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* "Idioteque" by [[http://goo.gl/j2gDOQ Radiohead]].

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* "Idioteque" ''[[Music/KidA Idioteque]]'' by [[http://goo.gl/j2gDOQ Radiohead]].Music/{{Radiohead}}.
11th Dec '15 1:31:30 PM eroock
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-> ''They say two thousand zero zero, party over, oops, out of time\\
So tonight we're gonna party like it's nineteen ninety-nine.''

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-> ''They ''"They say two thousand zero zero, party over, oops, out of time\\
So tonight we're gonna party like it's nineteen ninety-nine.''"''
27th Nov '15 8:51:53 AM KingLyger
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* When midnight rolled around on December 31, 1999, the first technologically advanced nation it would hit (thanks to the location of the International Date Line) was [[UsefulNotes/NewZealand New Zealand]]. There was a brief panic starting shortly after midnight, New Zealand time, as people all over the world tried to ping New Zealand to make sure it was still online - causing an overload that brought down New Zealand's internet briefly. It was back up by about ten past midnight, much to everyone's relief.

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* When midnight rolled around on December 31, 1999, the first technologically advanced nation it would hit (thanks to the location of the International Date Line) was [[UsefulNotes/NewZealand New Zealand]]. There was a brief panic starting shortly after midnight, New Zealand time, as people all over the world tried to ping New Zealand to make sure it was still online - [[SelfFulfillingProphecy causing an overload that brought down New Zealand's internet briefly.briefly]]. It was back up by about ten past midnight, much to everyone's relief.
27th Nov '15 8:48:23 AM KingLyger
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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.

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.

to:

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]]).

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.

There 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.
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.
13th Nov '15 12:45:35 AM bwburke94
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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 misnomered. 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.

to:

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 misnomered.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.



* ''Film/{{Entrapment}}'' is set on New Years' Eve in 1999. A sizeable part of the heist involves computers, so yes, this is mentioned.

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* ''Film/{{Entrapment}}'' is set on New Years' Year's Eve in 1999. A sizeable part of the heist involves computers, so yes, this is mentioned.



* Programming staff at a large company is told that they need to implement the Y2K fix for the calendar in all their programs. So, they announce that with two weeks to go before January 1, 2000, all of the programs have had the change made, and now when any program prints out the first month of the year, it will print out "Januark", etc. And by the way, is the company going to fix the problem of all the improperly formatted 6 digit dates in the programs it's running?

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* Programming staff at a large company is told that they need to implement the Y2K [=Y2K=] fix for the calendar in all their programs. So, they announce that with two weeks to go before January 1, 2000, all of the programs have had the change made, and now when any program prints out the first month of the year, it will print out "Januark", etc. And by the way, is the company going to fix the problem of all the improperly formatted 6 digit dates in the programs it's running?



* In the first episode of Fox's ''Series/OppositeSex'' there's an announcent at a school assembly that the school is now "Y2K Compliant." This would have been just a passing reference if the show had debuted in the fall of 1999 as planned; but since it was delayed until the summer of 2000 it becomes instantly HilariousInHindsight.
* One episode of ''Series/SportsNight'' had Jeremy crash the studio's computer system during a Y2K compliance test.

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* In the first episode of Fox's ''Series/OppositeSex'' there's an announcent announcement at a school assembly that the school is now "Y2K "[=Y2K=] Compliant." This would have been just a passing reference if the show had debuted in the fall of 1999 as planned; but since it was delayed until the summer of 2000 it becomes instantly HilariousInHindsight.
* One episode of ''Series/SportsNight'' had Jeremy crash the studio's computer system during a Y2K [=Y2K=] compliance test.



* In ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty Metal Gear Solid 2]]'', the bug was used as an excuse for the Patriots to implant a secret code into major computing systems all over the world.
* The game ''Millennium Bugs''

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* In ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty Metal Gear Solid 2]]'', ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', the bug was used as an excuse for the Patriots to implant a secret code into major computing systems all over the world.
* %%* The game ''Millennium Bugs''



* The first generation Zune, Microsoft's competitor to the [=iPod=], was hit by a Y2K-esque bug when the date rolled over to 12:01am on December 31st 2008, causing the music player to instantly lock up and crash, and would remain unusable til the device was hard restarted, the batteries drained, or the date flipped over to January 1st, 2009.

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* The first generation Zune, Microsoft's competitor to the [=iPod=], was hit by a Y2K-esque bug when the date rolled over to 12:01am on December 31st 2008, 31, 2008[[note]]the 366th day of a leap year[[/note]], causing the music player to instantly lock up and crash, and would remain unusable til the device was hard restarted, the batteries drained, or the date flipped rolled over to January 1st, 2009.again.
** On that note, the early model UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 was hit by a similar leap year-related bug in 2010.
27th Oct '15 12:22:28 PM Jake
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* Creator/CharlesStross, having been employed in various sectors of the IT industry before making it big as a writer, was another early pioneer of this trope with the short story "Ship of Fools" from 1994. He also correctly predicted that the problem would get blown totally out of proportion in the popular press and end up being an anticlimax.
13th Oct '15 9:58:08 AM Willbyr
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* In ''YamiNoAegis'', Koumoto Youji was originally hired to prevent damage from it.

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* In ''YamiNoAegis'', ''Manga/YamiNoAegis'', Koumoto Youji was originally hired to prevent damage from it.



* ''{{Promethea}}'' has one of these, with the added bonus that the bug affects a very popular intelligent material called Elastagel, which is used in everything including clothing. It gives a whole new meaning to "fashion victim" when your own pants turn on you.

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* ''{{Promethea}}'' ''ComicBook/{{Promethea}}'' has one of these, with the added bonus that the bug affects a very popular intelligent material called Elastagel, which is used in everything including clothing. It gives a whole new meaning to "fashion victim" when your own pants turn on you.
6th Oct '15 12:07:10 PM Saber15
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Added DiffLines:

* The first generation Zune, Microsoft's competitor to the [=iPod=], was hit by a Y2K-esque bug when the date rolled over to 12:01am on December 31st 2008, causing the music player to instantly lock up and crash, and would remain unusable til the device was hard restarted, the batteries drained, or the date flipped over to January 1st, 2009.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.MillenniumBug