Year 2000 problem

(redirected from Y2K computer bug)

Year 2000 problem,

 

Y2K problem,

or

millennium bug,

in computer science, a design flaw in the hardware or software of a computer that caused erroneous results when working with dates beyond Dec. 31, 1999. In the 1960s and 70s programmers who designed computer systems dropped the first two digits of a year when storing or processing dates to save what then was expensive and limited memory; such a system recorded the year 2000 as 00 and could not distinguish it from 1900. In sorting, comparison, and arithmetic operations, the year 2000 would be treated as if it were equivalent to 0 rather than 100, causing incorrect results. The algorithm used to calculate leap years was also in some cases invalid, creating an additional problem in calculating the correct date after Feb. 28, 2000. Because the designers of such computer systems expected them to be replaced before the beginning of the year 2000, using a two-digit date was not regarded as a problem. Thousands of older computer systems, called legacy systems, were still in use in the 1990s, however, particularly in the finance and insurance industries, creating a potential operational and financial nightmare, which was termed Doomsday 2000Doomsday 2000,
term coined by Canadian computer consultant Peter de Jager in 1993 to describe the operational and financial impact of a defect of contemporary computer hardware and software, known as the Year 2000 problem, that caused computer programs to incorrectly perform
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. In the late 1990s business, government, and other computer users spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars to correct the Year 2000 problem, and only minor problems were experienced after Jan. 1, 2000.
References in periodicals archive ?
North is best known to Internet users for his prolific auguring that a Y2K computer bug would cause the calamitous end of civilization.
December 29 Former Beatle George Harrison is stabbed by Michael Anram, who apparently believed Harrison was the devil December 31 The Queen opens the Millennium Dome at Greenwich, London December 31 The Y2K computer bug fails to cause the predicted mayhem at midnight
Departure lobbies at Narita airport Sunday were crowded with vacationers heading overseas apparently in a delayed reaction to earlier fears about possible Y2K computer bug problems, coupled with a newly instituted national holiday system, airport officials said.
The tourism decline this past January was about 7% world-wide, according to industry analysts, due to fears of the Y2K computer bug that turned out to be a complete non-event;
EPA chief Taichi Sakaiya has said he expects the GDP data for the October-December period to contract considerably from the previous quarter because of smaller winter bonuses and the negative impact of the Y2K computer bug.
The institute said it may have made mistakes during renewal work for a computer system controlling the Web site when it prepared safeguards against the Y2K computer bug late last year.
South Korea removed its Y2K computer bug alert Tuesday, saying the country's 13 major areas of concern such as banking and telecommunications have resumed normal operations without any computer problems.
government will run an information clearinghouse on what impact, if any, the Y2K computer bug will have worldwide.
27 Kyodo Private-sector experts will be brought into the Cabinet Security Affairs Office and other government offices over the New Year period to help guard against possible cyber-terrorism involving the Y2K computer bug, government officials said Monday.
The Y2K computer bug may cause the massive antenna that tracks a satellite monitoring the aurora australis to lose contact with the satellite.
Telephones in New Zealand, the first developed country to enter 2000, have become almost unusable but the trouble was not caused by the Y2K computer bug, officials of the Japanese Embassy in New Zealand said Saturday.
Among those reportedly joining the millennial countdown was Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, ignoring worldwide concerns about the Y2K computer bug.