Year 2000 problem


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Related to Year 2000 problem: Y2K 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 ?
The book, which comes in a three-ring binder format, discusses many issues, including advising corporate clients about liability; determining the liability of computer hardware and software manufacturers, vendors, and developers; and understanding the insurance issues that may result from the year 2000 problem.
Unfortunately, fixing the Year 2000 problem will not be easy.
It would be prudent for environmental health specialists to support the efforts of business and institutions in resolving their year 2000 problem.
The NHS Executive has been giving out guidelines as to how the Year 2000 problem must be tackled including deadlines which have to be met.
While it is possible to test for potential Year 2000 problems yourself - by setting the clock forward on the PLC or machine controller - your best bet with complex systems may be to seek some help.
Similarly, given the tremendous complexity of the year 2000 problem, the panelists recommended that companies avoid trying to develop solutions (or contingency plans) for the entire organization.
The CPSR effort is aimed at providing information that could be helpful to small organizations, businesses, and individuals, who may lack the resources or expertise to address the year 2000 problem on their own.
According to the report, efforts to solve year 2000 problems are best described as "risk management.
Well, encapsulation - a computer trick that uses these 28-year "capsules" of time to make a system think it is working 28 years ago, rather than today - may be a quick fix (though a hotly contested one) to the Year 2000 problem.
If the future outcomes are tied to dates, and the system is affected by the year 2000 problem, there could be a problem with the resulting estimate.