Year 2000 problem

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Related to Year 2000 bug: Y2K compliant, Y2k scare

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 ?
Another ballooning market is that of the year 2000 bug tool.
Some computers look one year ahead in many of their calculations, so the year 2000 bug will hit them in 1999.
Given the global dependence on computers and microchips, the scope of the Year 2000 bug could be immense--"scrambled" databases leaving police departments unable to track known criminals: federal income tax bills based on 99 years of work: lapsed insurance policies created by erroneous insurance company records: passports issued in 1999 rejected as expired: enormous long-distance billings showing 100-year-long phone calls made at midnight, 01-01-2000; dairy products erroneous discarded by plant control systems that assume they are 100 years old; pension payments undelivered owing to miscalculations of eligibility; security systems that won't let you in your office because of a system error that can't process the year 2000.(4)
Finally, even if your city uses the Central Office solution where the local telephone company manages a "virtual" switch for city offices, don't assume the telephone company has the Year 2000 bug whipped either.
Sema, which reported strong profits and said it did not foresee customers shelving plans to buy systems in fear of the year 2000 bug, jumped 7p to 697p.
One way is the considerable time, personnel and resources it has committed to addressing the "year 2000 bug," which, if not addressed, will adversely affect the operation of computer equipment at the turn of the century.
A top-level conference yesterday heard of the massive cost of fixing problems caused by the Year 2000 bug.
John McCrossan, head of software, said: "In less than 900 days Scottish industry could be in ruins if it fails to take action on the Year 2000 bug.
It is part of the campaign to help protect computer systems from the Year 2000 bug.
Commercial property advisers Lambert Smith Hampton warned yesterday that many companies have now millennium-proofed their business and accounting systems, but buildings remain extremely vulnerable to the Year 2000 bug.
Think we can all relax once the Year 2000 bug problem has been solved?
In addition, corporations were diverting computer budgets to fix systems plagued by the year 2000 bug; link machines into networks and buy other hardware.