Y2K Problem

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By nyck91
Words 462
Pages 2
Y2K is the shorthand name for Year 2000, a computer problem that may affect both environmental and human health in every industrialized or industrializing country. Many thousands of operating computers currently represent the year by two digits:
25 is 1925 and 98 is 1998. When January 1, 2000 rolls around, these computers will assume 00 means 1900, not 2000, unless their software is fixed. Computers that have this "Y2K date problem" are called "noncompliant."

If you were born in 1935, a computer this year would determine that your age is 98-35=63. However, two years from now that same computer may determine that your age is 00-35=-35. At that point the computer may stop working, or it may pass this incorrect information on to others, including other computers.

This seemingly-simple problem has large consequences.

BYTE magazine, a technical computer journal, calls Y2K "a crisis without precedent in human history."[1] FORTUNE magazine calls it
"the biggest screwup of the computer age"[2] and says it may cost
$1 trillion to fix. (The Vietnam War cost half that much, $500 billion.) The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) --a trade association for electric utility companies --says the Y2K problem will begin to disrupt businesses, including electric utilities, a year before the new century begins: "Major disruptions in technical and business operations could begin as early as January
1, 1999. Nearly every industry will be affected," EPRI says.[3]

If the disruptions don't begin January 1, 1999, they may begin
July 1, 1999, when fiscal year 2000 begins for 46 out of the 50 states, or on October 1, 1999, when fiscal year 2000 begins for the federal government. But most of the problems will probably surface after midnight December 31, 1999.

Charles Rossetti, commissioner of the U.S. Internal Revenue
Service (IRS), told the WALL…...

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