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But seriously, in 1999, I do remember people having a nervous breakdown over the potential when the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve, due to some computer technicality, all the ships would sink, all the planes would crash, and we would all die.
And The Masses Against The Classes got to Number 1 and all was well again.
Dunno, we'll see how long he lasts before saying something massively racist, eh?
The reason that disasters did not come to pass, is because people in IT did lots of work to stop it causing problems.
This is an example of the hype working.....because the hype meant that IT departments were given the consent to spend resource to work to stop it from causing problems.
FFS IF disasters HAD happened after all the hype you would be screaming that there was no excuse given all the fair warning about it.
Where I worked all other projects were canned in the year running up to 31/12/99, and the IT department were working 100% on making sure things *didn't* go wrong.
They're all dead now I believe.
how fragile your applications are.
Often it may be that if the dates were wrong it may just be that everyones birthdate and age is wrong......I've actually come across this situation recently although the birth year in this case is not particularly critical
But can you tell me what specific problems were remedied? I’ve read that countries like Italy, China and Russia did nothing and had no problems at all. Not to mention lots of councils, companies, personal computers, etc.
Do you mean the governments or do you mean all the businesses and organisations as well?
than British Airways did: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2000/jan/09/y2k.observerbusiness
would be problems and the impact of these, then it was not possible to quantify the danger prior to starting to look at these things, and once you have got to the level required to fully understand the impact, then you are nearly ready to actually fix/mitigate against this.
Better to be safe than sorry (given the huge potential risk)
Its called risk management.....you multiply the likely hood of something happening against the impact of it happening.
In this case it was not possible to quantify the likleyhood, but it was possible to give indications of what the worst outcomes would be.....which is what the media was blurting on about
that people thought it was a serious risk is what was baffling, looking back. but then i guess theres a better general understanding of technology now. a lot of people got rich off of misinformation and misunderstanding. not that such a thing is unusual, of course.
planes fall from the sky. However peoples ages would have been wrong and thus insurance premiums would have been not be able to be calculated. Plus claims and dates that accidents were recorded would have been wrong and checks that follow ups and correct letters (that would ensure that the law would have been complied with (insurance claims) ) would not have been sent. It would need to have been sorted at some point, of course in the normal process of things if no Y2K action was pre-emptively taken then the production support team would instead have recieved a huge number of defects to fix and then the normal defect fix process would deal with it....there would be a problem in that the resources would be very stretched as several large defects would be arriving at one time (almost as if a large delivery release had taken place, but without the management approved resource to deal with it)
Because of being very stretched and barely being able to cope with the problems that could be seen then it may be that the further 'deeper' yet possibly damaging problems might lie undetected until a more critical moment (like a date of an accident or incident or change in insurance cover affecting facts) were called into question, possibly resulting in a customer not being insured at a point when they need to claim.....................this I know is mundane cw not getting dosh out of cashpoints...................but the problem is that we all knew that some code/storage has been known to cut corners in terms of storage, I knew that often dates had been stored only as 2 digits in many applications......I could not quantify where exactly, and neither could the IT industry as a whole, but many programmers knew that this did exist. commercial interests make a profit and therefore do not document everything so how can we have known what would be affected.
Perhaps some places KNEW that they had not got such a problem, or perhaps they reasoned that it would not be critical to them.
BUT there WAS a GENUINELY unquantifiable danger.
Large corporations with large IT departments and lots of IT skills of their own, took on (paid for) extra external IT support to help them out with the added workload of checking their code and databases.....this was of no financial benefit to them, they werent selling it resource they were buying it in, their OWN IT experts deemed that it was better to check their own systems.
It WAS of benefit to them.....imagine the impact on an insurance company if several customers ended up in court and it turned out they did not have insurance cover when they had caused a real bad accident.....and it turns out that other insurance companies HAD checked their code and fixed it so their customers didnt have this problem?
It would have significant effect on them, even if they did make good any problems.
and an absolute shitload of work was done on it. That said I don't know whether anything safety critical ever came up, but I for one was pretty sure at the time that it was worth checking, and I guess I still would.
and the guy who sent the question in claimed that his dad made the family temporarily relocate to a technology-free lodge of some kind in Thailand or something, with loads of tinned goods
Who went into hiding thinking the world was going to end in 2000?
Bit of a tail-between-legs moment when he had to come back after Christmas for training..