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Do you remember 11:59:59 December 31, 1999?

I was reminded yesterday of Y2k. Do you remember the potential earth-shattering reality of all the computers stopping at 11:59:59 pm on December 31, 1999, and never working again? It was a crisis in the IT world. I remember that all of us working with customers directly back then had to register our cellular phones and our home phones in case of a problem. Most of the systems that we were supporting were not going to have an issue. The problem was going to be with older computers and older software that had hard-coded dates (199x) where the three numbers were actually in the code and the only variable was the 4th number. People, companies, and governments were panicking.

The crisis came and went and frankly forgot to have an impact. It is not a bitter or angry memory that I am sharing. Rather, that what happened happened. We, the IT consultants I worked with, start talking to customers in August 1999. We explained that the systems we were building were not going to have issued β€œprovide it,” the customer would say. We would set up a lab that emulated some of the overall solutions the customer had and then set the date to Dember 31, 1999 and 59 seconds. We would stand there with the customer and watch as the system clock ticked into what would have been a new year, but 5, 4 or even three months early.

It’s a lab. They would say. But they also felt better. Several systems did die that day, but that was expected. We knew some of the older systems wouldn’t be able to do the conversion. We, as IT consultants, were deeply shocked at how many systems didn’t care about the great disaster. Even though they were not able to recognize the year 2000, they keep working as if they were 1999a. The very coverage of the problem greatly exploded the reality of the problem. Sometimes, when information is pushed instead of pulled you run the risk of what happened with the Great Y2K debacle. There was so much agony, stress, and frustration leading up to something that was probably nothing, to begin with. To this day, that is why I always check sources!

Do you remember Y2k?

  • Question /

    Will you share in the comments where you were December 31, 1999?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question /

    Do you remember Y2k?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question /

    did you wait for the great disaster to strike in 1999?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question /

    sources matter, right?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question /

    sometimes we have to walk away from hype, right?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question /

    hindsight is 20/20 right?

    • Yes
    • No

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What do you think?

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Written by DocAndersen

One fan, One team and a long time dream Go Cubs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

46 Comments

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  1. Q: WILL YOU SHARE IN THE COMMENTS WHERE YOU WERE DECEMBER 31, 1999?
    Yes (6 votes) – 75%
    No (2 votes) – 25%
    Q: DO YOU REMEMBER Y2K?
    Yes (5 votes) – 63%
    No (3 votes) – 38%
    Q: DID YOU WAIT FOR THE GREAT DISASTER TO STRIKE IN 1999?
    Yes (3 votes) – 38%
    No (5 votes) – 63%
    Q: SOURCES MATTER, RIGHT?
    Yes (6 votes) – 100%
    Q: SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO WALK AWAY FROM HYPE, RIGHT?
    Yes (6 votes) – 100%
    Q: HINDSIGHT IS 20/20 RIGHT?
    Yes (6 votes) – 100%

  2. 31 December 1999 – – – I was not exactly in heaven. I was, back then, trying to reinvent my life after being in a company for over 9 years. Around this time, I just finished the family obligation of sending my 3 siblings thru college and thought it was time to rebuild my own dream.

  3. hindsight is only 20/20 when you use it. back in 87, I took a programming class and was taught to use four digits for encoding the year because of the Y2K issue. but as per usual, the bean counters didn’t want to spend the money to fix it back when it was cheaper and easier to fix. they passed the buck and kept waiting until the last minute to fix things

    doing the same thing with climate destabilization because we never learn

  4. It’s interesting how people blowed this out of proportion and at some point they were expecting the end of the world (at least here, because information always came slower). I had no idea it started from computers not being able to switch to 2000.

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