I hate to throw a wrench into the controversy, but most big computer
centers, like Internet providers, have backup generators that automatically
cut in when the mains go down. The phone company has both huge banks of
batteries and backup generators. Many highrise buildings today have enough
cogeneration capacity to allow at least emergency lighting and ventilation
to continue during blackouts. There will undoubtedly be data losses, but not
If a major processor 'died' because of Y2K, the operators simply need to
reboot it and reset the date to
a safe year until they can remedy the problem.
Generating stations always have backup power on site - especially nuclear
plants, where the backup must be adequate to operate the plants' safety
systems in the event the reactors are scrammed. If the worst happened, they
could always run the computers from rented generators.