Year 2000 issues

Hagbard Celine (
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 11:23:55 -0400

For a while, among my computer-literate friends, I've heard about this
thing called the Year 2000 software crisis. Lately, it seems to be a
pretty over-reported topic in not only investment and legal weeklies,
but even in the mainstream media. Along with it goes, at one extreme,
dramatic disasturbation, while at the same time, and on the opposite
extreme, many seem complacent.

The web is full of such conflicting reports. Are there any list members
out there who can shed light on the problem (if it is a problem)?

For those unfamiliar, dates are an important part of the software
systems utilized by both government and industry. As far as I
understand, the problem lies with the fact that most software developed
during the past two decades for mainframes, client/server and personal
computers recognizes years by only two digits ("96" for 1996) instead of
four digits. When a date-senstive function requiring the year 2000
("00") as operative input is performed, bad things *can* happen
(crashes, silly results, inaccurate records, etc.) The problem interests
me insofar as we have less than three years to solve it. Enough time? I
don't know, and hence this post.