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Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

  • People Thought Software Relying On Two-Digit Dates Would Suddenly Malfunction When The Date Changed To '00' on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#1) People Thought Software Relying On Two-Digit Dates Would Suddenly Malfunction When The Date Changed To '00'

    While many theories were promulgated about the impending end of the world, the most salient concerned the “Millennium Bug,” which would theoretically devastate all computers when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2000.

    For the first 40 years or so of computer programming, years were typically denoted with two digits - 98 for 1998, 99 for 1999. This shorthand seemed logical at the time, as these programmers likely didn't expect the immense staying power of their archaic machines. 

    The fears surrounding the Millennium Bug were not completely unfounded. The Social Security Administration, one of the organizations that spent the most time and money preparing for the new year, uses date calculations in order to determine eligibility for benefits. To do so, the computers subtract the birthday of a potential benefit recipient from the current year. This works fine subtracting a 65-year-old’s birth year of (19)34 from 99, but the same 65-year-old would suddenly lose their eligibility when they turned -34 on New Year's Day. 

    The potential disaster at the Social Security Administration was just one of many examples of this fear, which only grew due to the increasingly widespread hysteria.

  • People Prepared For The Impending Low-Techness on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#8) People Prepared For The Impending Low-Techness

    The typically underground prepper community had their time in the spotlight during the months leading up to Y2K - their paranoia and hyper-vigilance values briefly went mainstream. Throughout 1999, survivalist classes proliferated, and online prepper communities were built.

    While stockpiling toilet paper, water, and nonperishable food was commonplace for preppers, some took it one step further and prepared for a life sans technology. In Michael Hyatt’s The Millennium Bug: How to Survive the Coming Chaos, he urged citizens to learn how to “distinguish edible plants from those that are [dangerous]... [prepare] a cow [for food]... set a broken bone, pull a tooth, and deliver a baby.” Other tips included purchasing a side arm and learning how to use it.

    Some businesses and institutions also embraced the low-tech movement. Amish businesses really cleaned up, as few to none of their hardware devices required electricity. Meanwhile, a hospital in Colorado allegedly gave patients a whistle to call for the nurse in case the call buttons stopped working.

    While this may have been a watershed moment for the survivalist movement, the level of mass engagement with prepper logic was widely overblown by the media - most people didn’t give Y2K prep that much thought.

  • IT Specialists Were Finally Taken Seriously on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#11) IT Specialists Were Finally Taken Seriously

    The potential profit disaster of the Millennium Bug was the galvanizing force that frightened CIOs into deferring to their in-house IT specialists and third-party vendors alike. Up until this point, the system administrators and programmers were cogs that kept the wheels of the newly online business world turning, but now they were the only ones with the knowledge to stop a potential IT disaster in its tracks. They took full advantage.

    The Millennium Bug’s threat to any company’s bottom line was greater than whatever the IT workers asked for, so they were effectively given carte blanche to take whatever action necessary. Before Y2K, updating the computer equipment seemed like an unnecessary extra cost, meaning that lots of software was already grossly outdated even prior to the Y2K fiasco. The obvious benefits resulting from the modernization before and after Y2K were monumental for the IT field.

  • Third-Party IT Service Companies Received A Big Boost on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#9) Third-Party IT Service Companies Received A Big Boost

    The world of IT was undoubtedly up and coming by the turn of the 21st century, but computer science was still considered niche information, and many experts were undervalued for their labor. Camaraderie among entire corporations and fellow IT workers alike was at an all-time high during the Y2K remediation process. Departments that previously had no contact with one another were suddenly collaborating, and information was being learned and shared at an unprecedented rate.

    The social and professional gains were not the only benefit. Y2K preparation, along with the dot-com boom that ran concurrently with the Millennium Bug frenzy, was "one of the single biggest drivers for packaged software."

    The telecom companies that had just purchased a massive swath of domains were now faced with the challenge of updating all their software and shifting applications onto different servers. These were venture capitalists, not programmers, so the option to buy pre-packaged software and services from third parties was an obvious solution with great mutual benefit.

  •  The Government Set Up A $50 Million 'Y2K Command Center' on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#2) The Government Set Up A $50 Million 'Y2K Command Center'

    In an abundance of caution, the US government set up a temporary Y2K command center, known as the Year 2000 Information Coordination Center (ICC). In the months preceding New Year's Day, the ICC was staffed with employees from other federal entities including FEMA, Agriculture, Commerce, the EPA, the military, and the National Weather Service, among others. 

    Using preexisting disaster frameworks used by these same agencies, the government took a "single point of contact" approach to solving the Millennium Bug issue, ensuring that all organizations were on the same page. In the final days before Y2K, the ICC was briefed on FEMA's Civil Disaster Response processes.

  • President Clinton’s 'Council on Year 2000 Conversion' Determined The Biggest Risk Was Hoarding  on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#5) President Clinton’s 'Council on Year 2000 Conversion' Determined The Biggest Risk Was Hoarding

    As frightening as the Millennium Bug sounded, the long-term economic effects of hoarding were another practical fear. In a press conference, John Koskinen of the Council on Year 2000 Conversion warned the public, "We are concerned about people overreacting, if 100 million people decide to do anything differently."

    FEMA took a cautious but realistic approach to the potential hoarding issue. They released their usual disaster preparedness press kit, emphasizing the importance of stocking up on supplies while warning consumers about excess. They specified that the theoretical amount of supplies needed should cover a long weekend, with the possibility of a brief power outage.   

    The pharmaceutical industry shared a similar fear. To prevent a shortage of important substances, Noelle-Dominique Willems of the Canadian Pharmacist's Association reminded the public that medical stockpiling would cause a shortage faster than a few days of computer downtime.

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About This Tool

Y2K also known as the Year 2000 Problem, YK2 was originally a bug in the computer program processing date. With the advent of the new century in 2000, the Internet has just developed, and people's yearning and illusions for the new century have been infinitely enlarged. The influence of Y2K is huge, the Y2K can easily enter and attack embedded devices. If the Y2K is not resolved in time, then our lives may experience some unexpected chaos.

Have you ever heard of the Y2K before? In 1997, the Y2K soon attracted global attention. If you want to know more about Y2K, please check this page, we collected 12 items, there are some reasons why did lots of people care so much about the Y2K.

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