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  • The Y2K Tech Upgrades May Have Helped New York’s Computing Systems Withstand 9/11 on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#12) The Y2K Tech Upgrades May Have Helped New York’s Computing Systems Withstand 9/11

    Were it not for the Y2K preparation frenzy, New York City's technological infrastructure likely wouldn't have been able to recuperate from the events of September 11 - at least not as quickly. If the outdated and redundant systems had not been updated so recently, the transportation and telecom components of disaster relief would have never come as quickly and efficiently. This meant rerouting a whopping 42% of the MTA on the day of the disaster, as well as working around the destruction of both AT&T and Verizon's cable vaults.

  • New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Warned People That Storing Gasoline In Their Homes Was Far More Dangerous Than Y2K  on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#6) New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Warned People That Storing Gasoline In Their Homes Was Far More Dangerous Than Y2K

    Energy secretary and former governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson cautioned motorists against stockpiling gasoline before Y2K. There were two major issues with the idea: safety and the possibility of a shortage. In a press release published the week before New Year's Day, Richardson stated, "If you have half a tank, you're good to go. There's no need to hoard gasoline. Storing it in your house is not a good idea, way more dangerous than any 'millennium bug.'"

    In addition to the obvious fire risk on a holiday known for drunkenness and fireworks, the mass purchase of gasoline would create the very shortage that consumers were afraid of. Ultimately, most appeared to heed his warning, and the gas prices and stock did not stray far from their usual numbers. 

  • People Worried That Everything From Banking Software To Air Traffic Control Systems To ATMs Might Suddenly Fail At Midnight  on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#3) People Worried That Everything From Banking Software To Air Traffic Control Systems To ATMs Might Suddenly Fail At Midnight

    The media and the wider public saw the reasonable concerns held by the SSA and ran with them. Suddenly, everything that was computer-operated ran the risk of malfunctioning or glitching out, temporarily or otherwise.

    The possibility of hospital equipment failing weighed heavily on providers. Infusion pumps ran on timers that might forget what time it was, charts would become lost and inaccurate, and no one could receive necessary care when all of the computers shut down.

    To curb the consumer impulse to take out an entire account in cash in the days leading up to Y2K, bank programmers and IT departments had to update their systems, as well.

    Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration had a major headache on their hands when they realized that the air traffic control computers were likely to be affected. Based on their 1999 projections, systems that had not been updated could possibly malfunction and display plane positions on a 10-second lag, leading to potentially dangerous consequences. Thanks to a budget of over $400 million dollars, four years of planning and programming, and a series of potential contingency plans, the FAA was able to secure their systems with no issue in the new millennium.

  • 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.

  • Airlines Scaled Back Their Flights For December 31 Following Low Ticket Sales on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#7) Airlines Scaled Back Their Flights For December 31 Following Low Ticket Sales

    While the FAA had the foresight to begin dealing with the potential computer disaster years before the clock struck midnight on Y2K, consumers were still skittish about flying that evening. In preparation for the unexpected, the Transportation Department set up bases at the command centers for 10 commercial airlines, Amtrak, and major freight railways.

    On any other Friday, as many as 5,000 to 7,000 aircrafts take to the sky. New Year's Eve has always been a low-demand day to fly, but logged flights were reduced as much as 25% on December 31, 1999.

  • Ultimately Everything Was Fine, But Only Because Of Everyone's Hard Work on Random Reasons Why Did Everyone Care So Much About Y2K

    (#10) Ultimately Everything Was Fine, But Only Because Of Everyone's Hard Work

    After the unceremonious beginning of the year 2000, revelers and preppers alike awoke in a world that was practically the same as the day before. The entire Y2K fiasco quickly faded into memory and was sometimes used as a punchline about overly ambitious doomsday thinking. But was it really so overblown?

     The Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem was formally disbanded in February 2000. The chairman, Senator Bob Bennett of Utah, emphasized the level of hidden work that went into keeping all of the government's technological elements safe and updated as the millennium approached.

    Seemingly few issues arose in the aftermath of Y2K aside from a handful of insurance and credit card issues, which were quickly resolved. While the consequences seem comparatively minor, Bennett stated that these events “are not the triggering events that would cascade into each other. [This] has always been the best case scenario."

    In response to the public undermining of the committee and the ICC’s work, the Senate Special Committee report stated that across the globe, there were many issues larger than those experienced stateside.

    For perspective, prison doors failed in Canada, power plants malfunctioned in Eastern Europe, dialysis machines failed in East Africa and Southeast Asia, ATMs broke down in several regions, and a whopping 15% of small businesses in France reported technology issues related to Y2K. In the grand scheme, a great deal of suffering was avoided in the US due to these organizations' diligence.

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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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