Millennium Bug

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Tony.Williams
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Millennium Bug

Post by Tony.Williams » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:29 am

I well recall the pre-2000 concern that software might fail as a result of not being designed to switch over to 2000+ dates. I also recall the amount of work which went on to check software to prevent such a problem arising (I had some involvement at the time). These days, if anyone mentions the "Y2K" bug it is usually quoted as an example of a lot of unnecessary work resulting in a huge waste of money. But I have always wondered if that was true, or if there had been no problems because of all of the precautionary work which had been done.

Then this article popped up: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-45083650
So was the Y2K bug all a fuss about nothing?
That is certainly the view of Sir Bernard Jenkin MP who has compared what he believes are exaggerated fears about a no-deal Brexit to the bug.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday: "We will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about - a bit like the millennium bug, remember all the experts on the millennium bug?"
This prompted the BBC to enquire into Y2K, as detailed in the above link. As one might expect, the general response from IT specialists involved is that most software checked out OK, but some didn't. Just how much of a problem that software might have caused if the problem hadn't been detected is now difficult to say, but it was certainly prudent to carry out the checks.

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chaggle
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Re: Millennium Bug

Post by chaggle » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:30 am

I worked as a software engineer/analyst at the time and the our software (which was used by hundreds of medium manufacturing companies) would not have worked if we hadn't reviewed it. It took us a few man-weeks to do it - mostly tweaking a couple of date processing functions that were called from thousands of places in the suite and searching for and fixing any non-compliant 'rogue' programs.

So yes - in our case it would have caused problems - but it didn't because we did some work to forestall it.

So the Y2K problem was anticipated and fixed.

Neither of those two things are true of Brexit.
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

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