Tom Jennings 11 October 1999
I considered keeping lists this year of people and businesses mongering "y2k" nonsense for greed, profit, and stupidity, such as the Real Goods Trading Co., so we could remind them later in 2000 of their previous folly, and just what do they think now?
Of course there *is no* "Y2K" bug.
There is of course only the slightly interesting potential for computer programs to fail in particular ways, iff* said program(s) in fact took particular programming shortcuts, and they either didn't compensate for century-wraparound, or there is simply an ordinary bug.
But of course all programs have bugs, and while year-xx00 is certainly a likely one, it's by no means certain, and the results are likely to be very, very dull and non-lethal, with exceedingly few exceptions. It does mean though later in 2000 you'll be able to get real bargains on nearly-new-never-used propane tanks, freeze-dried food, AK-47's and other survival supplies.
Certainly things will fail, as they already are. It's interesting that few notice that the calendar doesn't have to change for the "Y2K" but to be invoked; it happened to me already this last spring.
After dining in a restaraunt here in Tucson, my credit card was declined, not due to any fault of my own, but because the older, un-upgraded point-of-sale terminal didn't accept "00" as a valid credit card expiration date of new newly-issued card. I had to pay cash. Head for the hills! I love diasters and public spectacle as much as the next person, but
I'm probably going to be disappointed next year.
-- Tom Jennings
* IFF is programmer-ese for "if and only if", to distinguish it from the "if" of casual conversation.