Don’t get me started on Y2K! Our boss decided at the last minute (15 minutes before the end of shift – 11 pm) that we had to stay until we knew for sure there would be no issues with the company computers. He had watched the news all day same as the rest of us, and nothing catastrophic happened anywhere in the world. But we better keep all our people there past midnight just in case. As a reward he offered us all a plate of cold cut meats to snack on if we wanted. I outlived the moron so, I win?
I missed out on having a drink to celebrate the new millennium but hey, cold cuts – right?
Some people say it was a big yawn. They fail to realize the millions of hours put in by people like me that ensured nothing happened.
Our company realized the real big issue was with billing, so we just made sure those computers could handle it. Everything else had no problem.
I’m proud to say I was one of those people who caused the Y2K problem. Early in 1999, I wrote an eight-page “letter to the editor” of the Washington Post, explaining how everything they had been writing about Y2K was wrong, and they’d shake out before Jan 2020. Like, it’s ‘98 and your credit card expires in ’01… That failed when they issued a new card. Or a plane needed maintenance in ’00… it grounded in ’99 or whenever it was recorded. Plus, the people who didn’t handle it were exposed to a wide variety of problems, including (gasp) losing money. So they paid Bill the Nuke instead.
The owners of the company I worked at asked me to reconfigure the LAN and manually change the dates on the many computers on the LAN….. I too out lived him…
back then , I was working on phone systems , for small to medium sized companies . Some pabx had to be carefully prepared . Others, often in small companies, were immune to this problem . But everybody got billed .very high .
I made a LOT of money off of Y2K! It was a boondoggle.
I remember too. There was one minor MS program that failed mid-2000 because an internal counter location wasn’t big enough. I don’t remember the name of that program
I’m so old I remember when an IBM exec thought the world wouldn’t need more than five or six computers. Did he head the Selectric typewriter division?
And don’t get me started on shortsighted Bill Gates who thought no one needed more than 640K of ram.
Back then I was working on ES/9000 (9672/9221) and an AS/400. I know how you guys felt. Especially when people were worried about food not growing, water shutting itself off, the electricity not working, basically everything stopping including nature.
Doing genealogy, it can be very frustrating to find the name of a relative (common name – could be anyone) born 01/09/15. Is that my grandfather born in 1915, or someone else with that name born in 2015? And don’t get me started on the British way of using dates. January 9 or September 1? Ugh
what I remember most about y2k was just how much of an anti-climax it was, all those big parties that everyone was talking about just ended up being a normal new year
I worked in IT. Y2K was wonderful. I got calls from recruiters almost daily for more than a year before the date. I ended up with a 30% raise. I was on call on the night of 12/31. The guy who did the date fixes did a wonderful job. There was one program that used an arcane date routine from the Golden Age of Mainframes that had nothing to do with two digit years. I changed it in about 10 minutes and went back to bed.
I was a Auto technician, it was insane how many people thought their cars would quit.
I was also in IT but fortunately had just changed companies and was not on the Y2K conversion team so got to spend New Years Eve with my family. I do recall reading a newspaper article that made me laugh – it explained that new toasters used a chip that had the date built in so, even though the toaster did not use the date, it would still stop working. I don’t recall reading later about any appliances not working because of the date change.
I did have a few systems that I developed that would have needed modifications for Y2K but the company was sold and the systems retired in 1996 so did not have to worry about them.
Yeah, that’s pretty much how I remembered it. Airplanes! Geez!
This one reminded me of the time I found out that I was older than one of my coworker’s father. VERY depressing.
They see Jay as a historical memory. Kinda Flattering?
And he has probably still got the computers and code used at that time. Flop, what now? Hey it looks like the vending machine icon that ‘saves’.
If nothing had been done about it, bad things would have happened. However, 10 years and millions of dollars to fix it worked.
When my bosses asked whaat we should do, I, a support and maintenance guy, said we should setup a system like that one we had for testing Y2K changes.
I said that we could start running the test setup with dates on/after Y2K. When we we saw errors, we would fix them and run it again.
Eventually, we would have system that worked with Y2K dates.
Much to my surprise, they did that.
When Y2K came we had no problems, and I had a brand new test bed for support and maintenance changes.
John Zakour and Scott Roberts