The new millennium is a time in which many anticipate with a watchful eye. One of the
uncertainties about this “turning of centuries” is the Y2K (year 2000) glitch. This is the computer
problem of the next century. It is the problem that is getting much attention lately, as many
people look ahead toward the future.
The glitch is the problem caused by computers not recognizing the year as 2000, but
rather 1900. This glitch will make many computers confused about the year, rendering them
incapable of their duties. Unfortunately, not only will the computer be incapable of its duties, but
it will crash, losing all of the information it contains. Only until recently, computers have been
programmed to recognize the first two digits of a particular year. This small glitch can cause
large problems for many businesses and everyday people alike. The problems range from
database loss in large corporations to simple computer failure for the average personal computer.
The problem is that everything in this day of computers is electronic, everything from
social security to the gas pumps at the local Cenex is digital. This glitch will disrupt all of the
everyday computing that the United States depends upon. This problem will wreak havoc with
the large database services including social security which happens to be one of them. All of the
people who have jobs in the United States contribute to the social security program. This
immense amount of information must be processed by computer databases, which are vulnerable
to the computer problem of the millennium.
Another problem for the United States consumers is the list of electronic products that are
not glitch safe. Some of these include camcorders, personal computers, and VCRs. These
devices use dates to perform their function. Most of them do not recognize the year correctly,
creating a problem for those who buy them. The VCRs that use advanced programming for
future recording dates will have a problem. The device will not be able to decipher the year in
which it is supposed to record. Personal computers will obviously have a problem along with the
major computer databases. Luckily, most of the recently manufactured personal computers are
glitch safe, able to recognize full year dates.
Many analysts predict catastrophic problems will come with the changing of the
millennium and the coming of the computer problem. They say that the glitch will create a
breakdown of all business as usual. Almost all of the databases that include all of your personal
history will be lost. Libraries will loose their entire stock of books electronically filed on
computer. The economy will have many bruises and service providers everywhere will be
scrambling to restore service.
The Y2K problem has too much hype and not enough credence. Yes, the glitch will
produce problems with all computer users, but there are also overlooked positives to the problem.
Luckily, there has been a lot of publicity on this problem, so consumers have ample time to
correct this problem. Since most of the current computers people and businesses own have the
problem, a large push to buy new computers toward the end of the century will occur . This will
obviously have a positive impact on the computer industry, rising the stock and production of
computer manufacturers. The effect will, in turn, have an impact on the stock market as a whole,
giving it a boost.
There are a couple of ways to attack the Y2K computer glitch before it becomes too big.
One way is for all of the businesses and consumers to buy new computer equipment, which many
have begun, that will be Y2K safe before the turn of the century. This is obviously a very costly
solution, but a very effective one. Another way is to figure out how to conquer the glitch
problem. This solution would include the hiring of professional computer analysts to find a way
to fix the problem without a lot of new equipment. Unfortunately, this solution takes a large
amount of time and money that many business don’t have.
We must also realize that not all of the computers currently used by businesses are glitch
prone. Some businesses have run tests to see what will happen when 2000 rolls around and found
that a percentage of the computers did not create a problem. So, it is true that the Y2K glitch will
create a problem, but not one expected by the majority. The glitch will, at best, create a 24hour
delay in services, but not much more