Y2K (Year 2000 Problem)

T h e Y e a r 2 0 0 0 P r o b l e m Argument for the statement "The Year
2000 bug will have such extensive repercussions that families and
individuals should begin planning now for the imminent chaos." The Ticking
Bomb Introduction A serious problem called the "Millennium Bug", and also
known as the "Year 2000 Problem" and "Y2K", is bringing a new century
celebration into a daunting nightmare. In the 1860s and 1970s, when computer
systems were first built, the computer hardware, especially information
storage space, was at a premium. With an effort to minimise storage costs,
numeric storage spaces were drained to the smallest possible data type.
Ignoring the fact that a software may be run in multiple centuries,
programmers started conserving storage spaces by using two digits to specify
a year, rather than four. Consequently, on January 1, 2000, unless the
software is corrected, most software programs with date or time may
malfunction to recognise the entries in the year fields "00" as the year as
"1900" instead of "2000" . Year 2000 problem is not restricted only to the
above exigency. 20 years ago, everybody understood that a leap year came
every 4th year except for every 100th year. However, a piece of algorithm
has been forgotten by most people – a leap year does exist every 400 years.
So, under the first two rules, year 2000 is not a leap year, but with the
third rule, it actually is. Computing errors will also occur before Year
2000. Values such as 99 are sometimes used for special purposes not related
to the date. The number 99 is used in some systems as an expiration date for
data to be archived permanently – so some computers may lose the data a year
before 2000. Programmers and software developers were surprised to see some
of their programs survive for only a few years but failed to anticipate the
problems coming by the year 2000. It is sorrowful to find most programs are
still in use or have been incorporated into successor systems. Because of
the need for new applications to share data in a common format with existing
systems, inheriting the six-digit date field that has become a standard over
time. The disaster scenario envisaged is that a great number of computer
systems around the world will make processing errors and will either crash
or produce incorrect outputs . As a result financial institutions,
businesses organisations, informational technology and even aeroplane radar
communications will all then be in a welter of confusion. In military
services, the system meltdown may also worsen the appropriate control of
nuclear missiles in silos. It is a ticking time bomb destined to wreak havoc
on millions of computer systems in every economy, both commercial and
residential, and thus need everyone's serious attention. However, the bug is
likely to affect more staggeringly the business computers which imply an
alarming economic problem. Many organisations have not yet started projects
to examine the impact of the millennium bug on their systems. By applying
The Standish Group’s CHAOS research to Year 2000 projects, 73% of Y2K
projects will fail according to the pace now taking. The biggest challenge
for these companies is convincing top level management of the severity of
the year 2000 problem and the amount of time, money and resources needed to
fix it. On that account, to ensure this disaster is minimised, none of us
should worm out of devoting resources in preventing the potential anarchy.
It is a costly Task As simple as the problem sounds, the fix for the
Millennium Bug will cost up to US\$600 billion world-wide, according to
estimates by the Gartner Group, a leading information technology
consultancy. The software fixes are very time-consuming, requiring
considerable effort to examine millions of lines of source code in order to
locate problem date fields and correct them. The costs to apply the fixes
will vary from company to company, but research has given the figure of
approximately between US\$0.50 to \$2 per line of source code for
modification, with these costs expected to escalate as much as 50 per cent
for every year that projects are delayed. Unfortunately, this average
excludes date conversions on