Millennium Bug also came to be known as Y2K. It refers to the problem arose on the turn of the century when we were in transition from Twentieth Century to the Twenty-first Century. Programmers of computers used only last two digits of the year when writing a date. During the early years of computers, the storage was very expensive proposition with up to $100 per kilobyte. So to cut this price, they only used the last two digits, which caused the whole problem.
The whole fiasco didn’t pose a problem or didn’t seem to bother anyone till the end years of 1990’s. It was after 1995 that programmers and computer companies really sat down to solve this problem.
What Were The Problems Caused By Millennium Bug?
To be honest, the whole thing was blown way out of proportion. Hype was created for God knows what reasons. Here are some problems that may have happened, according to the scaremongers of Y2K.
- Computer crashes
- Cars and alarm clock problems
- Nuclear disaster
- Stock market collapse
So, did anything happen? I don’t even have to answer to that as according to some extremists, we were heading towards Stone Age! I honestly think this was unreasonable fear inculcated unnecessarily amongst the masses. I am not saying that the problem didn’t exist; the only problem is that the magnitude of the problem was miscalculated consciously or unconsciously.
What If Millennium Bug Would Resurface In 2017?
Having said that, if that problem arises again in this age where we have even connected our toaster with Internet; things might get out of hand. IoT are the latest technological advancements that have seeped into our lives in a big way. Cars, alarm clocks, coffee makers, internal lighting and heating system; you name it and they are now connected with internet. Back then, millennium Bug basically affected the main business sectors rather than home based appliances and machines. But now, if the problem arose, it will invade our homes too. The magnitude of the catastrophe, if happened, will be manifold as compared to 2000. Impact of system crashes will be felt in every sphere of everyday life. I don’t even have to mention nuclear facilities as they were at stake at the time of Y2K as well.
Problems may include:
- Disruption in lighting and heating systems at homes
- Problems in starting cars
- Flight schedule errors
- Traffic system malfunction
- Timeline and dates errors on major Social networks
Though nature of problems is quite similar to that of 2000, the magnitude of the disruption will definitely be bigger. The way of handling problem of such magnitude may also take effort at the large scale as well. With hacking and malpractice already on the rampage, this problem will only add fuel to fire. The whole system will have to be overhauled and the cost of such action can be monumental.
This hypothetical scenario of Y2K may be disastrous as per my calculated analysis, but just like the real Millennium Bug, the problem may die its own death.
I wish you all a happy, healthy and successful 2017!