The Ticking Bomb Y2k Essay Research Paper

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The Ticking Bomb (Y2k) Essay, Research Paper 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 BombIntroduction 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