It was 20 years ago today. The World was awaiting what had been sold as a potential crisis of epic proportions. Y2K. The news reports leading up to the first day of the year 2000 were often like this scene from Ghostbusters:
For those too young to remember, the premise was that computers had not been programmed to adjust to the calendar change to the new millennium. When the clock struck midnight to take us into the year 2000, computers would shut down, potentially causing problems with utilities, banks, hospitals and just about everything else. For several years prior, computer programmers had developed “fixes” for the “glitch”. Read more about the details of what happened, and didn’t happen, in this article from Encyclopedia Britannica.
It seems so ridiculous now. But 20 years ago, the fears were quite real. Here is a segment from a PAX TV special that will show you how (maybe overly) dramatic the situation was:
Possibly the proactive moves to “fix” the “bug” saved the day. But this non-event is often looked at as one reason many people are complacent when they are warned about impending doom.
Luckily, this New Year’s Eve, we have no real or fictitious reasons to panic.