Links from 2024-01-02
20 Years Later, the Y2K bug seems like a joke. That’s because those behind the scenes then took it seriously
President Clinton had exhorted the government in mid-1998 to “put our own house in order,” and large businesses — spurred by their own testing — responded in kind, racking up an estimated expenditure of $100 billion in the United States alone. Their preparations encompassed extensive coordination on a national and local level, as well as on a global scale, with other digitally reliant nations examining their own systems.
The innumerable programmers who devoted months and years to implementing fixes received scant recognition. (One programmer recalls the reward for a five-year project at his company: lunch and a pen.) It was a tedious, unglamorous effort, hardly the stuff of heroic narratives — nor conducive to an outpouring of public gratitude, even though some of the fixes put in place in 1999 are still used today to keep the world’s computer systems running smoothly.