Addressing computer non-compliance in Year 2000


Some computer hardware and software designs did not function in the Year 2000 (Y2K). The sources of Y2K problems were pervasive, and affected: computer clock mechanisms, operating systems, software packages, libraries, tools and application software. In addition, many different types of computer technology systems were at risk, such as: personal computers, mainframe and mini computers, programmable logic controllers, microprocessors, and embedded software-based systems. These flawed designs became standard throughout all sectors of the world's economy, including chemical processing, handling, distribution and disposal industries. Larger technology systems developed around failed computer designs, thereby creating a monumental problem. Fixing this problem was technically complicated and costly. Deadlines are certain and immutable. Several classes of date problems were encountered over the next several years beginning in 1999: the major problem of relying upon 2 digits to indicate calendar year dating; and others, such as incorrect leap year algorithms, alternative number codes, and rollover of registers used to store date-related data. In some instances, it was too late for some important systems and organizations to completely resolve the problem before the deadlines. Available skilled personnel and financial resources were not sufficient.


Success at dealing with Y2K had a lot to do with resources, and anyone who believed otherwise was painfully naive. And yet, defeating the challenge of Y2K says as much or more about one's competency than it does about one's wealth. The rich survived Y2K just fine, but only the truly clever can thrive in Y2K.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies