Y2K Culture Archives

THE END AS I KNOW IT Now Available in Paperback

Anchor Books has released the softcover edition of The End as I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety. It has a great new cover, designed by Helen Yentus.

Look for it at your favorite bookstore. If they don’t have it, ask them what in the world they’re thinking, not carrying this book. But not in a belligerent way. Or you can find it on Amazon.com. And apparently, it’s also available for the Kindle. I’ve never actually seen a Kindle, but someone out there must have them—they’re sold out!

In other news, I had a feature called On This Day Pre-Y2K on this site when the TEAIKI hardcover came out. I stopped maintaining it in May; it was time-consuming, and the material gets rather repetitive after a while. But this past December, as the “pre-Y2K” window approached the Y2K rollover itself, I thought it might be interesting to check in on what some of the “doombrood” were saying immediately prior to the dreaded date—and immediately after, as it became clear that civilization had emerged largely intact. So I added some entries for a few weeks in December 1999 and January 2000. It’s not exactly When Prophecy Fails, but you might find it interesting.

Jim Croce eulogized a man who was “meaner than a junkyard dog.” But there was another Bad, Bad Leroy. LeRoy Neiman.

If someone asked you to write the stupidest possible lead-in to an anecdote about the Rockefellers, do you think you could do better than this?

Long before he became the czar of the breakfast sausage industry, country singer Jimmy Dean eulogized a coal miner in the 1962 chart topper, “Big Bad John.” John was big because, well, he was a big guy. He was bad because he was not to be trifled with and possessed a strength and courage that impressed his co-workers. But there was another John, a real life John, who established a reputation for being both big and bad but decidedly less admirable. This John wasn’t to be trifled with either. In fact, he was every bit as cunning and dangerous as the serpent that once served as the logo for the company he built, Standard Oil.

Big Bad John D. Rockefeller was not a lowly coal miner. He was America’s first billionaire...

That’s from Chapter 7 of Surviving Y2K.

I like to think I could make this stuff up, but fortunately I don’t need to try.

Y2K Glossary

In the 1999-vintage material I’ve been posting to On This Day Pre-Y2K, and in The End as I Know It, you’ll find a number of terms and names that were part of the everyday vocabulary of the Y2K subculture, but whose meaning probably won’t be clear to anyone who wasn’t involved in the online anxiety of that period. So I’ve compiled a Y2K Glossary.

I won’t have time to go through each OTDPY2K item and asterisk the occurrences of these terms, but if you come across something that needs explanation and isn’t already included here, please post a comment below or email me. Also feel free to speak up if you think a particular definition needs correction or expansion.

Jo Anne [in] Effect [yo]

One of today’s posts from On This Day Pre-Y2K uses a term that most of you are probably unfamiliar with. What are “JA effects”?

Many of those who predicted Y2K-based doom did not believe the catastrophe would hold off until the year 2000. Computer systems were supposed to begin failing in 1999, leading to mass panic.

In April of 1998, one Jo Anne Slaven pointed out on the newsgroup comp.software.year-2000 that non-Y2K-compliant accounting sofware faced potential problems at the beginning of an organization’s fiscal year preceding calendar year 2000, because “when a new fiscal year starts, the system has to know what the last day of the fiscal year will be. For a fiscal year beginning on, say, April 1, 1999, there will be 12 monthly accounting periods it will have to recognize. April 30, 1999 up to March 31, 2000.”

Continue reading “Jo Anne [in] Effect [yo]” »

On This Day Pre-Y2K

In addition to all the book-related information you’d expect to find on an author’s site, kshay.com has a special section I’d like to highlight.

The End as I Know It is set in 1998, and it’s about a young man plagued by obsessive fear of the Y2K computer bug. Much of his paranoia stems from his immersion in the online Y2K community. To give readers and prospective readers a non-fictionalized look at what that community was like during the timeframe of the novel, I’ve created (and solemnly vow to keep updating) On This Day Pre-Y2K.

The quotations you’ll find there will be drawn from a variety of sources, but primarily from three.

Continue reading “On This Day Pre-Y2K” »

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