On This Day Pre-Y2K

What did “millennial anxiety” look like in 1998 and 1999? The End as I Know It is a fictional portrait of the paranoia of that period. This section of kshay.com offers a real-world glimpse into what people concerned about the Y2K bug were actually saying on the Internet.

On This Day Pre-Y2K is updated daily with one or more verbatim quotations drawn from a variety of online sources, from today’s date, eight years ago.

This post goes into a bit more detail about where the material is drawn from.

If you come across terms or names you don’t recognize, try the Y2K Glossary.

January 21, 2000 Permalink

What do I consider to be a Y2K “event”? That would be anything happening or potentially happening due to date processing errors or to the possibility of such errors, that by my knowing about it, I can take steps to the advantage of myself and the people that I care about. If there’s nothing I can do about it, even if it’s really bad, then it’s off my radar. The people I care about would include my neighborhood and community as well as some strangers on the Internet. There is no problem or opportunity too small to qualify as a Y2K event.

Now that we’ve come through the first day of the year, why do I continue to watch for problems? Some of the credit card and utility statements showing their first 2000 item won’t be generated until the end of January. Generally, these are not due to be paid until thirty days later. One question is, what kind of interest will be charged to someone who doesn’t pay that bill in full, but pays only the minimum amount. They may not know until they receive their next bill just how they were treated regarding the interest charged on the unpaid amount. It may then take many clerical hours to undo problems over a period of months.

It’s not really clear to me that the oil situation is under control. If there was significant stockpiling throughout the channels of distribution, it’s hard telling how soon any production shortfalls would begin to pinch.

On March 1st, of course, we begin to find out if there are any problems relating to leap year. This isn’t exactly a Y2K problem, per se (as in the two-digit year), but what the hay. It’s possible that there will be some companies who do OK on this, for the wrong reason. We may not know for another 100 years if they REALLY got that right. For some worries we have to just sigh and get on with our lives. Let’s just hope there won’t be any manufacturing screw-ups like the one that happened in that plant in New Zealand in 1996. Wouldn’t this be a good time to publicize the issue?

—minddancr, comp.software.year-2000, 01/21/00

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