Originally posted on WIBC.com on 01/03/2011:
Abbreviated as Y2k, the Year 2000 was a reported issue for IBM compatible computers using the 2-digit date stamp. This was originally done to save code space, programmers created the dates to be represented by two digits such as 79 for 1979. When these computers roll over to 2000, the computer would interpret 2000 as 00, causing the computer to think it was 1900.
Several million dollars were spent on government and business computers upgrading the code and the hardware to accept the year 2000. On January 1, 2000, no significant issues occurred being a success for some people and thought of as a hoax by others.
Over ten years ago the scare of Y2K was real and the who’s who were all speculating on an all out disaster. Many worried that technology would just stop working. The concept of having months of no electricity or modern machines was a real threat in many people’s minds.
Billions of dollars were put into the Y2K issue, but in the end many realized that the scare wasn’t as big of a problem as many feared. It seems as if it was all wasted money, but was it really? Were there long term benefits from that money being spent to update and improve technology?
First of all, preparing for Y2K really helped out companies to improve and unite their technology. Beforehand many companies had technological infrastructure that was old and outdated. With the money spent preparing for Y2K many companies could have technology that was streamlined and united in a way it had never been before.
Another benefit of Y2K is that many IT specialists had jobs. The idea of spending billions to give some people jobs might not seem like a benefit to some, but during this time many specialists got training they needed for the internet age. Today there are so many people working now as IT specialists who were provided with great training back during the Y2K days.
The Y2K scare also made people making technology to start focusing on long term solutions. People now are writing software and developing hardware thinking of what happens over decades versus just focusing on the short term.