Y2K! w/ Todd Anderson and Stephen Skelton

Todd Anderson
Stephen Skelton

Hello Buddies! Allow me to paint you a picture: The year was 1999! Panic swept the land as the new year approached and with the terrifying possibility of the Y2K Virus! Planes would fall from the sky! We'd be launched back to the Great Depression! Nuclear weapons would be launched worldwide! We counted down as the big ball dropped and on 0... nothing happened. Well, actually a few relatively minor (though in one case incredibly shocking and horrible thing happened) things occurred, but we did not find ourselves in a new Stone Age. We're joined this week by Todd Anderson and Stephen Skelton of The Film Pigs to discuss the Apocalypse that almost was and what we can learn from it. You should probably hurry up and download before your computer glitches...


the bug was real

As an engineer/computer scientist, I can assure you that the Y2K problem was VERY REAL. Millions of dollars were spent digging through thousands and thousands of computer systems and correcting the "bug". It's because of all of that work that next to nothing happened.

Just a little clarification, though: It's not that we knew what was going to happen; it's that we had no idea what was going to happen. The big problem with the software that was written with a 2-digit year code was that no two software designers implemented it the same way. Furthermore, how the software using these little date-related snippets of code would handle (19)99 rolling over to (19/20)00 was anyone's guess, and in all likelihood every possible way of handling it probably was represented (given how much software out there needed to be corrected). On top of that, you likely would have had two pieces of software interacting, one thinking it was 1900 and one thinking it was 2000.

Also, this wasn't a "virus", it was just software written by different people without any sort of standard agreed upon between them on how it would handle the date.

forget Y2K, the 2038 bug is bigger!

there's a bug that'll hit in 2038 that is way more serious than Y2K. It's worse insofar as lay-people wont really understand why it's a problem: