What was Y2K bug and how it was cured?

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The programmers consider the Y2K bug to be the biggest bug in computer history as it influences almost all the computers back in the late 90s. The Y2K bug is an abbreviation of “Year 2000 Bug”. ‘Y’ stands for the year and ‘K’ stands for 1000 collectively known as Y2K Bug. The bug purely relates to the bug in the date format which the programmers developed in the 1960s and 1980s due to a very minor programming mistake. So, let’s see what was a Y2K bug and how programmers cured it.

What was a Y2K bug and how it was cured?

As discussed above, The Y2K bug is the programming mistake that relates to date. Programmers in the 1960s and 80s used a two digits code for the date. Only the two-digit year was changeable. Programmers used two-digits code as data storage was very costly at that time. Let’s take an example of the year 1960. Computers automatically detect 19 while the two-digit code of the year increments with the year.

This led to the biggest problem in the history of computers when the year 2000 was about to come and programmers realized that systems will automatically detect 19 again instead of 20. And when the year 2000 will arrive, the date will change to 1900 instead of 2000.

Effects of the Y2K bug

Instead of January 1st, 2000 the dates could be January 1, 1900, which is a whole century gap and will lead to the system in minus 100 times.  It was a time of fear because the data of almost a century could be at risk or manipulated due to this. Banks, industries, airport and were at high risk where the computers were in use. Banks calculate the rate of interest on a regular daily schedule. If the date goes in minus 100 years, computers would suppose to calculate the interest in minus 100 years.

The Y2K bug might also affect Transportation such as Airports. There were not so many airlines back in the 90s. It was a threat that all the systems of the airport will revert back to the old dates which could not only destroy the audit of the records but also manipulate the airline’s scheduling. Power plants were also threatened because they also work on the daily scheduling for the maintenance check such as water pressure and radiation levels. Without legitimate calculations, the nearby residents could be in danger.

Cure of Y2K Bug

Y2K was a dual problem, which means that it was both a software and a hardware problem. Software is an electronic program that instructs the computers what to do and what not to do. While hardware is the machinery used on the computer. The best solution found was to extend the two-digit code to four-digit code. So, that computers can apply increments the whole year. The United States and the United Kingdom spent millions of dollars on fixing the Year 2000 bug as they were in serious danger due to it. The caretakers had to eliminate the bug on a government level and resolved before the year 2000.

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2 Comments

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