A short narrative on why nothing (much) happened
Serious Millennium bugs were not reported after the transition to the new third millennium. A few satellites went off line for some hours, some minor disturbances in services or utilities, some checks or pension policy calculations were not quite correct and some date related displays were a hundred years off (see below). But in the whole the major disasters as foretold by some (news) pundits stayed out.
Especially this was the case in countries were the advanced integration of computers in society was much lower compared to industrialized countries. Risks, governments reasoned, were assumed to be the problem of the financial and merchant industries itself. Another simple reason for governments in these countries was that resources were just not available to start a full fledged probing program for millennium bugs. Even when (western) software companies offered their services, or offered free advice or methodologies, nothing was actively done. However it is not said that nothing was done at all. In some countries spin-off companies of local universities were able to cover the most urgent needs, making use of work students or trained other people within organizations to have some level of testing. All very low profile and at low costs, but that seemed adequately enough.
When looking back there were some other factors that played a positive role:
When all was over rumors started and some critical sounds were heard. Some of the most voiced were that of politicians. However they and other public figures tended to forget that the smooth transition was the result of some thousands of persons whom worked very hard and making long days precisely not to have programs and computer chips go awry or crash. Most people were unaware of the huge amounts of money and time spent by private corporations and some public organizations. And not knowing the background entirely some politicians still said that it was all a hoax and the money wasted, even some papers carried articles with the same wordings. But these critical sounds died out fast.
However all things considered mankind sighed with relieve when the clock chimed 12 and reports came in, it appeared errors were very few.
|Last Updated on September 10, 2002||For suggestions please mail the editors|
Footnotes & References
|1||copyright: the history of computing foundation, 2002|