Databases and Y2K

Databases and Y2K

  • Submitted By: cnelson
  • Date Submitted: 05/24/2008 2:30 PM
  • Category: Technology
  • Words: 1047
  • Page: 5
  • Views: 1

Databases and the Impact of the Approaching Millenium.

Introduction: Tremendous problems loom just around the corner for organizations that use two-digit years (i.e. 1-9-97). How tough could it be to change the year from 1999 to 2000? The "Year 2000 Problem" cannot be fixed by simply resetting a computer's internal clock on January 1, 2000. Computers may be smart, but their programmers weren't very farsighted. In the '60s and '70s, many businesses were looking to cut costs and because computer storage space was expensive at the time, programmers decided to cut year dates to two digits (i.e., 1969 became 69). It doesn't sound like a major error, but computers are extremely date-sensitive. Computers routinely add and subtract digits in a date to make a variety of logical calculations, ranging from travel reservations to how much interest one has accrued on a savings account. The problem lies in the fact that many computers designate century data using only two digits, 00, and will read 2000 as 1900. And the bug affects more than just computer systems. Many manufacturers have built products with software instructions embedded onto chips; equipment ranging from fax machines to auto assembly lines could all be affected by the bug.

What's the Problem? For many organizations, the Year 2000 Problem has become the most complex project management exercise ever undertaken. The reasons for this are multi-factored. For starters, we are less than 13 months away from Year 2000 yet many organizations are just now paying attention to it.1 There is no way to avoid the fact that our information systems are based on a faulty standard that will cost the worldwide computer community billions of dollars in programming effort. This 'bug' touches on all areas of an organization, and the complexity of analyzing and quantifying the scope of the problem, repairing and replacing infected items, conducting adequate testing activities and finally,...

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