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Dave Fleming Michael Pratt Com 112-03 9 November 1999 Proposal Argument The Y2K Horror Over the years the technological world has advanced rapidly and humans have come to rely on computers for just about every aspect of daily life from education to communication to banking to electricity we depend on technology The Y2K bug seems to be a vicious reminder that our technology is just a tangled connection of imperfect haphazard systems we have come to let run our lives The year 2000 or the Y2K problem is caused by a short cut imbedded into many computer and microchips In the 1960s to conserve what was then precious and expensive memory space computer programmers shortened the four-digit year to use a much more economical two-digit method for example 78 would mean 1978 Unfortunately computers and microchips that still use a two-number year will recognize 00 as the year 1900 not as 2000 When using data involving dates the problem will cause failures and can corrupt databases with incorrect information A statement issued by the Presidents Council on the Year 2000 Conversion states This Y2K bug could cause computers to either shut down or generate incorrect data In our electronic information-dependent society that could be a big problem At the time the two-digit year was first used in computer programming no one addressed or was prepared for a problem when the year 2000 rolled around because like today technology was advancing and changing quickly Computer programmers assumed that the two-digit year would eventually be changed and become obsolete This obviously did not happen In many cases the older applications that use the two-digit method have been built on and are buried deep into systems that are the basis of large corporations and other industries that run civilization as we know it Computers are everywhere in government business utilities and our jobs When one system fails there is a cascading effect to other systems Chairman
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