Ottawa: y2k flop a valuable lesson : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

global tv

(Again, their online version is a tiny fraction of what was reported on tv tonight. For example, the report mentioned that Ottawa's command centre closed just recently, on December 1. Wish this station would post its entire article at the time it reports on tv.)

8:57 a.m. EST December 27, 2000 -- A year ago this week, people were both frantically returning unwanted Christmas gifts and stocking up on canned goods and batteries in anticipation of the Y2K glitch.

The year has come and gone, and for most people, the millennium computer scare turned out to be more of a footnote than a crisis.

While some look back at all the hoopla and say it was much ado about nothing, others say there are lessons to be learned from the efforts that were made to root out potential problems.

The head of the international Y2K effort says the episode shows people can solve tough global problems with enough effort and resources.

Bruce McConnell says that while it cost a lot of money to address the millennium bug problem, it turned out to be what he calls "a great story of cooperation and hard work."

In case you've forgotten in all the talk about hanging and dimpled chads that have dominated the news during the later part of this year, the Y2K scare centered on what might happen with computers programmed to recognize only the last two digits of a year.

There was concern if computers couldn't distinguish between 1900 and 2000, it could wreak havoc on everything from aviation to providing food supplies. There were some cases where that happened, but they were considered relatively minor inconveniences.

For example, a video store in New York State tried to charge a customer more than $91,000 after computers showed a rented movie was being returned 100 years late.

-- Rachel Gibson (, December 29, 2000

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