# Y2K Year 2000 Bug Essay

534 Words3 Pages
Almost everyone has heard the term "Y2k", but most have no clue what it means. This research paper will explain what it means, what is to blame, and possible effects the problem could have in the future. Although the issue seems a simple, even pointless one on the surface, once examined, you can discover many separate causes and implications and how widespread this problem actually is. The genuine meaning of the Year 2000 Bug also known as Y2k (Y representing "Year", "k" stands for thousand), or Millennium Time Bomb is simple to understand. It represents the computer's inability to differentiate between the years 2000 and 1900. It can be explained like this: when the year part of a date is expressed using two digits, as is the standard in computing, the possible year value ranges from 00 to 99. When humans add 1 to 99, they will get the answer of 100. However, if you tell a computer to do the same thing in the space of 2 digits, it will come up with either 0 or 00. If you take the date 3/19/99 and tell the computer to add 1 to the year part, the result would look like 3/19/00. To us humans, the date will suggest that the year is 2000, but to a computer the year will be interpreted as 1900. This is where the problem starts. The first question many ask when first learning about the Year 2000 problem is "How was this allowed to happen?" The thought that so much damage could be done, by so many people, over such a long period of time and has gone so undetected, is hard to believe. And there is no single answer to that question; it's a combination of several business and technological problems. Back when hard drive space was expensive in the 60's and 70's, it was important to cut down on the amount of stored data in an application. Character storage space was cut, as well as numeric storage space, and dates were too. At the time it was considered uneconomical to store