Friday, 15 August 2014

Y2K Bug Strikes ... At Last

In a 'told you so' blast from the past moment. the Y2K bug finally bit something.

The Y2K Bug as it was portrayed.

Remember the Y2K Millennium Bug, which was a goldmine for I.T. professionals everywhere in 1999, as they rushed to reassure panicking companies (and made vast sums of money), who were all convinced that their world would come to a standstill in the year 2000?

Well, it's finally managed to come true ... kinda. Better late than never.

Y2K Bug as it was feared ... planes dropping from skies - end of world.

This year a computer glitch has seen US military draft notices mistakenly sent to 14,215 men in Pennsylvania, all of whom had birth dates between 1893-1897! The draft notices ordered all recipients to register for the draft, or face punishments of "a fine and imprisonment" .... Good Luck with that!

The computer bug occurred during an automated data transfer in July 2014 of nearly 400,000 records from the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles to the Selective Service System, which is another federal government department. This data transfer used some old code which hadn't been fixed in 1999, and as Pennsylvania uses a two-digit code to indicate an individual's year of birth ('93' not '1993' which was what the Y2K code bug was all about), so the records of men born between 1993 and 1997, became mixed up with those of males born a hundred years earlier.

The Selective Service department only discovered the error when confused relatives of the deceased contacted the agency to complain. "Selective Service regrets any inconvenience caused the families of these men and assures them that the error has been corrected and no action is required on their part," the agency said on its website. The agency says that it now no longer has any access to records for men born before 1960 in the state, and all requests for archived records must be sent to the National Archives and Records Administration in Missouri instead.

Apparently almost all male US citizens and immigrants, between the ages of 18-25 are required to register with the Selective Service department, but they are not automatically inducted into the military. However during a crisis, a random lottery number and year of birth would be used to select men, who would then be drafted into the armed forces (after being examined for "physical, mental and moral fitness").

Y2K Bug as it was fixed - insert 2 digits.

Still as I was contracting during the Y2K 'crisis', I can only recall them as 'Happy Days', and so I am glad that the little pest finally reared its ugly head ... finally justifies the money Ha ha. 

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