Remember Y2K? The teachers certainly do

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Remember Y2K? The teachers certainly do

Cienna Barney, Opinion Writer, Photographer

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If you don’t necessarily remember because you weren’t even born yet, here’s a little
summary. Back in the 1900’s when the first computers were made, computer
engineers used a two digit code for the year and the “19” was left out. Computer
programmers developed it to be that way because it saved space and storage. This
wasn’t a problem until they realized once the year reached 2000, the computer would
interpret the date as 1900 and not 2000. The date was important because many
maintenance and safety checks relied on a specific date and time, and setting the date
back 100 years would throw off the balance. Not to mention, interest rates from banks
giving out loans also operated on day to day basis, so the computer would calculate the
rate by minus 100 years!
The bug wasn’t an extreme worry; however, with almost anything a small worry
induces the public into panic. People started filling their bathtubs with water, which
caused the public water systems to fail, creating a domino effect in making everyone
worry more. The rumors started to spread about the flight times being messed up, so
another theory that involved planes falling out of the sky had erupted. What the
citizens didn’t know; however, was that The bug in the computers had been fixed way
before the year had come. The public continued to worry about their own safety, and
bought into all the advertisements including the “Y2K survival kits”. Companies had
begun to fuel the fire and donate millions of dollars to fix the problem, when it was all
so simple.
In conclusion to this event, planes obviously didn’t fall from the sky, the world didn’t
end, and we’re not in some post-apocalyptic universe with giant sized rodents and
zombies that have mutated because of nuclear reaction. Most people dismissed the
event as being an “End of the world cult” or just a hoax because of the lack of results.
This was just a short explanation of what this event was, so in part two of my story I
will interview the staff about what they remember from Y2K. They’ll reveal if they
either brushed it off as a hoax or if they were actually preparing for the apocolypse.