Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to a time when none of us thought of a Boeing 767 as a weapon, our country had an economy other countries were jealous of, and our creepy exes couldn’t track us down on Facebook?
This was 1999, and the biggest thing we were all worried was a computer glitch called the Y2K bug.
OK, in case you’re not old enough to remember… what happened was that computer programmers and other folks in charge of data processing would shorten four-digit years to two digits, giving the computer 55 as the year instead of 1955. It sounds lazy now, but back then, people had to enter info using unit record equipment and punch cards, so saving space was really important.
This seemed to mean that, once the year 2000 hit, computers would think it was 1900, causing all kinds of problems. People were stocking up on food, bottled water, medical supplies, and sometimes even guns and gold like it was the end of the world!
Except that hardly anything happened. There were a few glitches, yeah, but they were taken care of, and most people didn’t even notice.
Now, hundreds of billions of dollars were spent fixing a lot of that old code, so we don’t know what would have happened if we had let things happen naturally and fixed problems as they cropped up.
But, for what it was worth, the Y2K scare sure made for some exciting New Year’s parties!