Why the Century Date Change Occurred so Smoothly
Although nearly all programmers knew that using two digits to represent years would cause difficulties in the year 2000, repairs in most cases were postponed until the late 1990s. If equipment had not been repaired, world trade and the global economy would have been seriously disrupted. Many people might have died as a result of chemical or nuclear spills or the failure of urban infrastructure. Once the seriousness of the problem was understood, governments, corporations, and associations around the world acted to repair equipment and to prepare for possible disruptions. Although repairs could have been made in the normal process of upgrades, because repairs were not made until time was extremely short, correcting the year 2000 computer problem became the largest technical project in human history. It was the largest management challenge since World War II and the largest example of peacetime cooperation in history. Because the year 2000 computer problem became a multi-disciplinary threat and required a multidisciplinary solution, it provides an ideal example for illustrating principles and methods from the systems sciences (Umpleby, 1999).
KeywordsComputer Problem Command Center Local Utility Electric Power Grid Interagency Working Group
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bennett, R., 1999, Investigating the Year 2000 Problem: The 100 Day Report, U.S. Senate Washington, DC. (www.senate.gov/~Y2K/doeuments/100dayrpt)Google Scholar
- Clarke, J., and Murphy, R., 2000, The Many Silver Linings of the Year 2000 Challenges,U.S. General Services Administration, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Koskinen, J., 1999, Fourth Summary of Assessment Information, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. (www.Y2K.gov/riew/4thquarterly.html)Google Scholar
- Koskinen, J., 2000, The Journey to Y2K: Final Report of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. (www.Y2K.gov)Google Scholar
- McConnell, B., 2000, Y2K: Starting the Century Right! International Y2K Cooperation Center, Washington, DC. (wvvw.iY2Kcc.org)Google Scholar
- Muller, K., 2000, Two double binds and a double blindness: Y2K and the science system, in this volume.Google Scholar
- Pozdniakov, V. and Umpleby, S., 2000, A Y2K point of view on economic and cultural developments in the US and Russia, in: Cybernetics and Systems 2000, R. Trappl,ed., Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies, Vienna, Austria.Google Scholar
- Umpleby, S.A., 1999, How the year 2000 computer crisis might reenergize systems science, Presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, Asilomar, CA.Google Scholar
- Umpleby, S.A., 2000, Some implications of the year 2000 computer crisis for academic disciplines, in: Cybernetics and Systems 2000, R. Trappl, ed., Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies, Vienna, Austria.Google Scholar