[ntp:questions] Re: Y2038 bug strikes early

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Wed Aug 2 22:24:15 UTC 2006

Rod Dorman wrote:
> In article <8dudnf3focSOlk3ZnZ2dnUVZ_qydnZ2d at comcast.com>,
> Richard B. Gilbert <rgilbert88 at comcast.net> wrote:
>> ...    As I recall the Y2K 
>>problem was first noted sometime in the 1970s.  It didn't need to be 
>>fixed for 25 years so nobody worried about it.
> Not true, in the 1980's mortgage software had to deal with dates
> beyond 1999.

Picky, picky, picky.

All right, so almost nobody addressed the problem.  The point was that 
people were aware as early as the mid 1970's that the two digit years 
that had been widely used to save space on 80 column punched cards and 
never changed to four digit years were going to be a problem.  It wasn't 
so much the old data as the programs that were written to handle two 
digit years and just assumed that the years involved were all 19xx.

New software generally used four digit years but there was an awful lot 
of legacy stuff that had been around since the 1960's and 70's that 
needed to be fixed. Nobody wanted to spend money fixing something that 
wouldn't break for twenty-five years, or twenty years, or ten or five. 
The effort to test and clean up all the application software didn't 
really get under way until around 1998 or, in many cases, 1999.

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