Excitement, hype builds as Y2K nears

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 1999

With only 44 days left before the dawn the year 2000, the excitement is building and unfortunately so is the trepidation over the computer glitch known affectionately as the Y2K bug.

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past year or so, the Y2K bug is the result of a shortcut by some of the first computer programmers who never thought their original systems would be around to see the year 2000.

In an effort to save a few bits of space on their equipment’s limited memory, the programmers simply made all of the date functions calculate things based on only the last two digits. It was just assumed that the first two digits would be &uot;19.&uot;

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Since then our world has become increasingly dependent upon computer systems.

Now with only a month and a half left in the 1900s, old computer systems could crash when the dates roll over.

Globally the problem has the potential to be catastrophic. But it’s likely that with months and months of planning, the Y2K bug may turn out to have simply caused lots of unnecessary worry.

Locally, Adams County Civil Defense Director George Souderes says Natchez-Adams County is ready.

&uot;I don’t look for a lot to happen in Natchez-Adams County,&uot; Souderes said Monday at a community-wide Y2K meeting.

And we hope that Souderes is correct.

As Dec. 31, 1999, looms, officials now fear that everyone picking up the telephone or flipping all the lights on — just to see if they work — may overload the systems as it would on any day. Perhaps the worst thing our community can do is overreact and make a problem where one doesn’t exist. However, we’re glad to see that Souderes and other area officials seem to be on top of the situation and have a plan in place in case something does go wrong.