January 1, 2001

Y2.001K bug disaster averted by heroic programmers

Author: JT Smith

by Robin Miller - Baltimore, MD - I am writing this live, just after midnight on Jan 1, 2001, at a gathering of programmers, sysadmins, and other geeks whose heroic efforts have managed to stave off the potentially world-crushing Y2.001K bug, or "Millenium bug," which threatened to bring down the Internet and most of the world's finance infrastructure as the world clicked over into the second thousand years of the Christian calendar.The gathering was organized by Jon Lasser, author of the book Think Unix, and his wife, Kathleen Ellis, maintainer of The Privacy Page. Here, at a slightly down-at-the-heels mansion in the heart of a city innocently celebrating New Year's Eve with fireworks and noisemakers, concern about more serious matters have dominated all conversation.

Lasser says he "spent far more on this gathering than he spent on Y2K remedation," which shows how seriously he took the Y2.001K warnings. In a possible excess of preparation, he even had a Baltimore County paramedic on hand, not to mention a keg of beer and plenty of wine and liquor.

The paramedic was off-duty (some said he was there primarily for the beer), but the wine and liquor bottles were certainly on duty and pouring as hard as they could. This activity seemed to be a major part of the planned defense against the dread potential worldwide computer disaster.


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