The Modern Day Plague

             Argument: Mankind has become too dependent on computers, and we as a society are covering up our errors and not facing the facts, to avoid panic.

             About four years ago, a new "pop" headline came hot of the press rumoring something about home computers having problems when the year 2000 hit. "The year 2000, that's six years away," people thought. Many believed in six years it would be fixed. Thus, the headline got thrown into the archives along with egg yolks being high in cholesterol and the FBI and the CIA being against each other. Well, today the computer problem has resurrected itself. The downside is that, the second round of "hype," as some have called it, is being looked upon less seriously than before.

             What is the problem anyway, what's the big deal? Many have asked this question without a definite answer, weakening any bit of concern. Here it is put simply. All computers contain small processors that contain a current date. This processor comes in millions of different types and has been for close to 30 years. These processors are responsible for simple and complex operations and in some cases, for recording data. All of these functions require dates to perform. Well, the problem hits when one looks at how all processors have been made. All they contain are six numbers, 2 for the day, 2 for the month and 2 for the year. What about when 99 wants to flip to 00? The computer thinks 00 is before 99. Therefore, many go haywire and perhaps crash. The only way to fix it, is by replacing or up dating ALL processors to record four digits for the year.

             When this problem first resurfaced about eight months back, the few that were paying attention realized the danger. Many suggested the idea of the world collapsing. This drew enough rally to form a congressional committee in May of (19)98, less than two years to the millennium. Y2K, as it is now known, was targeted more toward government and business application rather than home PC's.

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