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Miscellaneous Monday - Y2K Memories

LarryBrock Community Leader Mar 02, 2020

I'm sitting on a bus traveling thIs morning and my thoughts have wandered back to "Y2K".  I remember all the meetings and long hours at work in the fall of 1999, then waiting in fascination to see if the world cratered when some computer system failed and became the first domino to fall.  Wow, what a big dud - nothing happened.  Eventually I gave up and went to sleep.  As we all assembled at work the next morning to assess any damage, yes on New Years Day, I realized how all the long months of preparation had paid off.  On the other hand, had we all just fallen victim to the dooms-day hysteria?

 What are your Y2K memories?  Any funny stories about that crazy cousin who locked themselves in a bunker? Did you experience an actual computer system failure that caused any real trouble or humorous mischief?

Looking forward to hearing about your experience!


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In 1999 I was working as a help desk agent for a DOS based real-estate accounting software company, and Y2K was a huge concern. For years the software had been coded with a two digit year, and our DOS development team spent months working on patches to change it while the sales and implementation/conversion teams worked feverishly to get as many clients on the Windows version as possible.  Up until the last 6 months of 1999 most established customers wanted nothing to do with Windows because it was buggy while the DOS version was incredibly stable (aside from the occasional "index rebuild" that took forever, rarely fixed anything, but gave the support agent time to investigate a problem.)

So, there we were...40 of us support agents in the office watching Dick Clark count down to the apocalypse. Once the clock struck midnight we were all prepared to have the phones ringing off the hook. 

5 minutes in...crickets. 

30 minutes in...crickets. 

an hour in, one phone rang. The customer just wanted to see if support was available in case they ran into issues. 

We popped the champagne at 3:30 after California rang in the New Year and we still had only the one phone call. 

At 4:00 or so I got a call from a customer that had logged in to check the system, realized everything was fine with the Y2K bug, and tried to do some work on their FASB rents and messed it up. I suggested that they run an index rebuild and went home.



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In 1999, I worked for an insurance adjusting company doing, essentially, data entry. My boss at the time (and owner of the company, it was one of those husband-and-wife companies that always seems to be the most dysfunctional type of workplace) was a doomsday prepper. She changed my job description to "preparing for Y2K."

In reality this meant going to our field offices and inventorying a bunch of equipment by putting stickers on each item and entering the corresponding info into a spreadsheet, and also "research" aka printing out articles from the internet about Y2K.  She also came along with me and at one point we went to the Ronald Reagan presidential library and she gave me a Bible as a gift (?) I guess to protect me from the rapture. In the meantime she was preparing a literal underground bunker in Montana or something. 

Needless to say, nothing happened at Y2K, but even if it did, I'm not sure how the stickers and spreadsheet were going to help us. 

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Mandy Ross Community Manager Mar 02, 2020

We're probably all still alive because of these stickers.

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Kat Marketplace Partner Mar 02, 2020

Being in one of the first countries in the world to see the millennium arrive there were a lot of festivities. 

It was impossible to send an SMS or make a mobile call for hours after midnight because so many people were trying to do so. This worried some folks in West Island (i think you call it Australia) because they were expecting the all clear from NZ a couple of hours before their moment and took the silence as a bad sign.

I have lots of memories of that night, which will stay as pleasant memories. I did not watch the sun rise.


I had one game that recorded high scores as 01/01/100 though :P

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Y2K was so uneventful for me. I worked at Apple at the time, whose OS was "immune" to the Y2K bug so we were busy being really super smug about that. my friends and I decided we should stay at home juuuust in case things went crazy; there was SO much hype in the media. so we watched the ball drop on TV, and being on the west coast of the US were some of the last people to welcome in the year. when nothing happened, I realized I wasted a perfectly good new year's eve. 

Then I was sitting at my desk in January and this developer I knew (total Unix guy, complete with mandatory Unix beard) came over and taped a note to my monitor that read, "January 19, 2038 - JUST YOU WAIT!!"

this is why I have literally no smart appliances in my home. 

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Man! Y2K... what a crazy night that was!

We have fond memories of that night. It was craaaaaazy thanks to the millennium bug.

About 120 of us were all stuck at the head office office and guzzling down coffees and diet cokes to make sure we all stayed sharp and focussed for the big moment.
Suffice to say it was a big anticlimax when it got to midnight and absolutely fricking nothing happened.

probably the most climatic moment was losing my girlfriend and when, finally giving up looking for her, I went to download a file to I find her chatting to a coworker in the coffee room. He had his shirt on. I found it hilarious, me just sitting there downloading my file as they chatted. At one point she squeezed his hand real hard and he helped. LOLz!!

I remember standing in the kitchen on the landline about 2am, when the phone lines finally became available talking soberly and bored to my parents, wishing them a new year.

Then we watched the Matrix and we all went to sleep.

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By the way... I felt left out as everyone was talking about work so the above isn't quite true.
I was 16 at the time. Work was doing part time jobs in bars and cafes.
To know the truth, you're gonna have to go back and re-read my story with the following truths in place:

stuck = crammed
at the head office office = in a mate's huge townhouse
coffees = booze
diet cokes = drugs
stayed sharp and focussed = absolutely off our tits
anticlimax = mahoosive climax
nothing = everything
download a file = take a massive dump
chatting to a coworker = macking out with a mate
coffee room = bath tub
on = off
downloading my file = doing a big Y2K s***
chatted = got it on
hand = nipple
talking = screaming
soberly = drunkenly
bored = off my face
new year = new year and god knows what other crap came out my mouth
Sleep = passed out 

We did watch the matrix... but in the state I was in I had absolutely no idea what was going on, nor how good this movie was!
I remember watching the Matrix 2 in the cinema thinking "Sh**, I knew I should have rewatched the 1st one"
LOLz 😂

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Kat Marketplace Partner Mar 02, 2020

I followed most of your substituted text FMA - be what is this Matrix 2 you speak of? There were no sequels to the epic movie known as the Matrix.

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You too, eh? I really see these movies as two seperate entities and never a trilogy:
1) The Matrix
2) The other two

Actually... if I feel like a "Trilogy" bing watching sessions I do this:
1) The Matrix
2) The Matrix Revisited
3) The Matrix Animatrix
4) The Matrix Reloaded
5) The Matrix Revolutions
That way I use the first three as the "Trilogy" and then just add on the other two. hahaha!

So intrigued for #4.
I hope it's not a monumental F UP. 🤞
I recently contacted the Wachowski sisters via Twitter and recommend the title "The Matrix Redundant", as not only is this movie not needed, but neither were 2 & 3 !
hahaha. 🤣

I'm waiting to hear back from them... 😬

Taranjeet Singh Community Leader Mar 03, 2020

No such memories that I remember, I was still in my high school when Y2K began! :-)

Like Andy - PTC Redundant likes this

Hahaha this has me laughing in my cube! I was five. So I'm not sure that your first or "translated" story is particularly relatable. ;)

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Hahaha! Totally not relatable indeed @Samie Kaufman - Your Gal at Gliffy 

This is so fascinating! I was really young during all these discussions and hype and I have truly never thought about what it would be like to work in tech during this time.

I don't think my parents were particularly concerned. I have no memories of anything about it... it's just really cool to hear what you guys were working through at the time. Thank you for sharing!!

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