Volume 92, Issue 59

Wednesday, January 13, 1999

sleeping with the enemy


Millenium paranoia won't destroy you

Finding "U" with a graduation degree

Millenium paranoia won't destroy you

So we've reached 1999, but all anybody can talk about is the year 2000 (or Y2K – for those who love a good buzz term). What can really be expected on January 1, 2000 – will it be the ruble of judgment day or just a bad hangover? Perhaps some light can be shed on the subject.

For starters, let's start off with what most people consider a very real threat – the Y2K bug. One of the reasons people may be scared is because they do not have a full understanding of the potential harm.

The Y2K bug is essentially a cost shortcut taken by the first computer producers. At the time, the cost of memory for a computer was extremely expensive and it made sense to save thousands of dollars by saving dates with two digits representing the year rather than four digits. When many dates change from "99" to "00," machines will recognize the year as 1900, not 2000.

The global effects are just down right scary. In the developed world, there is a potential for airports to be shut down, bank accounts to be erased and utilities stopped. All the parties involved have found ways to correct the bug, but may not have it implemented in time. Things will be even worse in third world nations, where it could be months before the proper systems are implemented.

Although in the past few years many computer firms have fixed the problem in new software and hardware, it is important to run the tests and make the necessary investment in correcting problems. And don't just take a look at your PC, but check your VCR and any other machine that uses a date. There are many minor and major problems which can occur with the equipment.

Speaking of not working, let's discuss the other aspect of the new millennium which can make a person a little uneasy – religious nuts. By no means is there anything wrong with religion, as long as it is kept in perspective, but certain groups of extremists are really going over the deep end.

January 1, 2000 is going to be the coming out party of every cult which may have ever existed. According to some, Armageddon is upon us. And what comes after Armageddon, but the reappearance of Christ, according to the cults. So they now feel it is necessary to help create the right Judgment Day atmosphere. Call it paranoia, but this scares the hell out of me. Who knows what the cults have planned.

Now that you've read this, take a moment to consider something even more important than Y2K or cults – where you're going to be for that crazy New Year's Eve party? I hear Vegas is booked solid.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999