News anchor and TV presented Peter Snow called it ‘a wheeze’, quipping: “Invent a problem that doesn’t exist, then charge a fortune to get rid of it.”
He was talking, of course, about the dreaded Millennium Bug, also known as the Y2K virus, which was set to wreak havoc with computer systems everywhere as the world moved from one millennium to another.
The story appeared in the YEP in January 2000 - for more nostaligia, click HERE.
Conservative estimates put spending on preventative measures at $400bn, while some reckon it hit $1trillion.
Mr Snow added in jest: “I do so wish I had been the dreamer upper of the Millennium Bug.”
The ‘bug’ came about because of the practice of abbreviating four digit year dates to two digits. So, 1980 would simply be recorded as 80. This meant that computers would be unable to recognise the difference between 1900 and 2000.
Computer experts said this embedded logic would lead to all kinds of problems with recording important information. In the end, it turned out to be a damp squib.
However, Y2K is nothing compared to the ‘Year 2038 Problem’, which threatens to reset our technological systems because of a glitch with binary code... apparently.