Reply to post: Money for almost nothing

Today's budget for application improvements is brought to you by the letters "Y", "K" and the number "2"

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Money for almost nothing

In 1999 I was working at a government research lab, and my job included babysitting several massive number-crunching computer codes that did complex nuclear reactor calculations. Word came down from on high that (of course) everything must be made Y2K compliant. The codes were vintage FORTRAN dinosaurs, and did nothing that could possibly cause trouble except print out the date and time for each run. All but one output four digits for the year, so they were fine. The ‘non-compliant’ one used an 8-character string to print out the date as YY-MM-DD – fine for 99-12-31, but obviously would turn over to 00-01-01. The DATE function provided the full four digits for the year, so all that was required was to change the format to YYYMMDD in the same 8-character string and everything was good. For work that couldn’t have taken more than a couple of hours, I received a nice letter of appreciation and a bonus of nearly a month's salary from the Y2K compliance pot.

We had a mild earthquake early on the morning of January 1, 2000. Nothing to do with the new year/decade/century/millenium, but but it was an entertaining punctuation mark for the event.

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