Y2K was a big deal. A huge amount of money was spent updating older software which stored dates using only two digits. A common solution at the time was to treat dates of 00-09 as post-Y2K, and 10-99 as pre-Y2K. Effectively this only delayed the problem for ten years - our ten years ran out a few days ago. Some examples of failures experienced since Jan 1, 2010:
- SpamAssassin rejects mail with a 20XX date.
- Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager rejects all updates dated after Dec 31, 2009. As a workaround before a fix is ready, they are releasing updates with a 2009 date.
- 30 million German debit cards stopped working on January 1.
- SAP Spool queue entries are not automatically cleaned up if they expire after 12/31/2009, eventually filling up the disk.
- Some Windows Mobile handsets and various Point-of-Sale terminals insist that it is actually 2016. This is an odd symptom, and may not be related to a Y2K fix.
A huge amount of money and effort was expended in the 1990s to upgrade systems for Y2K. When Jan 1 rolled around and civilization did not end, there was much criticism that the whole thing had been hyped by vendors eager to sell new gear. Quite likely we overspent... but I believe the consequences of underspending would have been more expensive to clean up afterwards.
Fortunately, it appears that magic pixie dust is available to fix all Y2.01K problems, according to a press release from BogusTech. Obviously a spoof, its very funny and well worth reading.