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A boomer looks back at the threat of Y2K

As baby boomers we are the luckiest generation that ever lived. But do you remember when that seemed to be in jeopardy? It was back when we realized the threat of Y2K. Ira Avant of Denton, Texas, who publishes the website BabyBoomersDayOff, looks back on those tense … and in retrospect, unnecessarily scary days.

All baby boomers will remember the horror when the world faced certain doom on New Year’s Eve 2000. Life on Earth would become primitive with no credit cards, no functioning airplanes, and banks were certain to collapse.

This was a greater threat than any boomers’ era war, missile crisis, or the Cold War combined. Global economic doom was a certain destiny with no way out.

It was in late 1997 that the “Y2K bug,” a.k.a. “millennium bug,” was discovered. We were horrified to learn, it was expected to end newfound world peace at the hour of 12:00:01 am, 2000 A.D. Worldwide banks and stock markets were certain to collapse at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve.

This curse spelled the end to all things we depended on and loved. Earth was fated to the destruction of global peace a fraction of a second after midnight.

Computer code

Programmers had found the glitch only three short years before 2000. It was common in all software and hardware. All bank systems and navigation are dependent on time counters to the microsecond and less. As boomers, our new life of glory would end soon.

In 1999 banks locked their doors and froze stock trading as mass withdrawals of funds shattered markets. This alone became the greatest threat to mankind.

Programs and hardware were slow as they passed our massive digital matrix around the Earth. The genius of programmers had intentionally taken a few clever and sly shortcuts. To save two digits from calculations.

The plan was to use the highest year as 1999 and instead simply used only the digits of ’99′ to speed up calculations. Even hardware had dismissed using more circuits for the same short-cut goals. The vulnerability was worldwide.

The world was grateful when it was fixed weeks before New Years. Everyone would not really know though until the first workday after New Years that the beast left mankind unscathed.