Hyatt, Michael S., The Millennium Bug: How to Survive the Coming Chaos

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Hyatt, Michael S. The Millennium Bug: How to Survive the Coming Chaos. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 1998.

On what was becoming known ca. 1998 as "The Millennium Bug" and the "Y2K" problem: the potential crisis in the convention of saving space in computer programs by using the last two digits only for the year in dates and having the computer assume, so to speak, that the two digits are preceded by "19" (e.g., using "77" for "1977"), causing problems with programs, including those in "embedded chips" at the year 2000, which some systems would read as "1900." The first two Parts are relevant: "Part I, 'The Eleventh Hour, will give you an overview of the Year 2000 Computer Crisis. [. . .] Part II, 'Against the Clock, discusses the implications and impact of the Year 2000 Problem on various segments of our high-tech civilization" (xix [see also xiv f.). A useful work in the 21st c. showing how the Y2K problem alerted many average people to the fact that "[. . .] almost all the technology we take for granted today [in the 1990s] relies to some extent on embedded chips or microcontrollers" (25) and how much modern life depends on technology generally and cybernetic systems more particularly. See also for what we will call the "modernist" assumption that mainframe computers would be replaced or upgraded quickly, as opposed to the more "po-mo" situation of their having "'turned out to have very long lives [sic]'" (6 quoting Harry N. Miller).