Millennium Bug Watch

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The Independent Online
IS THE millennium bug something to laugh about? Though Peter de Jager, a software consultant who lectures on getting computer systems ready for the date change, tends not to present it as comedy, he's decided that "without a sense of humour, none of us is going to make it over this hurdle with our sanity intact".

So he is sponsoring a Year 2000 Humour Contest, run from the www. year2000.com website. The first prize is $2,500 (pounds 1,480) to the winner's favourite charity. Entries can include "jokes of all kinds, humorous short stories, songs, ditties, etc" although "limericks which were entered in the last contest are not eligible".

Worrying though it is that programmers have been writing "Y2K" limericks when they should have been fixing programs, one also fears for Mr de Jager's sanity in having to judge the contest. The closing date is 31 December, with the winner chosen by 7 January.

Examples of entries so far are not encouraging: "You know you've been at Y2K too long when... You watch disaster movies to raise your spirits." Or: "How many Year 2000 programmers does it take to change a light bulb? None! It isn't broken yet." Surely knock-knock jokes can't be far behind.

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