Letter: Bug foreseen

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The Independent Online
Bug foreseen

MUCH has been and will be written on the subject of the "Millennium Bug". In due course the hunt for scapegoats will commence.

Of course, thoughtful programmers have understood the issue ever since they began to store dates in computers. I certainly remember discussing it with colleagues in the early 1980s, and the plot of Arthur C Clarke's 1990 novel The Ghost from the Grand Banks (about raising of the Titanic) included an economic collapse caused by the bug.

But perhaps that was the problem: to talk too openly about the year 2000 would not have been a wise career move. Managers would assume you were either some sad nerd who read science fiction novels, or a crazed eco- fanatic with delusions about the ozone layer, or just a pedantic perfectionist with no grasp of business realities.

Many of the "fixes" being proposed today will break down at a later date, such as 2030. Few people seem to be worried about that.


Lewes, East Sussex