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Resources / Year 2000 / Background

The Y2K Problem


How will it affect you?

IBIS Y2K Statement

Web Resources

Y2K in Botswana


Although many people may have heard about the Year 2000 problem, most people do not fully understand the simple nature of the problem, or the implications of the problem to their own businesses.

Essentially the Year 2000, or Y2K problem is caused by programs and computer systems that do not make use of the full year number (eg 1997, or 2004) in their date calculations. Many simple or old routines abbreviate the Year number to the last two digits (eg 97, 99, or 04) the problem here is that it is not possible to differentiate between the year 1904 and the year 2004.

In many cases programs have been written to appropriately handle the change of the century, but since in many cases this has not been completely tested, simple bugs in the program code may cause this part of the program to fail. The Year 2000 bug in this case is merely another software bug, of which we encounter many in our day to day use of computers and software.

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© IBIS 1999  updated: Saturday 06 March 1999