> Back in the computer world, Y2K gave such managers some cover. There was a
> FIRM deadline. I wonder how many used the impending arrival of the year 2000
> as an excuse to perhaps clean up other parts of their act and charge it to
> prevention. I mean they might suggest they rewrite some legacy COBOL or even
> machine language programs into something more modern or other improvements
> like getting a new database including new hardware.
Of course we did!
However, as pointed-out elsewhere, sometimes the costs of re-writing
seemed less than those required to ameliorate any number of unknown
issues in the legacy code. Remembering that we would also remove
unneeded cruft, and (usually) add features needed for 'today's use'.
What were you saying about politicians 'playing' with retirement funds
and public money? The other advantage to a re-write decision was even
more under-hand: once agreed, that became a dev project (with a
31Dec1999 drop-dead deadline) and was NO LONGER part of the Y2K project,
ie no longer 'my problem'!
I recall at least one project where the users over-egged their case
(IMHO), taking the dev option even against my advice. They failed to
make the deadline. Let's just say, on their part, there was a lot of
fancy-footwork during the first days of 2000...
> I also wonder if jobs for some programmers declined sharply in the years
> after when not only were they not desperately needed, but perhaps not needed
> at all unless they developed new talents.
No, quite the opposite. What happened was that many other projects were
put-off pending Y2K amelioration. Once we could release staff, they were
greeted with open arms, and often far, far, greater appreciation than
normally meets a new dev upon arrival.
> Just FYI, the name Y2K always struck me as similar nonsense. They
> abbreviated Year and 2000 from at least 8 characters to 3 and did it wrong
> as 2K is 2048. As far as I know, nothing special will happen in 2048 and I
> also have no special vision for 2020.
You don't seem to understand journalism: Never let the truth (facts)
interfere with a 'good story'!
I was just talking with a (tech) librarian, who had asked me about "the
Unix Millennium bug" a few weeks ago, and mentioned this thread. He
groaned, wondering how long it will be before some hack writes a
sensationalist book with which to greet the end of the (binary) world...
My play-time this afternoon will involve using Python to keep
(time-code) track of when/where to superimpose components into a video
(I should be back before 2038)