What Effect will the Millennium Bug have on Society?

What Effect will the Millennium Bug have on Society?.

People talk about the Millennium Bug, but few actually know what it is and how big an effect it could have. Virtually everything in our society is vulnerable, from water and electricity to our phone bills and savings accounts. The Millennium Bug is a design fault dating back to the early days of computers and the way they store time and date. When you turn on your computer it knows the time and date thanks to a built-in clock which memorizes the date in the form of month/day/year. The problem is that when we go from 99 to 00 many computers won’t know whether this means the year 1900, 2000 or the year that the computer was created. This may cause havoc in society, especially now we are so reliant on computers in our everyday lives. As a result, the Millennium Bug may cause major concerns in health, unemployment, our financial system and personal safety.

Life and death situations could arise as hospital systems such as life support and machines used to monitor a patient’s vital signs are among the systems at risk. Australian hospitals believe that as many as 60% of their machines may not work properly when the date rolls over. Local testing has identified the ultrasound machines and central monitors which have the exhibited the year 2000 failures. There could be significant threats to personal safety, for example, if an ultrasound wrongly calculated the size of a fetus or administered radiation therapy incorrectly. Also, people with heart pacemakers could face the possibility of them failing.

Bank accounts could be wiped off the records and ATM’s could swallow cards thought to be expired. Computers controlling home loans could strip banks off millions of dollars by resetting mortgage repayment programs back to 1900. Millions of dollars are being poured into rectification programs, by financial institutions. Now the Australian Stock Exchange will only license dealers with the year 2000 compliance.

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