MILLENNIUM bug or millions of bucks?

NewsReal, January 3, 2000

One wonders whether the Y2K Scare was a real issue or just something that we have all taken too seriously, especially since the first day of the new millennium turned out to be a non-event day for the prophets of doom.

It makes one wonder whether, instead of a bug that has serious implications on modern age information technology, could the mastermind behind the Y2K bug be laughing his way to the bank with millions, in fact, billions of ringgit?

In Malaysia alone, the millennium bug has taken its toll on many of us in different forms. In fact, it is estimated that some RM1.8 billion has been spent to prepare for the turn of the century's greatest scare.

For one, some flights had to be cancelled due to low passenger rates. In the banking industry, all IT staff had to work from the eve of the New Year until the next morning to report on any possible technical glitches facing the banking industry.

Those who made special efforts to withdraw their savings in the bank might have to bite their tongues now that Y2K turned out to be a non- issue.

A check by The Malay Mail, however, found that most ATM machines were already back in operation on the second day of the new year.

Many housewives had been stocking up on food just in case the millennium bug strikes and they are now out of cash and food.

An IT man, Benjamin Foo feels that Y2K is a real issue.

"Some of our clients prefer to work with those who are Y2K compliant," he said.

"This is to avoid having possible hassles relating to the millennium bug."

He warned that it will take at least one more month before we can see the impact of the Y2K bug.

"This year also happens to be a leap year, which means that the calendar on the computer software might run by one day."

People in the business and the industry will only begin to feel the millennium bug as time passes, when they realise certain malfunctions in their systems.

Like many others, he echoes the concerns raised by chief executive officer Bill Gates who was interviewed over CNN by Larry King yesterday.

Gates said that the Y2K bug may only start to show its menace in the next few months.

Whatever it is, one has to store up rice and the necessities for another year, withdraw all the cash in the savings and hide it underneath one's pillow, and hope to survive should the Y2K Bug really strike.

It is good to be prudent, but please minus the hype and scare around the Y2K glitch.

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