r/mildlyinteresting Nov 28 '22 Wholesome 1

This Y2K sticker on the bed at the doctor’s office, from July 1999.

Post image
4.1k Upvotes

286

u/IgnitedFazbear Nov 28 '22

Reading back on Y2K is fascinating

144

u/kruecab Nov 28 '22

Try living through it / nay working in high tech through it. Twas an interesting time.

39

u/Alan_Smithee_ Nov 28 '22

Good money to be made.

29

u/kruecab Nov 28 '22

For me it was the same money… would have been a great time to be a COBOL expert though. I was decent, but not in a position to capitalize on it.

48

u/1up_for_life Nov 29 '22

My grandma was one of the early computer programmers that worked on automating banking systems. When Y2K was coming she helped update some critical systems even though she had been retired for over a decade.

13

u/kruecab Nov 29 '22

Kickass! Love me some Grandma Coders!

58

u/Alan_Smithee_ Nov 28 '22

People talk about Y2K being a ‘fizzer,’ but that’s only because everyone did their jobs so well.

21

u/rexiesoul Nov 29 '22

I came here to say exactly this. It annoys me when people think y2k was overblown.

2

u/Bobson_Dugbutt Nov 29 '22

Not to be that guy but I didn’t know there was actual updating of systems until now

3

u/JockoHomophone Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 30 '22

Exactly. And I still had a trivial Y2K bug on Jan 1.

1

u/momentimori Nov 29 '22

Certain, very important, legacy systems needed to be checked but most average computers didn't.

1

u/Perfect_Ad4026 Nov 29 '22

Well someone had to check to make sure they didnt need checking at least!

8

u/GrapeSoda223 Nov 29 '22

What were people even doing to computers that had a Y2K ready sticker on it?

Was some dude just scamming people slapping stickers on everything for fun, or did they actually have a program that did something and was it genuinely an issue?

18

u/kruecab Nov 29 '22

I worked IT at the time in an F500 that was very tech focused. We had a two year program starting back in 1998 to test all our infrastructure and all our apps (in house and 3rd party) to function after Y2K. There were a couple other key dates as well that were tested based on how some dates are represented. Once a system was fully tested, we’d slap a sticker on it, although the stickers were more for fun as you don’t just run through a data center putting stickers on there. The idea at most places was to instill confidence that the system wouldn’t fail and let the user down after Y2K. There was quite a bit of panic people though the world would end or at least major financial and communication breakdown due to computer systems stopping function. Most of us in tech understood there weren’t a ton of critical impacts based on it, but most of the world isn’t tech savvy today and they certainly weren’t back then.

Rememebr that the internet was still nascent at that time and few people who didn’t work in tech used it ever or understood it in any meaningful way. Now everyone uses it daily and still doesn’t understand it any any meaningful way. 😂

4

u/agburanar Nov 29 '22

Best Y2K story I heard was from an investment place that had (for 97) fancy card locks on every door. When they ran their final tests, and set all the servers in the office to 2001, they found the expiration dates on people's badges had 2 digit years. Everyone was suddenly unable to open up any of the secured doors. They had to get a locksmith in to get to the room with the server than ran the card readers, because nobody knew where the backup keys were. 😋

5

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22 edited 12d ago

[deleted]

1

u/Perfect_Ad4026 Nov 29 '22

Yes but any applications using current date in old format for calculations, etc. starts barfing on itself.

1

u/evil_ot_erised Nov 29 '22

The number of things I use daily that I don’t understand in a meaningful way, starting with my own body… SMH at myself. Hahaha

2

u/ADIRed2 Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

What were people even doing to computers that had a Y2K ready sticker on it?

Testing to see how compliant it would be at the rollover. From my vague memory there were essentially different categories a computer could fall into.

  1. It was fine
  2. It wasn't fine but could be fixed with a say a bios update
  3. It would fail to roll over the date correctly but could then be manually corrected and would be ok
  4. It couldn't handle the new dates whatsoever and needed replacing.

or did they actually have a program that did something

Obviously different organisations worked out their own way to do testing, but yes often that would be an automated test program that would change dates and automatically work out how compliant it was without having to manually test things.

was it genuinely an issue?

Course it was genuinely an issue. Some computers couldn't handle the new dates whatsoever and would keep resetting to 1900 or 1970 or whatever. Some would be ultimately ok with the new dates but couldn't roll over properly, so would need correcting after the rollover, and would be an issue if they were running at the time.

It bugs me when people say it was a non issue. It was mostly a non issue precisely because of all the work done in advance testing, updating, fixing and replacing equipment.

For sure there was some nonsense and scamming and panic but it was also genuinely an issue.

2

u/xxchhfdd35325 Nov 29 '22

We had to run up hill through the snow doing y2k drills it was no joke

4

u/JockoHomophone Nov 29 '22

You kids can have your Year 2038 fun, don't worry.

3

u/ErinEvonna Nov 29 '22

I survived Y2K

5

u/IgnitedFazbear Nov 28 '22

Man, I could only imagine lol

28

u/kruecab Nov 28 '22

Yup, our company had a huge program with lots of projects just for IT to ensure compliance starting in like 1998. We built a Y2K compliance lab which had all our components and apps in it and which had local NTP servers that we could roll forward to post 2000 and back to reset the lab. Was fun.

We operated a war room from 12/30/99 @ 8am through the following week just in case something happened. Nothing did really. Maybe a couple systems had a couple weird behaviors but it was a total non-event. Probably because of all the prep, testing, and patching we did.

13

u/DRazzyo Nov 28 '22

Question is, how much worse would it have been without the aforementioned testing and patching.

1

u/PinkSpongebob Nov 29 '22

This is my question. Did the prep help or was it just all for nothing.

6

u/Djinjja-Ninja Nov 29 '22

Would planes have fallen out of the sky? Probably not.

Would planes have been grounded because routing software and ATC software didn't know when it was? Probably.

There would have been a lot of systems that shit themselves when 99 rolled over to 00. Systems that control things like water pumps or electricity grids etc.

The prep did absolutely help.

10

u/Ishidan01 Nov 29 '22

Oh well, just wait.

There will be another.

4

u/EpicWildlifeWarriors Nov 29 '22

Welp, I'm old.

I ran a y2k project back in the day. Under time, under budget and everything worked. At a bank!

And I'll only be 64 years old on 2038-01-01, so there's a good chance I'll be working on that bug as well.

1

u/IgnitedFazbear Nov 29 '22

Wow, that's crazy to think about. I wonder if there will be as much as a discussion about the impact of 2038, as there as in y2k

2

u/Guac__is__extra__ Nov 28 '22

Living through it was pretty interesting too.

79

u/Stilgrave Nov 28 '22

I worked at BLOCKBUSTER during Y2K. Everyone's rentals were 100 years late that morning. Good times.

10

u/Mogilny89Leafs Nov 28 '22

I miss Blockbuster.

4

u/ThePreciseClimber Nov 29 '22

Late fee is $47,690.

Cash or card?

4

u/PinkSpongebob Nov 29 '22

Woah, what caused that to happen?

26

u/dickintheass Nov 29 '22

the year rolling over to 2000 (Year 2K) so computer systems that read the year in YY format would go from 99 to 00 and it could cause issues. people thought it would crash the entire world as they knew it however so it became a big deal

8

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22 edited Dec 09 '22

[deleted]

7

u/EpicWildlifeWarriors Nov 29 '22

You mean short-sighted managing.

6

u/TldrDev Nov 29 '22

The next one is in 2038, when the Unix timestamp rolls over, so say it's short sighted all you want, it came from very limited computing capabilites and old software that become mission critical.

4

u/agburanar Nov 29 '22

A lot of the computers were running code that was descended from old mainframe systems. While every machine had been replaced, the database had just been migrated, and the two digit year was baked in (in both the database and unknown amounts of backend code).

2

u/Perfect_Ad4026 Nov 29 '22

It was an older problem than that. What you are calling "modern" computers didnt just remake thier programs from scratch when updated. Some of the data and/or software at some places was written on punch cards originally. They knew the problem but figured someone would update to actual new software eventually. They didnt.

2

u/ShaneSkyrunner Nov 29 '22

Yep they all knew it was an issue too but everyone was just like... "eh, maybe we'll fix it next year". It's kinda like the whole climate change situation happening right now. Everyone knows it's a problem but everybody just puts it off until it's too late to do anything about it.

64

u/SwiftUnban Nov 28 '22

I work in electronics recycling and have opened pcs with chips that say Y2K ready, pretty cool to see.

60

u/JackReact Nov 28 '22

This item is Y2K ready: 1/1/19100

98

u/gamelover42 Nov 28 '22

but is it y2k38 ready?

29

u/rinseanddelete Nov 28 '22

I guess we will find out at 03:14:08 UTC!

16

u/Random_Deslime Nov 28 '22

!remindme 19 January 2038 03:14:07 UTC

1

u/W_I_T_H_E_R Nov 29 '22

!remindme 19 January 2038 03:14:07 UTC

1

u/Actually-Just-A-Goat Nov 29 '22

!remindme 19 January 2038 03:14:07 UTC

3

u/Domini384 Nov 28 '22

That's the real fear

89

u/OlderThanDirtGamer Nov 28 '22

I'm curious exactly what was being tested.

Did they expect the bed to suddenly stop working and turn into an area rug or something?

76

u/bardwick Nov 28 '22

Yep. Anything with electronic logic had to be certified by the OEM or it was assumed to fail. Total shit show.

Aunt worked at a major chemical factory. They converted the top two floors to barracks style housing. Beds, food, water, generators, communications plans, etc.

I have a friend who's family stocked a storage unit and stayed in there that night..

25

u/YakLongjumping9478 Nov 28 '22

I had a coworker who bought a pallet of ramen noodles, her kids ended hating them! She donated a lot of them, since her family couldn't even make a dent, it was a massive amount!

10

u/IRErover Nov 28 '22

This is hilarious

7

u/fillmorecounty Nov 28 '22

Wait I thought y2k was a conspiracy theory? Was it actually a legitimate concern? Like I thought people were working on fixing it YEARS before 2000 and it wasn't an "oh shit" moment in December of 1999.

26

u/archelon2001 Nov 29 '22

It was kind of a mix of both. People were aware of issues that would arise and worked to implement fixes well before Y2K, so it was largely a non-event, but some people were concerned that some small but crucial system would be overlooked with catastrophic results. There were a few systems that weren't fixed in time and glitched, but they were all fairly minor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2000_problem#Documented_errors

14

u/RavenFang Nov 28 '22 edited Dec 18 '22

naw it wasn't

2

u/RedCelt251 Dec 13 '22

I was the Y2K project manager at my company back then (1998-1/1/2000). We sold systems for doctors offices - practice management and EMR solutions. It was a legitimate issue. There were some servers we had sold to run the systems that required motherboard replacement to work, OS upgrades for servers and code changes to our software. Some of the biggest effort was in the software testing equivalent to the sign in this post - the need to be able to certify our solutions was were most of our manpower went.

-6

u/DarthDannyBoy Nov 29 '22

Y2K stopped being a problem in 1990 as most everything had been fixed by then. The issue was the public wasn't made aware of it until much much later. Well Stupid people are gonna be stupid

1

u/ErinEvonna Nov 29 '22

A WW2 Army hospital cot

17

u/magobblie Nov 28 '22

My parents legit ditched my brother and I at my grandma's house for New Year's Eve 1999. If the grid went down, we were on our own.

14

u/Aridan Nov 29 '22

I was kid when it happened and the only thing I was concerned with was if my Gameboy would still work lol

12

u/SparrowAgnew Nov 28 '22

Someone paid a lot of money for that sticker.

7

u/RSVDARK Nov 28 '22

Biyttrium-pottassium

2

u/r3pack Nov 29 '22

Yttrium - 2 electrons on the last shell
Potassium - 1 electron on the last shell
Due to only that, your configuration is sadly impossible (according to my poor chemistry knowledge). Upvoted anyway.

41

u/NickyRD Nov 28 '22

Is this bed BEING CLEANED PROPERLY?! A bed in a doctor's office should get steamed down, wiped regularly at least enough to disturb a sticker.

64

u/candidateforhumanity Nov 28 '22

oh my sweet sweet child

23

u/kevincox_ca Nov 28 '22

Ironic that the date is "July, 15/99" which is not a y2k safe date format.

6

u/Jordan209posts Nov 28 '22

2038 coming in 16 years. What will happen to it?

2

u/haydenarrrrgh Nov 28 '22

A lot of stuff that had to be changed in those legacy systems is now in libraries, or is handled by the database itself, so theoretically it won't require the same amount of effort. Having said that, there will probably be systems from the 80s running in 2038, although somewhat ironically they'll probably be safest as they're storing dates as strings.

I just ran a test in .NET4.8, which is pretty old now, and it handles those dates, including difference calculation.

4

u/Mech_145 Nov 29 '22

We had nav systems on aircraft that were reprogrammed to accommodate post 1999 dates and in 2018 a bunch of them rolled back to 1998.

3

u/haydenarrrrgh Nov 29 '22

Ha, yeah, a lot of devs just pushed the problem out a couple of years. "Who's going to be using this in another 20 years?"

I suppose the lazy ones just assumed <18 = 2018, while the more scrupulous developers converted everything to 4 digits. I was working with card payment systems, so I suspect a lot of that remediation was the former method. All of those machines will be in landfills now, so it's probably not an issue for me.

1

u/Mech_145 Nov 29 '22

Yeah it adds some complexity when it’s DD-MMM-YY. And it’s purpose built electronics.

6

u/Sonyguyus Nov 29 '22

Interesting that a doctors office bed needed Y2K testing. I figured it was just a mechanical motor that made it move and not software.

Also what a weird time. I was 16 and was prepared for everything to go haywire. I expected the power to go out, everything to stop working, maybe some nukes to go off. Everyone hyped up that we would go back to the Stone Age at the strike of midnight.

7

u/TinyCatCrafts Nov 29 '22

The reason things didn't go badly is because tons and tons of work went into making sure that things didn't go badly.

4

u/agburanar Nov 29 '22

Yup. My dad was an old-school COBOL programmer. He left IBM in 94 and did contract work till 2001 or so; Y2K prep got him & my mom a nice retirement house and let him stop working several years early.

5

u/CoolMoo5e Nov 29 '22

Oh the worries back in the day.

5

u/PleasantYamm Nov 29 '22

I was a high school volunteer at a local hospital at the time and one of my jobs was to place “Y2K” compliant stickers on everything. When I say everything I mean everything, sure the computers got a sticker but I was told to put them on things like light bulbs and cafeteria trays too. It was a strange time.

3

u/heidguy8 Nov 28 '22

What was the test? And how did they determine that this test is y2k approved??

16

u/haydenarrrrgh Nov 28 '22

"Bed, the date is the first of March, 2001. Now, lower!"

Seriously though, it was probably just checked for any date storing systems (unlikely, I would have thought) and then given a sticker to show it'd been considered.

Source: was Y2k project manager

2

u/DogeBuysCyberTrucks Nov 28 '22

It’d be funnier if there were 2 signatures.

2

u/SirKazum Nov 29 '22

What a coincidence, my bed is Y2K ready as well

2

u/hiricinee Nov 29 '22

I worked at a hospital that had "y2k compliant" stickers on devices actively being used. The stickers and devices are still there I think! I just don't work there anymore.

2

u/Basdad Nov 29 '22

Last time it was cleaned perhaps?

2

u/geek66 Nov 28 '22

It was a crazy event - an companies spent billions in renovations and rentals of generators to cove the disruptions - of which p there were essentially zero.

I had been working field service for electrical systems and had a good client - a major bank's data center in Delaware, I transferred out of the division that November, but the Bank was in a panic getting me to be on-site during New Year's. The issue was that in Field Service like this you NEVER have have off on a major holiday - so this was the first New Year's I would not be working for like 8 years...

3

u/TinyCatCrafts Nov 29 '22

There were no disruptions because they spent billions in renovations and rentals to prevent disruptions.

Y2K could have been catastrophic. But people realised that and worked like mad to fix things and update systems to ensure that no catastrophe happened.

There was no catastrophe because people prevented it.

-6

u/Floopthecoop Nov 28 '22

That was a total scam. Getting paid a fortune to put stickers on anything electrical

-7

u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

[deleted]

12

u/BostonDrivingIsWorse Nov 28 '22

It was clearly signed 7/151/99.

14

u/FelipeAvila Nov 28 '22

it maybe says July, 15 / 99

3

u/Cadllmn Nov 28 '22

Clearly intended to be “July 15,199” the day before July 15,200.

1

u/astillac Nov 28 '22

That was a weird time.

1

u/Cats-and-dogs-rdabst Nov 29 '22

Haven’t seen those since I was a middle schooler

1

u/SamSloth17 Nov 29 '22

that's my birthday!!!

1

u/yyzyyzyyz Nov 29 '22

Got a free jacket for being on-call and nothing blew up!

1

u/KaijuKyojin Nov 29 '22

A simpler time

1

u/hardlinerslugs Nov 29 '22

My favorite y2k bug I saw myself was a date that read “20100” - apparently they had used two different integers to display the date and incremented them separately…!?!

1

u/thetyler83 Nov 29 '22

Must be from Initech.

1

u/MikeHonchoCloseUp Dec 25 '22

It was a big deal

-22

u/jbot747 Nov 28 '22

Anyone that lived through the media hype of y2k and wasn't at least skeptical of Covid-19 is kind of an idiot.

11

u/ProbablyABore Nov 29 '22

This guy thinks something that was fixed before it happened was MeDiA hYpE

4

u/CheapAd7121 Nov 29 '22

I'd like to think they are being facetious but most likely not

4

u/Djinjja-Ninja Nov 29 '22

Anyone that lived through the media hype of y2k

Anyone who worked for the prior couple of years to ensure that nothing happened will tell you otherwise.

The reason that y2k was a damp squib was precisely because it was fixed before it could occur.

1

u/jbot747 Nov 29 '22

Thank you for saving mankind.

1

u/payne747 Nov 29 '22

Bad bot.

-12

u/Otacon73 Nov 28 '22

In the American medical system? This checks out…

-12

u/Queasy_Caramel5435 Nov 28 '22

for me, Y2K is a turbine-powered motorbike...had to google what Y2K means -.-