The "Y2K" anniversary

I can’t believe ten years have gone by since the world was in a major panic about Y2K. People were stockpiling food, water, weapons, candles, generators, gasolene, and in my case . . . cat food. I had a six-month supply of canned cat food in the basement. And water. And toilet paper.

What were you doing to prepare for the downfall of civilization?

I was settling into my new position, Y2K Coordinator. I crap you negative.

I was making plans to be in New York City. I had zero belief that Y2K was going to affect anything.

Carrying on with my life at the time, which involved me almost completely ignoring any warnings about any global catastrophe. My dad, however, stocked his basement full of dozens of gallons of tap water months in advance.

Sometimes I think people, deep down, want there to be some sort of global disaster, because it makes our mundane lives more interesting. Weird.

I spent that new years eve at a friends bar. Many of the people there seriously thought there could be massive problems after midnight. I pointed out to the owner of the bar that if he threw the main breaker at the stroke of midnight, it might cause some laughs. Well, he did it; there were laughs after the fact, but some blood curdling screams before that time.

Actually, I had been preparing for my new position, when in spring of '99, I up and quit (to move across country). On the actual turn around, I believe I was on Protrero Hill watching fireworks over the city.

Like, honest to Buddha fireworks. San Francisco wasn’t blowing up, or anything like that.

I debugged Foxpro code for a company that writes software for hand held inventory devices.

I was at a NYE party. We danced to Don’t They Know It’s The End Of The World at midnight. :smiley: Then we were disappointed at the lack of carnage and went back to drinkin’ and carousin’.

I didn’t do much other than some things I should have done anyway, like make a first aid kit and have some gallons of water and backup canned goods in case the power went out in a storm (I lived in Michigan).

However, I had this fascination with a Y2K preparedness message board which I would read almost every day. Topics like, “How long will a 55 gal drum full of beans last” and “what should I do about looters? Confront them or hide?” and “where can I buy a hand crank Amish wheat mill” (since we would all surely soon be milling our own flour).

The day after, their bitterness over having been taken in by the hysteria was a thing of beauty.

I didn’t do anything to prepare. I figured if things all went to hell then I wanted my adventure of rapi… uh I mean loving and pillaging to be genuine.

I also bought this cute little guy in February 2000,

and he is still sitting on my desk. His battey is long worn out but he used to make a “crash” sound. If you hit him on his butt it sounded like breaking glass so he was a Y2K bug “crashing”.

I wish we had a Y2K type thing this year. Geez I made out like a bandit in overtime, I was the Y2K officer in both hotels I worked at that year.

For the days leading up to 12/31/99, I was working 12-hour days to make sure all our systems were going to work correctly on 1/1/00 (I worked for an HR consulting/outsourcing firm).

On New Year’s Eve, I took advantage of obscenely low air fares (no one wanted to fly that night, lest planes start dropping from the sky) and flew from Chicago to visit my girlfriend in Nashville for $30. And got free champaigne on the flight, and my own row of seats.

I was getting drunk. Actually, I was in a plane at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999, flying from Muscat, Oman, to London.

Yup, it was a quiet night.

You’re welcome.


I was working at the main library in a California university preparing our group for Y2K.

I told the staff months before January 2000 that there was not going to be a disaster but some surprises could crop up. (Already many institutions had to work with 4 digit entry issues and that was not a secret), so the free emergency kit given away in the Y2K meeting was given away by me telling the winner to use it to prepare for an earthquake, not for any Y2K event.

Sure enough, it turned that our upgrade schedule was not 100% made, one computer in a department did go haywire because it could not process the 4 date digit entry, the staff member got the only gift given to the one that caught the Y2K bug: a Dilbert plush.

After we replaced the computer the hardware issue was completed, unfortunately my department had to continue for a few months more using an outdated email system that could not process the new dates, but we managed to continue by ignoring the header date information.

So the Y2K was an issue, but it was not as bad as some feared.

I was in college at the time. My parents bought a case of bottled water and topped off the tanks in their cars, but that was about it.
By about noon, having seen Asia and Australia welcome in the New Year without a hitch, I figured everything was going to be fine where I was (the Midwestern United States).

If God has a timezone, it’s US Eastern Time. :wink:

At the time I was living in the Santa Cruz mountains. My older brother, who was practically relying on the Y2K disaster to boost his fortunes in life, bought me a 20 bag of rice for Christmas and informed me that he’d be showing up at my door in January with his arsenal, ready to defend my house in exchange for shelter.

I never even got to eat any of the rice, but the mice did.

Not a blessed thing. I did have a few responsibilities at work, checking a few software packages and spreadsheets, but what I mostly did during the Y2K run-up was to assure people that water would continue to flow downhill, copper would continue to conduct electricity, and other laws of physics would remain in effect.

Daaaaaaamn. I wanna fly for 30 bucks.

Also, I was sitting on my ass. I was also feeling smugly superior because I knew that 2000 was not, in fact, going to be the beginning of the new century–2001 was.

Why yes, I was thirteen years old. Why do you ask?

(As an aside, my sister was at a friend’s house that year–and just after the ball dropped, the lights went out. After freaking out for a bit, it was determined that it was not, in fact, Y2K. The Christmas lights had blown a fuse.)