Fun_People Archive
8 Oct
Two Digits for a Date

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri,  8 Oct 99 14:19:38 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Two Digits for a Date

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Forwarded-by: Chris Norloff <>
Forwarded-by: Pete Norloff <>
Source: unknown

Two Digits for a Date
 (to the tune of "Gilligan's Island," more or less)

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale of the doom that is our fate.
 That started when our Programmers used two digits for a date.
  Two digits for a date.

Main memory was smaller then; Hard disks were smaller, too.
 "Four digits are extravagant, so let's get by with two.
  So let's get by with two."

"This works through 1999." The programmers did say.
 "Unless we rewrite before that It all will go away.
  It all will go away."

But management had not a clue; "It works fine now, you bet!
 A rewrite is a straight expense; We won't do it yet.
  We won't do it yet."

Now when 2000 rolls around it all goes straight to hell.
 For zero's less than ninety-nine, as anyone can tell.
  As anyone can tell.

The mail won't bring your pension check It won't be sent to you
 When you're no longer sixty-eight, but minus thirty-two.
  But minus thirty-two.

The problems we're about to face are frightening, for sure.
 and reading every line of code is the only certain cure.
  The only certain cure.

-=[key Change, big finish]=-

There's not much time, There's too much code. (And COBOL coders, few)
 When the century is finished with, We may be finished, too.
  We may be finished, too.

Eight thousand years from now I hope, that things weren't left too late,
 and people aren't then lamenting Four digits for a date.
  Four digits for a date.

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