Happy New Year and how I spent Y2K

Happy New Year and how I spent Y2K

Happy New Year! Thank you for bringing in the new decade with me.

Ten years ago, we thought, just maybe, this Y2K thing would cause widespread computer system breakdowns.

I was with an IT consulting firm and was working on New Year’s Eve. (What!? It was a Friday. Cut me some slack.) I had my young son with me at the office. We had hooked up analog call forwarding to send incoming calls to the vice president’s house, and we had armed him with a stack of paper work-orders and an analog fax machine. The idea being, should pandemonium ensue, people would call firms such as ours. The VP would get a signed agreement and send in the techs. I was on-call for second level support.

Before I left, I shut down the network and PBX and disconnected power. You never can be too safe, right? After all, who knew how bad it would get. (Actually, we were doing much of this in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.)

My son and I drove home early. We picked up my wife, then very pregnant, and went to see a movie. It might have been Pokemon. It might have been Wild Wild West. None of us can quite remember and agree which movie it was now. Anyways, we were in the Krafft 8 movie theater standing in line when the first call came in.

I answered my trusty Nextel, fearing the worst. It was not even close to midnight but you never know. What had happened?

On the line was Thailand. My good friend had called to wish me a happy new year. Life was still going, he assured me, with no disruptions in Tokyo or Bangkok. We had a good laugh and chat.

My family enjoyed the movie. Then we dropped my son off at his grandmother’s. They had their party, and my wife and I had ours. The night passed quietly. Then the weekend passed quietly. Then my daughter was born and I forgot all about Y2K.

And before I knew it, it was 2010. Somewhere along the way, we hooked back up the firm’s computer and telephony equipment. Other bugs came and went. But Y2K, for me, was the dog that did not bark.

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