Writings on the year 2000 (Y2K) problem, or the "millennium bug" as some would have it, have been limited to highly technical analyses of specific problems and their solutions. Very little attention has been paid to how the Y2K problem will affect the lives of average people and everyday systems, even though many prognosticators believe this is where the problem will have the largest impact. In Time Bomb 2000: What the Year 2000 Computer Crisis Means to You, Edward and Jennifer Yourdon do just that by presenting a collection of scenarios ranging from the best we can hope for to the worst cases. Each chapter investigates a different area of computing and the possible effects of this disaster on each. From home PCs to world financial networks, the Yourdons explore a variety of "domino effects" that January 1, 2000, could trigger and the necessary time, effort, and cost to fix the aftermath. The impacts on real life could be anywhere between annoying and catastrophic, and the authors examine each extreme. Each chapter contains "fallback advice," describing the amount of time required to repair these systems. (The authors liken Y2K to a hurricane--it only lasts a day, but requires a year of cleanup.)
Although the Yourdons insist that their overall view is optimistic, it's hard not to feel doomed when reading some of the worst-case scenarios brought on by the year 2000 problem. While Time Bomb 2000 is meant to be an alert, it's not time to start stockpiling canned goods yet, and we can probably still party like it's 1999 right on schedule. However, we should remain extremely mindful of what may await us the next morning.
From Library Journal
Optimists may be gleefully eyeing the approaching millennium with great expectations of the innovation that will undoubtedly accompany its dawning, but those with perhaps a more grounded gaze see January 1, 2000, as the day of reckoning for computers and their infinite applications everywhere. The Yourdons (Edward is the author of 25 computer books) offer a doomsday scenario of what life might be like if techno gurus aren't able to correct, on a universal scale, an oversight born when programmers failed to see the significance of the double zeros at the beginning of year 2000. Will ATMs work on January 1 of that year? Will medical devices work? Social Security checks arrive? Will basic services like electricity, water, mail, and food delivery be affected? No one is claiming to know everything for sure, but the Yourdons' harrowing account of what life could be like if computers all shut down at once is both frightening and useful for the solutions it offers. For all computer collections.?Geoff Rotunno, "Tri-Mix" Magazine, Goleta, Cal.
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