Y2K, Year 200

Y2K Theme Song

Two Digits for a Date

(to the tune of "Gilligan's Island")

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
Of the doom that is our fate.
That started when 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 just yet.
We won't do it just 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's
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

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Washington Apple Pi IFAQ
April 2, 1999 Lawrence I. Charters