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A Guide to Installing MS-DOS and Windows 3.11 For Workgroups on a Legacy PC

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Email Webmaster For Questions or Comments Email Me Here March 2016 THE LEGACY PC PROJECT


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Other computer programs that projected budgets or debts into the future could begin malfunctioning in 1999 when they made projections into 2000. In addition, some computer software did not take into account that the year 2000 was a leap year. And even before the dawn of 2000, it was feared that some computers might fail on September 9, 1999 (9/9/99), because early programmers often used a series of 9s to indicate the end of a program.

It was feared that such a misreading would lead to software and hardware failures in computers used in such important areas as banking, utilities systems, government records, and so on, with the potential for widespread chaos on and following January 1, 2000. Mainframe computers, including those typically used to run insurance companies and banks, were thought to be subject to the most serious Y2K problems, but even newer systems that used networks of desktop computers were considered vulnerable.

The Y2K problem was not limited to computers running conventional software, however. Many devices containing computer chips, ranging from elevators to temperature-control systems in commercial buildings to medical equipment, were believed to be at risk, which necessitated the checking of these “embedded systems” for sensitivity to calendar dates.


Y2K bug, also called Year 2000 bug or Millennium Bug, a problem in the coding of computerized systems that was projected to create havoc in computers and computer networks around the world, at the beginning of that year. After more than a year of international alarm, feverish preparations, and programming corrections, few major failures occurred in the transition from December 31, 1999, to January 1, 2000.

Until the 1990s, many computer programs (especially those written in the early days of computers) were designed to abbreviate four-digit years as two digits in order to save memory space. These computers could recognize “98” as “1998” but would be unable to recognize “00” as “2000,” perhaps interpreting it to mean 1900. Many feared that when the clocks struck midnight on January 1, 2000, many affected computers would be using an incorrect date and thus fail to operate properly unless the computers’ software was repaired or replaced before that date.

An NBC News Report From 1999 THE Y2K SCARE