Q. What's the Y10K problem?

A. Many of us remember the panic in 1999 as the year 2000 approached and many software programs only used 2 digits for the year. When 2000 hit, most software would think it was 1900 and start having major problems as it struggled to work with data from the future and the end of the world would ensue.

Well, as we hit the year 2011, it seems clear that in a mere eight millennia we'll hit another problem, because we've clearly not learned from our past mistakes. We're only using four digits for the year, and in 9999 we'll be kicking ourselves trying to work out how we'll handle all the computers thinking its year 0000 and wishing we had started addressing the issue 8000 years earlier.

We shouldn't leave this problem to future generations. I urge that we start using five digits for the year. Or, if we really care, it's estimated that the Earth will survive for approximately 7.5 billion more years, based on the Sun's expected lifespan. So using 10 digits will avoid any problems in the future. Yes, writing out the date on forms will require an extra few minutes, and insurance claims for repetitive strain injury will increase based on all the 0 writing, but do we really want to saddle future generations with not only a wrecked planet, but also a nightmare of a software bug? Together we can fix this now!

Have a great 0000002011!

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