Benefits of Y2K

It’s amazing how things seem to fit together so well. I wonder how this can all happen without some God making things work. Then again, there are many things that don’t work out. Y2K is one of computing’s successes, it seems.  The paranoia caused by media publicity of the problem appears to have really helped the world, even though the fears were unfounded. It’s kind of like the world’s first worm which was released inadvertently in 1988, and unintentionally brought down thousands of UNIX servers. It brought security to the attention of the public, as well as programmers, which almost surely helped to avert later disaster. Supposedly, UNIX before that date focused primarily on ease-of-use, with little attention paid to security.

Here’s the relevant section of the Wikipedia article on Y2K.

In North America the actions taken to remedy the possible problems did have unexpected benefits. Many businesses installed computer backup systems for critical files. The September 11 attacks destroyed hundreds of offices in the World Trade Center, potentially crippling segments of the economy; however, most of the offices had purchased backup servers in New Jersey and elsewhere, limiting the economic impact of the attacks. The Y2K preparations further had impact on August 14, 2003 during the Northeast Blackout of 2003. The previous activities had included the installation of new electrical generation equipment and systems which allowed for a relatively rapid restoration of power in some areas.

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