Thursday, January 07, 2010

Y2K Memories

I remember what I was doing on January 31st, 1999. I'm sure a lot of people do but I bet not many were doing what I was doing because I was being sick!

I was supposed to be working that night. Sitting patiently waiting for the world to end as the Y2K bug bit hard. I was a mainframe developer back in those days but I worked on a fantastic banking platform that had been Y2K compliant since its inception in the early 1980s. I was supposed to sit in work as an insurance policy. As it turned out, there were no issues. Not one. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. But I missed even that because I was driven home by my manager because of my illness.

I was reminded of this event because my O2 Connection Manager software for mobile broadband stopped working this week. On attempting to start it up, it would immediately die with no real explanation as to why it was being so fussy about doing some work on my behalf.

Of course, this week is the first week of 2010. Setting my system clock back to some date/time in 2009 enabled the O2 Connection Manager software to initialise successfully. In effect, this is the same as the Y2K bug, except it is ten years late!

Clearing out all files under "Documents and Settings/All Users/Applicatoin Data/O2CM-CE/O2 Connection Manager" resolved the issue (after I had reset my system date, of course).

So it would seem that back in the 1980s, we had a clearer idea of how to build software fit for purpose and with a view that it would still be around 20 years later. These days, code is hacked into existence and wobbles at the first sign of any kind of change. How depressing.

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