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The Y10K, literally meaning the Year 10,000 Problem, is an error machines and computers will encounter when the need to express five digits for a year.

Cultural practicing[change | change source]

Some people[1] practice the art of cutting the last two digits of a decade. For example, the "1970's" becomes just the "70's".[2] However, this becomes a problem, because to keep order, one will now need to take the last three digits, rather than two.[3]

Cultural confusion[change | change source]

This is also a problem because the "000's" might be confused with the legit "00's", representing a new century. Also, the year can overflow with certain computer programs. On Microsoft Excel, for instance, in a cell the date 12/31/9999 is a legit date, but 1/1/10,000 causes a problem. The date "ten thousand" is unable to be supported, producing a large negative instead.[4]

Efforts[change | change source]

So far, the Long Now Foundation is able to preempt the Y10K by adding a "0" in front of the date. So the year 2000, would look like this: "02000". However, it would still be subsceptible to a "Y100K" problem.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Cultural practice of Two-Digit Chop Off.
  2. Chopping It Off. Cultural.com, 2010."Cutting Off the Digits: A Cultural Practice". Cultural.com. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  3. Digital Prolonging effects of Y10K. Retrieved 5-7-08.
  4. Date Overflowing: Your Machine in 10000. Long Now Foundation, 2005.
  5. What about 100K? Long Now, 2005.

Other sites and pages[change | change source]