The Y2K bug was a bug that lived in computers and ate excess storage medium. It is their unclean lifestyle that leads to most computer viruses.
The YK bug was the "K bug" before the Y2K one. People in the late 10th century realised that their computer programs would no longer work after the year 1000, because the computer had not been invented yet.
Beginning as a humble prehistoric robospider and evolving into a fly, it reached the stage of a trilobite. In the year 1000, when the Vikings were cowering in their little caves and inventing Norton anti-dinosaur, being plundered by everyone, the file transfer program Citruswire was programmed by Lucy, unanimously named the "last man standing." When a massive effigy of Margaret Thatcher burnt itself in front of what would become a mine and a baboon buffoon was playing the bassoon, a trilobite entered a lemon. The bassoon, I mean buffoon, no actually the baboon then put his lemon into his slab, booted up Windows BC and the trilobite entered the program, concealing itself as incest_elephants_hot_orgy.avi. You can see how all the computers were affected by it. And that's just history....
The bug was first discovered by Tony Clifton in 1996. By this time, it was too late to be fixed, because computers that were being made at this time would not hit the market until 2003. Because it was years before the invention of CD burners and the Internet, there was no way to distribute a fix. In addition, the problem received no media attention because the liberal-controlled media did not realize its seriousness. One radio announcer was quoted as saying "How can we have a Y2K bug in a Country with both Intel and McDonald's?". Most people did not know what was about to hit them until the clock struck midnight on the 29th of December, 1999. The general public had no time to gather supplies, including generators, bottled water, munitions, and canned food items. Thus, the world collapsed under its own gravity and everyone died. But then they were revived and brainwashed so that they thought that it didn't do anything - until they turned on their computers, which spontaneously combusted, and so they blamed Bill Gates, who had already fled on a rocket to Mars.
There is great speculation on the causes of the Y2K bug. While some people have suggested it was due to lazy programmers (although the word lazy is by definition, redundant). However, most experts now believe in fact the programmers simply believed humans would not survive until 2000. This was one of the few cases when programmers did, surprisingly, have foresight, although their foresight unfortunately turned out to be wrong, shocking even most experts. So, it was rather unfortunate that humans did survive, resulting in the proceeding chaos.
But will your computer know what year it is?
The short answer is "Yes mam!" If computers can know this sort of thing, and you assume that a computer knows what year it is right now, then next February the computer will still know it. This is because what is popularly known as the "Y2K Bug" is not really a bug at all, as with actual software glitches that cause things like crashing a multi-million-dollar bug-shaped satellite into the surface of Mars (and hit bill gates who had previously fled there). The Y2K Bug is a feature. It was invented on purpose, and for very good reasons.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, deep in the mists of pre-present-day computer times (about 15 years ago), the PC was not powerful enough to actually do anything except play games with, and real electronic data was actually processed with something called what is today an extremely derogatory term: "mainframe computers." I know, because I used to program one. It occupied a relatively large amount of space on a raised floor in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room. It had 3 megabytes of RAM (main memory). That's right--count 'em--three. Not enough to run Windows 3.1 in protected mode. However, it did run dozens of sophisticated online transaction processors and a few batch jobs all at the same time on a single processor. Pretty fast too, I might add.
In those days, there was still a lot of real data (not for backup, it was the actual data) on magnetic tape. Tape is a sequential medium, meaning that in order to update a tape file you have to read in the new version and simultaneously write out the new version of your file, making sure not to omit any of the records you want to keep while leaving out the records you want to delete, adding the records you want to add, and modifying the contents of records that you want to update. The input tape was called "Father," and the output tape was called "Son." The "Son" quickly grew up to become the "Father" when it was time to do another update of the Master File.
Occasionally, the "Son" would fill up a whole reel of tape and want to spill over to a second one. Now, tapes (and tape drives) were expensive then, and slow. The bigger the data record, the more tape was required. Therefore it became a requirement that we use only the absolutely minimum amount of space in which our data could be contained.
Bits and Bytes
All data--whether in memory, on tape, or on disk, CD-ROM, or in digital storage of any kind--is stored as a series of bits. A bit is binary-valued; in other words, a bit can only have two states: on or off (ONE or ZERO). We use combinations of bits to represent things like letters and numbers. The more bits you use to represent a thing, the more things you can represent in your data.
In computing, the data we commonly deal with contains both words and numbers. That means we have to represent at least 40 or 50 things: all the letters of the alphabet, the 10 numeric digits, and a bunch of "special characters." Using one of two standards, ASCII and EBCDIC, computer makers became able to represent 256 unique characters using 8 bits per character. Now, every time you store a character you are going to use 8 bits. Those bits have to be written and read to and from tape, printers, and various other devices throughout the "data processing" life-cycle.
You can imagine, just because of the enormous amount of data we use in this world of ours, how many of those 8-bit characters (called bytes) have to be stored.
It didn't take those of us in the computing profession very long to recognize that we could save a lot of tape, disk, and other resources because of the following set of circumstances:
* 90% of all data is numeric * There are only 10 numeric digits * You only need four bits to store the values zero (0000) through nine (1001)
And thus was born the concept of a half-byte (packed decimal) representation of a numeric digit. Believe me, those of us who have any sense have stored our numeric data that way almost from the very beginning. And we have saved a lot of time and money in the process.
And What About All That Tape?
With data storage more economical now, questions arose in what programmers would do with all the extra tape they no longer needed. There was some debate and more than a few deaths before it was decided that the only logical step was to create a new species of insects that would eat the tape, disposing of it naturally. Chemists, biologists, and other really smart people went to work and within a few months had developed a genetically enhanced insect capable of eating the extra tape which would save valuable landfill space. One of the key chemical elements of the bug was composed of two parts Yttrium and one part Potassium. Hence the bug was named based on it's chemical formula, Y2K (the "2" was originally a subscript, but the scientists grew tired of accessing the font menu every time they typed the name in Microsoft Word).
A few Y2K bugs were stored in each IBM-compatible computer manufactured to eat the extra tape in the event that people ever went back to storing information on tape. Apple, not to be outdone, developed the iWorm to eat extra stuff in their computers. This was eventually replaced by the iWorm Touch Gen 364357.
At midnight on December 31st, 1999, tragedy struck. The Internet overflowed and the year became 19100. The new millennium created a problem for computers, causing most to explode. The Y2K bugs in each computer flew out and swarmed the earth devouring anything that resembled tape (freeway overpasses, long red carpets, etc.) When all the tape-like objects were eaten, the plague resorted to eating human flesh to survive.
Those that managed to survive the plague had other problems. Because the computers Asploded, EPIC FAIL! occurred all over the world. Fires started. Missiles were fired. People were without food, water, and power. Many people didn't make it and were forced to die pussy deaths compared to those who were eaten by the Y2K bugs. Those who did make it had to resort to cannibalism to survive. By dawn, there was little left of human civilization. Overnight, the world's population had dropped from over six billion to under two billion, and it was only the beginning. There was no government, there were no rules or two-dollar tricks. The population steadily declined over the next few weeks, and at one point FOX reported that the human species had become completely extinct. However, as usual, this was just hippie-bullshit-anti-Bush propaganda. Wars started, and most of the Earth's land mass was bombed below sea level. Humans evolved into fish-like animals and they all lived happily ever after under the water, safe from the Y2K bugs. The bugs could not enter the water and were instead forced to die off painfully from a lack of food. Still, we have not completely recovered, and there are no more computers. Anywhere. we ha... Error 404 OH HELL NO Y3K The end.
Since the start of the year 19100, microwaves had refused to work. This is because they think it is the year 1900 when they did not exist. Because of this, people have been forced to use pans on hobs to heat up milk for hot chocolate.
Influence on steam railways and other public transportation
Travel by steam engines has been revived since the year 19100 owing to all cars refusing to work at all. One c(lame)an enjoy smoked kippers and deviled kidneys on a breakfast journey from Horsted Keynes, Sussex, England to London Victoria, restful in the knowledge that one's journey shall be festooned with the passing sight of strapping country girls in autumn scenery and spunky chaps with hats at jaunty angles. As of 19105, bridleways are sans the humdrum of petrol-driven carriages and instead occupied by trams, Penny Farthings and velocipedes. One can almost imagine taking afternoon tea with one's chums about the outer lane on any motor-way and see little but a passing buck or a horse-drawn traveling tinker.
The Y2K bug is also known as a parasite that feeds on the inside of someones brain and takes over their body. If anyone is constantly shouting the words fish, cheese, or penguin, or the phrase "I am not infected with the Y2K bug, let's make out in such a way as to maximize the intermingling of saliva", then they may be infected by the Y2K bug, and under no circumstances (barring them being hot) should you make out with them. It harvest the grease in some CPUs.