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Y2K fails to produce calamities in U.S., world

WASHINGTON (BP)–The year 2000 arrived throughout the world without any of the widespread calamities warned about, including by some in the Christian community.

By the afternoon of Jan. 3, the federal government’s Y2K czar, John Koskinen, told reporters “what has been referred to as the Y2K bug has been squashed with regard to the key infrastructure systems” in the United States.

Koskinen, chairman of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion, had said only two days before it was too soon to speak with such certainty. After observing how the banking and other financial systems operated Jan. 3, he was prepared to claim victory.

“We are likely to see glitches pop up here and there in the coming days and weeks, but I think they will be localized and transitory and will not pose a threat to the nation’s economy,” Koskinen said.

In the United States, there were glitches at some nuclear power plants. A Pentagon satellite intelligence system was out of operation for a few hours. While there were such glitches in this and other countries as the new year began, there were no reports of the kind of catastrophic power and other failures forecast as possible, especially in Russia, China and some other countries.

The massive effort in recent months and years was cited by some as the reason for the lack of problems, even though some countries lacking in preparation also seemed to avoid calamity.

“It is a tremendous global success story of the marshalling of resources throughout the globe for a very positive outcome,” Information Technology Association of America President Harris Miller told Conservative News Service.

As much as $500 to $600 billion was spent worldwide on the Y2K problem, according to news reports.

The Y2K problem derived from the use in computers of only the last two digits to designate the year. It was feared older computers especially would not be able to determine what century it was when the year changed from “99” to “00.”

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