The next millennium begins in 750 days and the countdown is on to fix the millennium bug and avoid computer meltdown.
The Year 2000 problem the millennium bug could spell disaster for anyone who uses technology. Tony Connelly looks at the work involved in altering computers and software in order to avoid a worldwide technological meltdown at the stroke of midnight on 31 December 1999.
Unless they have their house in order, every strand of society, every business, every government department, could face computer meltdown when the virus known as the millennium bug strikes.
Most computers run on a clock but when the software was written in the sixties, no one thought beyond the year 2000 meaning that at the turn of the millennium most computers will roll over to 1900. This could spell disaster for a society which is so dependent on computers. Insurance companies are already talking about 'catastrophe cover'. Firms have begun to employ software consultants to fix the source code on their systems.
Bob Semple of Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) describes this as a very serious problem facing businesses and estimates this will cost hundreds of millions of pounds.
A recent survey showed that 71% of top Irish companies were worried about the millennium bug.
Bank of Ireland is spending £30 million and 500 man years to reprocess twenty million lines of source code. Frank Keegan of Bank of Ireland 2000 Project outlines the main areas that will affect its customers.
Don McAleese of Matheson Ormsby Prentice Solicitors outlines the potential legal nightmare that may come with the millennium bug and advises businesses to act immediately.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 12 December 1997. The reporter is Tony Connelly.