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Landmarks On The Calendar, The Millennium Bug And Its Origins, The Potential For Disaster, Realities Of ComplianceThe millennium

As the end of the 1990s approached, the world became preoccupied with the coming of the Year 2000, nicknamed "Y2K" (Y for year and 2 times K, a standard designation for a thousand). Some were superstitious about the turning of year numbers to 2000, but many focused on a predicted technological problem commonly known as the"Y2K Glitch" or the "millennium bug" feared to cause computers and computer-assisted devices to malfunction. Computer experts predicted that older computers and several large data systems—including those controlling bank transactions, transportation networks, and government data—were not equipped to process dates beyond December 31, 1999. Though the problem was discovered decades earlier, the "Y2K Glitch" did not become widely known until the mid-1990s when media sources began reporting on the computer bug and its possible consequences. Some technological experts and lay-persons feared widespread computer failures, especially in regions dependent on older technology. Most experts, companies, and governments however implemented detailed programs to fix the suspected problem in their computer systems well before January 1, 2000. As the date recognition problem was relatively simple to correct, such fixes were highly successful, and the "millennium bug" was averted. Though its effects were not largely realized, the "Y2K Bug" did highlight the pervasiveness of computer systems and their importance in everyday commerce and industry.

In the modern era, the word millennium was appropriated to signify the largest metric division of calendar years on the French Republican calendar. The Republican calendar, implemented in France during the French Revolution (1789–1804) utilized metric divisions (groups of 10) to divide hours, days, weeks, months, and years. The use of the term millennium to describe a 1,000-year-long span of time remains.


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