Have you heard of the Year 2038 Bug? It sort of reminds us of Y2K, but will it wreak as much havoc? That remains to be seen, but while we wait, let’s take a look back at Y2K.
Sign up for the Retro Report newsletter

Computer Doomsday Scenarios: Much Ado About Nothing?

Produced by Joshua Fisher

It’s hard to imagine in these days of smartphones, iPads, and Google Glass that something called the Y2K bug threatened to topple technology, upset the economy and wreak general havoc at the close of the 20th century. But it did. Survivalists bunkered down. Preachers predicted the apocalypse. And ordinary folks wondered if any of it was real.

Was it? Was the Y2K bug a genuine threat? And what did it all mean? To get some answers, we tracked down key players in this millennium drama – like Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster, author and consultant who first alerted his clients to the Y2K issue in the mid-1980s; and John Koskinen, the government’s Y2K czar, who directed the battle against the bug. They provide a riveting look at the problems then – and the implications now.