Two Digits for a Date

Author Unknown

(sung to the tune of "Gilligan’s Island", more or less)

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
Of the doom that is our fate.
That started when programmers used
Two digits for a date… two digits for a date.

Main memory was much smaller then;
Hard disks were smaller, too.
"Four digits are extravagant,
So let’s get by with two….Get by with just the two."

"This works through 1999,"
The programmers did say.
"Unless we rewrite before that
It all will go away… it all will go away."

But Management had not a clue:
"It works fine now, you bet!
A rewrite is a straight expense;
We won’t do it just yet… we won’t do it just yet."

Now when 2000 rolls around
It all goes straight to Hell,
For zero’s less than ninety-nine,
As anyone can tell… as anyone can tell.

The mail won’t bring your pension check.
It won’t be sent to you.
When you’re no longer sixty-eight,
But minus thirty-two… but minus thirty-two.

The problems we’re about to face
Are frightening, for sure.
And reading every line of code’s
The only certain cure… the only certain cure.

There’s not much time,
There’s too much code.
(And Cobol-coders, few)
When the century is finished with,
We may be finished, too… we may be finished, too.

The way to get the time we need
I now propose to you:
A Daylight Savings decade,
Or maybe even two… or maybe even two.

Eight thousand years from now I hope
That things weren’t left too late,
And people aren’t lamenting
Four digits for a date… four digits for a date.

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