Tag Archives: Y2K

Another year down the tubes … Happy New Year!

Those of us who remember the days when we had telephones with coiled cords and TVs that took forever to turn on have learned to live in whole new world.

We recall waiting with bated breath for the 21st century. My dad was one of them. He looked forward to seeing the year 2000. He didn’t make it, but we had many conversations about that momentous event.

Here we are. Another year is passing into history. And we’re another year close to the end of the second decade of the 21st century.

Yes, it’s true that time accelerates the older you get.

So we’re about to enter 2017. Just three more years an we enter the third decade of this once-new era.

And this conjures up a memory of when we got ready for we called “Y2K.” You remember it, yes?

It seems all so quaint now.

As 1999 drew to a close, I was working for the Amarillo Globe-News. We prepped for the big change in a most fascinating way. The newspaper’s publisher took all those fears about the world coming to an end as we entered the 21st century quite seriously. Perhaps too seriously, as it turned out.

On Dec. 31, 1999, he issued a directive that all our electronics systems were to be shut down by some ridiculous time — hours before we were to go to press. He spoke to us about the potential consequences of failing to be prepared for when the clock struck midnight and we entered a new year beginning with the number “2.”

I’d heard the fears: Nuclear missiles would launch; satellites orbiting the planet would crash to Earth; computer systems would catch fire and/or explode; motor vehicles would stop functioning. All of it.

My boss was so concerned he ordered us to shut down our newsgathering and printing operations … which meant that the Jan. 1, 2000 edition of the Amarillo Globe-News had next to zero breaking news in it. We had a lot of feature material, though.

That was then.

We’ve gotten a good bit more sophisticated about these computer issues.

Time and technology have moved us forward.

I’ll spare you my thoughts about the year that’s about to pass into history’s dust bin. It kinda sucked and I’ve spoken my piece already about that.

But oh, my, has time flown by since our knuckles locked up while we waited for Y2K.

One thing doesn’t change for me, though, even with technology advancing as rapidly as it has done. I always await the new year with a sense of optimism, that the new year will be better than the immediate past year.

So it is that we welcome 2017. We’ve got nowhere to go but up, correct?