Skip to main content

Y2K + 10

How's this for an amusing trip down memory lane? Ten years ago, on the eve of the millennium, the big "Y2K," I was reporting for work in the basement of Gilchrist Hall at the University of Northern Iowa. I was to staff the university's "Y2K Command Center," the strategic hub of UNI's efforts to thwart any disasters due to Y2K.

As we now know, very little happened due to Y2K. The fear was that any digital device that recorded dates with only two digits wouldn't know how to properly handle a year "00" and would behave unpredictably. This was a valid concern, but not a surprise so almost all such problems were fixed months ahead of time.

Midnight came and went, and things were pretty quiet around UNI. One of our maintenance staff discovered a ventilation fan not working properly (for non-Y2K reasons) and that was it. All the professional staff went home a couple hours after midnight, but Robert Shontz (great student, individual, and co-worker) and I stayed on until morning. Even though it was pretty evident that nothing bad was going to happen, we and some other ITS associates worked in shifts to keep the command center open for a couple days. All we did was watch TV, surf the net, play video games, and eat on the university's dime, but it was nice that the university stuck to their schedule and gave us the hours we had been promised.

It would have been a more exciting story if we had somehow actively warded off a disaster, but I'm still glad I was there. What's your story? Out partying? How dull. You'll get another chance to be the hero for Y10K. Five digit years are going to require software updates. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hibernation

It's the last half-hour of 2017 and I'm pushing out a post to keep my blogging streak alive. I can't imagine this is interesting to anyone else, but that's never really been what this blog is for. I could write more, and maybe I should write more, but the only goal I've had for this blog for a while is to write at least once a year.

The last week of the year has become what I call my period of "hibernation." Between Christmas and the New Year, I stay home, do whatever I want on whatever schedule I want. This year, that meant a lot of nights staying up until 4 am and sleeping until 10 or 11. Other than trips to get food, I pretty much had no social interaction for the week. I don't know that I purposely take this time as a mental vacation, but that's sort of what it is.
I had several goals for this year's hibernation, but the one I've done best to stick to is physical: pedaling my stationary bike 40 miles each day. There is a Strava challe…

Last.fm and Ten Years of Web 2.0

Ten years ago yesterday I scrobbled my first tracks to last.fm. What's scrobbling? On last.fm, scrobbling refers to automatic music track logging to the internet. For me, uploading a record of my music listening habits was my first real experience with "Web 2.0." Remember Web 2.0? It referred to websites of user-generated content that enabled virtual communities and interoperability. Now such sites are too ubiquitous on the web to warrant a special designation — they're just the web. But that wasn't true in 2006, and even though I'd been putting content on the internet since 1996, at the time it was enough to make me a little nervous. What did these strangers want with my data, and what was in it for me?

Ten years and 24,941 scrobbles later, I have my answer: I have a really cool record of all the music I've listened to the past 10 years! Well, not "all," technically: I've certainly listened to music in places and on devices that didn't …

The 15-Year Blogoversary

15 years and 1,213 posts! My first experience with the World Wide Web came in 1995, and by 1997 I had my own web page. The first web authoring tool I remember using was Composer, an HTML editor built into the Netscape Communicator suite. That helped me learn some HTML, and later I used Microsoft Word 97 and then FrontPage 98 and later Macromedia Dreamweaver to design more elaborate pages. Some of my FrontPage-built sites are still on the web. As I learned more about HTML standards and validation I wrote more HTML by hand, but I still wanted a way to make publishing to the web easier.

By 2001 I understood that (a) sites should be updated regularly and (b) FTP'ing sites and pages from my desktop to a server was a bit of a pain. I had heard about some early blogging platforms and chose one, Blogger, to try out. As you can see, I'm still here.
My first post using Blogger came on December 8, 2001. A few months later I paid for Blogger Pro, which offered additional authoring tools, l…