What Ever Happened to the Millennium Bug?

Year 2000 Time Bomb Disposal Kit

Year 2000 Time Bomb Disposal Kit (Photo credit: rjw1)

Does any one remember the millennium bug? Back in the late 1990’s the planet was a buzz about  a worldwide catastrophe, “the bug.” Personal computers came into existence in the seventies. At the time, computers possessed limited storage capacity. Programmers allowed only two digits to define a year. After all, in nineteen eighty, who could imagine the world lasting until the year two thousand? Between two thousand, and the limited capacity of early computer memory, no one could imagine that using only two digits to define a year was a problem. Finally in the late nineteen nineties the world became aware. What will happen on New Year’s eve of 1999 when the calendar turns over and it becomes the year 2000?  Will the year 00 mean 1900 or 2000? Imagine the confusion. What would happen to the stock market? What about our savings in the bank? Would we earn the interest of 1900 or the interest of 2000? Worse yet, would those on the verge of retirement in 2000 be set back to 1900 and not be recognized as being born?

The millennium bug caused a rash of business to change out all old computers with new ones that could handle the four digit year. I remember my company racing to check computers to decide if they contained any software that limited the year to two digits. If they identified  a problem they replaced it, or bumped it down to an application where the year was not a factor. The whole world sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the clock to turn, and the computers to crash. It is now twelve years after the fact, and I have yet to hear of a problem related to the millennium bug. What that means is we converted every computer on time, or that the millennium bug was a non-problem.

Today, I hear a lot of discussion about a similar catastrophe, the “fiscal cliff.” What will happen to the economy if we reinstate the Clinton era taxes? Many pundits, Congressmen, Senators, and “we the Sheeple” believe it will destroy the economy and send us into another more deeper recession. Really? Who has any definitive knowledge or facts to back that up? I think it would make a great experiment to let it happen i.e. do nothing to avoid the fiscal cliff. Let the taxes go into effect. It is a democrat’s dream to get all that extra money into the coffers (or trough). Perhaps we would learn once and for all about economics. Is economics a real science, or is it a political folly? If it is a science, the democrats will be proven wrong and the people they profess to protect will suffer. If they are right, economics will be proven more witchcraft than science.

It might be interesting to take a simple poll and see how you feel about this argument. Click on the poll below.

Sweet Success

My blogging has suffered during the past two months because of several new projects I had going. When I bought my iMac it came with a string of new programs, which I have promised to master. One of them is iMovie. Another goal was to convert a collection of forty-year old home movies to DVD. Right after Thanksgiving, I had the movies converted by Dave and Joe of Retired Fim Guys, and I  loaded them into iMovie.  Since then I have produced One Mile High, The Four Presidents of South Dakota, and The Tea Party Kids. These movies are a legacy of Busia Barb that I am leaving to my grandchildren. One Mile High won the First Award in 1970 from the South Side Cinema Club.

The fifteen minute long movies have a lively music background, and One Mile High has voice over narration. The super-eight movie quality is terrible compared to today’s video, but the story lines, music and narration make up for the lousy picture quality.

The second project, that consumed me involved publishing “Nightmares From Obama,” on Amazon Kindle as an eBook. Gladly, I can report that you can now buy and download the book to your computer, or to your Kindle reader from Amazon for $2.99. You may even get lucky and get it for free during the introduction period.

Publishing the eBook put a strain on the iMac. I learned that Amazon set up Kindle publishing on a Windows machine. In order to make my book happen, I switched back to using a PC. Most authors write books without graphics. Nightmares From Obama is a book of cartoons (47)and text. Learning how to format the manuscript to show the cartoons was a challenge to this aged brain.

Both projects have been on my list of goals for some time. The fact that I accomplished them both is what I consider a success. Success breeds desire to do more, and I now have plans for a dozen more movies, and a minimum of nine more eBooks.

I’ve Been Kindlized

The back of the Amazon Kindle 2

Image via Wikipedia

Peggy reads a lot and spends time perusing library book sales to buy hard cover books of her favorite authors. She has several large boxes filled with bargain books. She keeps a log of those she buys and takes it with her when she shops a sale to avoid duplications.   She always carries a book to read during wait times wherever we go for appointments. She has been on the same book for a year. Often reading only a paragraph or two while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room.

This Christmas, one of her beautiful grand daughters gifted her with a Kindle. It remained in the box for several days. She had no interest. I finally asked her to let me see it. I wanted to learn how to use it so when she did get ready to use it, I could teach her how. It took me about an hour to learn to navigate its functions, to set it up on the wireless network, and link it to my Amazon account. Now when the darn thing fires up it says “Joe’s Kindle.”

To get things rolling, I downloaded a sample of the number one book on the New York Times Best Seller List. The book is “The List” by J.A. Konrath and Jack Kilborn. It appeared on the device within minutes.

Peggy watched me play with the buttons and flip from one page in the Kindle Store to another. She told me she would get started using the thing right after she finished the book she was reading.

The next morning, I learned how to enlarge the print to something I could see without any strain. I began the read. The story started out with action, and I found myself immersed. At Chapter Six the sample ended, oh no! The promise I made to myself the night before to not spend any money on books ended. I went into the Kindle Store and hit the Buy Now button. By the time, I finished my first cup of coffee the complete book was there.

The reading began and I never put the damn thing down. Even though I had to push the page button hundreds of times to get me through the large print, I couldn’t read fast enough. The story held my interest but reading on the device seemed more comfortable than reading a paper book. I finished in one day. Never have I completed a book in one day.

Peggy may own the Kindle but it is mine to use.

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