Two Digits for a Date

(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 mem-o-ry was smaller then;

Hard disks were smaller, too.

"Four digits are extravagant,

So let's get by with two.

So let's get by with two."

.

.

"This will work through 1999,"

The programmers they did say.

"Unless we rewrite before that time

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.

.

.

[key change, big finish]

There's far too little time that's left,

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.

..

..

Eight thousand years from now I hope

That things weren't left too late,

And people aren't lamenting then,

Four digits for a date.

Four digits for a date.

.

Author Unknown

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