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Old December 12th, 2013, 07:04 PM   #1750 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mikedt View Post
Think NASA found themselves in that situation for a few of their old systems and had to get people back out of retirement, or at least ask them how to service and fix them.
That also happened--and I mean really widespread--during the Y2K frenzy. Long retired COBOL programmers were hired out of the woodwork to bring old code up to snuff for 01/01/2000.

For any youngsters who don't know , back in the day files had to be as concise as possible, because storage and/or memory were at a huge premium. So programmers--never even THINKING that decades down the road this wouldn't work out so well--assigned only two spaces in programs, such as databases, for the year position of a date, i.e., MMDDYY. The YY was understood to be prefaced with 19, as in 1974 or 1987. That was all fine and dandy until 2000 came along! Hence the infamous Y2K issue, that kept many of us up for long hours leading up to New Year's Day.

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