Can the Y 2 K cost you K's The Y 2 K bug is a computer virus that will plague all major computer systems as we move into the next millenium. People of the 20 th century are taking this bug too lightly. It possesses the potential to deliver havoc and spread worldwide chaos in a collection of ways. The Y 2 K bug will cause an affliction in the computer's embedded hardware which will make it impossible for the system to process dates after 1999, it will account for hospitals and major organizations to experience difficulties, and is predicted to hit small businesses with a devastating impact. If dates cannot be processed after the last day of 1999, then all computer systems that hold files are certain to "misbehave" if left unattended. These represent a significant dilemma for banks, legal systems, and any large databases.

Banks will experience the loss of account numbers and the information within them, leaving the client's money lost or deleted. Legal systems are another area of prime concern. If legal information is lost, criminal records are suspect to be mangled, court dates could be confused, and the judicial system as a whole would take a crucial blow. Computer systems will have to be modified and perhaps reformatted to avoid this bulk of disorder. In addition to these computers not being able to perform, more serious and expensive problems could arise. Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco is the Nations largest health care organization and has already begun to screen their systems for the Y 2 K virus (web) This procedure has cost the Hospital $200 million dollars which amounts to two months worth the hospitals drug budget.

The high powered computers which assist many of the patients (cat scans, respirators, and life support systems) could suddenly collapse, and leave many patients with much lower standards of health care. An issue of equal cancer is the technological organization of penitentiaries. Many of the newer prisons' cells are opened and closed by computer operated systems. If these systems were to collapse, the ability to contain the inmates could be in question. Hospitals and large organizations may have the budget and manpower to make the disturbances of this bug less severe, but limited manpower and restricted resources may make this bug more destructive toward the owner's of small businesses and entrepreneurs.

In order to attempt to reformat or contain the virus, a large staff is needed. Specialists would have to locate the virus, test the system, and alter it if needed. For the common businessman, this could propose heavy financial burden and problems with the company's stability.