“Chip” Cursor was the first victim of the Millennium Bug in this century. On 01/01/00, I talked to Mr. Cursor in his hospital room where he was hooked up to life support.
Mr. Cursor: Come back tomorrow. I’m expecting a call from my wife.
Jaron: Your wife claims you went overboard by alarming the entire world about the Millennium Bug.
Mr. Cursor: As Czar of the Millennium Bug Alert Committee it was my job to get people to respond to the Y2K bug before it could do any serious harm. If it had not been for me every nuclear plant and every atomic submarine could have malfunctioned. The stock markets could have crashed, airliners could have fallen from the sky –
Jaron: Possibly, but isn’t it true that you own a dozen companies in the Y2K compliant business? They made millions patching computers that had no glitches in them.
Mr. Cursor: No comment.
Jaron: Before your Y2K alert, your company hunted down and destroyed computer viruses –
Mr. Cursor: So – ?
Jaron: So you were charged by the police with creating viruses and unleashing them on the world of PCs.
Mr. Cursor: I can’t comment until the trial is over.
Jaron: Could you explain how it is that you ended up the only casualty of the Millennium Bug?
Mr. Cursor: When I realized that the Y2K bug could result in an apocalypse, I built a huge underground bunker and moved my family into it. We had food and water for five years and an elaborate security system. We were ready.
Jaron: Except your children started fighting and your wife got tired of grinding her own flour.
Mr. Cursor: To be truthful, things went south after I freeze-dried our dog, Woffie, but there just weren’t facilities for him in our shelter. We couldn’t take him for walks and we couldn’t teach him how to use our chemical toilet. We were in a survival mode. I saw Woffie as a valuable source of protein.
Jaron: So after your family left you –
Mr. Cursor: Abandoned me!
Jaron: Yes, well after they abandoned you, take us back to midnight, December 31, 1999 –
Mr. Cursor: I assumed the city was hit by some kind of thermonuclear device, unleashed by the millennium bug.
Jaron: What you heard was firecrackers going off to celebrate the dawn of the millennium.
Mr. Cursor: From where I was, looking up through a narrow slit in my bunker, it sure looked like the sky was on fire.
Jaron: But it was fireworks, right?
Mr. Cursor: Yes. By then I had called 911 and told them we were under attack.
Jaron: And when the emergency vehicles showed up, your security system fired heat-seeking missiles at the authorities.
Mr. Cursor: My security system thought thugs were after my food supply.
Jaron: You destroyed a dozen vehicles. You were lucky no one was killed.
Mr. Cursor: That didn’t give the police the right to beat me on the way to jail.
Jaron: Yes, your head does look like hamburger. Did you sass the police?
Mr. Cursor: On the way to jail I mentioned the zeros.
Jaron: The zeros?
Mr. Cursor: Yes. You know how computers write “00” for the year 2000? I simply pointed out all those zeros were unnecessary. Redundant. I suggested that we just use one zero. You know – 0, 01, 02 up until 99; and then start over at the end of this century.
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