The world was coming to an end at midnight 31 December 1999. We had planned for it for years. It was, as one techno-wag said, “a disaster with a deadline.”
The Year 2000 rollover was going to be big. Worldwide. No escape. Like Noah and the flood, we knew it was coming. We knew this would be no mere technology challenge to be solved with exceptional American ingenuity. The Year 2000 was problematic with unknown unknowns.
The predictions were dire: The Internet would go down. Cell phones dead. The power grid dark — Armageddon.
In the late 1990s, one-half of the world’s Internet traffic passed through the Commonwealth of Virginia, thanks to America Online — AOL.com. And maybe another Northern Virginia entity in Arlington: the Pentagon.
(I think that was a secret … )
Your business professor had the Y2K responsibility for Health and Human Resources, a $5 billion enterprise in the Virginia government. The boss, Governor Jim Gilmore, a former military intelligence officer, knew what was possible — and not — to combat the Y2K Bug.