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"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 memory 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 works through 1999,"

The programmers did say.

"Unless we rewrite by then

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 not much time,

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 then lamenting

Four digits for a date.

Four digits for a date.

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