Y0K Problem


A very important Latin email dating from the year 2BC has been discovered hanging from a cold, dark, undiscovered strand of the world wide web. Archaeological experts at a prestigious London university have confirmed its authenticity. The world’s best Latin scholars have colloborated to provide the following translation, and have requested immediate world-wide distribution of this important document.

Date: Mon, 18 Jan, 0002 BC, 19:06:11 Roman Emperor Time (RET)
From: "Williamus Gatesis" <fortunus@microsoftus.com>
To: "Caesar Augustus - Roman Emperor" <caesar@romanempire.com>
Cc: "Marcus Sophisticatus - Microsoftwarus Manager" <marcus@microsoftus.com>
Subject: Y zero K problem

Dear Marcus Sophisticatus, and beloved Caesar Augustus:

Marcus, are you still working on the Y zero K problem? This change from BC to AD is proving to be impossible to resolve, and we have very little time left! Our computer systems are functioning perfectly right now, and presently Microsoftus has a stranglehold on the software market in the entire Roman world, and the entire known world which lies beyond it. I am proud to say that we have singlehandedly been successful in introducing personal computers and internet access to almost every household throughout the entire Roman empire and known world, in a time period of less than 10 years! To think that 15 years ago people had never heard of electricity or computers!

However, this Y zero K problem threatens to destroy all our hard work. Our computers are completely unable to handle the change from the negative years (BC) to the positives (AD). We face an absolute catastrophe in the world because of this problem. You would think that someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort it all out at this last minute. I sent an email to Herod in Palestine the other evening, and he sent me an immediate response, suggesting that this is only a conspiracy by www.cameltransportationonline.com to make money, and only affects personal computers. He refuses to believe that the air-conditioning in his offices may not work when the date changes over from BC to AD, because it
is not attached to his personal computer. However, the truth is that it’s very likely that the entire hydro and telecommunications system which our brilliant friend Consultus invented, and built up throughout the entire Roman empire in the last 10 years could become useless.

Marcus, as the Microsoftwarus Manager, I urge you to solve this problem immediately, or else I will have no alternative but to find some hungry lions at the circus to amuse you. You will be sure to find them more competitive than the hardest level on Microsoftus Chariot Simulator 2BC.

Caesar, I am cc’ing this message to you, because it is possible that the civilized world as we know it will cease to exist at the moment of transition. I hate to say it, but it is possible that this remarkable achievement of Microsoftus and Caesar to enlighten the entire Roman world with electricity and internet unity in less than 10 years, may be destroyed in a moment. Yes, dear emperor, it is even possible that no trace will remain of these incredible achievements attained by the Great Roman Empire. Future generations may not even know about them, and mistakenly think that the Roman empire was a time without light, without computers, without electricity, yes, perish the thought, even without Microsoftus! We may even have to live as if it were still only the year 15BC, a time in which horses and parchments were still used instead of computers and email. May it not be so!

Marcus, please give your full attention to this matter, and email both myself and the emperor as soon as anything further develops. Caesar, to prevent rioting and public panic while we try to solve this problem, perhaps your senior staff can write an FAQ, explaining that the whole Y zero K problem is just a hoax, and that all believers in it will be punished by forcibly injecting them with the legendary “Good Times Virus”.


Williamus “Fortunus” Gatesis

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