GE 1997-8 Season 4 Episode 20: Blaine Hart - Year 2000 Problem
Note: this is not a transcript, but a working draft of the script, so there may be differences in the aired version.
PAUL: The millenium approaches and people everywhere are getting a little nutty.
Among the most hysterical of the doomsayers are members of the computing community.
They are in state of febrile anxiety over something called "The Year 2000 Problem".
To explain this so-called problem I have come to the offices of Blaine Hart -
BCN's resident computer person.
BLAINE: My title is Systems Manager.
PAUL: Well, that's pretty lofty for a man who essentially runs a bunch of typing machines.
BLAINE: Word processing is only one function of our computers Paul.
PAUL: Really, what else do they do?
BLAINE: The payroll is automated, we've moved the security system and the ventilation to
PAUL: Yes, and didn't a simple keystroke error almost freeze-dry Spurgeon Bastow, our
night watchman ?
BLAINE: He fell asleep under a vent! He lived.
PAUL: If you can call that living. Anyway, we've come to your office to discuss this
latest technological bung-up because I've gone off-line.
BLAINE: How is the old Underwood?
PAUL: Just great.
PAUL: Okay, I'll admit I had forgotten how hard one had to hit those keys. Still
I won't be facing the "Year 2000 Problem".
PAUL: I've heard it explained many times, Blaine, but have found that understanding
it would have required listening - please, now, with my full atttention, enlighten me.
BLAINE: Okay. When most computer programs were first written, memory was at a premium.
To save space, programmers identified years using only the last two digits - 1989
was 89, and so on.
PAUL: These computer geniuses were certainly forward looking.
BLAINE: Now listen ...
PAUL: I mean, who could forsee this problem happening, what? twenty whole years later.
BLAINE: The consequences are grave. The clocks will turn from 99 to zero, so that,
if years were subtracted, you'd find yourself in a negative year
PAUL: I've had those. Come on though, Blaine, what can happen?
BLAINE: Credit card billings will be interupted...
BLAINE: Cable television schedules could be disrupted...
PAUL: How would you tell?
BLAINE: IT'S SERIOUS! The world will wake up on January 1, 2000 to a flashing
12, 12, 12, 12!
PAUL: How to save us, Blaine?
BLAINE: Redevelop, replace or renovate.
PAUL: Yeah well I was one step ahead of you.
BLAINE: In what way?
PAUL: While I was still hooked up to the computer network?
PAUL: Well you know that thingy, BCN System Administrator?
BLAINE: Wait a second, I have a password.
PAUL: Yeah, I know, Scotty.
PAUL: Your dog, easy.
BLAINE: Dear God!
PAUL: I just went in there and re-set the clock to April 28, 1967. First
day of Expo. Talk about Man and His World.
BLAINE: THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG.
PAUL: A "thank you" might have been nice.
SFX: MAD KEYBOARD TAPPING
PAUL: Well, Blaine seems to have something more important to do here.
Blaine Hart is our Systems Manager, if you want to get in touch with him,
his e-mail address is alt.byte.this.