Nostalgia Thread

Crystallas

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Idk if this counts as nostalgia persei...

@Crystallas or anyone else with experience back in 1999-2000

I know Y2K was a big scare that supposedly ended in nothing major.

However, were there any companies or institutions that actually got bit by it?
Tons of companies were hit by the prep. But all in all, if you take an outdated computer that cost you $10,000 specialized for your business about 15 years ago, then replaced it with a $1000 machine from that day, you create an opportunity to improve everything. By asking if anyone was"hit", you want to know if some company went under for either working on the date bug, or by ignoring it. It's unanswerable, because this assumes a company was in some vacuum that could only buy new machinery, hardware/software from some magical vendor that ignored Y2K, or some company was so negligent to begin with, they had no upgrade path to begin with.

The TL;DR answer
Think of a business in the worst situation, as far as legacy computing in place. AT&T maybe? They had infrastructure that was being updated regardless. Smaller Banks still required to be in compliance. So really, maybe a few ATM manufacturers couldn't secure the software licenses at the price they needed to compete? They couldn't honor service agreements, unless they did something. Anything that needed to spit out a reciept, for law/reg compliance or other reasons.

I'll tell you what though, a LOT of businesses still running on IBM System 3x mainframes and all the WARP servers disappeared within 18 months. It wasn't the servers or the OS that made the date-bit issue a problem, but many layers of software specially made that just created a fresh start type cycle. This DOES cost a lot of money. When you plan to do your upgrade cycles, and suddenly everyone is inflating the market for new hardware and software licenses... it's havoc.

The bigger issue IMO, we had a steady flow of programmers pop up every year that contributed and progressed development for all of society. When you have a panic like Y2K, programmers that normally made $50k a year, suddenly were making $300k a year(in all fairness, there were multiple demand shifts at this time, but Y2K was the single biggest). That's a fair bit more than a number of people in medical specialties that had equally technical jobs. We also had a fair consensus that C/ASM were best to learn for any CS student, because the performance and resource usage is simply hard to beat, and the skills learned in such languages translate.
Therefore my opinion is; businesses created a short term bubble which swayed a lot of bright kids away from other fields, gave them the impression that programming is the way to go for money(it also suffers from the demand drop when you hit 40ish).
Because you needed more lower skilled coders at the time to reproduce software solutions, the world developed a demand for power and resource hungry, sloppy coded software. Crap code just to get things moving, but we traded a lot away to do that. Java was for proof of concept, fill in the gaps, and maybe some appliances. Even kids into programming knew this before Y2K and only learned java for edge cases. People go where the money is, and at that time non-tech friendly executives were sold that cheap code is the only way to prevent architectural shifts, because IP is expensive, hardware is cheap. I don't believe we have ever recovered from that line of thought, and we are worse off for it, by a few orders of magnitude.
Cheap code = cheap fixes = still broken.

By the way, Hardware and Software are equal to each other. in terms of development need in the world. Hardware is always going to outperform a software solution. The only difference is that you can know software with knowing very little about hardware, but it's close to impossible to know hardware without knowing software. Like peeing without pooping, but trying to poop without peeing. :D

A lot was done to fix Y2K, so people don't think it was anything. A lot of hub-bub. But the truth is, there are still issues that are being uncovered. It's like knowing the dam has a crack in it. Well, if you fix the damn dam before it breaks, nobody remembers damn thing. Ignore the dam, and damn that sucks.
 

Ares

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Tons of companies were hit by the prep. But all in all, if you take an outdated computer that cost you $10,000 specialized for your business about 15 years ago, then replaced it with a $1000 machine from that day, you create an opportunity to improve everything. By asking if anyone was"hit", you want to know if some company went under for either working on the date bug, or by ignoring it. It's unanswerable, because this assumes a company was in some vacuum that could only buy new machinery, hardware/software from some magical vendor that ignored Y2K, or some company was so negligent to begin with, they had no upgrade path to begin with.

The TL;DR answer
Think of a business in the worst situation, as far as legacy computing in place. AT&T maybe? They had infrastructure that was being updated regardless. Smaller Banks still required to be in compliance. So really, maybe a few ATM manufacturers couldn't secure the software licenses at the price they needed to compete? They couldn't honor service agreements, unless they did something. Anything that needed to spit out a reciept, for law/reg compliance or other reasons.

I'll tell you what though, a LOT of businesses still running on IBM System 3x mainframes and all the WARP servers disappeared within 18 months. It wasn't the servers or the OS that made the date-bit issue a problem, but many layers of software specially made that just created a fresh start type cycle. This DOES cost a lot of money. When you plan to do your upgrade cycles, and suddenly everyone is inflating the market for new hardware and software licenses... it's havoc.

The bigger issue IMO, we had a steady flow of programmers pop up every year that contributed and progressed development for all of society. When you have a panic like Y2K, programmers that normally made $50k a year, suddenly were making $300k a year(in all fairness, there were multiple demand shifts at this time, but Y2K was the single biggest). That's a fair bit more than a number of people in medical specialties that had equally technical jobs. We also had a fair consensus that C/ASM were best to learn for any CS student, because the performance and resource usage is simply hard to beat, and the skills learned in such languages translate.
Therefore my opinion is; businesses created a short term bubble which swayed a lot of bright kids away from other fields, gave them the impression that programming is the way to go for money(it also suffers from the demand drop when you hit 40ish).
Because you needed more lower skilled coders at the time to reproduce software solutions, the world developed a demand for power and resource hungry, sloppy coded software. Crap code just to get things moving, but we traded a lot away to do that. Java was for proof of concept, fill in the gaps, and maybe some appliances. Even kids into programming knew this before Y2K and only learned java for edge cases. People go where the money is, and at that time non-tech friendly executives were sold that cheap code is the only way to prevent architectural shifts, because IP is expensive, hardware is cheap. I don't believe we have ever recovered from that line of thought, and we are worse off for it, by a few orders of magnitude.
Cheap code = cheap fixes = still broken.

By the way, Hardware and Software are equal to each other. in terms of development need in the world. Hardware is always going to outperform a software solution. The only difference is that you can know software with knowing very little about hardware, but it's close to impossible to know hardware without knowing software. Like peeing without pooping, but trying to poop without peeing. :D

A lot was done to fix Y2K, so people don't think it was anything. A lot of hub-bub. But the truth is, there are still issues that are being uncovered. It's like knowing the dam has a crack in it. Well, if you fix the damn dam before it breaks, nobody remembers damn thing. Ignore the dam, and damn that sucks.
When I said "bit" I mean any company where the doomsday thing happened... where 1/1/2000 rolled over, their system dates reset to 1/1/1900 and that caused them immediate Production outages.

I know in general those incidents didn't happen widely because there was so much prep done to avoid outages.

I was just wondering if you heard of any edge cases where people had wildly bad outages due to the supposed Y2K bug.

My Uncle did programming in that bubble you talked about.... interesting times.
 

Crystallas

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When I said "bit" I mean any company where the doomsday thing happened... where 1/1/2000 rolled over, their system dates reset to 1/1/1900 and that caused them immediate Production outages.

I know in general those incidents didn't happen widely because there was so much prep done to avoid outages.

I was just wondering if you heard of any edge cases where people had wildly bad outages due to the supposed Y2K bug.

My Uncle did programming in that bubble you talked about.... interesting times.
Not 1/1/2000, but there were circuit defined instructions (old programming) limited to a string of 16 years, each being drum aligned into devices. The date is a limitation of word value, so 192 months occupying one value, that's 16 years. All within the limitations of the 8bit instruction set, and then to extend it, you can just do 12x2(12 months, 2 digits occupying), and its 8bit compatible just the same. Now if you are doing drums, there is NO extended method.

So who used these? A good number of companies that dated products that needed to be tracked. Maybe they needed to track not just a date, but the lot code with double dates(date produced, good by dates). So let's say I'm X-food corp, I make Wolverine-Os in a can, and we found out that one batch was infected by a dormant magneto bacteria. If you fixed your machinery (economic limitations most of the time, because it's expensive and specialized), then you only notice the problem, but fix it before anyone knows, isolate and destroy the bad batch. But let's say you're a smaller independent cannery, you might ignore that unexpected problem, and now you need to issue a recall because nobody knew how to handle it.

So I know of those examples. Off the top of my head, I don't remember the company names, but IIRC one did have to stop everything and focus on that recall (they became a poster child of sorts). I also remember one lab chemicals provider that was shipping out wrong date codes and telling the pharmacies to ignore it. But not an outage.
 

Burque

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Idk if this counts as nostalgia persei...

@Crystallas or anyone else with experience back in 1999-2000

I know Y2K was a big scare that supposedly ended in nothing major.

However, were there any companies or institutions that actually got bit by it?
I worked for a large internet service provider and we had to stay late that day and it was pretty much a giant "Yawn, can we go home now this is boring" type of nothing burger as far as outages or drastic issues.
 

Granada

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Here's one. I can't remember the exact name of the store. We used to buy our Christmas decorations on closeout in February at FiM, F&M, maybe T&M? something like that. This seasonal store was near or in every big shopping mall. They sold patio and pool supplies year round, and had a huge section for whatever holiday was on the sales calendar. ALWAYS advertising on TV. Christmas tree sales in September. The one we went to, was next to another long-gone store. Highland, which was just a standard electronics store, like a Circuit City.

And I still miss Elek-tek. They were like a Microcenter, but they actually kept old hardware to help people upgrade much older machines. Also what killed them when we hit the 686 period(the point where people couldn't wait a generation to upgrade anymore to run the latest software).
I remember FIM -- Fun-in-Motion. Had one by me too. Don't remember Elek-tek though, just Radio Shack of course (which I strangely sort of miss).
 

Ares

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Member snow days?

I remember getting up, and anxiously staring at that scrolling list of school closures at the bottom of the news while eating sugar coated sugar filled sugar cereal.

Back when, apparently that was the notification system... check it on TV?

Unless I missed it, I don't recall the school calling parents to say they were closed.

And snow days were rare as I recall... so if my school showed up as closed I went ape shit excited.

Then spent the day outside... sledding, snow forts, snowball fights...

Now when it snows I just grab a handle of bourbon, drink half, do snow angels with no coat on and wait for oblivion to take me.
 

Dogstar

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Oh man... the record stores.
I used to love the free demos they gave out with purchases!

For those who didnt get the pleasure, you would buy a cassette and if there was a demo in the same genre available they would give it to you.
Some were compilations, some were singles and some were full albums.

I still enjoy some of the never-was bands that I found that way...leatherwolf, t-ride, pro-pain..but the crown jewel of my demo selection that I have to this day is "power metal" by pantera.
Thought they were decent so I took notice when they put out cowboys from hell and I bought it....became possibly my all time favorite album.
Holy crap... Leatherwolf?!

I played the shit out of "Street Ready", which I found at Sound Warehouse. They had a deal where they featured a handful of not-so-mainstream albums that you could buy and listen to for (I think it was) 7 days. If you didn't like the album, you could return it no questions asked.
 
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Burque

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I miss listening to a whole cassette or CD to hear all the songs on a brand new record after only getting to hear maybe one or two pre released radio songs.

It was like getting 12-20 little presents.
 

SilenceS

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Member snow days?

I remember getting up, and anxiously staring at that scrolling list of school closures at the bottom of the news while eating sugar coated sugar filled sugar cereal.

Back when, apparently that was the notification system... check it on TV?

Unless I missed it, I don't recall the school calling parents to say they were closed.

And snow days were rare as I recall... so if my school showed up as closed I went ape shit excited.

Then spent the day outside... sledding, snow forts, snowball fights...

Now when it snows I just grab a handle of bourbon, drink half, do snow angels with no coat on and wait for oblivion to take me.
No, you Yankee
 

Jamais Vu

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I miss listening to a whole cassette or CD to hear all the songs on a brand new record after only getting to hear maybe one or two pre released radio songs.
I want to be nostalgic about going to a store and buying music, but I love everything about digital music...especially the not paying anything for it part. I still get the whole album and listen to it in full like I always did, but I did it all at 1am in my jammies.

Finding a lot of cool underground music 30 years ago took work. Now you have YouTube. Love it!

I kinda miss the lining up at dawn on a Saturday for concert tickets. You hated life forcing yourself out of bed, but they were underrated social gatherings where you all instantly had one thing in common to bond over.
 

Granada

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I want to be nostalgic about going to a store and buying music, but I love everything about digital music...especially the not paying anything for it part. I still get the whole album and listen to it in full like I always did, but I did it all at 1am in my jammies.

Finding a lot of cool underground music 30 years ago took work. Now you have YouTube. Love it!

I kinda miss the lining up at dawn on a Saturday for concert tickets. You hated life forcing yourself out of bed, but they were underrated social gatherings where you all instantly had one thing in common to bond over.
I actually miss buying CD's -- that feeling of finally finding something you were looking for. I always used to like the CD booklets too, reading the lyrics or looking at the artwork and trying to interpret it relative to the music, etc. Obviously you don't get that with digital.

It was the same feeling with renting movies, which I also miss -- although if you go to Downers Grove IL, that is like the only place that still has a plethora of video stores....seriously, video stores. They're not Blockbusters, but they're bonafide - even have the candy under the counter and everything. Forget the name now, something general and they all might be the same brand (been a while since I've been out there).

I still remember when I was a kid, they opened a Hollywood Video walking distance from my house -- how absolutely pumped I was, haha.
 

Crystallas

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I don't get the love for Blockbuster. They were absolute shit. Sorry. Never had anything, except the newest releases, and those cost 4x more to rent from Blockbuster, than they did from a number of of the really good smaller franchises (and Mom and Pops). In all fairness, after maybe 15 years, Blockbusters *might* have acquired a respectable selection, but it wasn't like that for the longest time. But really, why the hell do you pay $5 to rent for 3 nights, when you can buy it at a discount place for $9-12 new. Just buy it, trade with a friend. Made no sense to me why people went there at all. Must be one of those *only familiar chain* in the suburbs situation that saved them, city folk were spoiled I guess.
We had like 20 great rental places, Hollywood was okay too, and IMO, it wasn't Blockbuster that shut down the video stores, but Family Video because kids videos were free and prices were reasonable. Family Video did what Blockbuster failed to do.

If you ask anyone in my family , our favorite was JC Flicks, which IMO had the best NES releases. So I always wanted to go there for video games.

On Archer, there was a record and jean shop that turned Video rental. It *was Classic Sounds, then became Classic Sounds and Video. For an early 80s place, they seemed to have as many videos at that time as a Family Video did in 1995. Just unbelievable.

Old rental shops used to have carnie popcorn machines, smelling up the joint. Some of them gave kids a free courtesy bag while the parents read the back label of box labels.

And the amount of immigrant video rental places. Those were certainly memorable. The two problems they tried to solve, bring foriegn movies to the US for whatever crowd, and the bigger of the two, they rented out PAL and NTSC copies of videos. People paid $1000 for a VCR, either for home country video or they moved to the US. and could only watch PAL videos until they could afford something else. That was a thing until VCRs finally came down to the $150 level.
If enough people asked about some American movie, the owners would get someone to dub it with their family members and then put it out for rental and purchase. A lot of Polish and Hispanic ones, a few others too. The Puerto Rican place in brighton park sold cigars and was pretty much all bootleged videos. You would see 10 year old kids buying little cigars. There was a UK one too, it was 50% euro tabloid periodicals, and most of it was just the UK/PAL releases of US movies with a few Brit staples. Oddly, the trashiest one of all.
The Polish place I remember was called Batman video. If you weren't polish, you could walk halfway through the store before figuring it out. But instead of showing videos around the place as some demo/promo/employee entertainment, they were showing the movies that they were 'duplicating'. And if you know how pro-gear duplication works (not just 2 VCRs), the video is playing 2x speed, no audio(at this time, more than one way to do it). This is where I learned about Bolek and Lolek (they don't talk, just two animated kids that run around curious).

Speaking of which. Ever go into a video store and ask to rent the movie they have one copy of, but the employees are watching on the side to keep their own sanity?
 

Granada

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I don't get the love for Blockbuster. They were absolute shit. Sorry. Never had anything, except the newest releases, and those cost 4x more to rent from Blockbuster, than they did from a number of of the really good smaller franchises (and Mom and Pops). In all fairness, after maybe 15 years, Blockbusters *might* have acquired a respectable selection, but it wasn't like that for the longest time. But really, why the hell do you pay $5 to rent for 3 nights, when you can buy it at a discount place for $9-12 new. Just buy it, trade with a friend. Made no sense to me why people went there at all. Must be one of those *only familiar chain* in the suburbs situation that saved them, city folk were spoiled I guess.
We had like 20 great rental places, Hollywood was okay too, and IMO, it wasn't Blockbuster that shut down the video stores, but Family Video because kids videos were free and prices were reasonable. Family Video did what Blockbuster failed to do.

If you ask anyone in my family , our favorite was JC Flicks, which IMO had the best NES releases. So I always wanted to go there for video games.

On Archer, there was a record and jean shop that turned Video rental. It *was Classic Sounds, then became Classic Sounds and Video. For an early 80s place, they seemed to have as many videos at that time as a Family Video did in 1995. Just unbelievable.

Old rental shops used to have carnie popcorn machines, smelling up the joint. Some of them gave kids a free courtesy bag while the parents read the back label of box labels.

And the amount of immigrant video rental places. Those were certainly memorable. The two problems they tried to solve, bring foriegn movies to the US for whatever crowd, and the bigger of the two, they rented out PAL and NTSC copies of videos. People paid $1000 for a VCR, either for home country video or they moved to the US. and could only watch PAL videos until they could afford something else. That was a thing until VCRs finally came down to the $150 level.
If enough people asked about some American movie, the owners would get someone to dub it with their family members and then put it out for rental and purchase. A lot of Polish and Hispanic ones, a few others too. The Puerto Rican place in brighton park sold cigars and was pretty much all bootleged videos. You would see 10 year old kids buying little cigars. There was a UK one too, it was 50% euro tabloid periodicals, and most of it was just the UK/PAL releases of US movies with a few Brit staples. Oddly, the trashiest one of all.
The Polish place I remember was called Batman video. If you weren't polish, you could walk halfway through the store before figuring it out. But instead of showing videos around the place as some demo/promo/employee entertainment, they were showing the movies that they were 'duplicating'. And if you know how pro-gear duplication works (not just 2 VCRs), the video is playing 2x speed, no audio(at this time, more than one way to do it). This is where I learned about Bolek and Lolek (they don't talk, just two animated kids that run around curious).

Speaking of which. Ever go into a video store and ask to rent the movie they have one copy of, but the employees are watching on the side to keep their own sanity?
Haha, fair enough but I guess I didn't care enough back then to hate them. I usually went to the Hollywood Video or there was also another "video" store that was more a convenience store that had a video section. This was before Hollywood and Blockbuster. It was just a goofy little room off to the side of the grocery part of the store -- it reminded me of someone's basement, makeshift shelves with hand-drawn signs for the genres, etc.
 



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