From the editor

For those of you still unfamiliar with Network World Canada’s Signature Series, the goal of this special section is to give you the reader more insight into a specific topic. For our first Signature Series issue of the year, no subject seemed more pertinent than Y2K.

Most of us have emerged from our bunkers and bombproof shelters to find the world really didn’t change too much over the night of Dec. 31, 1999 and Jan. 1, 2000. Despite the doom and gloom forecasts issued by some pessimists, the infrastructure on which our world is built did not melt down as we rang in the New Year.

The feature article in our series by senior writer Kimberly Chapman looks back on Y2K, the work done to prevent any IT-related disaster and the lessons learned. All the Y2K experts interviewed by Chapman and Network World Canada staff writers Cindy Steinman and Stewart Brown echoed the same thought – despite the enormous amount of money spent preparing for Y2K, the effort was worthwhile. And, noted some of the interviewees, we may not have seen the last of the Y2K-related problems yet.

With a new millennium upon us, now seemed as good a time as any to take a look into the future and see what sort of devices might be coming down the pipe. And there seemed to be no one better to ask than one of the experts at perhaps the hottest spot of innovation on the planet – Bell Labs. Raju Rishi offered up a quick taste of some of the technologies we’ll be able to take advantage of soon, including a hand-held device that could link a user to a variety of networks.

One of, if not the first, people to begin speaking to organizations about the Y2K bug was Canadian Peter de Jager. In an interview with Kimberly Chapman, de Jager warns we aren’t completely rid of Y2K yet. And he notes the New Year hasn’t been especially joyous for him as he has become a target for Y2K sceptics.

The de Jager piece is followed by a quirky look at some of the strange millennial goings-on. Included are an “erotic week” in a town in Norway and a movie buff, who found out he owed a whopping US$91,250 late fee bill for a film rented in 1900.

Lastly, we take a look at some of the lasting effects Y2K might have. Y2K was more than just a potential glitch. It caused a change in the way IT staffers thought about problems and organized themselves and those changes are probably going to persist.

We hope you find the section both informative and entertaining. If you have any interesting Y2K stories of your own feel free to drop us a line.

Michael Martin