This is a very clear description of the Year 2000 Problem. It makes it clear for non-programmers.
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Imagine that you want to add 2 new shelves to EVERY closet in your house -- that is all, just 2 new shelves. What do you have to do to accomplish this? First, since each closet is different, you have to look at each closet individually, figure out where your new shelves should go and how they can fit with existing shelves and clothes rods. Then, once you have designed the new structures, you take everything out of each of your closets and build your shelves, checking carefully that you didn't miss something in the design, and that your new shelves don't impede access to old shelves and clothes still hang on the clothes rod.
Then you have to put everything back in your closets -- but you don't put things back in the same way they came out, or it would defeat the purpose of the new shelves. So, you have to decide where old things go in a new structure, and rearrange everything accordingly.
Now, if you have 5 closets and 50 items per closet, this is not an insignificant effort. But if you have millions of closets with millions of items each...
----------------- While this analogy does not begin to describe all the issues in year 2000 conversions, it does effectively get you past the 'why is this such a big deal?' with the listener understanding that even simple things can be time-consuming and expensive. ___________________ Cathy Moyer President Profiles in Data, Inc. 1123 Auraria Pkwy #200 Denver, CO 80204 firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 303.595.4277 Fax: 303.592.1047