'Days to check 2000' ruler marketing 'Check 2000' tool

1999 in United Kingdom

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'Days to check 2000', yellow plastic ruler marking the days until the turn of the Millennium and marketing GMT 2000's 'Check 2000' tool, which promised to flag and fix any PC problems relating to the predicted Millennium Bug, United Kingdom, 1999

This ruler, beginning on 6th March 1999, marks the days left until the turn of the Millennium and advertises the British Greenwich Mean Time Software Ltd.’s 'Check 2000' tool. The tool promised to flag and fix any PC problems relating to the predicted Millennium Bug.

‘Millennium Bug’ or ‘Y2K problem’ was the name given to a group of potential consequences identified with internal computer clocks changing from the year 1999 to the year 2000. Until the 1990s, years in computer programs were shortened to two digits. It was feared that the abbreviation ‘00’ would not be read as 2000 but 1900, which would cause issues for everything from banks to power plants and transportation. There was a large amount of speculation about the possible impacts of this change. Some predicted only minor impacts, whereas others felt there could be large-scale social disruption and panic. In the end there were some small impacts such as the failure of some credit card transactions and incorrect dates appearing on bills and official documents. This is largely forgotten as they did not live up to the high levels of hype in pre-millennium media speculation.

Many companies at the time chose to turn the Millennium Bug and the climate of fear it produced into an opportunity to make profit. By claiming that spending money on their products was the only way to prevent a catastrophe, they did not only benefit from the public’s anxieties but actively contributed to them.

The British Greenwich Mean Time Software Ltd., who sold over four million copies of the tool ‘Check 2000’ is one such example. With versions in seven languages, it claimed to have sold more bug related software than anyone else in the world.


Computing & Data Processing
Object Number:
plastic (unidentified)