Code "99" : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Some time ago I came across an article regarding a safty precaution that was integrated into mainframe software, so that the system would not crash, (at least I believe that this was the intent).

The code that was supposed to have been chosen was "99".

The fear was that when the year "99" roles over the systems will systematically shut down.

I can't seem to verify if this is true or not??

Can anyone help??

-- Dave Jones (, May 16, 1998


I don't know the specifics you are asking for since I don't work on mainframes, only client-server, but I do know that 9's or 9 fill as it is called has been used for a number of reasons on mainframes. It has been used in required fields for an unknown data such as the date, SSN, anything - it has also been used to mean end of file. These are some examples I personally know of.

-- Rebecca Kutcher (, May 17, 1998.

Thanks Rebecca for your response.

Does the "99" factor cause any problems when the the clock turns over to 1999?

Could this cause a Mainframe Computer to "Halt" or systematically shut down?

Perhaps there is someone who can advise?

-- Dave Jones (, May 17, 1998.


I have been aware of the "99" problem for a few months now. Though January 1, 2000 is the date when vast numbers of computers, mainframes and chips will crash or malfunction, 1999 also poses a serious threat as well. Not only this, but the fiscal year for most businesses is *July 1, 1998* - less than 2 months from now! (46 states currently operate using the fiscal business year, which, of course, begins 6 months before the *actual* year.) While the computers will be crashing in 2000, the "99 Problem" will mainly corrupt software programs and applications. So, we will all feel the first bite of the Millennium Bug in less than 2 months!!! Many people, even some of those who study the Year 2000 Problem, are not aware of this fact.

An article I read about this matter appeared last February. You may read it on Gary North's website. The exact URL for it is:

I hope this helps out.

-- Marsha Asselin (, May 17, 1998.

This Spring new computer/cash registers were installed in Sears stores and apparently once a programmer is in the habit, it is hard to break. 99 appears as a code to end a fiscal year, or a quarter, or to enter into history...the 99 on Sears cash registers indicates to close out the day ... closing down the register. From the best I understand if 99 is used as a code to "put into archives" and the Year '99 comes round, the computer will start the new FY99 or calender year 99 and immediately try to close down and place into archives - unfortunately there will be no info to put into archives and apparently the computer is going to be unwilling to do anything except "archives" until the code is changed.

-- Steve Alley (, May 18, 1998. 99 predictions here....

-- anon a moose (anon@I.mous), September 10, 1999.

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