Meanwhile : Articles written by Simon Jones

When I was a kid the year 2000 seemed a million miles away, I used to talk to my friend Darryl about what we’d be doing then because I’d be 29 years old and he’d be 27… and that was really old right?

Of course now in 1998, and only a matter of days away from being 27 years old, I have changed the boundaries of what I think is ‘old.’ But what of those predictions about the future? What about all the things we as kids thought we as adults would be doing? The only recollection of our predictions I have is the belief that I had that I would be married, and what’s more, that I’d be married with children! My powers of prediction were obviously not well honed at that time, although I suppose their is still time for that prediction (or curse?) to come to it’s fruition.

The truth is I am pretty far away from where I thought I’d be, and despite the time remaining until the next millennium, I doubt that any of the things that I thought I’d be doing in the future will actually happen at all. In the late seventies I was still watching a TV show called space 1999 that portrayed the everyday lives of some people in the year 1999. These people lived in space and had aliens for mates! Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001 and even though I’ve never seen all of that movie I can remember that it involved an awful lot of space travel, intelligent computers and badly adapted seventies furniture. (And some guy called Dave I think?)

There was something space aged about the year 2000, and we all believed it. Computers are exposed to a problem that sounds almost too trivial to be true. In the 1970s and 1980s, computer programmers saved what was then valuable space by abbreviating years to two digits – like 98 or 85 – knowing that this would cause mayhem in 2000… [Click here to continue reading this article at ‘Meanwhile’]