Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, extraterrestrials in fiction. Science fiction explores the potential consequences of scientific other various innovations, has been called a "literature of ideas." "Science fiction" is difficult to define as it includes a wide range of concepts and themes. James Blish wrote: "Wells used the term to cover what we would today call'hard' science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to known facts was the substrate on which the story was to be built, if the story was to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them."Isaac Asimov said: "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology." According to Robert A. Heinlein, "A handy short definition of all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world and present, on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."Lester del Rey wrote, "Even the devoted aficionado or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is," and that the reason for there not being a "full satisfactory definition" is that "there are no delineated limits to science fiction."
Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying "science fiction is what we point to when we say it." Mark C. Glassy described the definition of science fiction as U. S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart did with the definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it." Science fiction had its beginnings in a time when the line between myth and fact was arguably more blurred than the present day. Written in the 2nd century CE by the satirist Lucian, A True Story contains many themes and tropes that are characteristic of contemporary science fiction, including travel to other worlds, extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, artificial life; some consider it the first science-fiction novel. Some of the stories from The Arabian Nights, along with the 10th-century The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and Ibn al-Nafis's 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus contain elements of science fiction. Products of the Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Johannes Kepler's Somnium, Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Cyrano de Bergerac's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon and The States and Empires of the Sun, Margaret Cavendish's "The Blazing World", Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Ludvig Holberg's Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum and Voltaire's Micromégas are regarded as some of the first true science-fantasy works.
Indeed, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Somnium the first science-fiction story. Following the 18th-century development of the novel as a literary form, Mary Shelley's books Frankenstein and The Last Man helped define the form of the science-fiction novel. Brian Aldiss has argued. Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered science fiction, including "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" which featured a trip to the Moon. Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea which predicted the contemporary nuclear submarine. In 1887, the novel El anacronópete by Spanish author Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine. Many critics consider H. G. Wells one of science fiction's most important authors, or "the Shakespeare of science fiction." His notable science-fiction works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds. His science fiction imagined alien invasion, biological engineering and time travel.
In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, something resembling the World Wide Web. In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his three-decade-long planetary romance series of Barsoom novels, set on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. In 1926, Hugo Gernsback published the first American science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in which he wrote: By'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive, they supply knowledge... in a palatable form... New adventures pictured for us in the scientifiction of today are not at all impossible of realization tomorrow... Many great science stories destined to be of historical interest are still to be written...
Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well. In 1928, E. E. "Doc" Smith's first published work, The Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories. It is called the first great space opera; the same year, Philip Francis Nowlan's original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419 appeared in Amazing Stories. This was followed by the first serious science-fiction comic. In 1937, John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction, an event, sometimes conside
Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, graphic novels and video games. Fantasy is distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific or macabre themes though these genres overlap. In popular culture, the fantasy genre is predominantly of the medievalist form. In its broadest sense, fantasy consists of works by many writers, artists and musicians from ancient myths and legends to many recent and popular works. Most fantasy uses other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting. Magic and magical creatures are common in many of these worlds. An identifying trait of fantasy is the author's reliance on imagination to create narrative elements that do not have to rely on history or nature to be coherent; this differs from realistic fiction in that realistic fiction has to attend to the history and natural laws of reality, where fantasy does not.
An author applies his or her imagination to come up with characters and settings that are impossible in reality. Many fantasy authors use real-world mythology as inspiration. For instance, a narrative that takes place in an imagined town in the northeastern United States could be considered realistic fiction as long as the plot and characters are consistent with the history of a region and the natural characteristics that someone, to the northeastern United States expects. Fantasy has been compared to science fiction and horror because they are the major categories of speculative fiction. Fantasy is distinguished from science fiction by the plausibility of the narrative elements. A science fiction narrative is unlikely, though possible through logical scientific or technological extrapolation, where fantasy narratives do not need to be scientifically possible. Authors have to rely on the readers' suspension of disbelief, an acceptance of the unbelievable or impossible for the sake of enjoyment, in order to write effective fantasies.
Despite both genres' heavy reliance on the supernatural and horror are distinguishable. Horror evokes fear through the protagonists' weaknesses or inability to deal with the antagonists. Elements of the supernatural and the fantastic were a part of literature from its beginning. Fantasy elements occur throughout the ancient Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh; the ancient Babylonian creation epic, the Enûma Eliš, in which the god Marduk slays the goddess Tiamat, contains the theme of a cosmic battle between good and evil, characteristic of the modern fantasy genre. Genres of romantic and fantasy literature existed in ancient Egypt; the Tales of the Court of King Khufu, preserved in the Westcar Papyrus and was written in the middle of the second half of the eighteenth century BC, preserves a mixture of stories with elements of historical fiction and satire. Egyptian funerary texts preserve mythological tales, the most significant of which are the myths of Osiris and his son Horus. Folk tales with fantastic elements intended for adults were a major genre of ancient Greek literature.
The comedies of Aristophanes are filled with fantastic elements his play The Birds, in which an Athenian man builds a city in the clouds with the birds and challenges Zeus's authority. Ovid's Metamorphoses and Apuleius's The Golden Ass are both works that influenced the development of the fantasy genre by taking mythic elements and weaving them into personal accounts. Both works involve complex narratives in which humans beings are transformed into animals or inanimate objects. Platonic teachings and early Christian theology are major influences on the modern fantasy genre. Plato used allegories to convey many of his teachings, early Christian writers interpreted both the Old and New Testaments as employing parables to relay spiritual truths; this ability to find meaning in a story, not true became the foundation that allowed the modern fantasy genre to develop. The most well known fiction from the Islamic world was The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, a compilation of many ancient and medieval folk tales.
Various characters from this epic have become cultural icons in Western culture, such as Aladdin and Ali Baba. Hindu mythology was an evolution of the earlier Vedic mythology and had many more fantastical stories and characters in the Indian epics; the Panchatantra, for example, used various animal fables and magical tales to illustrate the central Indian principles of political science. Chinese traditions have been influential in the vein of fantasy known as Chinoiserie, including such writers as Ernest Bramah and Barry Hughart. Beowulf is among the best known of the Nordic tales in the English speaking world, has had deep influence on the fantasy genre. Norse mythology, as found in the Elder Edda and the Younger Edda, includes such figures as Odin and his fellow Aesir, dwarves, elves and giants; these elements have been directly imported into various fantasy works. The separate folklore of Ireland and Scotland has sometimes been us
Rifts (role-playing game)
Rifts is a multi-genre role-playing game created by Kevin Siembieda in August 1990 and published continuously by Palladium Books since then. Rifts takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, deriving elements from cyberpunk, science fiction, horror, western and many other genres. Rifts serves as a cross-over environment for a variety of other Palladium games with different universes connected through "rifts" on Earth that lead to different spaces and realities that Palladium calls the "Rifts Megaverse". Rifts describes itself as an "advanced" role-playing game and not an introduction for those new to the concept. Palladium continues to publish books for the Rifts series, with about 80 books published between 1990 and 2011. Rifts Ultimate Edition was released in August 2005 and designed to update the game with Palladium's incremental changes to its system, changes in the game world, additional information and character types; the web site is quick to point out that this is not a second edition but an improvement and expansion of the original role playing game.
The RPG had the tentative title Boomers, named after the original name for the Glitter Boy power armor until Kevin Siembieda changed the name after finding out it was in use for Bubblegum Crisis. The foundations for the Rifts world were developed in the Palladium game Beyond the Supernatural, which uses Lovecraftian storytelling techniques for a role-playing experience based on horror fiction; the Rifts world is hundreds of years into the future. Ley lines, lines of magic energy, criss-cross the earth forming supernatural geographic areas such as the Bermuda Triangle. Points where Ley Lines intersect, called a nexus, are places of powerful magic, such as the Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. If a Ley Line nexus grows strong, the fabric of space and time can be torn, creating a rift, or a hole in space-time leading to another place, time, or a new/parallel dimension. Ley Lines are invisible, but in the magic-saturated world of Rifts Earth, they become visible at night as massive bands of blue-white energy half a mile wide in some places, stretching for many miles.
When strong, Ley Lines can be seen during the day. The Magic energy making up Ley lines is called potential psychic energy or PPE. Found in certain places and animals, one of the greatest sources of PPE is human beings. While this has a variety of applications, most relevant to this world is how upon a human's death, the energy is doubled and released into the surrounding environment. Rifts begins with two future-historical premises: first, a golden age of humanity occurs, with tremendous advances in science, technology and society. Humanity as a whole is at peace as a majority of Earth's nations decide to cease world war and begin to share ideas and technology freely. Much of the solar system is conquered, humanity's wars will end, harmony will reign. Second, that this golden age is followed by an apocalyptic nuclear war, causing a disaster that cascades into tremendous destruction via a domino effect; the cataclysm begins with border incursion by NEMA forces in South America during the year 2098.
A nuclear response that follows involves the deaths of millions of living beings, the simultaneous release of their PPE. What is a huge release of mystical energy is multiplied as a result of several special conditions: a rare multi-planetary alignment, occurrence during the Winter Solstice, all at midnight; the deaths of millions at this time amplifies these high psychic energies, triggering many powerful natural disasters across the world, including the return of Atlantis. The energy release from the deaths of millions more in turn releases more mystic energy, causing more disasters in a vicious cycle; the total destruction brings an unprecedented energy release of billions. Ley Line networks that crisscross the globe are energized as never before, causing rifts to open both on Earth and throughout the Megaverse. Untold numbers of alien beings are pulled from their own home worlds, while Great Powers of the Megaverse are alerted of a new and valuable planet to conquer. For hundreds of years after the holocaust, many creatures, both mythical beasts and alien beings, come through the Rifts – some of them now permanently opened – to wreak additional havoc.
The old world gone, a new dark age dawns and humanity's shrinking population is reduced, due to catastrophe and domestic failure, immeasurably. This period is covered in Palladium's Rifts Chaos Earth spin-off series. Rifts takes place in 103 P. A. 291 years after this event. The "Post-Apocalypse" calendar was established by the formation of the Coalition States in 2286. While many different events that make up the world begin before and after this time, such as with the invasion of Chi-Town by the Federation of Magic or as the Four Horsemen appear in Africa, this time frame is the setting for most "World Books" that describe a kind of snapshot in this phase. In the latest World Books, the current date is around 110 P. A.. By this time, most of the disasters have quieted down, though Earth is still bathed in the released PPE; the planet's mystical energy has added untold numbers of alien beings from other dimensions, who continue to arrive through the Rifts both accidentally and deliberately. The humanoid creatures that arrive on earth are referred to as Dimensional Beings.
Some dwarfs, while others have never been seen before. Non-humanoid creatures have arrived, including monstrous c
Fate (role-playing game system)
Fate is a generic role-playing game system based on the Fudge gaming system. It is customizable, it is designed to offer minimal obstruction to role-playing by assuming players want to make fewer dice rolls. Fate was written by Rob Donoghue. Fate gained adherents both for its high level of support, unusual for a free game, for the numerous innovative gaming mechanics. Fate is derived from the Fudge system that earlier design's verbal scale and Fudge dice, but most versions of Fate eschew the use of mandatory traits such as Strength and Intelligence. Instead, it uses a long list of skills and assumes that every character is "mediocre" in all skills except those that the character is explicitly defined as being good at. Skills may perform one or more of the four actions: attacking, overcoming obstacles or creating an advantage. Exceptional abilities are defined through the use of Aspects. An aspect is a free form descriptor of something notable about either the scene. A relevant aspect can be invoked to grant a bonus to a die roll.
Aspects may be compelled to influence the setting by offering the person with the aspect a fate point to put them at a disadvantage relevant to the aspect. An example given in the rule book refers to the GM invoking a player character's Rivals in the Collegia Arcana aspect to have said rivals attack them in the bath so they don't have access to their equipment. Situational aspects describe the scene, may be created and used by the GM, or by players using the create advantage action with a relevant skill. Stunts are exceptional abilities. Aspects, on the other hand, are always defined by the player. For example, a player may choose to give their character an aspect of "Brawny". Aspects may relate to a character's possessions, e.g. the character Indiana Jones for example, might have the Aspect "Whip and Fedora". When the system was published FATE was considered an acronym for “Fudge Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment” and “Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment”. Most FATE has been simplified to just be Fate and is no longer an acronym.
While there has been concern that Fudge would restrict its "open" license and thus force Fate to change to a different underlying mechanic, such fears have subsided once Fudge itself was released under the Open Gaming License. Fate has an associated Yahoo! Group to share settings and conversions of other role-playing games; the 3rd edition of Fate was no longer a generic RPG like the first two versions, but set in the pulp genre. It was nominated in 2007 for an ENnie award for Best Rules; the 3rd edition rules are used for the Dresden Files role-playing game. The System Reference Documents for Spirit of the Century and Diaspora are currently available. Several other role-playing games are built on the game mechanics of Fate 3.0. A new edition called Fate Core was published in 2013, funded by a successful crowdfunding campaign, released under two free content licenses: CC BY 3.0 and the Open gaming license. As a result of the crowd funding effort, Evil Hat Productions released Fate Accelerated, a streamlined version of the rules based on the same core mechanic intended to get players into the game faster.
One notable difference is that skills are replaced with six "approaches" to solving problems - Careful, Flashy, Forceful and Sneaky. The approaches can each use all four skill actions. To release the new version of Fate, Evil Hat Productions ran a Kickstarter campaign that asked for $3,000. At the end of the campaign they raised $433,365 and expanded the product line adding two world books and a system toolkit; this list includes implementations of the Fate system as well as RPGs explicitly inspired by it. Age of Arthur Atomic Robo Dawning Star: Fate of Eos Diaspora The Dresden Files Houses of the Blooded Jadepunk Tales From Kausao City Legends of Anglerre Spirit of the Century Starblazer Adventures In the 2003 Indie RPG Awards, Fate won a number of awards: First Place - Best Free Game of the Year First Place - Best Support Third Place - Indie RPG of the Year Recipient - Andy's Choice AwardThe Fate roleplaying game has resulted in winning the following ENNIES awards: 2015 Best Family Game, Silver Winner for Atomic Robo The Roleplaying Game 2014 Best Website, Silver Winner for Fate SRD.
Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game
The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game is a game produced by Palladium Books. It is set in the Palladium world some 10,000 years after a great war between the dwarves. First published in July 1983 as The Palladium Role-Playing Game, the Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game saw a second edition in April 1996; the two are compatible, though the second edition uses a iteration of Palladium's ruleset to be more compatible with the rest of their Megaverse. Like many fantasy games, the Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game includes many different sentient races as playable characters. In addition to humans and the aforementioned elves and dwarves, there are gnomes, goblins, orcs, trolls and Wolfen; the Wolfen are large, humanoid wolves who have, in the past century, established their own Empire in the extreme north of the continent. Unlike many other fantasy games, there is little interbreeding between the races. Humans and ogres are related enough that offspring are possible, but any children are considered ogres.
Wolfen and the related Coyles may be able to breed, as one supplement implies that a non-player character may be half-Coyle/half-Wolfen, but this is not confirmed. There are a variety of classes available, they are divided up into Men at Arms, Men of Magic and optional Occupational Character Classes, as well as Psychic Character Classes for characters whose abilities are psychic in nature). As with most Palladium games, the character classes determine which skills are available to the character, several grant special powers, as well; the history of the Palladium world is divided into several "ages", each corresponding to certain events and differing levels of ambient magical energy. While there are many historians in the Palladium world, the best known historical text is the Tristine Chronicles, of which several different versions exist. Most copies are incomplete. Any chronological account of the Palladium world must begin with the Old Ones, their dominance constituted an Age of Chaos, abounding in magical energy, of which only myth and conflicting interpretations of scant historical evidence remain.
From this, it cannot be conclusively determined whether the Old Ones themselves were progenitors of the universe entire or just one of numerous factors inscribed as part of the cosmological formula in which every being and plane of existence locates its respective origin. Either way, these entities were ancient beyond all reckoning and possessed of powers that defied comprehension. While their true appearance is unknown, the Old Ones were most depicted as amorphous mounds of flesh covered with swarming tentacles, unblinking eyes, gaping maws; each one laying claim to a particular aspect of evil, they feasted with impunity upon the suffering and attendant dark emotions that resulted from various torments inflicted upon those bound to their oppressive rule. Not only credited with the development of magic in myriad forms, the Old Ones gave rise to an untold number of races, alongside a legion of slaves from other dimensions. Foremost among these, dragons conspired to bring about the Old Ones' downfall.
They convinced Ya-Blik and Al-vil to ensnare Xy within a magical construct of his own design. As a result, Xy was transformed into Thoth, lord of wisdom and distinguished member of the Pantheon of Light, all memories of his prior self irrevocably erased. Open revolt was soon underway, the archaic races, accompanied by Spirits and Gods of Light, used this opportunity to rise up against their former masters. At long last, in the wake of all-encompassing destruction and bloodshed, the Old Ones were subdued, placed in an enchanted slumber, imprisoned in the nether regions of the universe through the combined might of Thoth, the elven mage Lictalon, the dragon Kym-nark-mar, the angel Lo-kum. Although certain vestiges of the Old Ones' presence and influence managed to escape the ensuing campaign of eradication, the world and its inhabitants were able to establish a new order in their absence. Following the Age of Chaos was the Age of Light, a time of high ambient magic, it is during this time that humans first appear in history, religious wars begin as rival gods contend for worshipers.
This period is known to be long, but indeterminate in length and time. Sometime after the Age of Light was the Time of a Thousand Magicks. While magic was not more powerful than during the Age of Light, it was at this point that magic reached a point of great diversity; this led to elves gaining great influence across the middle of the continent, dwarves developing rune magic: the art of trapping souls in indestructible objects. The elf and dwarf empires grew in strength, cooperated for centuries, but the dwarves grew resentful of elven high-handedness, the elves suspected the dwarves of scheming; this resulted in the Elf–Dwarf War, which nearly destroyed the tw
Kevin Siembieda is an American artist, writer and publisher of role-playing games. Siembieda is a third-generation Polish American, he attended the College for Creative Studies in Detroit from 1974 to 1977. He wanted to be a comic book artist, but found the industry difficult to break into and published a small-press comic with his company: Megaton Publications. In 1979 Siembieda discovered the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rulebook and joined a role-playing group, the Wayne Street Weregamers, which met at Wayne State University in Detroit. Siembieda ran a game for the group, the Palladium of Desires, a combination of AD&D and his house rules. By 1980 the Wayne Weregamers became the Detroit Gaming Centre, with Siembieda its assistant director and Wujcik its director. Siembieda tried to interest gaming companies in his RPG with little interest, he was an artist for Judges Guild for four months before working as a freelance artist for other publishers and trying to sell his RPG to them. Siembieda is the president of Palladium Books.
He founded the company in April 1981 to publish his fantasy role-playing game, but had insufficient funds to publish any books. By 1983 the company was successful enough for Siembieda to rent warehouse space and release his fantasy RPG, the Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game with a loan of $10,000 from his friend Thom Bartold who had loaned him funds to print the other two books in the Mechanoid Trilogy and Homeworld in 1982; these were not just loans, but investments, Siembieda established a system of paying royalties not just to the writers and artists, but to those who lent him the capital needed to print the books: his investors. The following year, he extended his Palladium system to the superhero genre with Heroes Unlimited. A freelancer contacted Siembieda about producing a licensed role-playing game based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book. Siembieda was dissatisfied with the freelancer's product. Erick Wujcik redesigned the game in five weeks, it was published in 1985 as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness.
Siembieda next obtained the license to publish a game based on the Robotech anime series, designing the Robotech role-playing game published in 1986. Siembieda wrote the RPG Rifts as a trade paperback in a two-column format, he supported Wujcik in founding Phage Press. In 1992, Siembieda sued Wizards of the Coast over The Primal Order. Siembieda disagreed with White Wolf magazine and GDW over their magazines' coverage of Palladium games, he demanded that websites devoted to Rifts and Palladium be taken down, claiming that they violated his intellectual property, but softened his stance in 2004. Siembieda fired Bill Coffin due to editorial differences and discontent with the Rifts Coalition Wars, which Siembieda and Coffin co-authored. On April 19, 2006 he announced that Palladium Books was on the verge of bankruptcy, which he blamed on a former employee, convicted of embezzlement. Siembieda filed a lawsuit on May 7, 2010 against Trion Worlds for its MMORPG Rift: Planes of Telara, a settlement was reached in October 2010.
Role-playing games Siembieda has created include Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game, Heroes Unlimited and Rifts. He is an artist, known for illustrating Palladium Books products. Siembieda contributed art and cartography to several early Judges Guild products for the Dungeons & Dragons, RuneQuest and Traveller lines. Siembieda's Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter is one of the largest failures in table-top Kickstarter history; the project raised over $1.4 M Nevins, Paul & Faust, Bill. Verbosh. Dungeons & Dragons. Decatur, IL: Judges Guild.. - Front cover, interior art. Operation Ogre. D&D.. - Front cover. The Mines of Custalcon. D&D.. - Front cover Karczag, Paul. The Maltese Clue. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.. - Interior art. Emigh, Dave; the Sword of Hope. D&D.. - Interior art Emigh, D.. Tower of Ulission. D&D.. - Interior art Pruehs, Allen V. & Pruehs, Ree Moorhead. Escape from Astigar's Lair. AD&D.. - Front cover. City State of the World Emperor. D&D.. - Interior art Bledsaw, B.. City State of the World Emperor—Book I: Map Guide.
D&D.. - Interior art Bledsaw, B.. & Holmer, Mark. City State of the World Emperor—Book II: Shops. D&D.. - Interior art Bledsaw, B.. City State of the World Emperor—Book III: City. D&D.. - Interior art Dale, Geoffrey O.. The Treasure Vaults of Lindoran. AD&D.. - Front cover. Kraft, R.. Portals of Torsh. AD&D.. - Interior art (with Brian Wagner, David Allen, Robert Bledsaw
Year 2000 problem
The Year 2000 problem known as the Y2K problem, the Millennium bug, the Y2K bug, or Y2K, is a class of computer bugs related to the formatting and storage of calendar data for dates beginning in the year 2000. Problems were anticipated, arose, because many programs represented four-digit years with only the final two digits — making the year 2000 indistinguishable from 1900; the assumption of a twentieth-century date in such programs could cause various errors, such as the incorrect display of dates and the inaccurate ordering of automated dated records or real-time events. In 1997, the British Standards Institute developed standard DISC PD2000-1 defining "Year 2000 Conformity requirements" as four rules: No valid date will cause any interruption in operations, it identifies two problems. First, the practice of representing the year with two digits became problematic with logical error arising upon "rollover" from xx99 to xx00; this had caused some date-related processing to operate incorrectly for dates and times on and after 1 January 2000, on other critical dates which were billed "event horizons".
Without corrective action, long-working systems would break down when the "... 97, 98, 99, 00..." ascending numbering assumption became invalid. Secondly, some programmers had misunderstood the Gregorian calendar rule that determines whether years that are divisible by 100 are not leap years, assumed that the year 2000 would not be a leap year. In reality, there is a rule in the Gregorian calendar system that states years divisible by 400 are leap years – thus making 2000 a leap year. Companies and organisations worldwide checked and upgraded their computer systems to address the anticipated problem; as a result few computer failures were reported when the clocks rolled over into 2000. Y2K is a numeronym and was the common abbreviation for the year 2000 software problem; the abbreviation combines the letter Y for "year", k for the SI unit prefix kilo meaning 1000. It was named the "Millennium Bug" because it was associated with the popular roll-over of the millennium though most of the problems could have occurred at the end of any ordinary century.
The Year 2000 problem was the subject of the early book, Computers in Crisis by Jerome and Marilyn Murray. The first recorded mention of the Year 2000 Problem on a Usenet newsgroup occurred on Friday, 18 January 1985, by Usenet poster Spencer Bolles; the acronym Y2K has been attributed to David Eddy, a Massachusetts programmer, in an e-mail sent on 12 June 1995. He said, "People were calling it CDC, FADL. There were other contenders. Y2K just came off my fingertips."The problem started because on both mainframe computers and personal computers, storage was expensive, from as low as $10 per kilobyte, to in many cases as much as or more than US$100 per kilobyte. It was therefore important for programmers to reduce usage. Since programs could prefix "19" to the year of a date, most programs internally used, or stored on disc or tape, data files where the date format was six digits, in the form MMDDYY, MM as two digits for the month, DD as two digits for the day, YY as two digits for the year; as space on disc and tape was expensive, this saved money by reducing the size of stored data files and data bases.
Many computer programs stored years with only two decimal digits. Some such programs could not distinguish between the year 2000 and the year 1900. Other programs tried to represent the year 2000 as 19100; this could cause date comparisons to produce incorrect results. Some embedded systems, making use of similar date logic, were expected to fail and cause utilities and other crucial infrastructure to fail; some warnings of what would happen if nothing was done were dire: The Y2K problem is the electronic equivalent of the El Niño and there will be nasty surprises around the globe. — John Hamre, United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Special committees were set up by governments to monitor remedial work and contingency planning by crucial infrastructures such as telecommunications and the like, to ensure that the most critical services had fixed their own problems and were prepared for problems with others. While some commentators and experts argued that the coverage of the problem amounted to scaremongering, it was only the safe passing of the main "event horizon" itself, 1 January 2000, that quelled public fears.
Some experts who argued that scaremongering was occurring, such as Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, have since claimed that despite sending out hundreds of press releases about research results suggesting that the problem was not to be as big a problem as some had suggested, they were ignored by the media. The practice of using two-digit dates for convenience predates computers, but was never a problem until stored dates were used in calculations. In the first half of the 20th century, well before the computer era, business data processing was done using unit record equipment and punched cards, most the 80-column variety employed by IBM, which dominated the industry. Many tricks were