Grinding Noises

2000 Zero Zero

In light of media coverage of the 'Y2K bug' in the first few days of this new year, we would like to take the opportunity to ensure all our clients that Rory Ewins is 100 percent year 2000 compliant.

Unlike some of the more archaic operating systems, which will treat 01/01/00 as 1 January 1900, Rory OS™ will recognise all dates up to and including 31 December 876905 trillion AD, by which time we fully expect to have upgraded to a newer system. What's more, his internal clock will continue to age at a steady rate of 0.99999999 seconds per second plus or minus 0.00000001 seconds—although, as the years advance, his Perceived Elapsed Time is expected to decrease to around 0.3 seconds per actual second.

The Rory OS™ and Rory hardware will recognise all significant dates, including 9/9/99, 29/2/2000, his 32nd birthday in January 2000, the end of the financial year, the date the phone bill is due, and around about the time he should start fixing the kitchen tap. He is also backwards-compatible to the beginning of the Gregorian calendar (if you give him a moment to look it up) and can read the Roman numerals at the end of films.

We would like to stress that a considerable amount of effort has gone into making Rory OS™ and his hardware Y2K compatible. Several hundred thousand dollars have been expended on Rory so far. The earlier 1960s and 1970s models were notoriously erratic time-keepers, retrieving limited information from MDOS (Mum and Dad Operating System) with the call 'are we there yet?'. These models could not conceive of ages beyond 10 or dates past the summer holidays. However, the transitions to the 1980s and 1990s were handled smoothly, with appropriate upgrades to size, memory, and musical tastes, and we have every expectation that the 2000s will be handled just as well (although we anticipate a Legacy System fondness for U2 and Blur).

Preliminary tests have already shown Rory to cope adequately with date-transition. He correctly anticipated that Prince's '1999' would be played to death during the present year, and switches off the radio or TV at the first sign of the words '2000 zero zero party over oops out of time'. He has written the date properly on several cheques, and remembered to order a new desk calendar. When the clock was wound forward to 1/1/2000, Rory continued to function as normal. He showed no signs of contaminating the city's water catchment, cutting off power supplies, or depleting stocks at his local supermarket (Kool Mints excepted).

Our existing customers should rest assured that, barring the unforeseen collapse of all civilisation as we know it because of the inability of government utilities to continue uninterrupted supply or banks to operate ATMs or airlines to fly planes or stores to stock their shelves because all of their computers go haywire simultaneously, Rory will continue to function when the analog clock moves from midnight 31 December 1999 to 00:01, 1 January 2000. New customers are encouraged to make Rory part of your operating system solution.

Disclaimer: No liability accepted or guarantees given. Offer void in Ethiopia and other countries operating on the Julian calendar where it's still 1984 or some such.

29 November 1999
written 6 January 1999
©1999 Rory Ewins