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millennium bug

At the turn of the millennium, digital armageddon was predicted. People claimed that computers would not be able to handle the passing of one particular moment. Time would render them senseless.

I caught a bug on New Year's Eve, 1999. It was the kind of bug that swallows you whole as a child. You haven't yet worked out that all discomfort is temporary. You're stuck in each separate moment, for better or for worse.

There was no nausea, but I coughed so violently that I threw up. I remember my mum brought out a rectangular washing up bowl, the type that's kept under the sink in the dark with the Dettol and the whispy spiders, so thin they're hardly there, using the pipework as web scaffolding. My sick was basically saliva, coming up from the deep. There was nothing in my stomach. My mum had to put me to bed as the fireworks went up, all around the world. She didn't really get to celebrate that moment with her friends.

People had been selling software to prevent the universe from collapsing when the clocks struck midnight. This proved to be an illusory fear, and a lucrative one. Computers were smarter than that. They carried on, paying little attention to the time.

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