People are somehow attracted to those special big shiny numbers, like 2000, transition to which caused so much of a hype:
- Millennium - suddenly everyone knew what this word meant. It was cool when we heard it on 1997 occassionally. It wasn't cool in 1999.
- Y2K Bug - the most popular issue, ever since 1996 or so. ATMs refusing to give out money cause the people's accounts where erased (as a result, many banks sent out account printouts to calm down their customers -- the real risk was ATMs running out of money after paranoid customers pulled all of their cash out), their computers going crazy, and the Internet going down (from the anticipated cracker attacks). Y2K testing kits were sold all around, and on the last days of 1999, a major supermarket in Israel began selling Y2K survival kits with canned food and all kinds of goodies in big boxes. I even recall an Israeli children musical put up in 1999 where the villian was named "Bug 2000". Don't know about you, but in conclusion, nothing even happened to my Windows 95, not to speak of my bank account.
- Millennium products - here in Israel, we've got flooded with all kinds of Millennium gimmicks - Millennium cereal, 2000-shaped snacks and all various Millennium-edition stuff (especially many popular software products, which suddenly begun versions from 2000). A good example of a typical hype was that "one-time movie", End of Days.
- Millennium parties - all around the world, grandiose plans were put up on how to spend this, undoubtfuly the magnificent of all, night. New York's Time Square probably had the biggest celebration, and all the other countries weren't far behind (with a fire wall on London's Thames river, fancy fireworks from the Eiffel tower, etc.). Tour agencies sent people to sleep on world's major cities' squares few days before the millennium celebrations, just to keep the place for their travellers. Still, there were few sane ones to use the time in a better way. I wasn't among them :(