Prof Martyn Thomas had first-hand experience of fighting the millennium bug, and dismisses the idea that it never posed a serious threat to the world’s computer systems

Please don’t perpetuate the falsehood that the millennium bug was a myth (Hard to stomach, G2, 30 August). The widespread use of two-digit years in computer systems was a serious threat. I led the Y2K teams for Deloitte Consulting internationally in the 1990s and those of us who spent years successfully finding and fixing many of the huge number of problems resent the implication that our work was unnecessary or fraudulent. Despite all the worldwide work (coordinated by a special UN team), many failures did occur, including 15 shut-downs of nuclear reactors around the world. Details and authoritative references from Gresham College can be found online at
Martyn Thomas
Professor of IT, Gresham College, London

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