Ready or not, in only a few short days, the first real benchmark as to whether Y2K will impact the world will occur. The date is Sept. 9, 1999, and is considered a valid test because some computers may translate this date as a "9999" stop-program command.
With the government, banking and electric utility companies poised in the event something does happen, Y2K planners and troubleshooters are taking advantage of this date to test their readiness and backup systems for the new year when the Y2K bug may really occur.
The electric industry underwent a similar drill on April 9 when it was perceived that the numeric sequence is the 99th day of the 99th year of the Century. No problems were reported on this day for any industry. Another date considered vital after the New Year is Feb. 29, 2000 because some computers might not recognize that it is leap year.