I can't answer about Vietnam as it was before I was born but I can answer the internet. When I was a kid my dad was a fairly early adopter of the
internet, I was online by the time I was 4 years old (I learned to read at 2 and write at 3, it took a bit longer to be taught how to work a modem)
and that was 1986. Back then computers didn't have nearly as much memory and code was written to run on machines of the current day. Storage
capacity has expanded by several orders of magnitude since then. Today my desktop computer has 64 gigs of ram. In 2001 I had 32 megs of ram. If
you're unaware that means I have 2048 times as much memory as I did a mere 12 years ago. In 1988 my computer (which I still have and it runs so this
is easy to check, and no it's not y2k compliant, yes it still runs) had 16 kb of ram, again 1/2048 what I had in 2001. This means computers 30 years
ago were much more limited as to what could be loaded into memory at any given time.
Storage space has similarly increased. My current computer has 4 TB of storage while the 2001 computer has 4 GB of storage (1024x increase) and the
1988 computer has 32 mb of storage (about 1/128 as much storage... the hard drive revolution was slower to take off).
In grade school when I learned to program the device I used had 7028 BYTES of memory/space (ram/storage were combined). That is less storage space
than a maximum length ATS post. I wrote a functioning clock on that device (it was a graphing calculator) using only a small portion of the memory.
The point is though, modern programming tries to be as verbose as possible because we have all this space and using it makes life easier. It wasn't
always so, at one time programming had to be as space conscious as possible and that lead to practices like cutting the first two digits from the year
in order to save space. The problem this caused was in the form of calculating dates. 2000-1999 is 1 but 00-99 is -99, this was an issue for example
if a bank was calculating interest or a company was calculating payroll.
There's actually another y2k issue in 2038 which has to do with unix. They calculate time from the epoch (jan 1 1970), all dates are calculated as
how many seconds have happened since that point. However this variable is widely stored as a 32 bit signed integer which has a maximum value of
2^31-1. As a result dates will wrap around on Jan 19th 2038 to Dec 9 1901 or so. Again, this is because of memory constraints when these devices
were built and similar problems are quite common in computing.
In computer gaming for example there was a period of several years where a computer could have 4 gigs of physical memory however because processors
and operating systems were all 32 bit they couldn't physically extend past 3.2 gigs. This is because each byte of memory has an identifying number to
index where it is, the computer could only handle numbers up to a certain size so once you went past that it couldn't index things. This is still a
problem today, but because 64 bit systems are relatively new and the hardware has yet to really catch up we haven't hit those limits.
It's not from some conspiracy where people on a mass scale thought we wouldn't be alive anymore. Though with the cold war many people did believe
that, being fairly young at the time though I wasn't too exposed to cold war paranoia. My only real memory of it is maps and globes showing the USSR
as a country. It never even really connected to me until in 5th grade I overheard my teachers talking about how the maps all needed to be changed.
Though I do remember seeing the Berlin Wall come down on TV, my mom forced me to watch it. That's starting to go off topic though.
So back on topic, you mentioned time machines. You're right, time machines do exist. You're trapped in one right now. It travels forward at a rate
of 24 hours per day.
edit on 16-11-2013 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)