At the end of 1999, the experts had no doubts. They diagnosed Morse Code retirement on every ship in the world. The naval sector was then the last segment that still made use of this means of communication. But suddenly there was concern about the millennium bug. Companies were concerned that a complete collapse in computers and the like could happen at the turn of the century. They summoned their technicians and began to think of alternatives. After all, there could be a total breakdown that would mute the country.
In Brazil, a multinational company received the following guidance from the British headquarters: “Analyzing all the media, we understand that the threat of the millennium bug can annihilate connections and transmissions via the internet, telephones, fax etc. The only option we have is radiotelegraphy, capable of maintaining contact between our factories, equipped with batteries, as we cannot depend on electricity either. ”
In this emergency context, I was approached by a multinational emissary and hired to provide its factories with a technically capable radiotelegraphy system equipped to cover the company’s facilities in the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest. It was not difficult. I found, within amateur radio, several former radiotelegraphists willing to join an electronic battalion and face the millennium bug. With them we form an emergency network. The HQ was installed at my home in Sao Paulo, where we were in permanent contact from December 31, 1999 until 4:00 am on January 1, 2000. Fortunately, there was no problem regarding the millennium bug and we scrapped the electronic battalion . Curious detail: on the day it was extinguished from the air (its official stoppage took place on January 1, 2000), radiotelegraphy was active, serving as the savior of the homeland for a large multinational.
By Dary Bonomi Avanzi