Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

RE: Year 2000 computer problem!

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
>I don't think the problem really affects current software or smaller (under
>500 node) networks.
The real guts of the problem is twofold: 
1. Roll your own code where the date arithmetic is done in 2 digit year 
form without reference to system clock time.
2. Both roll your own and commercial code written to use date arithmetic 
referring to system clocks which are two digit. 

The first one is firly easy to fix for someone who knows the porgram. 
Item 2 is the real hooker because the problem is deep inside the guts of 
your machine. If your computer system puts out only two digit dates, you 
can be in pretty deep sauce if your commercial software needs date 
formats it can't get from your operating system or the clock hardware. 
This will be true regardless of whether you're networked or not. Even us 
Macheads aren't totally immune from the problem. Our system software has 
always recognized 4 digit years, but who knows what little kludges some 
programmer used for something unrelated to output dates, like tricks with 
two digit dates that trigger an easter egg or copy protection or file 
access. With a stand-alone machine or an isolated network, the damage 
will be limited, but not necessarily unimportant. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw