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Re: y2k and the average engineer?

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Michael Cochran wrote:

. >      My understanding is that if you have a pentium based computer, the 
. > clock will most likely rollover OK on January 1, 2000, but should still be
. > checked. The higher the pentium chip speed, the less likely you will have 
. > a problem. I know all the pentium based computers in our office checked 
. > out OK. The 486/386 chip machines on the other hand all failed on the 
. > date rollover (the date changed to January 1, 1900). These can simply be 
. > fixed, when booting up the computer on January 1st and changing the date 
. > manually. This may not be true for all computers though, depending on who 
. > wrote the BIOS for the computer system (IBM, clone software, etc.).

It is not the CPU that determines if the date will roll over properly, it is 
the BIOS, which is separate from the CPU.  Whoever wrote the BIOS will 
determine if the date will roll over properly.  I have an old Leading Edge, 
originally an 8088 and hot rodded to a 386 (circa 1986) that has a Phoenix 
BIOS and it will roll over properly as well as the Phoenix BIOS on my 486 
hot rodded to a 586/133.  I have set the DATE equal to 12-31-99 and the time 
equal to 2359 and waited a couple of minutes and typed DATE and it came up 
with January 1, 2000.  I have also experimented by setting the time to 2355 
on December 31, 1999, powered down the computer, waited 10 minutes, powered 
up the computer and it reported the correct date.  To see how far in the 
future the BIOS would handle the date, I set the date to January 1, 2100, and 
the computer reported an "Invalid Date."  Resetting the date to December 31, 
2099, gave no error message.  (Note:  The LE Phoenix BIOS does NOT handle 
leap years, but it has no problem with Y2K!)  I have a TSR freeware 
scheduling program that accepts only two digit years, but it is smart enough 
to realize that you would not be scheduling something for 1900!

I have also opened WordPerfect, AutoCad, FoxPro 2.0 with the BIOS date set to 
January 1, 2000, and all reported the correct date.

It is my understanding, however, that Windows 95, Windows 98, and a bunch of 
Micro$oft software is NOT Y2K compliant and that different versions of the 
same software will handle Y2K+ dates differently.

M$ has a Y2K directory on its web site that should provide you with 
information as to which of their software has what problems.  Otherwise, web 
sites such as PC Magazine or Infoworld (which have widely published the 
information) would provide the info.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona