The Millennium Bug Y2k
Millennium Bug (or Y2K issue) is a general description of the problem caused by software,
hardware, and firmware not being able to deal correctly with the change from the year 1999
It is not confined to personal computers; it also affects central heating systems, cars with computerized engine management systems, home and business alarms, banking and transportation systems. In fact, the entire Y2K issue is beginning to resemble a matryoshka doll; more levels become apparent as each new level is revealed.
All software, either directly or indirectly, obtains its date from the hardware. If the hardware incorrectly reports the date, it is very difficult for the software to have the
correct date. If the hardware problem is not rectified then any process involving dates will be unreliable.
The Y2K problem does NOT start at midnight on 31 Dec 1999 as many people
might think. It starts much earlier. Your financial software will generally want to rollover the financial year on or around July 1, 1999, and you will have to have all
the bug problems (if any) sorted out by then. In real terms, you will have to have all of your systems verified and the changes implemented, before even that date; it has been suggested that 31 Dec 1998 is the real deadline!
How does Y2K affect PC Computers?
The Y2K issue will be a problem for any computer operating system, application, or other electronic device that uses a two-digit field for the year, as in 08/22/98. That two-digit date field, a seemingly innocuous programmer's shortcut, is a time bomb, one that will definitely go off unless it is defused.
The WRONG way to defuse the Y2K time bomb would be to take the tack that Harry the "do-it-yourselfer" might take ... just crank the PC clock ahead to see what happens. Harry's "test" might not be able to be "untested", and some of his software licenses may become invalidated, or his system might lock up.
The Computer HARDWARE Y2k Problem
Hardware compliance issues, associated with desktop PCs,
involve the Real Time Clock (RTC) chip in the PCs, most of which in use today are
non-compliant. This problem is widely known as the Millennium Bug.
The Best Hardware Fix
The best FIX for this T2k problem, if your system has it, is to install a good Year 2000 TSR Program that will properly process the software requests for dates. The TSR should always run, should be small, and should use an imperceptable amount of computer resources.
Operating Systems and Application Software Y2K Problems
The Best Software Fix
The best way to approach the SOFTWARE OS and Application Y2K
problem, is to use a product that can SCAN and READ OBJECT CODE and can correct the
problem Y2K date signatures "on the fly" as the date calls are made, much like
an active Virus Scanner can recognize "virus signatures" and can correct them.