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3 Hardware and Software Compliance It is a problem resulting from the common programming practice of using only two-digits to store the year in software The practice dates back to the 1950s when computers began to be used for business purposes Using two digits for dates is benign and causes no harm so long as the next year is a larger number than the current year For example software applications that use dates have no problem with the sequence of 95969798 and 99 However when the century ends the year 2000 will be stored as 00 Calculations or decisions based on dates or time periods can go seriously wrongInregard to personal and small business computers the problem is three foldFirstly the computer hardware must report the current date correctly Many computers especially early Pentiums 486 386 and 286 based machines will on the 1st January 2000Revert back to 1 April 1980 or some other date Thus creating a potential problem until the correct date is re-entered - provided of course that the computer can be set manually to a date beyond 311299 Calculation of Leap Year dates may also be incorrect on some computersSecondly the computer software must carry out the correct calculations based on a four-digit year eg 1999 or 2000 etc rather than just using the last two digits The supplier or manufacturer of the software should be approached to ascertain the compliance of their code or their schedule to have it corrected and distributedThirdly your data must be in the correct format - namely year described as a four-digit number If your dates have been entered as described above that is 15th Feb 1955 entered as 150255 then you have a data conversion to be carried outTo determine if Windows NT 40 Win95 and would roll to the appropriate date the control panel applet DATETIMEdt was used to change the dates The machines dt were set to the day before each date
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