Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Y2K Windows Fix
Re: Y2K Windows Fix
Mon, 16 Aug 1999 01:35:06 -0500
At 07:40 PM 8/15/99 -0500, Calvin H. Gray wrote:
>See the following message. Notice which great university is looking
>out for us!
>Credit for this fix goes to Lemond Irvin, Technical Support Staff at
>Research Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University.
Calvin (and others),
Don't get a false sense of Y2K security by following these instructions.
If it was really this easy, there's a lot of companies (including mine) who
have been getting ripped off by trying to fix Y2K problems:) In addition,
this doesn't help my DOS program (yes, we still use them, and some aren't
Y2K ready, but we're fixing that).
It really scares me when a university computing group is this badly
>Here is the procedure just in case any of you have not heard of it yet.
>This applies to all Windows 95, Windows 98 and NT based computers.
>1. Click on Start, go to Settings and open Control Panel.
>2. Double click the Regional Settings icon and then the Date tab at the
>3. Where it says "Short Date Sample" look and see if it shows a "two
>digit" year. Of course it does. Thats the default setting for Windows
>95, 98 and NT installations. This date RIGHT HERE is the date that feeds
>all of your application software and will not rollover in the year 2000.
>It will roll over to 00.
>4. Click on the buton across from "Short Date Style" and select the
>option that shows, mm/dd/yyyy. (Be sure your selection has four Y's
>showing, not two.
>5. Click on "Apply" and then "OK".
>Thats it. Easy enough to fix. However, every single installation of
>Windows worldwide is defaulted to fail Y2K rollover. If you know of
>someone else who would benefit from this fix feel free to forward this
These settings are merely default formatting settings and won't affect the
Y2K compliance of the computers / operating systems / applications
If you don't believe me, set the date ahead to January 2000 on your
computer (without changing these date settings) and see if it still runs.
If it still runs, it doesn't mean you are home free (you really need to
test every application you use in addition to the operating system). If
your system fails in any way, change the date setting as suggested above
and try again. I expect it will still fail (one or two things may be fixed,
but I doubt it).
In my experience working with some programming and databases, There are
many techniques for programs to store dates. Some are better than others,
and which one is used depends on the data being stored and the relevance of
the century data.
Regardless of which format you store the date in, you need to write a
routine to convert that to a familiar form (us computer geeks refer to this
as "user friendly.") Most often, these routines allow you to specify the
format, allowing different locals to display dates in the format common in
the local area (in the US, it would be month first; in Europe, day first.
In some places, slashes separate things, other places dashes or dots).
Sometimes, these programs will take the default system settings, other
times, the program stores its own settings.
No matter what, if a program doesn't store the date in a format that saves
the century or arbitrarily designates the century (for example, deciding if
year is 19 or less, century must be 20, otherwise century is 19), changing
this display setting won't help it.
The logic of the program determines whether it can process dates correctly.
There are a lot of places on the internet with general Y2K information. For
your specific system, a good places to start is your computer manufacturer,
followed by the Operating System author, followed by the author(s) of your
If you are lucky, you will be told you are already ready. The newer the
computer and the newer the software, the more likely this is.
If you are a little less lucky, you will be told you can download a patch
to correct problems.
If you aren't lucky, you will be told the only way to be sure is to upgrade
to the new version.
If you really aren't lucky, you will be told that your software / computer
is too old, hasn't been tested, won't be tested, and upgrading to a new
computuer / version is the only solution (and, by the way, the new version
won't run on your hardware:).
Yes, the whole Y2K problem has the potential to be a big mess. Yes, it is a
lot of work to verify whether you system will continue to work come
January. If you won't want to deal with it, you can always go back to not
using the computer:)
Yours in Scouting,
Scott A. Begin Troop 348, Oak Forest, IL, Calumet Council