The argument over the significance of a four-digit real time clock (RTC) on year 2000 compliance continues to rage, with another high-profile year 2000 software vendor stating its position.
Y2K software specialist Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) has a testing and tools product, Check 2000. The product is marketed through distributors and resellers as well as selected VAR agreements with companies including Compaq, IBM and Unisys.
Ben Brand, general manager of the tech support group at GMT, said: "People simply proving the lack of a four-digit RTC and hence claiming the system is not Y2K compliant are verging on technical and professional negligence."
Asia-Pacific managing director of GMT Zoran Fistrovic told ARN that it was becoming impossible for resellers to discuss Y2K compliance issues without an explanation of their position on the BIOS/RTC.
"In more than 90 per cent of the occasions that a four-digit RTC test is applied as a factor for year 2000 compliance, the PC will fail," he said.
Fistrovic added that a challenge has been issued for anyone in the worldwide Y2K discussion group to identify a single business application that accessed the RTC directly. None have emerged.
According to Fistrovic, the example touted by some vendors about Microsoft's Windows NT does not allow for the hardware extraction layer, which applies an algorithm to correct the year.
Deviation from standard
He said that RTC chip manufacturer Dallas Semiconductor recently deviated from the standard two-digit year by creating a four-digit year on the RTC. "Regardless of whether it is a two or four-digit RTC, all common PC software takes its date feed from the BIOS, and a compliant RTC will have no positive benefit for a desktop PC that has a compliant BIOS," Fistrovic explained.
"Testing the RTC for year 2000 problems unnecessarily alarms PC users and resellers," he said.