Time running out for PCs

Time running out for PCs

-- As the clock ticks down to the millennium, your customers face the Herculean task of identifying and fixing their year-2000 non-compliant desktop and notebook systems.

The chief problem is in discovery of which systems are compliant or not.

Because system vendors did not deal with the year-2000 problem until recently, estimates of non-compliant year-2000 desktop systems still in use reach into the millions. Dell desktops, for example, were only fully compliant in January 1997 and Compaq desktops became compliant in the third quarter of the same year.

IDC estimates there are over 16 million non-compliant 486 and Pentium systems in use today.

"If you tell me that systems bought in '97 are not compliant, I have to say that we are likely to keep those around, and upgrading them is a major pain," said one end user.

One Dell representative owned up to the problem.

"Nasdaq is having the problem of visiting each system to identify compliant systems," said Dave Cunningham, program manager of year-2000 projects at Dell.

Compaq advises its customers to use its Insight Manager software to discover the revision date of the BIOS of each desktop across the network. Once the revision date is discovered, Compaq has a year-2000 Web site with tables of product models to coordinate the model with BIOS revision date.

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