Let’s all meet up in the year 2000

If the computer experts are right, New Year’s Eve 1999 is going to be a time when a lot of computer users and systems integrators will be quaking in their boots.

The potential failure of information technology on January 1, 2000 stems from the fact that two digits, not four, are used to represent the year in computer databases, software and hardware. Difficulties will arise in the year 2000 when that year is 00 and the computers cannot differentiate 2000 from 1900.

Fortunately, there are a lot of people addressing the issue and a many of them have reports that can be accessed via the Web.

One such vendor in the UK is Taskforce 2000, a body directed by the heads of the CBI and the Computer Software and Services Association to alert UK plc to the year 2000 problem and to provoke some action. The CSSA has gathered a considerable body of information on the subject. A co-operative effort between the CSSA and the legal practice of Halberstam Ellis has also produced a standard questionnaire for vendors aimed at establishing the Year 2000 compliance status of their products. All the information is available on the Web.

In addition, numerous other sites have been developed, many by companies and agencies in the United States that can provide plenty of useful information. Check out the Web site listing right for more information.