Millennium bomb is not a problem

Failure of PCs and networks at the stroke of midnight on 31 December 1999 is extensively documented. Cegelec has approached this problem from its customers’ perspective.

In order to simplify matters, Cegelec has produced both a shortform booklet covering general product conformity on its range of drives and PLCs, and a longform 80 page book featuring photos for easy identification of products, lists of tests performed, results, and a simple check box indicating Year 2000 compliancy for each product. Most users expect problems at the New Year. However, Cegelec is keen to point out that 28 February 2000, and 30 December 2000 may also be risk areas due to leap year issues and the number of days in the year.

Cegelec launched a test program for its products. The tests were on two levels: firstly, static walk through tests involved examination of the clock chips, CPUs and firmware to see what would happen on critical dates, and secondly dynamic tests which looked for rollovers of registers and flags while looking for crashes. Some 90% of the company’s products, both old and new, have now been tested, with the few problems encountered relating to failure to recognise the leap year.