John Bryant
Arizona Computer Consultant
(602) 861-1738

Issue 1 - Hardware

(January, 1999)

1998 Computer ResolutionsThe time has come to prepare your computer for the new millennium. This column is the first in a series of special Y2K issues which will give Bryant Enterprises clients all the information necessary to be safeguarded against the Year 2000 (Y2K) bug.

Three Faces of Y2K

One of the key reasons why the Y2K problem is so difficult is because it is not just one bug. For PC users, the millennium change will impact your system in 3 specific areas:

  • Hardware - physical electronic parts
  • Operating System - Windows 95/98
  • Software - Programs you use

In order to be fully prepared against the Y2K phenomenon, each of these areas much be tested and upgraded to “Y2K Compliance”. The first and most fundamental step is to test and fix your system clock.

Tick! Tock! How's Your Clock?

The Y2K problem stems from the fact that many computers store the year as two digits, and weren’t made to read “00” as the year 2000. Some revert back to the year 1900, while others change to another arbitrary date (Such as the year the chip was made).

BIOS Blues?

Information about the computer’s date is stored in a small, removable chip called the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). The BIOS chip can be thought of as your computer’s brain stem. It controls all the vital information needed for the computer to function at all.

Faulty BIOS chips are the root cause for Y2K problems in your computer, and they must be fixed before anything else.

Testing is a Must

If your computer clock is not Y2K Compliant, it will give the wrong date to every program which you run on your computer. This means that every program that uses date/time functions (most do) will store incorrect information. In computer terms, this is called “Garbage In/Garbage Out”.

The Good News

Many of the newer computer chips are Y2K ready. If you bought your computer within the last year, it is probably OK - but don’t assume, get tested.

If your BIOS clock is not ready for Y2K, relax. You’ve just conquered the biggest threat that Y2K poses - unpreparedness. Many BIOS chips can be upgraded with a special software called a “Flash BIOS upgrade”. Older chips can be simply replaced. Either way, the process takes only minutes to perform.

Bryant Enterprises has made arrangements with several BIOS makers to get your upgrade at a special direct discount. BIOS upgrade orders must be made before March 1st.

Once your system is tested, I can get the information you need to order your BIOS fix direct from the company. I’ve been advised that orders may backlog toward the end of the year, so lets take advantage of their offer and get this done now!

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