The industry is still divided over whether the installed base of older PCs will survive the millennium, with a trade association calling for a consistent approach to hardware compliance from PC vendors.
Compaq told its installed base today that it had no reason to worry about the future.
Said Steve Torbe, desktop product manager of Compaq UK: ?All of the current machines have undergone testing by NSTL and have warranties. The cut off date was October the second last year. The vast majority of machines prior to that date have also undergone testing and the vast majority of them have been tested.?
He said that testing agency NSTL was used by the Canadian government for its Year 2000 testing. ?There?s also a downloadable Bios from our Web site,? he said.
As for corporations that use Compaq machines that predate 2 October, Torbe said: ?You can very easily do a manual date change on these models.?
But Keith Warburton, executive director of the Personal Computer Association (PCA), which numbers IBM, AMD and a raft of systems resellers amongst its members, claims there is no consistent approach from PC suppliers and there needs to be a standard benchmark to ensure compliance, particularly in the Bios.
Warburton said: ?Compaq, for example, had said that from January 1997 all systems would be able to roll over the millennium problem. I have put a proposal to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that we should have some sort of managed scheme for this. I wanted the DTI to propose a scheme where we could manage it because there is no agreement between the different PC vendors claiming Year 2000 compliance.?
A source said that Rob Wirszycz, when he was heading up the CSSA (Computing Services and Software Association) compliance scheme, spoke to the PCA last September and reiterated this fact. He said then that there was a ?good likelihood? that new PCs might not have the Bios rollover correct.
The 'VNU Newswire' contacted a number of the other major PC vendors to see whether they had a scheme in place. None were able to respond at press time.
There is a Web site at The Computer Information Centre (http://www.compinfo.co.uk/y2k.htm) which evaluates different PC claims for compliance. The site uses a number of different criteria to determine the facts, and describes these as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Major PC vendors are included in the list along with other relevant data, for example, about global positioning satellites (GPS) systems, which are not expected to be compliant.
Warburton said that the whole question revolved around whether dates changed in Bios and other hardware peripherals, including graphics peripherals. It was nothing to do with software, which was a whole different issue.
Government backed taskforce Action 2000, he said, had to get its act together on the hardware issue fast, as a number of his members had complained over recent months.
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