internet 201

Test Your PC for Year 2000 Glitches By John Makulowich Contributing Writer If all the talk about the so-called year 2000 problem has you wondering whether your current PC or the one you're thinking about buying can handle the digits for the next century, it's time you connected to the National Software Testing Laboratories' World Wide Web page at http://www.nstl.com/. /

Test Your PC for Year 2000 Glitches

By John Makulowich

Contributing Writer

If all the talk about the so-called year 2000 problem has you wondering whether your current PC or the one you're thinking about buying can handle the digits for the next century, it's time you connected to the National Software Testing Laboratories' World Wide Web page at http://www.nstl.com/.

There you can find and download the free YMark2000 program, a self-extracting 31K ZIP file with the utility and readme.txt file that tests whether your system works properly.

Produced by NSTL, Conshohocken, Pa., a division of the McGraw-Hill companies that touts itself as the world's leading independent information technology testing organization, the YMark2000 program was last updated April 17. It helps you determine if your PC will support dates after Dec. 31, 1999, by seeing if your system is year 2000-compliant.

The test procedure is straightforward. After double-clicking on the compressed y2000.exe file to extract the two files named 2000.exe and readme.txt, you run the executable program, that is, 2000.exe. You need to cleanly boot to the DOS prompt. That is, you can't run the utility within Windows; if you try, the program automatically aborts after the legal agreement notice. (In Windows 95, you get a clean boot by pressing the Start button, clicking Shut Down and then choosing the item, "Restart the computer in MS-DOS mode?")

The results that appear cover three areas: Year 2000, Year 2000 Leap Year and hardware clock structure. The program lets you know at each step whether the system passes. I ran it on a Packard Bell Platinum 2240 (200 MHz MMX Intel CPU) and received this notice at the completion: "This system correctly supports the year 2000."

For those who want to explore the details of the year 2000 issue, the readme.txt file contains valuable information, including an overview and what amounts to frequently asked questions.

It's important to realize, as NSTL makes clear, that their program "only tests the personal computer's ability to support the year 2000 and not the operating system or software applications. Separate testing must be performed on software." They also state that the program will only work with any x86-based "industry standard" computer that contains a built-in real-time clock. By "industry standard" they mean IBM-compatible or clone, pretty much any PC built since 1985. Operating systems covered are all versions of DOS and Microsoft Windows.

In the readme.txt file, you find an explanation of the two clocks in every computer, the built-in hardware clock and the so-called virtual clock. The hardware or real-time clock runs on a battery all the time, whether the system is on or off. The virtual or system clock is set to the real-time clock when you turn the computer on. It runs only while the computer operates. With the computer running, the two clocks run independently. Basically, the system clock is a timer that increments a counter 18.2 times per second; the notion of days, hours, minutes or seconds is not part of its vocabulary. On the other hand, the real-time clock tracks the time and date. The problem arises because the real-time clocks in PCs don't track centuries, just years, like 97. When we hit the millennium, the real-time clock will show 00. It gets more complex, but you get the drift.

John Makulowich writes, talks and trains on the Internet. You can reach him at john@journalist.com; his home page is http://www.cais.com/makulow/.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.