No world crisis, but PC users get bit

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 3, 2000

Anyone who turned on their computer Saturday morning to find the date reset to Jan. 1, 1980, can consider themselves bitten by the Y2K bug.

&uot;That shows that their computer is non-compliant,&uot; said Bobby Kerrigan of Kerrigan’s Computer World in Vidalia, La.

&uot;If they don’t use any software that is date-related, it shouldn’t affect them,&uot; he said.

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The computer chooses to reset the internal clock to the Jan. 1, 1980, date because that is as far back as the computer can go, Kerrigan said.

&uot;It will go to 1980 because that is the earliest date of its BIOS,&uot; he said.

The term BIOS stands for the basic input output system which is an integral part of the computer’s operating system software.

Computer users who try to reset the date to the year 2000 will get an unpleasant surprise when they reboot their computer, Kerrigan said.

&uot;It will just keep resetting the BIOS to that Jan. 1, 1980, date until they get the software upgraded or replaced to a Y2K compliant version,&uot; he said.

Accounting software like Quicken depends on the computer’s internal clock to set the date of certain transactions, he said. Those people who use such software should visit the software Web site and read the Y2K compliance information on their version of the software, he said.

Computational errors in various financial and accounting software may not show up until the first complete billing cycle of the new year, said Chris Couie, A+ certified computer technician with Eagle Computers in Vidalia.

&uot;Those who did have it happen, weren’t running critical, date-sensitive software,&uot; Couie said.

Couie recommended that his clients back-up their computer systems prior to changing or updating software and that they also use a redundant system to check the first billing cycles of any financial software.

&uot;We’ve had zero problems,&uot; said Brent Adkinson, president of Advanced Micro Technologies in Natchez.

&uot;Well, I take that back. We had one,&uot; he said. A client in Jackson purchased a version of software from another vendor that was non-Y2K compliant and had to manually reset the correct date.

&uot;That resolved it,&uot; he said. &uot;There may be some minor glitches over the next few weeks, but you won’t be seeing planes falling out of the skies.&uot;