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Year 2000 compliance required

By Kim Norvell,

AIS public-relations specialist

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 22 - February 26, 1998

Beginning in early March, Administrative Information Systems will provide via their homepage a step-by-step Year 2000 assessment guide and survey for Virginia Tech's personal and distributed non-centralized computer-system users. The guide can be used to assess all computer components for Year 2000 compliance, including hardware, operating systems, and software programs.
The web site, located at www.ais.vt.edu/ais/Y2K, currently contains general information, relative articles, and important links to sites explaining the issues and problems associated with Year 2000 compliance. Given the university's decentralized nature among these distributed computer systems, the assessment guide and survey will allow Virginia Tech to ascertain the extent of non-compliant computer components at the university.
Virginia Tech has been working continuously to bring its centralized-computing environment into Year 2000 compliance. While there is still more work ahead, the transition for these systems is moving progressively.
However, the question still remains as to how many personal and distributed non-centralized computer-system users will experience problems with their own computer components. Computer problems associated with Year 2000 non-compliance such as incorrect dates, erroneous sorts, spurious data, or even worse, inoperable computer systems are real. The central problem involves computer hardware, operating systems, and software packages that do not have the capability to recognize dates past the year 1999. Most computer systems use a six-digit form for dates (DD/MM/YY), with the last two digits representing the year. As a result, these components cannot recognize the century and therefore are unable to function properly in the year 2000.
Although most departments have newer computer components, experts agree that every computer component must be presumed Year 2000-vulnerable until proven otherwise. Those departments with older computer hardware, in-house developed programs, or older versions of software are particularly at risk. These example are not meant to create alarm, but rather to urge all Virginia Tech's personal and distributed non-centralized system users to consider if and how the Year 2000 compliance issue will affect their own systems. While this task may seem ominous at first, the Administrative Information Systems department's web site will be a helpful guide for users to assess their computer components.
The month of March signifies the time for Virginia Tech's personal and distributed non-centralized computer-system users to begin assessing their computer components for Year 2000 compliance.