TESTING VCRs and Computers

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I have tested my 2 VCRs by advancing the date to Dec 31 99 12:50 PM and then setting the timer for 12:01 AM Sat 1-1-2000. Both my 10 year old Sony and my new Panasonic worked fine. When I set my PCs clock in the same way, NOTHING happened at 12 midnight. Later though AOL did crash and I had to reboot it. Now it seems to be fine.

Has anyone else done this? Is this a meaningful test? What other tests can someone do?

-- James G Chandler (jgcec@aol.com), July 30, 1998


Hi James, I haven't done any of the test on our home appliances/or pc's... but...I have to wonder, if the power utility company in your area isn't compliant, or the telecommunications co., or cable, or ( I could go on and on) what good will a vcr or a pc do anyone? It's great to make sure they're compliant, but since they depend on other things, that may not be, this is also something to consider.

C. Rolfe

-- C. Rolfe (kncrolfe@msn.com), July 30, 1998.

I set the clock ahead on on older(1993) IBM computer. It switched over and nothing happened. When I rebooted the date read, Jan. 1, 1980.

-- Dave (dave22@concentric.net), July 30, 1998.

Dave - I had the same experience.

-- Amy Leone (aleone@amp.com), July 31, 1998.

C. Rolfe

I think it's appropriate to test your electronic equipment if you believe that the Chaos from Y2K will be short lived. I believe that Electricity will be restored eventually. Then you can watch your videos! d

-- Dianne (benedict@theriver.com), August 01, 1998.

I set the clocks on 5 PC's in my office just as you did without any problems. But working with computers for 15 years led me to investigate more. I downloaded (free) software from NSTL (National Software Testing Laboratories) that tests the clocks on the system to see if they are Y2k compliant. The software tests the chip clocks. Results: Warning! Progression to Year 2000 fails. 4 of the five machines failed. One machine, the newest, had no problems what so ever. So what happened???? It means these computers are okay if I set the clocks manually-- BIOS, DOS etc. but it would fail if I left it to do it on its own. Being the doubting Thomas that I am, I tried another free download--- same problem. These computers are less than two years old. In my case with these Computers, no big deal. But what about all these computers running quietly at night with nobody around???

-- John Callon (jcallon@gate.net), August 06, 1998.

John, your observation matches what I am hearing from several Y2K projects. I know of at least three sites where there are systems that deal with Y2K issues well enough to stay in operation so long as the systems are brought down, rebooted and the clocks manually reset to a 1/1/2000 date and time after reboot. Left alone to experience the roll-over on their own, the systems fail.

This may end up being a common theme in a lot of systems.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), August 06, 1998.

While doing this testing has anyone LEFT their computers set to a post 2000 date, and cycled the computer on and off for a period of weeks? [Turn it off at nite, back on in the morning, that sort of thing.]

Last year it was reported on c.s.y2k newsgroup that a 'time dilation' effect sometimes occurs......only a small fraction of the computers.....in which after being cycled several times the computer has 'sped up.' I believe the initial report had the unit gaining nearly a year in a month or so.

See http://www.elmbronze.demon.co.uk/year2000/ and go to 'time dilation'

Well documented thread, and something most don't know about. May want to test for it.

This seems to occur most ofter in older units (286s, 386s) but has been seen in 486s and Pentiums as well. Now called the Crouch-Echelin effect.

-- Rocky Knolls (rknolls@hotmail.com), August 06, 1998.

Rocky I let my computer roll over for 3-4 days without a problem (date changed okay). But because of the way I am, I think I will experiment for a longer period!!!!!!! Keep ya posted.

-- John Callon (jcallon@gate.net), August 07, 1998.

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