I had my first software failure yesterday!?!?!

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Yesterday I couldn't access my E-mail. It seems my 12yo son had gotten into Win95 and changed the date to 2099. Windows didn't blink but the E-mail funct of netscape 3.0gold crapped. I spent 4 hours going thru the motions til I looked at the date.I'm just glad It was my BS PC and not anything really important.


-- nine (nine_fingers@hotmail.com), February 14, 1999


You're lucky. Win95 may or may not be compliant. I know for sure that my business billing system wasn't. We made that change deliberately and with full back-up. Totally ate my hard drive data. Ended up with the manuf rep there for two days (the software company had made the mistake of putting the compliance IN WRITING). It is not near as easy to straighten out as everbody thinks. Might try setting up a password (or you could ground the kid) either might work. Check six. Lobo

-- Lobo (hiding@woods.com), February 14, 1999.

Isn't grinding the kid a bit excessive? :-)

-- Bob Benson (appysys@inreach.com), February 14, 1999.

I've seen a good deal of this sort of thing as well. An awful lot of 'compliant' software uses windowing, rather than 4-digit years. In fact, windowing is far more common than expansion in the remediation efforts of almost all large organizations. It's a workable system provided you don't have any data you need to keep for over 100 years, which is true in most cases.

Setting the date to 2099 of course violates the assumptions that windowing is based on, with unpredictable and often nasty results. If you set the date beyond the 'pivot year' used in a particular program or package, you are looking for trouble, and you'll find it.

Determining whether a package uses windowing, and if so determining the pivot year, (and whether it's fixed or floating) has been a major, expensive, time-consuming pain for us. All such testing must be performed using a hard drive you don't mind reformatting a few times a day. Been there.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), February 14, 1999.

Best grounding path is a 1/4" - 3/8" copper rod solidly embedded into 8-10 feet of dirt. Bit hard on the kid though.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), February 15, 1999.

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