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Home Personal Computers. Be millennium wise. Your home is more complicated than other household appliances. so be careful and if you are sure what to do, get expert help.
How do you use your PC? If you use your PC for games, graphics and word processing only, you probably don't need to do anything, as these software programs generally don't rely on dates to work properly. If you use your PC for more complex tasks like running your finances or organising your personal life, you probably use software programs that use dates (such as spreadsheets, personal organisers and personal money management programs). You'll need to check whether there are any year 2000 date processing problems for the software you are using. See further information for ways to so this. If you use a home PC for business - either your own or your employer's - you should ensure that it is Year 2000 ready. Your employer may be willing to help you upgrade your equipment if you use your own PC for business use. Remember, when you share information between computers, for example on a floppy disk or by e-mail, it is possible to pass on Millennium Bug problems from one machine to another.
Changing the date after the New Year Windows TM users should simply check that the date is correct after 1st January 2000. If it is incorrect, type in the correct date in the TIME/DATE setting in the control panel. For DOS, type in the new date 01/01/2000 at the C:\prompt.
FICTION: "every computer will need to be replaced or upgraded before the Millennium." In many cases, your PC won't need upgrading but you will need to ensure the date rolls forward to 1st january 2000 and recognises that next year is a leap year. You should also enter year dates as four digits i.e. '2003' instead of'03'. If you have to upgrade to later versions of software there is a possibilty that you will also have to upgrade your PC memory and processing speed to enable the ne software to run properly. If this proves to be the case, consider buying a new PC as it may be more cost effective.
Computer Testing Tip Beware of computer retailers bearing gifts. Tools to test and fix your PC are appearing free on the Internet and from computer retailers. Be cautious. They may want to sell you new software or hardware you don't need. Go direct to page http://business.bug2000.co.uk/get_help/tool_index.shtml on the Action 2000 web site for a useful guide to things you should know before you buy and use year 2000 tools effectively and safely.
Further Information - For more information about your PC hardware contact the retailer or manufacturer, many of whom have published year 2000 information on their web sites. - For more information about software, visit the Action 2000 web page at http://business.bug2000.co.uk/get_help/software_index.shtml where the latest year 2000 status information is available on over 500 software products, or contact the shop where you bought it, or the manufacturer. - For help in checking your PC for work, ring 2000 on 0845 601 2000 and they will send you a free IT systems helpbook.
Personal Finance Your money is as safe as it has always been The fact that we withdraw over #270 million from cash machines every day shows how important a part computers play in dealing with our money. Every time we cash a giro, write a cheque or use a credit card we also rely on them. So it's no wonder that banks, building societies and other financial orgainisations have been at the forefront of efforts to combat the Millennium Bug. Indeed, they have spent years working together to make sure that their systems are completely Millennium Bug free and can continue to talk to each other.
Dealing with your money If you hoped the Millennium Bug meant that the bank might loss any record of your overdraft, we're sorry to disappoint you. It is the business of banks, building societies and the Post Office to make sure that your money is safe and your account details are correct. So, like all other financial organisations, they don't just keep one set of records, they also keep back-up records of your account details. You'll still have to pay for that pre-christmas spending spree after all. If you have a life assurance policy or pension, insurance companies and pension provides are confident that your contributions will be credited and payments made as usual. It's a similar story with mortgages and loans. because they can run for twenty years or more, some leaders have been using dates will into the 21st century for many years. With investments, such as stocks and shares, professional managers are checking their systems with those of other institutions like the Stock Exchange, to maintain business as usual in managing investments. The systems controlling state benefits and pensions have undergone thorough testing to make sure that benefit payments will be correct and on time. And finally, the tax office has announced that they're ready so it will be no good using Millennium Bug as an excuse for late payments of tax.
Beating the Bug When banks first started issuing cards with expiry dates of 00, some shop computer systems didn't recognise the date as 2000 and rejected the transactions. The organisations concerned immediately got together to beat the bug and cards with 00 dates and beyond without any problems. You may already use one.
Financial Tip Even though financial organisations keep accurate records of your money. It's always a good idea to keep your own account statements, cheque stubs and receipts from card purchases. It can also be worth keeping receipts of money sent abroad or paid to your landlord.
Cash at the ready Every festive season people withdraw extra cash for presents and parties. With the extra long holidays this year, banks and building societies are expecting record demands for cash, so they have been working with the Banks of England to ensure that there is plenty of cash available.
Millennium Opening Hours Banks, building societies and post offices will be open for business on 29 and 30 December 1999 and from 4 January 2000. Many banks and building societies also plan 'Saturday-Style' opening on Friday 31 December and Monday 3 January, which are public holidays.
Fiction: "You should withdraw lots of cash before the Millennium because cash machines will stop working." All cash machines have been fully tested and found to work as normal. And you will be able to pay with credit cards, debit cards and cheques in the usual way. Remember, cash will also be available through supermarkets and other 'cash back' facilities. Don't carry around large quantities of cash- that's just what thieves want you to do.
Further Information - Check with your employer that they have tested their payroll system so that your wages or salary will be paid on time. - Talk to your bank or building society directly if you have any further questions about their year 2000 preparations. You will find their number on your statements or via directly enquiries. - If you are unhappy about your aspect of the service you receive from your financial organisation, and are unable to resolve the problem satisfactorily with them, contact the Financial Services Authority, 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS. Pages 9 to 14 to follow later....
-- Graham hyslop (Bob@ghoward-oxley.demon.co.uk), June 13, 1999
Why on earth are you putting separate blocks of pages on a new thread? Are you Al-D in diguise? Why not just put all of the pages in the same thread? That way if somebody actually wants them they'll be in one spot.
-- Ken Seger (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 13, 1999.
-- Leslie (***@***.net), June 13, 1999.
Oh, come on you guys....this crap is funny. Have you read the official Government advice on "how to protect yourself from your alarm clock" yet? Dang...it's a kicker.
-- Will continue (email@example.com), June 14, 1999.
Unfortunately,this whole sorry document is real & represents the UK Government's attempt to educate the Public.It comes complete with cartoon characters..which Graham fortunately did not reproduce.
-- embarassed (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 14, 1999.
Oh, uh sorry Graham for tearing you a "new one" over there on the appliance portion. Honestly. I'm sure you meant well. This *does* seem like something *our* government might do.....obviously, *ours* is even further behind than *yours*. Let's be pitiful "together", OK? If you get a chance....try to catch an episode or two of our show "South Park"....it might make you smile! (one needs to be a teenie "touched" to really appreciate it!)
-- Will continue (email@example.com), June 14, 1999.