MS Excel users please read y2k alert : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

For educational purposes only


It isn't a bug in Excel, per se, but Grant DuBois writes in the current PC Week that injudicious use of the DATE() function in Excel can lead to Y2K-related miscalculations in your spreadsheets. Worse, none of the widely available tools for scanning Excel spreadsheets - Grant mentions Viasoft Inc.'s OnMark 2000 Assess versions 3.0 and 4.0, Symantec Corp.'s Norton 2000, 2000Tools Group Inc.'s DateSpy Professional, Greenwich Mean Time-UTA's Check 2000 PC Deluxe, ClickNet Software Corp.'s ClickNet, and Advanced System Technologies Ltd.'s Datefind-db by name - will pick up every instance of the DATE() function.

Unfortunately, no third-party scanner can identify *all* the Y2K bugs in a random spreadsheet (it's theoretically impossible, I think - probably equivalent to the Turing halting problem). Excel users who put all their faith in a third-party Y2K scanner, from any manufacturer, are begging for trouble. If you want to be absolutely sure, all the formulae in all spreadsheets must be examined by an experienced Excel guru to ensure there are no Y2K bugs. The scanners help, particularly if they're used by people who know what to look for, but they're no substitute for old-fashioned grunt work.

WOODY's OFFICE WATCH - Copyright 1999, ISSN 1328-1674 Pinecliffe International and Peter Deegan. All rights reserved.

-- RUOK (, August 29, 1999

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